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 eleven 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 study the AQA KS3 science syllabus, while students in Year 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.
For information about A level Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Applied Science, please visit our Sixth Form course pages.
Overview of topics:
KS3 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.
The KS3 curriculum comprises several big ideas, which are studied across Year 7 and Year 8. These are:
The topics are revisited each year which helps students make connections between big ideas. Working scientifically also allows our students to work in similar ways to scientists, with our curriculum providing comprehensive coverage of working scientifically. We develop four key skills: analysing patterns and data, communicating scientific ideas, scientific enquiry, and problem solving.
Please download the document below to see an overview of the AQA science syllabus.
Year 8 students are currently studying the ‘SMART science’ scheme of work. Topics studied in 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 is science examined in KS3?
Students will complete assessments in Year 7 at the end of every two topics. They will also complete four further synoptic assessments throughout the year, which will test students on content studied throughout the course of the KS3 curriculum. Assessment details are included in the KS3 bulletin 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.
Students will complete four assessments throughout Year 8. Assessment details are included in the KS3 bulletin 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:
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
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.