Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School

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Aims and Philosophy

The Science Department aims to provide an education in the principles and concepts of science and their responsible applications to the problems encountered in daily life. It also looks to encourage pupils to enjoy their learning of science.

Key Stage 3

Pupils follow a two-year Key Stage Three course covering topics in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

The topics studied in the first year are: Cells, Structure  and function of body systems, Reproduction, Particles and their behaviour, Elements, atoms and compounds, Reactions, Acids and alkalis, Forces, Sound Light and Space. The topics studied in the second year are: Health and lifestyle, Ecosystem processes, Adaptation and inheritance, The Periodic Table, Separation Techniques, Metals and acids, The Earth, Electricity and magnetism, Energy and Motion and Pressure.

Key Stage 4

From September 2015, all pupils will begin studying the AQA Science GCSE courses at the start of the third form. The pupils are streamed into five sets with sets 1 and 2 studying the AQA Biology, Chemistry and Physics courses. Pupils in sets 3-5 study the AQA Science A and AQA Additional Science courses with all exams being taken at the end of the Fifth Form.

KS5 Biology

Biology students follow the OCR AS (H021) course in the Lower Sixth Form.  This consists of two theory units entitled “Cells, Exchange and Transport” and “Molecules, Biodiversity, Food and Health” and practical coursework

The structure of the OCR A2 (H421) course in the Upper Sixth Form is similar with two theory courses and practical coursework assessment. The units are entitled “Communications, Homeostasis and Energy” and “Control, Genomes and Environment”

KS5 Chemistry

Chemistry pupils follow the Edexcel Chemistry A-Level course (9CH0).

The course is divided into 19 topics, taught over two years, which include; Bonding & Structure, The Periodic Table, Amounts of Substance, Redox, Equilibrium, Energetics and Organic Chemistry.

The A-Level is assessed in three separate papers sat in the Summer of the Upper Sixth year. Paper 1 (Advanced Inorganic and Physical Chemistry) and Paper 2 (Advanced Organic and Physical Chemistry) each constitute 30% of the total marks for the qualification, with Paper 3 (General and Practical Principles in Chemistry) providing the remaining 40% of the marks.

Pupils will also be awarded the Science Practical Endorsement upon completion of 16 Core Practical tasks throughout the course.

KS5 Physics

The physics students follow the AQA Physics (A) AS and A2 course.  This aims to introduce pupils to new and exciting areas of physics as well as to develop essential knowledge and understanding of the key principles of the subject.  There is a practical coursework component in both the lower sixth and upper sixth.   The two units in the lower sixth are entitled “Particles, Quantum Phenomena and Electricity” and “Mechanics, Materials and Waves”.  In the upper sixth the units are entitled “Fields and Further Mechanics” and “Nuclear and Thermal Physics plus optional unit”.