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Science

Science provides the basis for understanding the world around us and, as a department our vision is to nurture a natural love for learning. Through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, students will be exploring key scientific concepts. The science curriculum at Westfield Academy is engaging, bespoke and rich with scientific knowledge which eases students into applying what they have learnt into the wider context of the world.

The first three years of Science at Westfield Academy will cover the Key Stage 3 curriculum to prepare students with a fundamental foundation for curiosity and competence in practical, mathematical, and problem-solving skills. The following two years, pupils will be covering the essentials of Key Stage 4, GCSE Science, designed to supplement and enhance the ability to reason logically and implement a rigorous understanding of theoretical concepts. Students will then have the option to continue studying Biology, Chemistry or Physics at Key Stage 5, A-level, where content delivered paves a path to enter the various scientific degrees at university.

Key Stage 3

KS3 Science at Westfield Academy covers a wide variety of essential content that prepares Years 7-9 students with the subject knowledge and science skills for their AQA Science GCSE double award course. Students can opt to choose triple science as an option in the final year of KS3 with students sitting an entrance exam to test their suitability. Whatever route students choose, all the key competencies required for GCSE are covered by our KS3 Activate series material which is AQA approved and is aligned with the National Curriculum.

Students begin their journey by learning how to work scientifically. This is where Year 7 students are introduced to the foundational principles of science and begin to explore scientific practical techniques to support the theoretical knowledge they are beginning to develop. A wide range of biology, chemistry and physics topics are taught to students as a mixed subject. Our focus is to engage students with passionate teaching, excellent resources and practical application. They will begin to understand what makes experiments successful, how to record, analyse and evaluate data to make conclusions. They will become familiar with the link between science and maths and expand their scientific literacy.

Topics

  • Year 7
    • Cells
    • Particle model of matter
    • Waves (sound)
    • Separation techniques
    • Forces
    • Ecosystems
  • Year 8
    • Motion and pressure
    • Atomic structure and the periodic table
    • Food and digestion
    • Energy changes
    • Healthy living
    • Magnetism
    • Waves (light)
    • Earth (global warming)
  • Year 9
    • Inheritance
    • Radiation
    • Using resources
    • Movement of molecules
    • Chemical reactions
    • Electricity
    • Infection and response
    • Electromagnets

Key Stage 4

All students will need to study either Combined Science (Double Science option) or will opt to study Separate Sciences GCSE's (Triple Science option). All students therefore have a balanced science education containing Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Both courses follow the AQA specifications.

'GCSE Combined Sceince: Trilogy' is a two-GCSE course where students study Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Link to specification: AQA 8464: GCSE Combined Science Trilogy.

Examinations take place at the end of Year 11. There are two exams per Science and the GCSE grades achieved are an average of the six exams. This means that students achieve a pair of grades that represent their achievements across all three subjects.

Students opting to take the separate Science courses take separated GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Examinations take place at the end of Year 11. There are two exams per Science and as they are separate GCSEs, each grade is unrelated to the other subjects. This will provide a more demanding course at GCSE, which will make the step up to A-Level easier, and help to enhance progression to higher grades at A-Level.

Links to specifications:

Required practicals form part of both courses. Students gain key practical techniques across Biology, Chemistry and Physics by completing these practicals in our fully-equipped Science labs.

All students will study:

Biology (AQA exam board)
  • Cell biology
  • Organisation
  • Infection and response
  • Bioenergetics
  • Homeostasis and response
  • Inheritance, variation and evolution
  • Ecology
Chemistry (AQA exam board)
  • Atomic structure and 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
Physics (AQA exam board)
  • Forces
  • Energy
  • Waves
  • Electricity
  • Magnetism and electromagnetism
  • Particle model of matter
  • Atomic structure
  • *Space (Separate Science only)

Key Stage 5

OCR Chemistry A

The first year of the chemistry course builds on the knowledge and understanding of Chemistry developed at GCSE level. The course aims to stimulate interest in and enjoyment of chemistry, to foster imaginative, logical and critical thinking, to demonstrate the wider application of chemical knowledge, showing appreciation for social, environmental, economic and technology contributions to society. It integrates theory and experimental work, developing investigative and manipulative skills. Students are encouraged to develop their scientific communication skills through research, discussion and written work.

The second year of the course is a natural progression from the first year and further develops the principles studied, as well as incorporating new ideas.

Course content A-Level:

  • Module One - Development of Practical Skills
  • Module Two - Foundation in Chemistry
  • Module Three - Periodic Table and Energy
  • Module Four - Core Organic Chemistry
  • Module Five - Physical Chemistry and Transition Elements
  • Module Six - Organic Chemistry and Analysis
OCR Biology A

The aims of the GCE in Biology are to enable students to:

  • Develop their interest and enthusiasm in Biology and develop an interest in further study and careers in the subject.
  • Appreciate how society makes decisions about Biology-related issues and how Biology contributes to the success of the economy and society.
  • Develop and demonstrate a deeper appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of how science works.
  • Develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of Biology and how they relate to each other.

Key features:

  • New and innovative approach to Biology
  • Content taught through six contemporary modules to motivate students
  • Exclusive dedicated website, multimedia resources and course texts
  • Online, specifically devised activities to support topics
  • Online activities to develop and support related Science, Maths and ICT skills
  • Downloadable past papers and mock papers
  • Internally assessed AS exam after Year 12 followed by external exam to complete the A-Level course

Course content OCR A

  • Module One - Development of Practical Skills in Biology
  • Module Two - Foundations in Biology
  • Module Three - Exchange and Transport
  • Module Four - Biodiversity, Evolution and Disease
  • Module Five - Communication, Homeostasis and Energy
  • Module Six - Genetics, Evolution and Ecosystems

The practical endorsement in Biology which is internally assessed is also required. Three exams will be sat at the end of the two-year course.

Exams & Assessment

Key Stage 3

Students are assessed two times per term with short half-term tests and longer standard termly tests. This enables teachers to track progress, provide feedback and for students to evaluate areas for improvement. Years 8 & 9 classes are set, and these assessments allow us to make decisions on which groups students should be placed in for them to make progress.

Students are encouraged to become learners outside the classroom. Students are set homework weekly to support their learning in class. This is formally set by key stage leads and are designed to help students retrieve their class learning and develop scientific techniques. We also want students to be creative, and we use homework as an opportunity for this.

Key Stage 4

Examinations take place at the end of Year 11. There are two exams per Science and the GCSE grades achieved are an average of the six exams. This means that students achieve a pair of grades that represent their achievements across all three subjects.

Students opting to take the separate Science courses take separated GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Examinations take place at the end of Year 11. There are two exams per Science and as they are separate GCSEs, each grade is unrelated to the other subjects. This will provide a more demanding course at GCSE, which will make the step up to A-Level easier, and help to enhance progression to higher grades at A-Level.

Key Stage 5

OCR Chemistry A: Students will sit three papers at the end of this two-year course -

  • Paper 1: Periodic Table, Elements and Physical Chemistry (Modules 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  • Paper 2: Synthesis and Analytical Chemistry (Modules 1, 2, 4 and 6)
  • Paper 3: Unified Chemistry

OCR Biology A: Students will sit three papers at the end of this two-year course -

  • Paper 1: Breadth in Biology (Modules 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  • Paper 2: Depth in Biology (Modules 1, 2, 4 and 6)
  • Paper 3: Unified Biology

Enrichment & Extracurricular

The science department offers extended Science learning opportunities through our extracurricular club provision. We have a weekly science after-school club for Years 7-8 where students perform practicals and experiments in biology, chemistry and physics. For Year 8 students, we have also taken part in the STEM focused ‘Faraday project’ which aims to improve student’s team working, project management and problem-solving skills within the field of design and technology.

At the end of Year 12, the department offers an extended biology field trip where students will visit Devon to carry out an ecological investigation along the coast. It is a 3-day course where students will be immersed in different biological practices.

Pearson Applied Science

This course is broadly equivalent to one GCE A-Level. The course offers an engaging program, flexibility and a choice of emphasis through the optional units. There is a balance of breadth and depth, while retaining a degree of choice for learners to study content relevant to their own interests. It covers the key knowledge and practical skills required in the appropriate vocational sector.

Key features

This course gives learners the opportunity to acquire technical and employability skills, knowledge and understanding which are transferable and will enable individuals to meet changing circumstances, whether these arise from a shift in their own status or employment, or general changes in the applied science practice, provision or environment.

There are three core units, plus a choice of a specialist unit. The focus of this qualification is to provide students with the opportunity to specialise in medical science, and specific areas within this, such as Human Physiology, Biomedical Techniques and Scientific Investigation.

Course content

  • Principles and Applications of Science - exam
  • Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques - coursework
  • Science Investigation Skills - exam
  • Human Regulation and Reproduction - coursework