The curriculum at The Long Eaton School follows the seven curriculum aims set out across the Archway Learning Trust. These ensure all students will:
- Encourage an enjoyment of science, promote a natural curiosity and inspire a desire to explore the world around us
- Build on prior knowledge
- Contribute towards their personal, moral and cultural learning and development
- Use evidence informed teaching to develop and embed core knowledge
- Encourage independent research and learning
- Provide a solid foundation of knowledge and skills for further study and lifelong learning
- Expand knowledge and experience of career options and recent scientific developments
The Science curriculum is set out and regarded as a five year journey that covers all three main aspects of science; Biological Processes, Chemical Reactions and Physical Phenomena. It has been devised in conjunction with the Royal Societies of Biology & Chemistry and the Institute of Physics’ Big Questions principles. The Key Stage 3 Science curriculum taught over 2 years.
The scheme of learning follows a sequence of knowledge and concepts that develop secure understanding of each key block of knowledge and the concepts in order to progress to the next stage. Students will be able to describe associated processes and key characteristics using common scientific language, technical terminology accurately and precisely. They should build up an extended specialist vocabulary through embedded use of knowledge organisers. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data.
In Year 7 the simple and fundamental building blocks are developed with students learning about laboratory safety and using and labelling scientific equipment and the specialist vocabulary that accompanies the equipment. Students enhance work done in primary looking at states of matter and how scientists use models to describe complex or abstract phenomena. Work then turns to a biological focus looking at cells and the use of microscopes and magnification calculations as well as other key biological functions that power cells such as respiration. Providing energy and different energy sources follows where students can make connections between the different aspects of science. Students then look at chemical reactions in detail and the interaction between acid and alkali as well as other chemical reactions. Students then consolidate and expand on knowledge of the human body looking in particular at inheritance and variation. Finally, students look at the macro and micro aspects of science to explore how atomic structure defines atoms and how the vast scales in space are overcome.
In Year 8 students learn about the different components of electrical circuits and the principals of current. This is expanded to develop how electrical current can interact and be manipulated to create electromagnetic fields. Work on energy is then elaborated and explored further from a biological aspect looking towards human body systems and how energy is used in the body. Further refinement of knowledge allows students to develop their understanding of atoms & elements to further explore solutions, separating techniques. The way in which forces interact provides students ample opportunity to enhance their mathematical skills and application to real everyday problems and situations. Aspects of other biological organisms, namely plants, provide the vehicle in which students further expand their knowledge on biological functions such as photosynthesis and how plants play a key role in the production of food and also as an energy source.
Students follow the AQA Specification Science courses. The specific course students will follow depends on a various factors including performance during Year 9 and discussions with parents and teachers. All students have the opportunity to study ‘Combined Science: Trilogy’ whilst a number of students are offered ‘Separate Science’. In both routes, students will study all three Sciences; Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The route taken does not affect the chances of students being eligible to study A Level Sciences at post-16.
Assessment is by 6 examinations which cover the content below:
- Biology: There are seven topics covered that will be assessed over two final exams. The first paper covers the first 4 topics; Cell Biology, Organisation, Bioenergetics, and Infection and Response. The second paper covers topics 5-7; Homeostasis and Response, Inheritance, Variation and Evolution, and Ecology.
- Chemistry: There are ten topics that are assessed over two final exams. The first paper will look at the first 5 topics; Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table, Bonding Structure and Properties of Matter, Quantitative Chemistry, Chemical Changes and Energy Changes. The second paper looks at the final 5 topics: Rate and Extent of Chemical Change, Organic Chemistry, Chemical Analysis, Chemistry of the Atmosphere and Using Resources.
- Physics: There are seven (eight for separate) topics that are assessed over two final exams. The first paper consists of the first four topics: Energy, Electricity, the particle model of matter and Atomic Structure. The second paper is on the final 3 (or 4) topics: Forces, Waves, Magnetism and Electromagnetism (and Space Physics).
Biology – Work begins with cells as they are fundamental units of living organisms. Students enhance their knowledge and understanding on Cells with cell transport systems and mechanisms being introduced and topics such as diffusion, osmosis and active transport are explored. Work then turns to microscopy where students examine cells and sub-cellular structures. Work on the role of stem cells that can divide, differentiate and become specialised to form tissues, organs and organ systems is elaborated and explored further from previous study. Students are encouraged to utilise prior knowledge to understand that life processes are dependent on photosynthesis & green plants.
Chemistry, students learn about the structure of the atom and can identify the mass and atomic number for elements in the periodic table. Work begins with the particle model and its explanation of different states of matter. A simple particle model can be used to represent the arrangement of particles in the different states of matter and to explain observations during changes in state. Students are taught how elements can combine to make compounds. Students learn how to explain chemical reactions in terms of losing, gaining or sharing of electrons. The ability of an atom to lose, gain or share electrons depending on its atomic structure and the types of bonds formed. Students are taught to describe the electronic configuration of elements and work then leads on to describing the properties of metals and non-metals with this knowledge used to identify trends in Group 1 and 7. The work on writing chemical equations is reinforced through greater practice by writing equations for reactions. Students then continue their GCSE Chemistry topic on Bonding. They are taught about the structure and bonding of some molecules and compounds and are introduced to how Mendeleev’s arrangement of the periodic table was refined into the modern day periodic table.
Physics – students learn about Energy and Forces. Work begins with energy focusing on energy and temperature to specific heat capacity and specific latent heat. Then delves into energy stores and transfers, calculating power and efficiency. Work then turns to a Maths in Science focus where we teach students a series of lessons that enable students to refine their mathematical skills in preparation for their KS4 studies. Students are taught how to rearrange equations, calculate standard form and how to accurately draw and interpret a range of graphs. The concept of cause and effect in explaining the links between force and acceleration is explored. Newton’s three fundamental laws of motions which describe the motion of a body are taught. Students learn that proportionality, for example between weight and mass of an object or between force and extension in a spring, is an important aspect of many models in science. Students then learn about everyday motion with a focus on reaction time and thinking distance and braking and stopping distance.
Biology is the study of living organisms (including animals, plants, fungi and microorganisms) and their interactions with each other and the environment. Biology in Year 10 builds upon the key ideas that students will have previously studied to help them study the following aspects. The role of the human nervous system and the significance of hormones as chemical messengers around the body are taught. Students then learn about how to monitor and maintain health and disease. Students then look at homeostasis and its crucial role to the regulation of internal environments.
Chemistry is the study of the composition, structure, properties and reactions of matter and the way they are arranged and link together. Chemistry in Year 10 will focus on the following aspects. Work begins with students understanding that there are barriers to reaction so reactions occur at different rates and different quantities of products are formed during theoretical yields and percentage yield and atom economy. Students are taught about controlling variables that affect the rate of reaction and equilibria. Students then learn about chemical reactions being classified according to changes at the atomic and molecular level including reduction, oxidation and neutralisation reactions. Students then learn about organic chemistry, the structure and reactions of alkanes, alkenes and alcohols before understanding polymers and linking this to pollution and the atmosphere.
Physics is the study of the fundamental concepts of field, force, radiation and particle structures, which are inter-linked to form unified models of the behaviour of the material universe. Physics in Year 10 will enable students to understand how, through the ideas of physics, the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be described with a focus on the following aspects. Work begins with the use of models, with an emphasis on the particle model of matter and how this has changed with scientific advances and understanding. It then turns to changes of state and density. Students then learn about electrical circuits and magnetic fields and this work is elaborated and explored further with links made energy sources and the generation and transfer of electricity through the National Grid.
Biology in Year 11 will allow students to further develop scientific knowledge and their conceptual understanding of biology. Work begins with the study of Ecosystems in which students learn to appreciate and understand that living organisms may form populations of single species, there are communities of many species and ecosystems, interacting with each other, with the environment and with humans in many different ways. These living organisms are interdependent and show adaptations to their environment and the chemicals in ecosystems are continually cycling through the natural world. Work then turns to students learning about how the characteristics of a living organism are influenced by its genome and its interaction with the environment. Students are taught that evolution occurs by a process of natural selection and accounts both for biodiversity and how organisms are all related to varying degrees. Following completion of the GCSE specification, a bespoke revision programme is tailored for individual classes upon mock examination analysis.
Chemistry in Year 11 extends on the fundamentals of knowledge that students will have acquired from prior study and in Year 10. Work begins with the study of predicting chemical reactions in which students learn that elements show periodic relationships in their chemical and physical properties and that these periodic properties can be explained in terms of the atomic structure of the elements. The fundamental skill of interpreting chemical equations, in symbolic terms, the overall change in a chemical reaction and use measuring the amount of a substance in moles is elaborated and explored further from previous study. Work then turns to Chemical Analysis including the many methods of separating mixtures including filtration and crystallisation, distillation and chromatographic techniques are explored. Following completion of the GCSE specification, a bespoke revision programme is tailored for individual classes upon mock examination analysis.
Physics in Year 11 extends on the fundamentals of knowledge that students will have acquired from prior study and in Year 10. Work begins with the study of waves, light and sound. They are taught about light and how it is reflected by mirrors and can apply this knowledge to understanding that the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection. They are further taught about how light enters the eye, how sound travels, and are provided with an introduction to electromagnetic waves and radiation. The concept of cause and effect in explaining such links as those between changes in atomic nuclei and radioactive emissions are explored. Teaching then elaborates on the uses and hazards of radiation with a focus on nuclear fission and nuclear fusion. Then student encounter the uses of magnetism with some focus on motors, generators and transformers. For separate Science students they are taught a topic which focuses on Space Physics including the big bang, the solar system and satellites and orbits. Following completion of the GCSE specification, a bespoke revision programme is tailored for individual classes upon mock examination analysis.