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Ridgewood

School

Science

Our Science department believe in ‘Discovering Science in the universe through hands-on investigation, discussion and enquiry.’

One of our largest departments, the Science team boasts fourteen teachers and three technicians based across nine laboratories in main school and three specialist laboratories in Faraday, our Sixth Form block, one for each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. There is also an additional STEM room (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). All students in KS3 and KS4 study Science, and are taught in ability sets. Students in Year 7 and 8 study ‘SMART Science’, then begin their GCSE studies in Year 9 and complete AQA: Trilogy combined science. They continue with this into Year 10, and at the end of Year 10, decisions are taken about which students will complete the separate science route.

Our Science department subscribe to the view of Jules Verne when encouraging students to explore the world through Science: ‘Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.’ In their Science lessons, students at Ridgewood make their way to the truth through experimentation, trial, curiosity and understanding.

KS3 

Overview of topics:

Key stage 3 science study provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all students are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, students are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

Topics studied include:

Year 7- Introduction to Science, Atoms elements and compounds, Forces, Motion, Pressure, Magnetism, Fundamental Biology, Pure and Impure substances, Waves, Gas exchange and Respiration, Space Physics.

Year 8- How Science works, Chemical reactions and energetics, Body systems, Energy and Efficiency, Periodic table and reactivity, Ecology, Current and static electricity, Earth and atmosphere, Inheritance.

Please download the documents below for more details about the Steps and Strands.

How Science is examined in KS3:

Students complete assessments at the end of alternate topics. An InTouch message is sent before each assessment to inform parents and students of what they need to revise in preparation for the assessments. Students also complete an end of year assessment on all topics studied.

Useful web links:

KS4 

Overview of topics:

Due to the demanding nature of the GCSE science course and because of the fluidity between trilogy combined science and the separate science route, as a faculty we have decided to reorganise the AQA science specification. Therefore in Year 9, sets 1-3 will cover the separate science (triple) pathway and set 4 will follow the trilogy combined (double) pathway. When students progress into Year 10, only sets 1 and 5 cover the separate science (triple) content and sets 2, 3 and 4 follow the trilogy combined pathway. When students move into Year 11, only set 5 cover the separate science content and sets 1-4 cover the trilogy combined content.

Please download the pdfs at the bottom of this page to learn full details of the topics for each subject.

Year 9: B1, C1, P1.

Year 10: B3, B4, B5, P3, P4, P5, C3, C4, C5.

Year 11: B6, C6, C7, P6 and revision.

How Science is examined at the end of Year 11

FAQs:

1. I would like my child to go on to study Triple Science. Is this an option with the AQA trilogy specification?

 

Yes, the dual award specification matches identically to the triple award specification. Your son/daughter will however need to learn and sit exams on additional content in Year 11. There are also more required practicals.

 

2. Can my son/daughter study Triple Science?

 

We decide which of our students are going on to sit Triple Science at the end of Year 10. We have designed our scheme of work to follow on seamlessly from what pupils have learnt in Year 10 so there will be no gaps in learning.

 

3. My child would like to do A Level Science. Do they need to sit Triple Science?

 

No, Triple Science is not a requirement to study A Level Sciences. It is better that they get two good GCSEs to meet the course entry requirements than 3 weaker GCSEs.

Useful web links:

How to revise for Science:

  • Complete past paper questions, self-assess and make detailed improvements using the mark schemes. Then do them again! You may also find it useful to look at examiner reports; these often show the common pitfalls where students lose marks. Ensure your revision notes cover these areas.
  • Use the mark scheme answers to help ensure there is sufficient detail in your revision resources. For example, if there are key terms present in the mark scheme answer but not in your revision notes, ensure you amend your revision notes so they are included and add definitions as necessary.
  • Produce model answers for past paper questions that are examined frequently. Then learn them!
  • Summarise class/text book notes onto A3 paper and then finally onto flash cards. Read through the flash cards frequently. Ask someone to quiz you using these flash cards.
  • Photocopy relevant pages from your practical lab book. Annotate these pages to highlight the skills you have developed and ensure you review the practical-based questions and answers. Produce a revision resource for each of the key practicals. Remember, you are required to answer questions concerning these practicals in the exams.
  • Use your practical handbook to revise, and complete the practical questions in the booklet.
  • Produce flowcharts and/or mind maps of key processes. They are more visually attractive than notes and, therefore, more memorable.
  • Writing summary notes out many times may be the only way to commit certain topics to memory. This is a lengthy process but will work in the long run.
  • Certain subtopics or processes can be summarised into lists. Lists can be converted into mnemonics and can be easier to recall than a page of notes.
  • Make your revision resources visually attractive; over time you will remember what the resource looks like and what information is written where.
  • Make sure revision materials are in your hand writing. This will make it more memorable over time.
  • Practise calculations and rearranging equations to make each variable the subject of the formulae.
  • Produce model answers to calculation questions and make step by step notes.
  • Memorise any equations in your notes that do not appear on the equations sheet.
  • You should aim to cover all Physics topics at least 3 times before any exam.

KS5 Biology 

Exam board is AQA

Year 12

  • Biological molecules
  • Cells
  • Organisms exchange substances with their environment
  • Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
  • Practical Assessment throughout

Year 13

  • Energy transfers in and between organisms
  • Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
  • Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
  • The control of gene expression

Examination

Practical component of KS5 Biology:

Practical work is at the heart of biology, so AQA have placed it at the heart of this specification. Practical assessments have been divided into those that can be assessed in written exams and those that can only be directly assessed whilst students are carrying out experiments.

A Level grades will be based only on marks from written exams. A separate endorsement of practical skills will be taken alongside the A Level. This will be assessed by teachers and will be based on direct observation of students’ competency in a range of skills that are not assessable in written exams. Students will complete 6 practicals in Year 12 and 6 practicals in Year 13.

Assessment:

Internal assessment will take place throughout the year. Students will be informed about these with plenty of time so effective revision can take place. These will be used for CF cycles.

Key practicals will also be assessed throughout the year. Each will have separate focuses on skills, data analysis and technique.

All AQA exams are sat in the Summer.

Useful web links:

KS5 Chemistry 

The exam board is AQA.

Year 12

  • Atomic structure and associated evidence to support the current model.
  • Calculations involving chemical equations which are essential to determine yields of chemical reactions as well as analyse data from experiments.
  • Bonding in chemicals and shapes of molecules.
  • The energy changes and kinetics involved in chemical reactions.
  • Synthesis of simple organic molecules.
  • Chemical analysis of functional groups.

Year 13

  • Further in-depth study of the energy changes, kinetics and equilibria associate which chemical reactions.
  • The study of transition metals and their associated reactions.
  • Trends in properties and reactivity of known elements.
  • Acids and alkalis.
  • Synthesis of more complex organic molecules.
  • The study of instrumental methods of analysing substances.

Examination

The course consists of 3 exams which will all be sat during the summer of Year 13. They make up the A level:

  • Paper 1 - written exam: 2 hours, 105 marks, 35% or A-level.
  • Paper 2 - written exam: 2 hours, 105 marks, 35% or A-level.
  • Paper 3 - written exam: 2 hours, 90 marks, 30% of A-level.

Practical component of KS5 Chemistry:

Practical work underpins many aspects of chemistry and there is a high focus on practical work in the new AQA specification. Practical assessments have been divided into those that can be assessed in written exams and those that can only be directly assessed whilst students are carrying out experiments.

A Level grades will be based only on marks from written exams. A separate endorsement of practical skills will be taken alongside the A Level. This will be assessed by teachers and will be based on direct observation of students’ competency in a range of skills that are not assessable in written exams. Students will complete 6 practicals in Year 12 and 6 practicals in Year 13.

Assessment:

Internal assessment will take place throughout the year. Students will be informed about these with plenty of time so effective revision can take place. These will be used for CF cycles.

Key practicals will also be assessed throughout the year. Each will have separate focuses on skills, data analysis and technique.

Useful web links:

KS5 Physics 

Exam board is AQA

Year 12

  1. Measurements and their errors
  2. Particles and radiation
  3. Waves
  4. Mechanics and materials
  5. Electricity

Year 13

  • 6 Further mechanics and thermal physics
  • 7 Fields and their consequences
  • 8 Nuclear physics

 

  • Plus an option module from:
  • 9 Astrophysics
  • 10 Medical physics
  • 11 Engineering physics
  • 12 Turning points in physics
  • 13 Electronics

Examination

The course consists of 3 exams which will all be sat during the summer of Year 13. They make up the A level:

  • Paper 1 - written exam: 2 hours, 85 marks, 34% of A-level.
  • Paper 2 - written exam: 2 hours, 85 marks, 34% of A-level.
  • Paper 3 - written exam: 2 hours, 80 marks, 32% of A-level.

Practical component of KS5 Physics:

Practical work is at the heart of physics, so AQA have placed it at the heart of this specification. Practical assessments have been divided into those that can be assessed in written exams and those that can only be directly assessed whilst students are carrying out experiments.

A Level grades will be based only on marks from written exams. A separate endorsement of practical skills will be taken alongside the A Level. This will be assessed by teachers and will be based on direct observation of students’ competency in a range of skills that are not assessable in written exams. Students will complete 6 practicals in Year 12 and 6 practicals in Year 13.

Assessment:

Internal assessment will take place throughout the year. Students will be informed about these with plenty of time so effective revision can take place. These will be used for CF cycles.

Key practicals will also be assessed throughout the year. Each will have separate focuses on skills, data analysis and technique.

Useful web links: