Science at Stanborough helps to develop students’ interest, understanding and enthusiasm for the subject.
We encourage practical and theoretical engagement in the subject and support students in understanding the importance of science to the economy and society today. Students develop science skills in all three disciplines – biology, chemistry and physics.
Head of department: Miss R Hooper
What will students study?
In Year 7 and 8 students study a variety of topics that broaden their understanding and curiosity for science. During their three hour lessons per week students cover separate chemistry, biology and physics topics, to prepare and give them the basic understanding of key concepts that will be developed further at KS4.
In biology students cover topics that include: cells, food, health and fitness, ecosystems, inheritance and variation and energy for life.
In chemistry students cover: the particle model of matter, acids and alkalis, simple chemical reactions, the periodic table and the earth and the atmosphere.
In physics students cover topics relating to: energy, forces, electricity and magnetism, light and sound and heat and space.
Throughout the Key Stage 3 curriculum the development of skills for practical work are introduced and developed to support students in becoming more independent enquirers and to prepare them for the practical skills elements of KS4.
KS4 starts at the beginning of Year 9. Students follow one of two pathways for science, both of which are examined by AQA. These pathways are ‘Trilogy’ or ‘Separate Science’. Trilogy is a double GCSE so students attain two GCSE grades at the end of Year 11. Separate Science awards three GCSEs (one per science discipline).
Trilogy (two Science GCSEs)
Trilogy is a course suitable for all students and covers a range of topics in biology, chemistry and physics. It allows students to engage with science and develop skills required to study science at a higher level. Topics covered include:
Biology: cell biology, organisation, infection and response, bioenergetics, homeostasis and response, inheritance, variation and evolution and ecology.
Chemistry: 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 and using resources.
Physics: energy, electricity, particle model of matter, atomic structure, forces, waves, magnetism and electromagnetism.
Each science discipline has seven required practicals that students must complete in order to develop their investigative skills which are assessed in the exams at the end of Year 11.
Separate Sciences (three science GCSEs)
The Separate Sciences course has significant overlap with the Trilogy course. However, students will go into more depth in regard to the content and the number of required practicals. This course is suited to those students who wish to pursue further study in biology, chemistry and/or physics at A level and beyond.
A levels in Science are all linear so are examined at the end of year 13.
A level Biology consists of six modules:
- Module 1: Development of practical skills in biology
- Module 2: Foundation of Biology
- Module 3: Exchange and transport
- Module 4: Biodiversity, evolution and disease
- Module 5: Communication, homeostasis and energy
- Module 6: Genetics, evolution and ecosystems
A level Chemistry consists of six modules:
- Module 1: The core principles of chemistry
- Module 2: Applications of the core principles of chemistry
- Module 3: Chemistry laboratory skills I
- Module 4: General principles of chemistry I- rates, equilibria and further organic chemistry
- Module 5: General principles of chemistry II- transition metals and organic nitrogen chemistry
- Module 6: Chemistry laboratory skills II
A level Physics consists of 6 modules:
- Module 1: Development of practical skills in physics
- Module 2: Foundation of physics
- Module 3: Forces and motion
- Module 4: Electrons, waves and photons
- Module 5: Newtonian world and astrophysics
- Module 6: Particles and medical physics
In addition, in all three A-levels the students are expected to complete The Practical Endorsement. This requires a minimum of 12 practical activities to be carried out in lessons and written up by the students. The skills learnt are assessed in the module exams at the end of the two year course.
How can I support my child in this subject?
To support your child you can encourage them to complete all additional tasks that are set outside lessons to the best of their ability, discuss regularly with your child their progress within science lessons. Encourage regular review of work (there is a lot of content that students are expected to recall and apply). Your support and motivation can help to ensure preparation for assessments and end of year exams. Past papers are an excellent tool to assist with revision.
What equipment does my child need in this subject?
All students need to have with them, for every lesson, a ruler, pens, pencils, an eraser and a calculator (scientific calculator from Key Stage 4).
Celebrating successes in this subject.
We compile competitions for students to enter is which they can receive certificates when competitions are completed. Reward points are issued and achievements are praised in assemblies.
Extra-Curricular Activities and Visits
There are many extra-curricular activities on offer for our scientists for example STEM club which allows students to work on independent projects.
Our students regularly enter competitions against other schools, with great success. This year a Year 8 student won ‘I’m a Scientist’ where a year group has live chats with scientists. We also enter the Salters Festival, a competition for Years 7 and 8 students where they compete using investigative skills to solve a ‘crime’. The Chemistry Olympiad and the Cambridge Challenge extends the knowledge of Post 16 students by entering into a UK wide competition in chemistry.
Science enrichment activities include the Royal Society of Chemistry Spectroscopy in a suitcase workshops, the Royal Society of Chemistry public lectures and UCL Medicinal Chemistry lab day tour. We also visit the Royal Society Annual Summer Science Exhibition every July. Post 16 students can also spend a week working alongside professional scientists at GSK which is an invaluable experience.
This year, Year 8 students have planted seeds that have been sent from Commander Scott Kelly of NASA and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos as part of the Seeds From Space experiment.
In addition, all Key Stage 3 students have a week during British Science Week where they partake in a range of hands on activities that extend their application of science beyond that required by the national curriculum.