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

The chemistry students follow the Edexcel Chemistry AS (8CH01) and A2 (9CH01) course.

In the Lower Sixth, the AS course is divided into two theory units entitled: Unit One – The Core Principles of Chemistry and Unit Two – Applications of the Core Principles of Chemistry. Students also undertake an internally assessed unit, Chemistry Laboratory Skills I.

In the Upper Sixth, the A2 course is also divided into two theory units entitled: Unit Four – General Principles of Chemistry I (Rates, Equilibria and Further Organic Chemistry) and Unit Five – General principles of Chemistry II (Transition Metals and Organic Nitrogen Chemistry). Pupils also undertake an internally assessed unit, Chemistry Laboratory Skills II.

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”.