Science

Science is exciting. Science gives us joy through our understanding of the world and our role within it. Science embodies the very essence of learning. It can be thought of as both a body of knowledge (the things we have already discovered), and the process of acquiring new knowledge (through observation and experimentation—testing and hypothesising). 

At Dormers Wells, we aim to enhance the natural scientist in all our students by developing  students who are skilled critical thinkers, scientifically literate and able to problem solve. They can use their ever growing body of knowledge to apply their thinking to novel contexts. We aim to develop Scientists who are so excited by what they learn, and so skilled that they strive to continue their learning independently.

A fantastic Scientist is an organised Scientist.  A student that consistently works to systematically build their knowledge and to make the links not only across Science but across the curriculum will always be successful. They will be able to identify how their learning in lesson applies to what they see in the world through extra curricular reading and support from their teachers.

The Dormers Wells Science department is committed to opening the door to success for all our pupils. We will ensure students leave school having mastered the knowledge and skills they need to be confident in the decisions they make both about their lives and as citizens of the world.


Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.

- Edwin Powell Hubble

Science is one of three core subjects in the school meaning that all students will study this from year 7 to year 11.  We have designed the curriculum as a 7 year course to ensure that every piece of knowledge learnt, every skill practiced and every discussion held, forms a building block that will enable every student to not only understand Science but to develop  the skills to study Science beyond GCSE if they wish.

Throughout all key stages we assess our pupils on their knowledge, practical skills, scientific literacy and ability to apply their knowledge. We ensure that throughout all key stages these areas are focussed on in both our teaching and assessment so students are provided with a clear understanding on how to successfully develop in each of these areas.

 

Key Stage 3

Our key stage 3 curriculum (Year 7 and 8) will start our students off with the foundational knowledge and skills that will be built upon in the 7 year Science curriculum. Students will be introduced to knowledge organisers for the first time and learn and how to use these to ensure knowledge is embedded in their memories. Students will study a wide range of topics from space to genetics to the periodic table. Our skilled teachers ensure that our students will be stretched to think about how this knowledge applies to a variety of contexts and ensure that the knowledge they learn is accurate and in depth. We want to upskill all our students to not only understand science but to speak, write and investigate like a Scientist. Our teaching is rigorous. We want our students to become true academics in our subject. We will ensure that when our students reach GCSE they are confident in their ability and know exactly what it is they need to do in order to succeed in Science. 

The aim of our Key Stage 3 Curriculum is to:

  • Teach the fundamental building blocks of science that will enable our students to be successful at GCSE and A level.
  • Build confidence in our students’ abilities to not only remember knowledge but to speak, investigate and write scientifically. 
  • Encourage students to be independent, organised scientists from the very beginning.
  • Open students’ eyes to a new world and show them how exciting Science can be.

Click here to view the curriculum 

Key Stage 4

Students will study their GCSE course from year 9. They will either be working towards the Edexcel GCSE Combined Science Course (2 GCSEs) or the Edexcel Separate Science course (3 GCSEs). All examinations will be at the end of year 11 and they will be graded using the GCSE grades 1-9.

At Key Stage 4, students will build on the blocks laid in key stage 3 by continuing to use their knowledge organisers to routinely embed the new knowledge that links to their key stage 3 course.  Teachers will continue to assess their students against the key skills required by all Scientists; knowledge, practical skills, scientific literacy, application and cross curricula linkage to ensure we continue to build our students abilities as Scientists.

Year 9 Skills weeks

Year 9 will complete ‘skills’ weeks that will focus on the underlying nuances that enable the students to understand the topics in depth. Skills weeks will include the following types of activities;

  • numeracy (such as calculations, graph analysis, unit conversions),
  • literacy (such as reading scientific articles, dissecting text, writing lab reports and debating key issues)
  • practical (such as key techniques, novel experiments, independent investigation and science fairs)

This will deepen their knowledge and understanding of the science topics they have covered, increasing their ability as not only scientists but as academic scholars.

Practical work

Although there is no coursework element at KS4, students will be expected to complete a certain number of core practicals and to have understood them deeply. This will include an in depth understanding of the techniques, the scientific process and the evaluation all of these studies. These will then be assessed in the GCSE exam. KS3 and Year 9 skills weeks should support our students in writing about these core practicals successfully.

Combined Science: https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/GCSE/Science/2016/Specification/GCSE_CombinedScience_Spec.pdf

Triple Biology: https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/GCSE/Science/2016/Specification/GCSE_Biology_Spec.pdf

Triple Chemistry: https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/GCSE/Science/2016/Specification/GCSE_Chemistry_Spec.pdf

Triple Physics: https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/GCSE/Science/2016/Specification/GCSE_Physics_Spec.pdf

 

combined science (route a)

The course will cover the content listed below.

Assessment for this route will consist of six exam papers.
 

BIOLOGY PAPER 1 WRITTEN EXAMINATION: 1 HOUR AND 10 MINUTES 16.67% OF THE QUALIFICATION, 60 MARKS

Content overview

  • Topic 1 – Key concepts in biology
  • Topic 2 – Cells and control
  • Topic 3 – Genetics
  • Topic 4 – Natural selection and genetic modification
  • Topic 5 – Health, disease and the development of medicines

BIOLOGY PAPER 2 WRITTEN EXAMINATION: 1 HOUR AND 10 MINUTES 16.67% OF THE QUALIFICATION, 60 MARKS

  • Topic 1 – Key concepts in biology
  • Topic 6 – Plant structures and their functions
  • Topic 7 – Animal coordination, control and homeostasis
  • Topic 8 – Exchange and transport in animals
  • Topic 9 – Ecosystems and material cycles

CHEMISTRY PAPER 1 WRITTEN EXAMINATION: 1 HOUR AND 10 MINUTES 16.67% OF THE QUALIFICATION, 60 MARKS

  • Topic 1 – Key concepts in chemistry
  • Topic 2 – States of matter and mixtures
  • Topic 3 – Chemical changes
  • Topic 4 – Extracting metals and equilibria

CHEMISTRY PAPER 2 WRITTEN EXAMINATION: 1 HOUR AND 10 MINUTES 16.67% OF THE QUALIFICATION, 60 MARKS

  • Topic 1 – Key concepts in chemistry
  • Topic 6 – Groups in the periodic table
  • Topic 7 – Rates of reaction and energy changes
  • Topic 8 – Fuels and Earth science

PHYSICS PAPER 1 WRITTEN EXAMINATION: 1 HOUR AND 10 MINUTES 16.67% OF THE QUALIFICATION, 60 MARKS

  • Topic 1 – Key concepts of physics
  • Topic 2 – Motion and forces
  • Topic 3 – Conservation of energy
  • Topic 4 – Waves
  • Topic 5 – Light and the electromagnetic spectrum
  • Topic 6 – Radioactivity

PHYSICS PAPER 2 WRITTEN EXAMINATION: 1 HOUR AND 10 MINUTES 16.67% OF THE QUALIFICATION, 60 MARKS

  • Topic 1 – Key concepts of physics
  • Topic 8 – Energy - Forces doing work
  • Topic 9 – Forces and their effects
  • Topic 10 – Electricity and circuits
  • Topic 12 – Magnetism and the motor effect
  • Topic 13 – Electromagnetic induction
  • Topic 14 – Particle model
  • Topic 15 – Forces and matter
individual science route b

Assessment for this route will consist of two exam papers per GCSE subject.

BIOLOGY PAPER 1 - WRITTEN EXAMINATION: 1 HOUR AND 45 MINUTES 50% OF THE QUALIFICATION 100 MARKS

Content overview:

  • Topic 1 – Key concepts in biology
  • Topic 2 – Cells and control
  • Topic 3 – Genetics
  • Topic 4 – Natural selection and genetic modification
  • Topic 5 – Health, disease and the development of medicines

BIOLOGY PAPER 2 - WRITTEN EXAMINATION: 1 HOUR AND 45 MINUTES 50% OF THE QUALIFICATION 100 MARKS

Content overview

  • Topic 1 – Key concepts in biology
  • Topic 6 – Plant structures and their functions
  • Topic 7 – Animal coordination, control and homeostasis
  • Topic 8 – Exchange and transport in animals
  • Topic 9 – Ecosystems and material cycles

Chemistry topics

  1. Atomic structure and the periodic table
  2. Bonding
  3. Mass calculations
  4. States of matter and separation techniques
  5. Acids    
  6. Electrolysis
  7. Metals
  8. Equilibria
  9. Quantitative analysis
  10. Groups I, VII and 0
  11. Reaction rates
  12. Enthalpy changes
  13. Earth and atmosphere
  14. Fuels and hydrocarbons
  15. Alcohols, acids and polymers
  16. Nanoparticles
  17. Qualitative analysis

Physics topics

  1. Force & Motion
  2. Energy
  3. Waves
  4. More Waves
  5. Radioactivity - Theory   
  6. Radioactivity - Uses
  7. Space
  8. More Energy
  9. More Forces
  10. Electricity
  11. Static Electricity
  12. Magnetism & motors
  13. EM Induction
  14. Particle Model
  15. Forces & matter
Key stage 5

Biology, Chemistry and Physics ‘A’ Level are offered to students in Year 12 & 13, following the Edexcel syllabus. Students will also be assessed throughout the year on their practical endorsement also known as CPAC.

Biology: Biologists study the living world. Students will have the chance to learn about and understand key contemporary issues and topics such as DNA, fingerprinting, genetic engineering and some of the latest advances in medicine and biotechnology. Biology is a popular but challenging subject which requires a wide range of reading around the subject. The course content covers the circulatory system and health risks, genetics and health, genome biology, biodiversity and ecology, photosynthesis, the immune system, physiological adaptation and the nervous system.

Chemistry: As the study of materials, their properties and how they are made, chemistry represents a discipline that impacts on all of our lives in numerous ways. It is essential for a good understanding of other science subjects such as zoology, medicine and veterinary science. Chemistry is concerned with the physical and chemical properties of molecules and their composition, structure and synthesis in the context of contemporary life. Chemistry is a challenging subject yet increasingly popular. The course content covers inorganic, organic and physical chemistry, encompassing: atomic structure, bonding, redox, the chemistry of group 2/7, organic chemistry, analytical techniques, energetics, kinetics, equilibria, acids/bases and transition metals.

Physics: Any physicist will tell you that physics is the subject upon which all the other sciences rely for a true understanding of the universe. It is the basis upon which areas like engineering depend. There is a strong mathematical content to studying physics A level: students are strongly advised to take A level mathematics with this course. The course content covers a mixture of classical and modern physics: mechanics, electrical circuits and components, fields (electric, magnetic and gravitational), materials, nuclear and particle physics, the quantum theory of light, oscillations and astrophysics.

Biology A: https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/A%20Level/biology-a/2015/specification-and-sample-assessment-materials/9781446930885_GCE2015_A_BioA_spec.pdf

Chemistry: https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/A%20Level/Chemistry/2015/Specification%20and%20sample%20assessments/A_level_Chemistry_2015_Specification.pdf

Physics: https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/A%20Level/Physics/2015/Specification%20and%20sample%20assessments/PearsonEdexcel-Alevel-Physics-Spec.pdf