The South Wolds Academy and Sixth Form

Science

The courses taught within each Key Stage are outlined below. If you have any further queries, please email science@southwolds.notts.sch.uk

Please note that this email address is not monitored daily but we will endeavour to reply within 3 working days.

KS3 Science

Course Overview

In years 7 and 8 students at The South Wolds Academy rotate through the three specialisms in science undertaking two blocks of learning for Biology, Chemistry and Physics throughout the year.

There are 6 formal assessment points in the year – one at the end of each module.

Year 7

Biology

  • A – Cell structure, Organisation, Infection and Response
  • B – Human and Plant Reproduction

Chemistry

  • A – Elements, Compounds, Mixtures and The Periodic Table
  • B – The pH Scale, Properties of Materials and Earth Chemistry

Physics

  • A – Space
  • B – Energy and Electricity

Year 8

Biology

  • A - Diet, Digestion and Human Body Systems
  • B – The Respiratory System

Chemistry

  • A – Atomic Structure, Trends in the Periodic Table and Chemical Reactions
  • B – Properties of Metals and Methods of Extraction

Physics

  • A – Force Interactions and Motion
  • B – Sound and Light

Year 9

In year 9, students also rotate through the three specialisms with one block of learning for each. There are three formal assessment points in the year.

  • Biology: Organisation (Plant and Animal)
  • Chemistry: Atomic Structure, Bonding, Rates and Atmosphere
  • Physics: Forces and Motion and The National Grid

How To Help

We recommend purchasing the CGP KS3 Science Complete Study & Practice revision guide for Year 7 and Year 8 students.

For Year 9 students we recommend purchasing the Grade 9-1 GCSE Combined Science: AQA Revision Guide. This can be purchased from the Science team at a discounted price.

KS4 Science

Course Overview

Science follows the AQA specification.

Students will study either Triple science or Combined science at GCSE.

  • Triple science - students gain separate GCSE's in each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics
  • Combined science (also called Trilogy) counts as 2 GCSE's. Students study two thirds of the triple science content.

Break down of papers

Students sit a total of 6 papers at the end of their GCSE:

  1. Paper 1 Biology - (mostly  year 10 work)
  2. Paper 1 Chemistry - (mostly  year 10 work)
  3. Paper 1 Physics - (mostly  year 10 work)
  4. Paper 2 Biology - (mostly  year 11 work)
  5. Paper 2 Chemistry - (mostly  year 11 work)
  6. Paper 2 Physics - (mostly  year 11 work)

Content covered in Year 9

Biology

Chemistry

Physics

The digestive system

The respiratory system

Transpiration

Photosynthesis

Respiration

Atoms

Bonding

Rates

Crude oil

Atmosphere

Energy

Energy Transfers

Energy Calculations

Intro to Forces

 

Content covered in Year 10

Biology

Chemistry

Physics

Stem Cells

Mitosis

Transporting substances

Communicable diseases

Homeostasis

The nervous system

Hormones

Atoms

Periodic table

Bonding

Calculations

Metals & acids

Electrolysis

Enthalpy

Electricity

Mains Appliances

Thermal Energy

Particle Model

Radioactivity

Content covered in Year 11

Biology

Chemistry

Physics

Reproduction

DNA

Understanding genetics

Ecosystems

Environmental change

Human management

Rates

Dynamic equilibria

Analysis

Atmosphere

Resources

Forces

Waves

Electromagnetism

Space (Triple only)

How to Help

Students need a revision guide. This is essential for revision throughout the course. They are available through the school or from the CGP website (search for AQA science). If a student is studying triple science they will need separate revision guides for each of the 3 subjects. Double award students (also called ‘combined science’ or ‘trilogy’) will need one revision guide (called ‘combined’).

CGP supplies other useful materials such as workbooks and revision cards.

Students will sit mock exams at regular intervals. They will cover all the GCSE content they have been taught so it is essential that they revise thoroughly for each test they have – there is a lot of content to remember for the exams.

Useful Links

KS5 Biology

Qualification studied for: A Level
Length of course: Two years
Examining body: AQA
Entry requirements to this course: Minimum of a Grade 6 in either GCSE Science Trilogy or GCSE Biology, plus a minimum of a Grade 6 in GCSE Maths.

What will I study?

Year 1

  • Biological Molecules
  • Cells
  • Organisms exchange substances with their environment
  • Genetic information

Year 2

  • Energy transfer
  • Changes in internal and external environments
  • Genetics, Populations, Evolution and Ecosystems
  • The control of gene expression

How will I be assessed?

Three examined units at the end of Year 2, including questions on relevant practical skills. Working towards passing the Practical Endorsement Award,

KS5 Chemistry

Course Overview

The students have 9 one hour lessons a fortnight split between two different teachers. The work covered not only builds on the GCSE content the students have already studied but also adds on a significant step up in both content and theoretical understanding. Both years are taught by two teachers with one focusing on delivering the organic content and the other focusing on inorganic content.

The key modules of learning include the following:

  • Periodic Table Trends – This covers the underlying patterns within the table that are beyond the GCSE curriculum, including the introduction of sub shells and the s,p,d,f nomenclature.
  • Organic Analysis – How CSI and forensic investigators can deduce the exact chemical make up of an unknown substance
  • Electrochemical Cells – What makes batteries work and how to make them more efficient
  • Protein Synthesis and DNA – The biochem modules delivered synchronise very well with the biology A-Level and promote a deeper understanding overall.

All delivered content, including presentations and worksheets, along with additional revision materials and checklists are uploaded to google drive so pupils have full access to the materials they need to succeed. This is particularly useful as it allows the learners to revise in their own way and download the course to their phone/tablet/electronic device of choice. Learners are also provided with a copy of the course textbook and separate copy of the course specification to aid their understanding.

Assessment

The course is split into 33 modules delivered over the two years, with 16 being covered in AS and the remaining 17 being covered in A2. At the end of each module there is a formal in class assessment of that chapters content which is marked by the teacher and results fed back to the pupil.

In addition to formal assessments the pupils are expected to take notes throughout the course to further their understanding. These notes are periodically requested and checked for completeness by the class teacher. Feedback from this process allows support plans to be put in place as needed.

Homework

The duration of homework varies throughout the year based on several factors but it is typically at least of 1~2 hours a week for the most able students. There are three main forms of ongoing homework common to each module:

  1. Summary Questions – After every lesson the pupils are set some consolidation questions from the course textbook which are to be completed outside of class and handed in at the end of the module.
  2. Production of Revision Material – Pupils are expected to read the relevant section in the textbook and using this plus the additional information from their class notes produce revision materials in a style of their own choosing (continuous prose, mind maps and/or revision cards are the most common).
  3. Formal Write Up of Laboratory Practicals – It is the expectation that all practical activities conduced are formally written up. This has two benefits, first it is needed to prove competency for the Practical Skills Endorsement, second it is a boon to aiding consolidation and learning.

In addition to the above there are occasional module specific assignments as deemed necessary but these will be explained to the pupils as and when they are relevant.

How to Help

  • Check with your child that they are keeping on top of the homework assignments. Ask to see their revision materials and ask them to explain what they have been learning recently. A contentious pupil should be able to articulate fully the recent work.
  • Encourage your child to ask their teacher(s) for additional support or clarification if they are unsure of any content. With the A-Level course it is important that any uncertainties are resolved quickly to minimise the snowball effect.
  • Ask your child to show you their module tests. Each test is marked, graded and then returned to the child to keep for future revision. This will show what the grade they are currently working at, and is a great starting point for conversations.
  • Encourage your child to log in and download the additional study materials from the Google Drive. These are accessed using the same account and password as child’s school email.

Useful Links

KS5 Physics

Qualification studied for: A Level
Length of course: Two years
Examining body: AQA
Entry requirements to this course: Minimum of a Grade 6 in either GCSE Science Trilogy or GCSE Physics, plus a minimum of a Grade 6 in GCSE Maths.

What will I study?

Year 1

  • Measurements and their errors
  • Particles and Radiation
  • Waves
  • Mechanics and Materials
  • Electricity

Year 2

  • Further Mechanics and Thermal Physics
  • Fields and their consequences
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Astrophysics (option)

How will I be assessed?

At the end of year 2 you will be required to sit three exams (two hours long):

  • Paper 1: Periodic motion (34% of total award)
  • Paper 2: Thermal physics (34% of total award)
  • Paper 3: Practical skills and data analysis (32% of total award)

There is also a Practical Endorsement Award, a separate qualification to Physics A Level, in which your teacher will assess you over the two year course.