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The Marlborough Science Academy

Science

As set out by the national curriculum through our science teaching we aim to ensure that all students:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
  • are equipped with the scientific skills required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

Science should encourage a curious, creative and inquisitive nature in students. Throughout the curriculum students should get the opportunity to problem solve, develop experimental skills, confidently understand and explain scientific concepts, build arguments and evaluate their own understanding. Students should be able to make synoptic links between topics and concepts within the science curriculum but also recognise how these ideas link with the wider curriculum. The curriculum caters for all of our students, providing rigour and depth for those students aspiring to scientific careers and interest, knowledge and scientific literacy for students whose ambitions lie in other curriculum areas. The curriculum builds on the learning and skill development from previous years to prepare students for the knowledge and skills to enable them to be confident and able to succeed in their external qualifications. Students should also be taught an understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity.

All of our students have the opportunity to study a combined Science (2 GCSE) course in KS4 with selected students able to study the separate 3 GCSEs.  The KS3 curriculum is designed to be taught in two years and forms a basis for the AQA GCSE at KS4.  Students are encouraged to ask their own questions and are given opportunities to use their scientific skills.  Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, often involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge.   Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, to encourage all students to achieve their potential.

KS3 and KS4 are both taught in topics which encompass big ideas.  Within these topics, lessons are divided into clear learning objectives and fully resourced lesson plans are available for teachers to utilise.  Each of the topics are assessed so that progress and areas for development can be identified.  Practical skills (working scientifically) are embedded within the schemes of learning and students are encouraged to learn various techniques and procedures (e.g. making a salt or using a microscope) as well as analytical and evaluative skills.  The AQA Trilogy course also provides a good framework for further study at KS5.

Key Stage 3 Science 

The Key Stage 3 curriculum is divided into 10 big ideas across all of the 3 science disciplines and is based on the Collins AQA Key Stage 3 Science published scheme.  It is designed as a two-year programme to prepare students for a three-year Key Stage 4 GCSE syllabus.  These big ideas are used to map the previous knowledge that should have been covered in Key Stage 2 and link with the key topics in the GCSE syllabus.  In this way the Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 curricula map together to form an effective five-year course.

The curriculum is designed to encourage students to apply and extend the new knowledge that they learn so that they are able to more effectively able to apply this to contextualised situations.  Alongside the knowledge, key scientific vocabulary, mathematical skills and practical skills are identified.

Students are formally assessed summatively and formatively during and after every topic providing a detailed understanding of an individual and cohorts, strengths and areas for improvement and of course progress.

Year 7

Big Idea

Subtopics

AQA GCSE Syllabus Link

Forces

Speed and Gravity

Physics - Forces an Introduction – Paper 2

Physics - Forces and Motion – Paper 2

Electromagnets

Voltage, Resistance and Current

Physics - Electricity and Introduction – Paper 1

Energy

Cost of Energy and Energy Transfer

Physics - Energy – Paper 1

Waves

Sound and Light

Physics - Wave and Wave Properties – Paper 1

Matter

Particle Model and Separating Mixtures

Chemistry - Bonding, Structure and Properties of Matter – Paper 1

Reactions

Metals and Non-metals and Acids and Alkalis

Chemistry - Chemical Changes –Paper 1

Earth

Earth structure and Universe

Chemistry - Chemical Changes (Extraction of Metals) – Paper 1

Physics - Space – Paper 2 (Physics only)

Organisms

Movement and Cells

Biology - Cell Biology – Paper 1

Biology - Organisation – Paper 1

Ecosystems

Interdependence and Plant Reproduction

Biology - Inheritance, Variation and Evolution – Paper 2

Biology - Ecology – Paper 2

Genes

Variation and Human Reproduction

Biology - Inheritance, Variation and Evolution – Paper 2

Year 8

Big Idea

Subtopics

AQA GCSE Syllabus Link

Forces

Contact Forces and Pressure

Physics - Forces an Introduction – Paper 2

Physics - Particle Model of Matter – Paper 1

Electromagnets

Magnetism and Electromagnetism

Physics - Magnetism and Electromagnetism – Paper 2

Energy

Work and Heating and Cooling

Physics - Energy Stores and Transfers – Paper 1

Waves

Wave Effects and Wave Properties

Physics - Wave and Wave Properties – Paper 1

Matter

Periodic Table and Elements

Chemistry - Atomic Structure and Periodic Table – Paper 1

Reactions

Chemical Energy and Types of Reaction

Chemistry - Chemical Changes –Paper 1

Chemistry - Energy Changes – Paper 1

Earth

Climate and Earth Resources

Chemistry - Chemistry of the Atmosphere – Paper 2

Chemistry - Using Resources – Paper 2

Organisms

Breathing and Digestion

Biology - Cell Biology – Paper 1

Biology - Organisation – Paper 1

Ecosystems

Respiration and Photosynthesis

Biology – Bioenergetics – Paper 2

Genes

Evolution and Inheritance

Inheritance, Variation and Evolution – Paper 2

Science Key Stage 4 

 

At Key Stage 4 students will follow either the AQA GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy course or separate science GCSEs; AQA GCSE Biology, AQA GCSE Chemistry and AQA GCSE Physics. Students will be directed to the course that best suits them by the Science Faculty based on their target grades and prior learning.

Science offers students the opportunity to explore major theories about the universe, the planet and everything that lives within it. Through this study, students learn to appreciate the impact Science has on everyday life, along with developing an ability to think critically and apply scientific logic to a range of ideas and scenarios. Science GCSE takes students through the scientific process, looking at how information is obtained, the reliability of sources, the limitations of any conclusions drawn and the way we use this information in society to make decisions that directly impact their lives. Through their time in the Science Faculty, students will be encouraged to consider issues of Science met in everyday life, including health concerns, vaccination and sustainability.

Many students will want to expand their study of science, because they are interested in the subject, and also to provide grounding for possible further study of science, post GCSE.

The types of tasks that are completed are:

  • Theoretical and practical work, understanding facts and how they relate to scientific knowledge and then exploring this in a hands-on scenario  
  • Practical work is carried out both independently and through working in a group, and usually involves investigative work
  • Students are required to complete a range of compulsory experiments as part of the course that will be recorded in Lab Books in preparation for examination of their practical scientific ability

The course is assessed through:

  • GCSE Single Sciences

Students have subject – specialist teaching in all three Sciences and take two 1 hour 45 minute exams per Science at the end of the course to demonstrate their understanding of each.

  • GCSE Combined Science (AQA Trilogy)

Students have subject – specialist teaching in all three Sciences and take two 1 hour 15 minute examinations per Science at the end of the course to demonstrate their understanding of each.

This will result in two separate GCSE grades.

There are many Science related career options such as medicine, professional scientist, engineer, optician or teacher. Both the Single Science and Combined Science courses provide a pathway to further study at Post 16.

Biology Key Stage 5 

Students who choose to study Biology at Key Stage 5 follow the AQA Biology A level course.

Biology at Marlborough is staffed by a range of passionate Biologists who are keen to share their love of this wonderful subject with their students. The Science Faculty is well resourced at Marlborough and there is a Head of Biology in post within the department who will personally oversee the delivery of the course. Specialists staffing the department currently include a Biochemist and a Sports Scientist who share the delivery of this varied and exciting course to ensure an excellent and highly specialised learning experience.

Course Content:

A Level Biology examines a range of areas, from respiration and photosynthesis, to cell structure and function, adaptation of the gaseous exchange systems in mammals, absorption in the gut, immunity and defence and the conduction of action potentials along neurones to name a few. Students will complete a number of mandatory practicals and experience A level examination training throughout the course. A level Biology requires focus, dedication, an excellent work ethic and an understanding that it is not the ‘easy’ Science.

Assessment:

  • Students sit three 2 hour written examinations at the end of the two year course:
    • Paper 1 is worth 35% of the final grade and will cover the content from topics 1 – 4, including relevant practical skills
    • Paper 2 is worth 35% of the final grade and will cover the content from topics 5 – 8, including relevant practical skills
    • Paper 3 is worth 30% of the final grade and will cover content from the entire course, including relevant practical skills

Studying Biology gives you a well-rounded view of the way science affects society and the individual. A level Biology is particularly useful if you wish to progress further in medical or veterinary science, the pharmaceutical or agrochemical industry, biochemical or genetic research, biotechnology, the food industry, nursing, teaching or become a laboratory technician.

Chemistry Key Stage 5 

Students who choose to study Chemistry at Key Stage 5 follow the OCR Chemistry A level course.

The course is taught by chemistry specialist teachers and supported by a friendly and dynamic Science Faculty. By studying at Marlborough you become part of a large, caring community where your wellbeing is as important as your learning. Lessons are taught within dedicated laboratories to facilitate the practical aspects of the course. Content is taught through a range of teaching methods to support and meet all learners’ needs. You will have the opportunity to extend your science skill set outside of the classroom within the school.

Course Content:

The course is split into 6 teaching modules:

  • Development of practical skills in chemistry
  • Foundations in chemistry (atomic structure, moles and bonding etc.)
  • Periodic table and energy
  • Core organic chemistry
  • Physical chemistry and transition elements
  • Organic chemistry and analysis

Assessment:

  • Students sit three written examinations at the end of the two year course a practical non-examination assessment that is reported separately to the examination grade:
    • Paper 1 – Periodic table, Elements and Physical Chemistry is worth 37% of the final grade and covers content from modules 1, 2, 3 and 5
    • Paper 2 – Synthesis and Analytical Techniques is worth 37% of the final grade and covers content from modules 1, 2, 4 and 6
    • Paper 3 – Unified Chemistry is worth 26% of the final grade and covers content from the entire course

Chemistry A level is a qualification that will be respected by all employers and is directly relevant to many jobs in industry and medicine. It provides useful background knowledge for all science degrees but is essential if you wish to study chemistry, medicine, veterinary medicine, chemical engineering, biochemistry and other similar courses. It is also a highly prized skill set if considering Economics at university level.

Physics Key Stage 5 

Students who choose to study Physics at Key Stage 5 follow the Edexcel Physics A level course.

“There is a reason for everything” and that reason is usually Physics. Physics at Marlborough is delivered by Physics A level specialists, with a wealth of experience. We are a well-resourced Science Faculty with a passionate staff who strive to make Physics come alive!

Course Content:

Many of the areas of study extend from the Physics component of the GCSE science course and include:

  • Mechanics
  • Electricity
  • Waves
  • Fields
  • Astrophysics
  • Practical investigations

Assessment

Examinations:

  • Paper 1 – Advanced Physics I, a 1 hour 45 minute examination worth 30% of the final grade covering questions on the following topics:
  • Concept Approach:

Working as a Physicist

  •  

Electric Circuits

Further Mechanics

Electric and Magnetic Fields

Nuclear and Particle Physics

  • Salters Horners approach:

Working as a Physicist

Higher, Faster, Stronger (HFS)

Technology in Space (SPC) (except items 70 and

  1.  

Digging up the Past (DIG) (except items 83–87)

Transport on Track (TRA)

The Medium is the Message (MDM)

Probing the Heart of Matter (PRO)

  • Paper 2 – Advanced Physics II, a 1 hour 45 minute examination worth 30% of the final grade covering questions on the following topics:
  • Concept Approach:
  •  

Waves and Particle Nature of Light

  •  
  •  

Nuclear Radiation

Gravitational Fields

  •  
  • Salters Horners approach:

The Sound of Music (MUS)

Good Enough to Eat (EAT)

Technology in Space (SPC) (only items 70

and 92–95)

Digging up the Past (DIG) (only items

  1.  

Spare-Part Surgery (SUR)

Build or Bust? (BLD)

Reach for the Stars (STA)

  • Paper 3 – General and Practical Principles in Physics, a 2 hour 30 minute examination worth 40% of the final grade covering questions drawing on any of the topics from the course.

Practical Endorsement:

  • Students’ skills and technical competency when completing practical work will be assessed by teachers and this will form the basis for the award of a Practical Endorsement at A level. This is separate to the A level grade and, if awarded, will be reported as a ‘Pass’ on A level certificates for students who achieve it.

The problem solving nature of Physics and the application of theory make this course an extremely useful foundation for further study and careers in the following areas: Aeronautics, Architecture, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Medicine, Forensic Science and many others.

Psychology Key Stage 5 

Students who choose to study Psychology at Key Stage 5 follow the AQA Psychology A level course.

AQA Psychology at Marlborough is full of explanations, helpful tips, exercises and assessments to help you achieve the best possible grade in your examination. You will be guided carefully through the syllabus in stages so that you will see your skills and knowledge improving week by week.

Course Content:

Psychology will appeal to a cross-section of students, regardless of whether they have studied the subject before. It builds on skills developed in the sciences and humanities, and enables progression into a wide range of other subjects.

Students will study the following three options: Relationships, Schizophrenia and Addiction. They will develop their understanding through a number of applications including Criminology, Relationships, Aggression and Addiction in Psychology. Students will also conduct a number of practical investigations and develop an understanding of how science works. These qualifications are linear. Linear means that students will sit all the AS exams at the end of their AS course and all the A-level exams at the end of their A-level course.

Assessment

All assessment in the course is by written examination. Students will take three papers at the end of their course:

  • Paper 1: Introductory Topics in Psychology, worth 33.3% of the final grade
  • Paper 2: Psychology in Context, worth 33.3% of the final grade
  • Paper 3: Issues and Options in Psychology, worth 33.3% of the final grade

Psychology A level is an extremely useful foundation for further study and careers in the following areas: teacher, marketing, advertising, health professional, sports psychology, Educational Psychologist , Criminal Psychologist, Therapist, The Police, business and any job in which you have to work with people.