Curriculum

Science

Intent

Develop analytical and curious students who question and understand aspects of the world around them by applying their scientific skills.

YEAR 7 AND 8 (KS3)

Year 7 and 8 complete a curriculum which is based on the AQA Activate scheme. The curriculum has been designed by members of the department to allow student to develop an understanding of how their bodies work as well as aspects of the world around them. It allows students to gain a solid foundation for success at KS4 science, as well as the skills developed through practical investigation including recording, problem solving, analysis and evaluation.

Year 7 Curriculum and Assessment Plan

Year 8 Curriculum and Assessment Plan

KS4

Across years 9-11 students study the AQA specification for combined or separate science, which builds upon their learning from KS3. Whether doing combined or separate science all pupils study biology, chemistry and physics topics which result in 2 GCSE grades if studying combined science and 3 GCSE grades if studying separate science. Over the 3 year course students also complete 21 required practicals (26 if doing separate science) which are assessed during the GCSE exam papers.

YEAR 9

Year 9 begins with a focus on cells and living tissues for pupils to learn how major organ systems work inside their bodies, through biology lessons. In chemistry students learn about the elements in the periodic table and how an understanding of atoms developed through time, as well as the usual reactions groups of elements undergo. Physics starts with learning all about energy and energy resources including links to relevant current policy decisions for the government surrounding renewable resources, and then goes on to looking at how electricity works and the design of electric circuits.

Year 9 Curriculum Plan

YEAR 10

Year 10 continues to build on the learning from year 9 as the GCSE course continues. Physics study includes learning about radioactivity and matter. Chemistry focuses more on reactivity through looking at chemical changes and electrolysis as well as the factors which effect rates of reactions. In Year 10 Biology students develop an understanding of disease, transmission and protection against diseases, as well as the plant biology.

Year 10 Curriculum Plan

YEAR 11

Year 11 completes the GCSE course and allows time for revision before the GCSE examinations. In Biology students study how the body is controlled through nervous and hormonal coordination, as well as genetics and inheritance, and ecology. Chemistry comprises learning about organic chemistry, for example the processing of crude oil and fuels, and also other of the Earth’s resources. Physics concludes by learning about forces and motion as well as waves and electromagnetism. If pupils are studying separate sciences they will also learn about space physics in Year 11.

Year 11 Curriculum Plan

A-LEVEL

BIOLOGY

Sixth Form Biologists deepen their understanding of all topics covered at GCSE and develop their practical skills. The course builds on GCSE knowledge and takes the topics further for example a detailed look into the structure of DNA and how inheritance works as well as how mutations and genetic diversity affect populations. The Biology course includes a number of mathematical skills which are developed over the two years and assessed in the A-Level examinations. The A-Level course includes planning and carrying out twelve required practicals which are assessed under five key competencies.

Year 12 Biology Curriculum Plan

Year 13 Biology Curriculum Plan

CHEMISTRY

A-Level Chemistry follows three main strands of learning each which build upon GCSE knowledge. The strands are Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry. Students learn about reactions and analysis of many chemical compounds including alkanes, alkenes, carboxylic acids, alcohols, aldehydes and ketones in the organic chemistry section. Inorganic chemistry focuses on the periodic table and trends in various groups found on the periodic table. Physical chemistry covers the bonding of compounds, energetics of reactions, and chemical calculations. Similarly to biology, the course course includes a number of mathematical skills which are developed over the two years and assessed in the A Level examinations, and includes planning and carrying out the twelve required practicals which are assessed under five key competencies.

Years 12 and 13 Chemistry Curriculum Plan

PHYSICS

Sixth Form Physicists deepen their understanding by building on their GCSE physics knowledge to find out about particles within an atom that they have never studied before.  A large part of the A Level physics course includes using maths skills which are developed over the two years and are particularly necessary for mechanics and motion. Similar to both Chemistry and Biology the course includes planning and carrying out twelve required practicals which are assessed under five key competencies.

Year 12 Physics Curriculum and Assessment Plan

Year 13 Physics Curriculum and Assessment Plan

CAREERS IN SCIENCE

Studying science can lead into many different careers and also develops the skills required in most job sectors. For students that wish to follow careers in Medicine, Engineering, Conservation and Ecology, Marine Studies and Chemical Engineering or similar professions at least one science A Level is usually compulsory.  Science A Level is considered a ‘facilitating’ subject by universities meaning that it requires you to demonstrate a wide range of skills such as analysis, evaluation, being methodical and a strong work ethic which are relevant to a range of degree courses and professions.

Examples of careers which all involve science:

Analytical Chemist

Using a range of methods to investigate the chemical composition of substances, you'll identify and understand the substance and how it behaves in different conditions.

You can work in areas such as:

  • drug formulation and development
  • chemical or forensic analysis
  • product validation
  • toxicology.
Animal Technician

You'll care for animals used in scientific and medical research. You'll care for rats and mice, but other species are used and the different requirements of each mean that working environments vary.

You don't need a degree however, these degrees may prove useful:

  • animal behaviour/management
  • biology
  • toxicology.
Biomedical Scientist

Carrying out a range of laboratory and scientific tests on tissue samples and fluids, you'll help clinicians diagnose and treat diseases and evaluate the effectiveness of treatments.

You can work on medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes or AIDS or carry out tests for emergency blood transfusions.

Community Pharmacist

Working to legal and ethical guidelines you'll be responsible for dispensing and distributing medicine and maintaining and improving people's health. You'll sell over-the-counter medical products and instruct members of the public on the use of medicines and medical appliances.

Crime Scene Investigator

Sometimes known as scenes of crime officers or forensic scene investigators, it'll be your job to secure and protect crime scenes, and collect evidence from crime scenes, post-mortems and other incidents.

You'll also be responsible for processing and categorising evidence, so it can be used in criminal investigations.

Food Technologist

It's your job to make sure food products are produced safely, legally and to the quality claimed. You'll develop manufacturing processes and recipes of food and drink products, modify foods to create fat-free items and work on existing and newly-discovered ingredients to invent new recipes.

You'll benefit from having a food-related degree such as:

  • food, nutrition and health
  • food safety and quality management
  • food science/technology.
Forensic Scientist

You'll provide scientific evidence to support the prosecution or defence in criminal and civil investigations. You'll search for and examine contact trace material such as blood, hairs and clothing fibres.

Hospital Pharmacist

As an expert in the field of medicine, how it's used and its effect on the human body you'll be responsible for dispensing prescriptions and purchasing and quality testing medicines.

You'll work with medical and nursing staff to ensure patients receive the best treatment, advising on the selection, dose and type of administration.

Medicinal Chemist

You'll discover new drugs, help to create more effective medicines and design and create new pharmaceutically active molecules to combat a particular disease or condition.

Meteorologist

You'll predict the weather and study the causes of weather conditions using information obtained from the land, sea and upper atmosphere.

Microbiologist

By understanding microbes, microbiologists aim to solve a range of problems affecting health, the environment, climate and food and agriculture. You can work on the prevention, diagnosis and control of infections and disease, ensuring that food is safe, or on developing green technologies.

Nanotechnologist

Jobs involve manipulating matter on the nanoscale (one billionth of a metre). You'll develop new materials and equipment as well as drugs and diagnostic tools. Nanotechnology encompasses science, physics, chemistry, biology, engineering and computer science.

Pharmacologist

Aiming to understand how medicines work, you'll conduct research to aid drug discovery and development, investigate how drugs interact with biological systems and carry out in vitro or in vivo research to predict what effect certain drugs might have on humans.

Science Writer

You'll research, write and edit scientific news, articles and features, for business, trade and professional publications, specialist scientific and technical journals, and the general media.

Teaching Laboratory Technician

Working in educational institutions, you'll support the work of science teachers, lecturers and students.

Toxicologist

You'll identify, monitor and evaluate the impact of toxic materials, chemicals, potential new medicines and radiation on the environment and human and animal health.

 

CONTACT US

For further information regarding Science please contact the following:

  • Mrs Emily Paines (Head of Science) - e.paines@st-josephs.slough.sch.uk
  • Mr Christopher Robinson (Second in Charge of the Science Department) - c.robinson@st-josephs.slough.sch.uk