Science is a core subject at key stages three and four and therefore, all pupils are taught an equal weighting of the three sciences, biology, chemistry and physics, from years 7 – 11. At key stage five, Science subjects are extremely popular. The syllabus is designed in such a fashion that pupils’ learning is “scaffolded” from year 7 right up to year 13. Science requires pupils to demonstrate good mathematical, literacy, and analytical skills and therefore these skills are embedded in our curriculum from day one. Pupils are encouraged to see the bigger picture when studying a topic and we hope that this will harbour their passion for Science.
BTEC Applied Medical Science
Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 & 9)
We follow a three year KS3 curriculum at Sacred Heart. Pupils are taught an equal weighting of biology, chemistry and physics over the three years and the assessment at the end of Year 9 determines which GCSE path they will take. The focus at KS3 is on building the basics in order to set good foundations for GCSE.
Pupils are taught in small groups; there are 6 sets and this enables the class sizes to be small; pupils are set according to exams and extended coursework projects.
Introduction and working Scientifically
Health and lifestyle
Adaptation and Inheritance
New technology (Genetics/Biotechnology)
Turning points in Biology (Vaccines, DNA, Evolution)
Turning points in Chemistry (Atoms, periodic table, fossils)
Detection (Chromatography, separation techniques)
Acids and Alkalis
The periodic Table
Metals and Acids
New technology (circuits, electromagnetic spectrum)
Turning points in Physics (Space, Radioactivity)
Electricity and Magnetism
Motion and Pressure
States of matter
Key Stage 4 (Years 10 & 11)
Science is a compulsory subject at KS4; all pupils will follow one of two routes in science which will lead to either three separate science GCSEs (Triple Science route) or two GCSEs in science (Combined Science route)
Key Topics studied include:
· Health, disease and the development of medicines
· The Periodic Table
· Extracting Metals
· Electricity and circuits
Each route offers an equal balance of the three areas of science. In addition to the theory, students will carry out a number of key experiments that help underpin each topic. Students will not have to complete coursework but will have to keep a record of the experiments that they have carried out in their exercise books.
1. Triple Science (GCSE)
Pupils will gain three GCSEs in the separate sciences; they will gain a grade for Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Pupils will sit three exams at the end of year 11 for each GCSE (a total of 9 exams). This is a very difficult route and is only available to the most able pupils in the year group. Separate Science GCSE is excellent preparation for A-level sciences as there is a great deal of overlap between the two courses. Students will have to achieve at least a Grade 7 in a science to study it at A-Level.
2. Combined Science (GCSE)
Pupils will gain two separate GCSEs, they will study Biology, Physics and Chemistry; each subject will make up a third of each of their GCSE. Pupils will complete two examinations for each science (a total
of 6 examinations). All examinations taken will be ether at Foundation level (grades 1-5) or higher level (grades 4-9). Pupils are able to continue onto A-level sciences with double science if they have
achieve a minimum of two grade 7s.
Key Stage 5 (Years 12 & 13)
Biology is one of the three Sciences offered at Sacred Heart School; students are taught by Biology specialist teachers in Science laboratories. The Biology department currently has five Biology specialist teachers each who will be able to bring their own area of expertise to the teaching of this subject.
The OCR Biology A level course has been designed to build upon your Biology knowledge and skills from GCSE Science. This specification is split into six distinct units with an emphasis on understanding the subject rather than simply learning key facts. Students will be taught key practical skills such as microscope work, dissections, taking measurements and fieldwork and these will be examined in the written papers. There is also a 4 day residential field trip in Year 12 during which the ecology component of the course is covered.
The study of Chemistry provides a sound basis for both science and non-science based degree courses. A good grade in Chemistry A-Level is a requirement of many science degree courses including biology, medicine, dentistry, veterinary science and forensic science.
Out of the previous Sacred Heart Year 13 Chemists, we have had students going on to do Chemistry based courses like Chemistry, Biochemistry, Pharmacy, Medicine and Chemical Engineering at some of the top universities in the country: Oxford, UCL, Imperial College, Bath, Manchester and Nottingham.
Students are taught by very experienced subject specialists with a real passion for Chemistry. The Sacred Heart Science Department has an excellent record of results at A-level.
THE CHEMISTRY A-LEVEL COURSE
The course has been designed to build students’ Chemistry knowledge and skills from GCSE Science. At A level, student's complete theory based units with an emphasis on understanding the subject rather than simply learning key facts. There are a total of six units. Pupils will be examined in all units at the end of the course in 3 exams totalling 6 hours. Pupils will have to apply information from all units in these exams. Throughout both years, students will be taught key practical skills such as observing and explaining chemical reactions and quantitative chemistry. Students will be assessed on the skills they have learnt at the end of the year through written exam questions. Pupils will also be awarded a practical completion mark although this will not form part of the A level final grade.
Module 1: Development of practical skills in chemistry
Module 2: Foundations in chemistry
Module 3: Periodic table and energy
Module 4: Core organic chemistry
Module 1: Development of practical skills in chemistry
Module 5: Physical chemistry and transition elements
Module 6: Organic chemistry and analysis
The Physics department is made up of three specialist Physics teachers, each of whom bring their own area of expertise to the subject. The Physics course has been designed to build upon pupils’ Physics knowledge and skills from GCSE Science. This specification is split into six distinct units with an emphasis on understanding the subject rather than simply learning key facts. There is a strong emphasis upon practical skills; these are examined within the four examinations and the three strands of the controlled assessment. From September 2015, changes to the syllabus mean that practical skills will be assessed only in the final exams.