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Uxbridge High School

Curriculum Intent Science Department Intent

The intent of the science department is to develop student’s understanding and love of science while supporting the whole school mission. The science department believes in the potential of every child and works to develop the mind-set and skills necessary to be a successful learner. In the science department, every child matters and we continue to strive to help students achieve their very best through excellent teaching and learning and a positive environment.

We are committed to providing a stimulating, engaging and intellectually challenging learning environment to enable all our students to develop scientific consciousness, from the subatomic to the intergalactic. We are extremely proud of the broad and balanced curriculum we offer to all of our students.

In the Science Faculty we aim to inspire students to discover the wonder of Science through both practical and academic aspects, stimulate debate, develop a critical approach to scientific evidence and ignite student’s passion to learn in all three disciplines.

All science lessons at Uxbridge High School encourages students to work as part of a team during group work and practical tasks, this enhances the students’ ability to respond to others and their needs. Within lessons students are encouraged to voice their opinions and express their views using evidence to back up their ideas; they are taught to listen respectfully to others and to try to see issues from multiple points of view.

Literacy in science and Numeracy are developed across all disciplines. Students who enter the school working at a lower-than-expected level in English and Mathematics are supported via additional Literacy and Numeracy interventions.

Special features of the department include extra-curricular activities e.g. Year 6 CSI Summer School, visits to Brunel University and Imperial and Kings College University; Visits to the Science Museum and London Zoo, Inter-school competitions, Sixth Form trips to CERN. Science Club takes place during lunchtime, once a week, and all Y7 students are welcome.  The Science Club members engage in the CREST scheme and students work towards Bronze Awards. 

We operate a positive behaviour management strategy at all times. Students are expected to follow safety guidelines laid out in the Safety Policy, given the nature of the subject. Good behaviour and effort is rewarded using whole school systems; through the achievement of PROUD badges, certificates and prizes.

The Team The science teaching team is made up of 12 fully qualified science teachers supported by a senior science technician and 2 further science technicians. The team is housed in 10 purpose built laboratories with 2 prep rooms. With an emphasis on learning through doing, we are well equipped for practical experimentation.

Foundation Years

In Year 7 and Year 8, the students follow the AQA KS3 scheme of work. Each topic is around 5-6 weeks in duration with an assessment at the end of each topic. The aim of KS3 is to enthuse students with appreciation of science learning and allow them to discover how things work. We aim to provide a grounding in Biology, Chemistry and Physics as well as looking at scientific problem solving and use of evidence to develop theories and explanations. The emphasis of KS3 is on practical and investigative work with a constant effort to relate what we teach to the world around them.

Students are also given an opportunity to undertake a variety of project based learning which is additional to the curriculum topics in order to raise awareness of science in society. This enables students complete a science CREST award. CREST is a nationally recognised scheme for student-led project work in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths).

CREST Award

The Crest Award Science Club was a wonderful experience throughout Y7. The research, practical’s I did made me understand how the nutrients and the energy content in the foods are tested and it was an amazing experience.

Nehaa (7xst)   

Year 7:

  • Chemical Reactions
  • Chemical Analysis
  • Forces
  • Electricity & Magnets
  • Cells
  • Reproduction and Inheritance
  • Periodic Table
  • Energy Resources
  • Sound
  • Ecosystem

Year 8:

  • Microbes
  • Photosynthesis
  • Light
  • Energy Stores & Pathways
  • Materials
  • Systems
  • Transport Systems
  • Forces and Motion

Students in Year 9 begin studying modules for their Combined Science GCSE. At the end of Year 9 able pupils who wish to pursue a career in Science can choose to follow Separate Science courses for GCSE.  It will only be suitable for those pupils who are in Set 1 or those at the top of Set 2 for Science and Maths. Everyone else will follow GCSE Combined Science.

Year 9

 

Autumn

Spring

Summer

Summer

 

 BIOLOGY

B1

B2

B3

B4

 

 

Cell structure and transport

Cell division 

Organisation and the digestive system 

Organising animals and plants 

 

CHEMISTRY

C1 

C2

C3

C4

 

 

Atomic structure

 

The periodic table

Structure and bonding

Moles and Calculations

 

PHYSICS

P1 

P2

P3

P4

 

 

Energy

Energy Transfer

Energy Resources

Electric Circuits

 

Students will develop their SKILLS in:

  • hypothesising and testing theories and concepts
  • assessing hazards and taking precautions to minimise the associated risks
  • using appropriate apparatus and techniques
  • observation, enquiry and problem solving
  • analysing methodology, evidence and conclusions
  • interpreting and evaluating
  • communication, mathematics and the use of technology in scientific contexts

Progress is assessed throughout the course using end of unit tests that are based on past examination papers. Students are given detailed feedback on their progress in each individual unit, and parents are welcome to contact science teachers at any time during the year for a discussion of progress and attainment.

Mastery Years – Y10 and Y11

All of our new GCSE courses are linear and provide a clear progression in complexity and demand. We start by addressing the key concepts of Biology, Chemistry and Physics to support students through the transition from KS3 Science and to ensure they have a solid grounding in the fundamentals necessary to make good progress through the GCSE courses. Whichever pathway students follow, our new curriculum is inclusive yet challenging and will allow students to progress to further academic study of Sciences following their GCSEs.

The majority of our student’s study Combined Science. This gives a balanced coverage of Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics and will result in students achieving 2 grades for science. All assessment will be by external examination at the end of Year 11. All exams will carry equal weighting in the overall grade achieved, and will utilise a mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions.

Students are also given the option to take Separate Sciences when making their curriculum choices in Year 9. This will lead to students achieving separate GCSE qualifications in Biology, Chemistry and Physics and will include additional subject content. All assessment will still be through external examination, but the exams will be longer than those for Combined Science. Exams will still utilise a mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions.

I enjoy studying Separate sciences as it challenges me and enthuses me at the same time. I think looking at different sciences allows me to get an in-depth view into the working of the universe from quantum mechanics to the evolution of criminals. I love Biology because I want to be a Heart surgeon and studying biology allows me to learn how our body works.

Callum Matthew-Lee Y10

GCSE Combined Science

Exam Board and course reference number: AQA 8464

Units (with weightings): 6 Examinations in total, all sat in year 11.

2 Examinations at 16.7% each for each component of Combined Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics).

Separate Science

Exam Board and course reference number: AQA 8461, 8462, 8463

Units (with weightings): 2 Examinations in each subject (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) at 50% each

Biology 8461 gives students the chance to gain a good understanding of:

  • Cell Biology
  • Organisation
  • Infection & Response
  • Bioenergetics
  • Homeostasis & Response
  • Inheritance, Variation and Evolution
  • Ecology

Chemistry 8462 gives students the chance to gain a good understanding of:

  • Atomic Structure
  • Bonding
  • Quantitative Chemistry
  • Chemical Changes
  • Energy Changes
  • The rate of Chemical Reactions
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Chemical Analysis
  • Chemistry of the Atmosphere

Physics 8463 gives students the chance to gain a good understanding of:

  • Energy
  • Electricity
  • Particle model of Matter
  • Atomic Structure
  • Forces
  • Waves
  • Magnetism & Electromagnetism

Advanced Years Y12-Y13

To take an A-Level, students must meet the individual subject grade requirement, which is generally Grade 6s of more in English and Maths, as well as Grade 6 grades in any relevant GCSE subject.

Students sit linear A-Levels in all subjects. This means that students will be assessed at the end of Year 13. Full mock exams will be sat by Year 12 students for each subject during Term 3. This will be used as the basis for UCAS references and to guide students regarding the dropping of subjects.

A-Level Biology

Students will already have come across some of the concepts of biology at GCSE: cells, organisms, variation and relationships between organisms. They will start to see how these ideas work together, and begin to grasp the in-depth concepts that encompass biology, such as Biological molecules, Cells, Organisms exchange substances with their environment, Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms, Energy transfers in and between organisms, response to a changing environment, Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems, The control of gene expression.

Biology, like all sciences, is a practical subject. Throughout the course, they will carry out practical activities including:

  • Using microscopes to see cell division
  • Dissection of animal or plant systems
  • Aseptic technique to study microbial growth
  • Investigating activity within cells
  • Investigating animal behaviours
  • Investigating distributions of species in the environment.

These practical lessons will give you the skills and confidence needed to investigate the way living things behave and work. It will also ensure that if you choose to study a Biology-based subject at university, they’ll have the practical skills needed to carry out successful experiments in your degree.

A-Level Chemistry

Students will already have come across some of the concepts of chemistry at GCSE, the physical world of substances – how things are made up and the processes, reactions and treatments that can change them. At A Level, they will start to see how these ideas work together, and begin to grasp the universal principles that form the basis of chemistry such as atomic structure, bonding and periodicity. A Level chemistry also offers introductions to subjects such as organic chemistry, equilibria, polymers, aromatic chemistry, thermodynamics, energetic chemistry and inorganic chemistry.

Chemistry, like all sciences, is a practical subject. Throughout the course, students will carry out practical
activities including:

  • Measuring energy changes in chemical reactions
  • Tests for identifying different types of compound
  • Different methods for measuring rates of reaction
  • Studying electrochemical cells
  • Preparation of organic solids and liquids
  • An advanced form of chromatography for more accurate results.

These practical’s will give them the skills and confidence needed to investigate the way things behave and work. It will also ensure that if they choose to study a chemistry-based subject at university, they’ll have the practical skills needed to carry out successful experiments.

A-Level Physics

Students will already have come across some of the concepts of physics at GCSE or standard Grade: forces, energy, waves, radioactivity, electricity and magnetism. At A-level, they will start to see how these ideas work together, and begin to grasp the universal principles that apply to everything from the smallest atoms to the largest galaxies, including some exciting new topics: particles, quantum phenomena and the Higgs Boson. In the second year, students specialise by choosing an option subject including astrophysics, medical physics, engineering physics, turning points in physics and electronics.

Physics, like all sciences, is a practical subject. Throughout the course, students will carry out practical activities including:

  • Investigating interference and diffraction of laser light
  • Measuring acceleration due to gravity
  • Investigating systems that oscillate
  • Investigation of the links between temperature, volume and pressure
  • Safe use of ionising radiation
  • Investigating magnetic fields

These practical lessons will give students the skills and confidence needed to investigate the way things behave and work. It will also ensure that if they choose to study a Physics-based subject at university, they’ll have the practical skills needed to carry out successful experiments in your degree.

I study Maths, Further Maths, Biology and chemistry. Biology has the most content, whereas Chemistry is all application, so exam questions are key to success. Although I wish to study Maths at University, A-Level sciences are great facilitating subjects that improve your analytical skills helping to push me to success in my A-Level.

Jonathon Cooper Y12

Enrichment opportunities and partnerships

We work with several organisations that offer great experiences to young people.

We have a close partnership with Brunel University and Imperial College where students participate in lab work such as Genetic Engineering and complete part of their practical components and experience working at a University lab. In addition to this, we encourage students to attend Open Days and to make trips to hear engaging lectures at Imperial College, UCL and King’s College London.

Each year a large proportion of our students apply to university.  Students are encouraged to aim high and are guided through the application process early in year 12.

 

Year group

Term

Activity

 Year 7 and Y8

 

 High Achievers Club-UHS

Year 7

Summer

London Zoo

Year 7

Autumn, Spring and  Summer

Science Club-Crest Award 

Year 8

Autumn and  Spring

Dead on Time - Brunel University

Year 8

Autumn

Science Museum Trip

 

 

 

Year 9

Spring

Target Mars

Year 9

Spring

STEM Taster Day

Year 9

Autumn

Masterclasses (Engineering) at Brunel University

Year 9

Summer

Big Bang Science Fair

Year 9

 

High Achievers Club-UHS

Year 10

TBC

 

Year 10

 

High Achievers Club-UHS

Year 11

Summer

GSK Work experience

 

 

 

Year 12

Autumn, Spring

Science Lectures

Year 12

Summer

Genes and PCR Workshop Brunel university

Year 12

Autumn

Trouble with science is Ethics

Year 12

Spring

Explore King's

Year 12

Summer

Work experience

Year 13

Summer

Spectroscopy In a suitcase