All students at St. Joseph's are able to study science from year 7 to year 11. Through these lessons, we aim to enthuse, engage and inspire all our students and harness and develop their intrinsic love of science. Our aim is to ensure that all students leave their time here at SJCC as caring and competent scientists irrespective of their future paths, with at the very least a basic core knowledge of the sciences. We follow the KS3 National Curriculum in years 7 and 8 and in the first term of year 9. From October in year 9 and through year 10 and year 11 students follow one of our two pathways studying for GCSEs in sciences.
Key Stage 3
The main objectives of Key Stage 3 are to:
- Promote an interest in and enjoyment of Science
- Promote knowledge and understanding of key scientific concepts and facts and an appreciation of their significance
- Promote awareness and appreciation of the contribution science makes to society
- Promote respect and responsible attitudes towards safety, including respect for living organisms and the physical environment
The science course is based on the AQA KS3 Science Syllabus. Students in Years 7, 8 and 9 will follow an accelerated course which is linked to the AQA Science syllabus using the Kerboodle Activate online textbook and resources.
The topics that the students study over are:
The students are assessed using diagnostic assessments at the end of each topic in order to support and monitor progress.
Key Stage 4
From September 2016 we are delivering the new AQA GCSEs in Science. Students will be following one of two pathways, studying either the ‘Combined Science’ (Trilogy) pathway which will result in two GCSEs in Science, or they will follow the ‘Separate Science’ pathway which will result in three GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
Combined Science Pathway:
This qualification is linear meaning that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course, in Y11. There are six papers: two biology, two chemistry and two physics. Each of the papers will assess knowledge and understanding from distinct topic areas. There is no controlled assessment as in previous years and so 100% of the marks will come from these six examinations. Because there is no longer any assessed practical work that counts towards a student’s grade, there are 21 required practical tasks that students will carry out over the course, questions relating to these practical tasks will be assessed on the written papers.
Separate Science Pathway:
These courses are suitable for the students who enjoy and excel in science. It is hoped that many of the students who study this course will continue to study science at a higher level. We also follow the AQA GCSE Specifications for these courses. The content in these courses is similar to the content covered in the GCSE Combined Science qualification, but lessons will go into more depth in these areas. Students will also only sit a total of six papers, however the papers will be longer than those sat by the Combined Science students. There will also be required practical tasks that students will complete over the two year courses.
Subject content covered is listed below:
- Cell biology
- Infection and response
- Homeostasis and response
- Inheritance, variation and evolution
- Atomic structure and the 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
- Particle model of matter
- Atomic structure
- Magnetism and electromagnetism
- Space Physics (GCSE Physics only)