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Curriculum Intent

The Orleans Park Science Department is committed to providing a high-quality science education, setting the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils will be able to build confidence, recognise the power of rational explanation using evidence and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena.

Students will understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

Key Stage 3

In Science at KS3, we aim to:

  • Build upon the knowledge and understanding gained from KS2 to enable students to explore and investigate the world around them.
  • Ensure areas where there are a variety of experiences of Science at KS2 are identified and students are supported to give them a strong foundation from which to learn.
  • Provide students with the skills and concepts to develop an enquiring mind to seek out why and how things work.
  • Encourage students to find answers to scientific questions about the world around them and to develop a passion for Science allowing them to engage in thinking about the future uses of Science.
  • Allow the discovery and evaluation of scientific phenomena through hands-on practical work.
  • Prepare the foundations for the demands of the GCSE course at KS4.

Key Stage 4

All students will study science at KS4. Most will take the Combined science: Trilogy route, through which they will achieve two GCSEs. Some students who have a greater interest in Science may elect to study Separate Science, and achieve three GCSEs in Science. At KS4 students will:

  • Build upon the comprehensive foundations established at KS3.
  • Study a wide range of topics in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, such as Cell Biology, Chemical analysis, and Electromagnetism.
  • Develop scientific literacy and a range of skills that will enable learners to understand and evaluate scientific concepts encountered in everyday life and other contexts.
  • Have ample opportunity to explore each science practically through experiments and experimental investigations which are embedded into the course.

In addition to this each student will take part in 21 required practicals (24 for Separate Science students), thereby increasing their exposure to practical science. These practical activities will then be assessed during the final external exams

Key Stage 5 Biology

A level Biology is an exciting course which aims to develop well-rounded Biologists who are well-prepared to go on to studying a related course at university or indeed begin a career in the science industry. The course builds on the knowledge and skills that they have mastered for GCSE but also introduces them to new and inspiring topics. Over the two-year course students will study: biological molecules, cells, organisms that exchange substances with their environment, variation and relationships between organisms, organisms' response to changes in their internal and external environments, respiration, genetics, biotechnology, populations, evolution and ecosystems and the control of gene expression.

The aim throughout the course is to spark a passion and enthusiasm for Biology, not only through the interesting topics we cover but through the teachers’ passion for the subject. This will hopefully inspire students to take on a university course and a career related to Biology.

Students will have ample opportunity to develop their laboratory practical skills by completing at least 12 compulsory practical assessed groups (PAGs). During these PAGs they are encouraged to become more independent scientists by researching and developing their own scientific methodology and manipulating and analysing their own data. Mathematical skills are also developed throughout the course from graph drawing, to rates calculations and statistical analysis tests. There are advances in the biological world all the time; studying A level Biology is an exciting opportunity to explore these advances and delve deeper into the natural world.

Key Stage 5 Chemistry

A level chemistry aims to build on fundamental concepts introduced at GCSE such as moles, atomic structure, bonding and acids, whilst also introducing more challenging theoretical topics to prepare students for studying Chemistry at University.

Students will study a range of topics covering physical and organic chemistry, including kinetics, energetics and equilibria, organic synthesis and analysis. Throughout the course practical tasks are integrated with the teaching of the theory so that students acquire the necessary skills to pass the practical endorsement.

Students will:

  • Develop knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to each other
  • Develop confidence and competence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills
  • Develop the fundamental skills needed to collect and analyse data
  • Develop and practise a wide range of practical skills, through completing experiments

The course is examined at the end of Year 13 via three written papers: paper 1 covers the periodic table and physical chemistry topics, paper 2 covers organic chemistry and analysis and paper 3 is synoptic, drawing together knowledge and understanding from the entire course.

Key Stage 5 Physics

In A level physics we have several aims:

  • Develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to each other.
  • Develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods.
  • Develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem-solving skills.
  • Develop their interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject.
  • Understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society (as exemplified in ‘How Science Works’ (HSW).

A level Physics at Orleans Park follows a content-lead approach taught by passionate, experienced teachers. We aim to develop learners into well-rounded scientists, ready to take their understanding of Physics to the next level by the end of the course. Through the lessons taught in school and additional enrichment opportunities we hope to inspire our students to further explore Physics beyond the classroom and to study Physics at a higher level after finishing the course.

As learners progress through the course, they’ll build on their knowledge of the laws of Physics, applying their understanding to areas from subatomic particles to the entire universe. The first year of the course enables students to develop their understanding of Physics from KS4 whilst the second year explores more concepts which are new to the students, ranging from cosmology to applications of Physics in medicine.

Students will be given many opportunities to complete practical work and will complete at least 12 compulsory practical assessed groups (PAGs). During these PAGs they are encouraged to become more independent scientists by researching and developing their own scientific methodology and manipulating and analysing their own data.

Mathematical skills are fundamental to the study of Physics and students will be expected to have a strong understanding of key mathematical concepts ranging from trigonometry to logarithmic functions. This is essential to being successful in A level Physics.

Where can Science take me?

The list of careers that you could pursue through a science qualification or degree is absolutely limitless. There are more traditional careers such as Medicine, Veterinarian Science, Physicist, Pharmacist, Meteorologist, Surveyor, Lab technician and Engineer. Or perhaps less traditional pathways like a diver, sound technician/engineer, climate change scientist, ecologist or pilot. In addition to this, Science graduates are highly sought after in the financial industry.

Science Overview