Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School

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Science

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.


GCSE

The Science Department provides a curriculum designed to challenge and engage pupils of all abilities. Every pupil must study Science and each will follow one of the two courses outlined below, depending upon their set:

AQA Combined Science GCSE (Double Award)

Pupils in sets 2-5 follow a double award Combined Science GCSE which is worth two GCSEs and spans the Third, Fourth and Fifth Forms. The Biology, Chemistry and Physics components are delivered by subject specialists. Pupils taking Combined Science are equipped to study Biology, Chemistry and Physics at Advanced Level. The course covers the following content:

Biology

Chemistry

Physics
Cell biology

Organisation

Infection and response

Bioenergetics

Homeostasis and response

Inheritance, variation and

evolution

Ecology

Atomic structure and the periodic table

Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter

Quantitative chemistry

Chemical changes

Energy changes

The rate and extent of chemical change

Organic chemistry

Chemical analysis

Chemistry of the atmosphere

Using resources

Forces

Energy

Waves

Electricity

Magnetism and electromagnetism

Particle model of matter

Atomic structure

All pupils will sit six examination papers at the end of the course; two each in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The examinations will consist of multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response questions. Each examination will be 75 minutes long and the qualification will be graded on a 17-point scale from 1-1 to 9-9 where 9-9 is the best grade.

Triple Award (AQA)

Pupils in set 1 will follow the AQA GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics (sometimes known as “triple science” or “the separate sciences”), leading to the award of three GCSEs. The following topics are covered:

Biology Chemistry Physics
Cell biology

Organisation

Infection and response

Bioenergetics

Homeostasis and response

Inheritance, variation and evolution

Ecology

 Atomic structure and the periodic table

Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter

Quantitative chemistry

Chemical changes

Energy changes

The rate and extent of chemical change

Organic chemistry

Chemical analysis

Chemistry of the atmosphere

Using resources

Forces

Energy

Waves

Electricity

Magnetism and electromagnetism

Particle model of matter

Atomic structure

Space physics

 All pupils will sit six examination papers at the end of the course; two each in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The examinations will consist of multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response questions. Each examination will be 105 minutes long and the three qualifications will be graded on a separate nine-point scale from 1 to 9 where 9 is the best grade.

A-Level 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”

A-Level 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.

A-Level 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”.