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Science

Enrichment Opportunities in Science

The Science department is a supporter of the “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Net-work” (STEM-net). We work closely with the Mathematics and Technology Departments, to provide relevant and cross-curricular enrichment in the form of an extracurricular STEM club. We also have a Lego Robotics club where students take part in building and coding a robot to complete various challenges and take part in regional competitions. 

The Science department also runs a variety of trips for students in years 7, 8 and 9 including visits to “We the Curious” formerly @Bristol, “Sleeping with Sharks” at Plymouth Aquarium, Longleat and British Aerospace.

At KS4, we offer visits to “GCSE Science Live events” and “Education in Action” events hosted by the University of Warwick.
We are very lucky to have a good relationship with The University of Bath Chemistry Departments. We incorporate many of their outreach activities into the curriculum at KS5 including “Spectroscopy in a suitcase” for our A level Chemists. Students have had the opportunity to attend lectures and work in the laboratories at both Bath and Bristol University thereby gaining an insight into study at university level.

The Science department supports KS4/5 students after school every week in order to help them prepare for their key assessments.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Course content

Key stage three science at John of Gaunt covers a broad range of topics in line with the national curriculum. There is a large emphasis on practicals and investigations throughout, with students beginning year 7 with a topic on lab skills. Each year students will study a mix of biology, chemistry and physics topics
Assessments are in the form of short written tests, covering the most recent content. These occur on average twice a term.

BIOLOGY

CHEMISTRY

PHYSICS

  • Cell biology
  • The body
  • Variation and evolution
  • Ecology
  • Plant and animal reproduction
  • Photosynthesis and respiration
  • Lab skills
  • Particles and matter
  • Atoms, elements and the periodic table
  • Chemical reactions
  • Acids and Alkalis
  • The Earth and atmosphere
  • Forces and motion
  • Space
  • Waves, sound and light
  • Energy
  • Electricity and magnetism

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

Course content

Students will study either AQA Combined science Trilogy (“double science) or opt to study AQA Separate science (“triple science”).

AQA Combined science is worth two GCSEs. It covers aspects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

The specification can be found at https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/combined-science-trilogy-8464 (external link)

For those students who choose AQA Separate sciences, they will be awarded 3 GCSEs - one in Biology, one in Chemistry and one in Physics.

The specification can be found at:

Biology - https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/biology-8461 (external link)

Chemistry - https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/chemistry-8462 (external link)

Physics - https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/physics-8463 (external link)

Combined Science topics

Year 10 (paper 1 topics)

Biology

  1. Cell biology - Plant, animal and single celled organisms
  2. Organisation – The structure of living organisms from single cells to organ systems
  3. Infection and response – How the body deals with infection and disease.
  4. Bioenergetics – The production of energy and what it is used for.

Chemistry

  1. Periodic table – Atoms, elements and the periodic table
  2. Bonding – How elements interact with one another.
  3. Quantitative Chemistry - Quantities in reactions.
  4. Chemical changes – How chemical reactions happen.
  5. Energy Changes - The energy involved in chemical reactions

Physics

  1. Energy – The types of energy stores and transfers
  2. Electricity – The theory of electricity and its uses.
  3. Particle Model of Matter – The interactions of particles and changes of state.
  4. Atomic structure – The structure of an atom, and radiation.

Year 11 (paper 2 topics)

Biology

  1. Homeostasis and Response – The monitoring and controlling of systems within the body.
  2. Inheritance and Evolution – Reproduction and inheritance of characteristics.
  3. Ecology – How the living world interacts.

Chemistry

  1. The rate and extent of chemical change – The speed at which chemical reactions happen
  2. Organic chemistry – The processes involved in making fuels and plastics
  1. Chemical Analysis - How to identify chemicals practically.
  1. Chemistry of the atmosphere – How the Earth’s atmosphere has changed over time.
  1. Using Earths resources – Using Earth’s limited resources.

Physics

  1. Forces – Forces and their interactions
  2. Waves – Waves and eave calculations, including the uses and wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. 
  3. Magnetism and electromagnets – Magnets and how to make and use electromagnets

How will the course be assessed?

The course is assessed purely in exams. At the end of year 11 the students will sit 6 exams. There are two exams in each Biology, Chemistry and Physics, split into paper 1 and paper 2. Each of these exams will be 1 hour and 15 minutes long. The topics in each exam are shown above, and it is only this content that is tested in these exams.

The grades for each exam are then collated and a double award grade is given. This means that in science you will be award two GCSE grades e.g. 5-5.

Triple science topics (Separate sciences only)

Year 10 (paper 1 topics)

Biology

  1. Cell biology - Plant, animal and single celled organisms
  2. Organisation – The structure of living organisms from single cells to organ systems
  3. Infection and response – How the body deals with infection and disease.
  4. Bioenergetics – The production of energy and what it is used for.

Chemistry

  1. Periodic table – Atoms, elements and the periodic table
  2. Bonding – How elements interact with one another.
  3. Quantitative Chemistry - Quantities in reactions.
  4. Chemical changes – How chemical reactions happen.
  5. Energy Changes - The energy involved in chemical reactions

Physics

  1. Energy – The types of energy stores and transfers
  2. Electricity – The theory of electricity and its uses.
  3. Particle Model of Matter – The interactions of particles and changes of state.
  4. Atomic structure – The structure of an atom, and radiation.

Year 11 (paper 2 topics)

Biology

  1. Homeostasis and Response – The monitoring and controlling of systems within the body.
  2. Inheritance and Evolution – Reproduction and inheritance of characteristics.
  3. Ecology – How the living world interacts.

Chemistry

  1. The rate and extent of chemical change – The speed at which chemical reactions happen
  2. Organic chemistry – The processes involved in making fuels and plastics
  1. Chemical Analysis - How to identify chemicals practically.
  1. Chemistry of the atmosphere – How the Earth’s atmosphere has changed over time.
  1. Using Earths resources – Using Earth’s limited resources.

Physics

  1. Forces – Forces and their interactions
  2. Waves – Waves and eave calculations, including the uses and wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. 
  3. Magnetism and electromagnets – Magnets and how to make and use electromagnets
  4. Space – The workings of the surrounding universe.

Although Triple science studies very similar topics, they will go into much more depth than those of combined science.

For entry to triple science you will need a recommendation from your science teacher

How is this course assessed?

The course is assessed purely in exams. At the end of year 11 the students will sit 6 exams. There are two exams in each Biology, Chemistry and Physics, split into paper 1 and paper 2. Each of these exams will be 1 hour and 45 minutes long. The topics in each exam are shown above, and it is only this content that is tested in these exams.

The two exams in each subject will be collated to make up the grade for that subject.

Students must also provide evidence for the completion of a number of required practical activities which will feature within the final written examinations.

GCSE Astronomy

The Astronomy GCSE is an option students can choose in year 9 to develop curiosity and enthusiasm for space; encourage an informed interest in current astronomical investigations and discoveries and space exploration. 

Course content:

  1. Naked eye astronomy including planetary motion and Solar System and Celestial observations. 
  2. Telescoping Astronomy including aided observation will be carried out using the school telescope or the full size, John Moores University's 'Liverpool Telescope', which is situated on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands which we will use to study stellar evolution, our place in the Galaxy and Cosmology. 

How will this course be assessed?

The course is assessed with 2 written examinations. Paper 1 includes Naked eye Astronomy and is 50% of the course and paper 2 includes Telescopic astronomic and is also 50% of the course. 

Routes to post 16

Students who achieve a grade 6 or higher in the relevant Separate Science or 6-6 Combined science can gain access to A level Biology, Chemistry and/or Physics.

Post 16 Curriculum

We offer a full range of science courses delivered by subject specialists.
This results in high standards of teaching and attainment by students.

Subjects offered include:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Applied Science

Please refer to our Post 16 subject web page for more information.