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Science

Science website bannerGBHS Students Study Science to… 

  • Develop informed opinions and to support such opinions with reasoned arguments. 

  • To encourage the development of an enquiring scientific mind and the ability to become an independent learner. 

  • To promote awareness, knowledge and understanding of Scientific issues beyond the classroom setting. 

  • To encourage pupils to question, analyse and form opinions about various issues that appear in the news. 

  • For pupils to understand the purpose of and necessity for Science in their school and future lives. 

  • To be exposed to vocational and enrichment opportunities such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) 

Transferable Skills

  • Critical thinking 

  • Problem solving 

  • Data analysis 

  • Intellectual interest and curiosity  

  • Organisation, planning and time management 

Key Stage 3

In both Year 7 and 8, pupils will study nine topics (three per Science discipline). The topics are assessed in a variety of ways, from open-ended tasks allowing pupils to show off all they have learned about a topic, to online quizzes and more traditional written tests. 

  

Biology 

Chemistry 

Physics 

Year 7 - term 1  

Cells & Organs 

Particles 

Forces 

Year 7 - term 2 

Reproduction 

Chemical Reactions 

Energy 

Year 7 - term 3 

Ecology 

Acids & Alkali 

Circuits & Magnets 

Year 8 - term 1  

Micro-organisms 

Elements & Compounds 

Heat 

Year 8 - term 2 

Nutrition & Drugs 

Separating mixtures 

Space 

Year 8 - term 3 

Variation & Classification 

Rocks 

Light & Sound 

 
In Year 9, pupils tackle the more conceptually difficult topics across the three disciplines that will give them the foundation in both knowledge and skills to progress into GCSE work. 

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 all groups are set by ability. Courses have been chosen to best suit the needs of the students. Students will take either separate sciences (Biology, Chemistry & Physics) or combined science. Students who intend to study science post 16 are encouraged to take separate sciences. 

We use the AQA examination board for the following syllabi: 

Biology                           8461 

Chemistry                      8462 

Physics                         8463 

Combined Science:      Trilogy 8464 

At Key Stage 4, students complete a range of topics in all three Science discipline, regardless of whether they study separate sciences or combined science. All students will complete a total of 6 GCSE exams at the end of Year 11. 

Biology 

Chemistry 

Physics 

1. Cells 

2. Organisation 

3. Infection & response 

4. Bio-energetics 

1. Atoms & the periodic table 

2. Structure & bonding 

3. Chemical calculations 

4. Chemical reactions 

5. Energy changes 

1. Energy 

2. Electricity 

3. Particles 

4. Atoms & radioactivity 

5. Homeostasis 

6. Evolution & variation 

7. Ecology 

 

5. Forces 

6. Waves 

7. Magnets 

8. Space (GCSE Physics only) 

 

6. Rate & extent of reaction 

7. Organic chemistry 

8. Chemical analysis 

9. Atmosphere 

10. Resources 

 

Key Stage 5

The Faculty has a very healthy Sixth Form intake, offering A Level courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics,  

Biology 

Biology is one of the most popular A Level subjects in the country, attracting students studying a wide range of other subjects. The aim of our course is for students to build on their interest and enthusiasm for Biology, which can lead to further study at university as well as opening up a wide range of other exciting career possibilities. 

From conservation to cancer or virus research, biologists are tackling important 21st century challenges.  Whatever field you will eventually work in, you will find biology a very rewarding and challenging course which will develop many of the skills essential for a successful career. 

Course Content 

Examination Board: OCR, Website address: www.ocr.org.uk  

The OCR Biology specification introduced in 2015 covers a wide range of exciting and interesting topics. It is divided into six teaching modules, each covering different key concepts in Biology. 

  • Module 1: Development of practical skills in Biology  

  • Module 2: Foundation in Biology  

  • Module 3: Exchange and transport  

  • Module 4: Biodiversity, evolution and disease  

  • Module 5: Communication, homeostasis and energy  

  • Module 6: Genetics, evolution and ecosystems 

Exam structure and weighting 

Assessment of all modules is by three exam papers taken at the end of Year 13 

  • Biological Processes: 2hrs 15mins worth 37% (covering modules 1, 2, 3 and 5),  

  • Biological Diversity: 2hrs 15mins worth 37% (covering modules 1, 2, 4 and 6), and  

  • Unified Biology: 1hr 30mins worth 26% (covering all modules). 

Teaching of practical skills is integrated with the theoretical topics and assessed within the final exams as well as part of a separate ‘practical endorsement’. 

Teaching and learning  

Students learn by research, group work and practical activities, alongside traditional classroom methods. The A Level course is demanding but rewarding and we encourage students to work independently to regularly consolidate their learning or review their understanding. We promote independent learning by providing resources that extend and challenge them as well as link current scientific research to topics they will study in class. 

AQA A-level Chemistry (7405) 

A Level Chemistry attempts to answer the big question - ‘what is the world made of?’, and it is the search for this answer that makes the subject so fascinating. From investigating how one substance can be changed drastically into another, to researching a new wonder drug to save millions of lives, the opportunities that chemistry provides are endless. 

Possible career options from studying Chemistry at university include analytical chemistry, chemical engineering, pharmacology, and toxicology. 

Assessment 

  • Paper 1 - Inorganic Chemistry with relevant physical chemistry (+ relevant practicalskills) - 120 minutes105 marks- 35%. 

  • Paper 2 - Organic Chemistry with relevant physical chemistry (+ relevant practicalskills) - 120 minutes-105 marks- 35%. 

  • Paper 3 - All content and all practicalskills- 120 minutes- 90 marks- 30%. 

It is expected that candidates will have knowledge and understanding of Chemistry at grade 7 in a GCSE examination in Chemistry (Triple Award) or grade 7-7 at combined trilogy (Double Award). 

You will study; 

  • Physical Chemistry: atomic structure, amount of substance, bonding, energetics, kinetics, chemical equilibria, Le Chatelier’s principle, thermodynamics, rate equations, the equilibrium constant Kp, electrode potentials and electrochemical cells. 

  • Inorganic Chemistry: periodicity, Group 2 the alkaline Earth metals, Group 7(17) the halogens, properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides, transition metals, and reactions of ions in aqueous solution. 

  • Organic Chemistry: introduction to organic chemistry, alkanes, halogenoalkanes, alkenes, alcohols, organic analysis, optical isomerism, aldehydes and ketones, carboxylic acids and derivatives, aromatic chemistry, amines, polymers, amino acids, proteins and DNA, organic synthesis, NMR spectroscopy, and chromatography. 

Physics (Edexcel) 

Exam Code: 9PH0 

Studying Physics at A Level will provide students with the opportunity to get to grips with fundamental questions concerning the physical world and how it behaves. Students will learn how to work with different mathematical models and apply the laws of physics to solve real-world problems. 

An ‘A’ Level in Physics can pave the way for students to read a university degree in engineering or the physical sciences, study towards a higher apprenticeship or pursue a career in Science, Engineering, Information technology, Statistics, and many other fields.  This is achieved through engaging the students with a variety of approaches which include numerous practicals, and weekly drop-in sessions. We organise visits to see the applications of physics to real life situations; an example of such is an annual visit to UCL in London to look at their radiotherapy department 

Assessment 

3 written examinations: 

  • Advanced Physics I - Working as a Physicist. 1 hour 45 minutes (30 %) 

  • Advance Physics II - Working as a Physicist. 1 hour 45 minutes (30%). 

  • General and Practical Principles in Physics- Conceptual and theoretical understanding of experimental methods that will draw on the understanding of the core practicals. 2 hour 30 minutes (40%.) 

There are strong links between A Level Physics and Mathematics. 

Students need to be strong mathematicians even if they are not taking mathematics at A Level 

Outline of the Course 

  • Unit 1: Working as a Physicist 

  • Unit 2: Mechanics 

  • Unit 3: Electric Circuits 

  • Unit 4: Materials 

  • Unit 5: Waves and the Particle Nature of Light 

  • Unit 6: Further Mechanics 

  • Unit 7: Electric and Magnetic Fields 

  • Unit 8: Nuclear and Particle Physics 

  • Unit 9: Thermodynamics 

  • Unit 10: Space 

  • Unit 11: Nuclear Radiation 

  • Unit 12: Gravitational Fields 

  • Unit 13: Oscillations 

Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Development

The study of science can contribute to an understanding of spiritual, moral and ethical, social and cultural issues. The following are examples of opportunities to promote students development through the teaching of science at Great Baddow High School. 

Social  

These issues are addressed through helping students recognise how the formation of opinion and the justification of decisions can be informed by experimental evidence, and drawing attention to how different interpretations of scientific evidence can be areas of the science course which involve social awareness are: 

  • students are encouraged to show respect for other people’s ideas; 

  • group practical work provides opportunities to develop team working skills and taking responsibility; students are encouraged to keep an open mind to new ideas without prejudice until tested by observation and experiment; 

  • science should be seen as a social activity. New scientific ideas need to stand up to other peoples scrutiny e.g. Louis Pasteur and micro-organisms. 

  • students should take responsibility for their own and other peoples safety when undertaking practical work; 

  • students should consider the effect of science on their lives e.g. enhancement of 

  • plant growth, use of artificial satellites, development of polymers, development of medicines; 

  • students consider the benefits and drawbacks and scientific and technological development in environmental and other contexts; attention is drawn to competing priorities and the decisions that have to be made about energy requirements, use of the environment and site of industry, taking into account relevant social, economic and environmental factors; 

  • students consider two ideas have changed over times e.g. plate tectonics, spontaneous creation of life, movement of the earth etc; students study the effect of scientific theories on how people consider human society e.g. Copernicus, Darwin; 

  • students are aware of the social consequences associated with human reproduction, smoking, drugs and alcohol; 

  • a social responsibility for the environment is developed including living things, use of energy and finite resources. 

Moral  

These issues are addressed through helping students to draw conclusions using observation and evidence rather than preconception or prejudice, and through discussion of the implications of the uses of scientific knowledge, including recognition that such uses can have both beneficial and harmful effect. Exploration of values and ethics relating to applications of Science and Technology is possible. Particular areas of the 
Science course which involve moral and ethical awareness are: 

  • teachers encourage seeking the truth through finding evidence in investigations; 

  • students treat honestly situations where experiments give results that may not agree with accepted scientific knowledge and consider why the results may differ; 

  • when working in groups students should take responsibility for their own actions even when things go ‘wrong’ and have trust in the contribution of others; 

  • when considering the environment students are encouraged to consider the long term results of environmental change and the need to care for the environment for future generations. Students consider the effects of pollution, waste disposal, use of finite resources, energy use, biodiversity, eutrophication and changes in the landscape; students are encouraged to show respect to all living things and the environment in which they lie, and to apply scientific knowledge and understanding to the care of living things; 

  • students consider historical moral issues of small pox vaccination and extend into present day medical moral issues e.g. transplants, human fertility. They consider similarities and differences between selective breeding of plants and animals and genetic engineering. They also debate cutting edge applications of these technologies such as embryonic stem cell research, and explore the issues connected with these from different viewpoints. 

Spiritual  

The issues are addressed by students sensing the natural, material, physical world they live in, reflecting on their part in it, exploring questions such as when life starts, where life comes from and experiencing a sense of awe and wonder at the natural world. Particular areas of the science course which develop spiritual awareness are: 

  • wonder at what is special about life; 

  • treating all living things with care and sensitivity including the environment in which we live; 

  • appreciation of the beauty of natural forms and the relationship of form to function in living things; 

  • awe of the scale of living things from the smallest micro organism to the largest tree; 

  • examples of the complexity of living things and the wonder of how it all work together; 

  • creation of new life via human reproduction; photosynthesis and the wonder that the substance of the largest trees is predominantly produced from water and carbon dioxide; 

  • all the oxygen that animals need to breath was produced on the earth by plants; 

  • carbon cycle and the way life is self sustaining. the continuity of matter i.e. the same atoms are constantly circulated, including those in living things; 

  • the way we sense the world through the nervous system. 

  • wonder at the significance of the pattern in the Periodic Table; 

  • wonder at the extent of geological time; 

  • students consider the enormity of space and the number of stars. they reflect on the earth as one small speck in the universe and our place within it; 

  • teachers use photographs of planets and their natural satellites to stimulate awe and wonder; 

  • beauty of natural objects or phenomenon, plants, animals, crystals, rainbows, earth from space etc. 

Cultural  

These issues are addressed through helping students recognise how scientific discoveries and ideas have affected the way people think, feel, create, behave and live. Through drawing attention to how cultural differences can influence the extent to which scientific ideas area accepted, used and valued. Particular areas of the science course which involve cultural awareness are:  

  • scientific discoveries are celebrated as part of our culture e.g. the work of Louis Pasteur, Jenner and Galileo; 

  • credit is given to scientific discoveries of other cultures e.g. the discovery of fermentation by the early Egyptians. 

  • students learn that science should be seen as a contemporary activity in many different countries e.g. co-operation over climate change, biofuel production and the need for rainforest conservation, protection of endangered species; 

  • it is recognised that the patterns of stars and phases of the moon appear different in different parts of the world; 

  • it is recognised that the smelting of metal ores developed more than 2500 years ago in many cultures, Africa, Asia, Middle East as well as Europe; 

  • it is recognised that sickle cell anaemia occurs not only in populations of African origin but also in eastern European and Middle East population and that carriers of the trait are less effected by malaria; 

  • agricultural selective breeding of plants and animals was used in all ancient cultures; 

  • students learn about the different social and economic factors that cause people in different parts of the world to exploit or conserve their environment in different ways; 

  • students consider the historical context that influences the way new theories are considered e.g. motion of the earth, evolution, infection theory of disease; 

  • students are aware that there is a relationship between the reactivity series of metals and the age of discovery. 

Beyond the Classroom

In school activities 

Science week (Tutor activities) 

National Periodic table day 

Author visits (e.g. John Townsend – this included junior school children) 

Thinkers in education workshop (year 8 and primary schools) 

Space week – assemblies, inter-house competition, tutor time activities 

External Competitions 

Lego league 

Chemistry Olympiad 

Biology Olympiad 

BPhO senior Physics challenge 

RHS garden competition 

Visits  

Years 12/13 visit to UCL 

Physics visit to E2V 

Physics at work Cambridge University laboratories 

Big bang Fair (NEC) 

Anglia Medical school (Chelmsford) 

Hosting events 

The school has hosted Physicsfest for the last two years