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Science

Science

Science is the study of the world around us, how it functions and how this might change in the future. It's a lot more than a collection of facts and figures; science is actually the method by which we study our world. We can all have ideas about how the world might work or why something might happen, but science allows us to make predictions, design experiments and test those ideas. As a science student we will not only increase your knowledge of science... we will make you into a scientist!

Teachers in the Teesdale science department are passionate about their subject; they love what they teach and hope that their fascination with science will be transferred to you as a student. It’s an amazing and complex universe out there and we want you to know more about it.

From the motion of particles too tiny to see, to the life and death of stars in distant galaxies, the science deparment's goal is to start you on a pathway to discovery about the universe that will last a lifetime with your science qualifications at GCSE and beyond opening doors for you throughout your life. 

I find science a fascinating subject which I always look forward to in my week. It’s mind-blowing to be able to calculate the number of molecules in a droplet of water.
Jack Parsons-Munn, Year 10

What's been happening in the science department recently?

We are currently taking part in the First Lego League Robotics Challenge. This is our first year in the league and we are busy developing a range of robotic tools to detect, select, collect and deliver components on a challenging mission set by Lego. Teesdale students are building our very own ‘science robot’, which we will be demonstrating later in the year. Next year we will use our skills to compete in the national trials which start in Teesside University in December 2017.

Teesdale School First Lego challenge

Curriculum information:

Year 7

Learning outcomes

We employ a two-year Key Stage 3 model with common assessment points at the end of each term. We use the whole of Key Stage 3 to build a broad, solid foundation of knowledge and skills upon which a high level of understanding can be built in Key Stage 4. 

 

Although our scheme of learning and progress is written ‘in house’ it is based upon the material published in the Activate textbooks and these are available to all students through the Kerboodle online service.

 

Whilst building the key knowledge and understanding of the scientific processes there are two underlying themes within this work.

  1. The use of practical work to ensure that student have a sound grasp of the laboratory skills they will require as they progress in science. These are chiefly, a sound knowledge of laboratory techniques, a working understanding of how risk assessments from a critical part of the safe running of a practical task and the collecting and recording of data in an accurate and clear way.
  2. The development of mathematical skills ready for the Key Stage 4 curriculum; specifically, the ability to manipulate data, calculate averages and plot graphs and charts; the ability to use given formulae to calculate values and the ability to rearrange those formulae to solve for other variables.

Topics taught

  • The particle model
  • Cells and diffusion
  • Reproduction in humans and plants
  • Elements, mixtures and compounds
  • Energy (part 1)
  • Variation and interdependence
  • Separation techniques
  • Sound
  • Acids and alkalis
  • Movement and breathing
  • The universe

Year 8

 

Learning outcomes

This is the second part of our two-year Key Stage 3 course (see above for details of the course as a whole.)

Topics taught

  • Digestion, disease and health
  • The periodic table; metals and non-metals
  • Static electricity, current and voltage
  • Chemical energy, reactions and metals
  • Light
  • Heating and cooling
  • Respiration and photosynthesis
  • Work and simple machines
  • The earth’s structure, resources and the environment
  • Speed
  • Magnets and electromagnets
  • Pressure and moments
  • Evolution and inheritance

Year 9

 

Learning outcomes

Year 9 begin the AQA Science (9-1) qualification looking at the early modules from all three separate science qualifications. These students have not ‘opted’ for the three GCSE route yet. The teaching, at this stage is conducted in core curriculum time. This is currently eight hours a fortnight in Year 9. 

Topics taught

Biology  (8461)

Chemistry (8462)

Physics (8463)

  • Cell biology
  • Organisation
  • Infection and response
  • Key ideas
  • Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter
  • Quantitative chemistry
  • Energy
  • Electricity
  • Particle model of matter
  • Atomic structure

 

Year 10 - dual award students - non-option/core

Learning outcomes

All students not opting for the separate sciences will study combined science. It is worth two GCSEs and incorporates an equal mix of biology, chemistry, and physics. In common with the separate sciences, there is no controlled assessment but students will complete a set of ‘core practical activities’ which support their learning over time. Combined Science provides a solid background in all three scientific areas for those students who wish to study a broader choice of subjects at KS4 because it does not take up an option choice. Crucially, choosing it, does not prevent progression onto studying sciences at A Level.

Topics taught

 

Topics in bold will be taught in Year 11 from September 2017 onwards

Biology  (8461)

Chemistry (8462)

Physics (8463)

  • Bioenergetics
  • Homeostasis and response
  • Inheritance, variation and evolution
  • Ecology
  • Key ideas
  • Chemical changes
  • Energy changes
  • The rate and extent of chemical change
  • Organic chemistry
  • Chemical analysis
  • Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • Using resources
  • Forces
  • Waves
  • Magnetism and electromagnetism
  • Space physics

Year 10 (and Year 11 from 2017) Triple award  - separate biology, chemistry, physics - option block

Learning outcomes

Studying separate sciences is the ideal preparation for A-Level sciences. The course is based around a rigorous and academic approach to learning science within each of the three disciplines. There is no longer any controlled assessment but students complete a number of required practical activities that are an essential component of the GCSE. 

Topics taught

 

Topics in bold will be taught in Year 11 from September 2017 onwards.

Biology  (8461)

Chemistry (8462)

Physics (8463)

  • Bioenergetics
  • Homeostasis and response
  • Inheritance, variation and evolution
  • Ecology
  • Key ideas
  • Chemical changes
  • Energy changes
  • The rate and extent of chemical change
  • Organic chemistry
  • Chemical analysis
  • Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • Using resources
  • Forces
  • Waves
  • Magnetism and Electromagnetism

 

Year 11 (current) - dual award students

Learning outcomes

Year 11 students are following the OCR Gateway (A-G) course and are being taught the Additional Science material in this academic year along with completing their Additional Science Controlled Assessment. Over the second term of 2016-17 the final topics of the course are being covered. The chemistry component of the course is now complete.

Topics taught

  • Physics P4 – electricity and radiation
  • Biology – The molecules of life
  • Proteins
  • Respiration and cell division
  • The circulatory system and transport in plants
  • genes and cloning
  • Ecology
  • Photosynthesis
  • Decay processes

Year 11 (current)

Triple award (separate science) students

Learning outcomes

Year 11 students are following the OCR Gateway (A-G) course and are being taught the biology, chemistry and physics material in this academic year along with completing any science controlled assessments. Over the second term of 2016-17 the final topics of the course are being covered.

Topics taught

B5 and B6; C5 and C6; and P5 and P6.

Biology includes work on the skeleton, circulatory system, respiration and digestion.

Chemistry includes work on quantitative chemical analysis and physics looks at waves, forces and electricity in more detail than previously covered.

I like science because it tells be more about what’s happening in the world and how things actually function. I also like it because of the huge impact science has on the development of technology and of civilisation.
Clarice Brunskill, Year 9