Students study the new 2014 National Curriculum guidelines by the Government which continues from Key Stage 2 studies at primary school and develops their skills in practical science and their understanding of the three specialisms of science: Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students will study science with their form groups during Year 7.
Students will all begin Science in Year 7 by completing a module which introduces the key skills they will need throughout their Science studies. This includes how to complete practical activities safely and how to use the key scientific equipment during their lessons. It will also develop skills in writing scientific reports for future experiments (Literacy) and develop their graph drawing skills and ability to use them analytically to draw conclusions (numeracy).
Practical Science can be done at home - click on the following website for some ideas:
The remaining modules will be taught to Year 7 students at different times of the year on a rotation system:
Cells and Living Things (Biology)
Students study the most basic living unit in all life the cell. They learn the function of parts of the cell and why they can be classed as living before comparing them to non-living objects. Students will then compare the different structures and roles within plant and animal cells before going on to research and study how specialised cells are adapted to their functions and presenting this in model format (Literacy). This module has now been extended in the light of new specification directions to include bacterial cells and to include a chapter on muscles and the body.
Some interactive and challenging cell biology quizzes can be found at http://www.neok12.com/Cell-Structures.htm (some will stretch to GCSE level)
Students study the natural world and how plant and animals interact with each other and the environment around them. This continues the work from Key Stage 2, developing a better understanding of food chains and are introduced to key terms to understand the roles that each organism has in its habitat. Adaptations of various organisms are studied also to ensure that students understand how organisms have evolved to survive. In the final part of the module students will look at how human impact is affecting the survival of different organisms in their natural world and the steps we can take to prevent this decline. We now look in more detail at British ecosystems in particular and impact we are having on our local environments.
Websites with some interesting younger student focuses on Ecology:
A vital SMSC (Social, Moral, Social and Cultural) part of school education, this module builds on Key Stage 2 work on relationships to build in a scientific and social understanding of reproduction. Students will be taught the basic anatomy of the reproductive system and time will be spent looking at changes during adolescence. Student will then look at the biology of how reproduction works and how babies develop. Students will research the impacts of drugs on baby development.
Teachers are trained to teach this topic in a sensitive way and students should not feel concerned about the topic in these lessons.
Reproduction for Kids website:
Students will have done some work with magnets and electricity before in Key Stage 2. This module increases understanding of electricity and looks at circuits and changes in voltage and current. Students will measure how the number of components in a circuit will alter the levels of these in practical sessions. Students will also study magnets and electromagnets explaining their uses in practical applications.
Forces are something we cannot see but have a large impact on our lives explaining many scientific phenomena. In this module students will be introduced to forces and carry out practical work in groups (SMSC) to explain speed, falling, friction and floating. Students will write scientific plans (Literacy) and will collect and analyse data to explain their results (Numeracy).
Particles and Solutions (Chemistry)
This module introduces the idea of all objects being made of particles and the arrangement of these particles having a large impact on the properties of objects. Students study the behaviour of gases liquids and solids before looking at how particles move from one place to another. Students will also develop scientific practical skills (SMSC) and learn about what dissolving, evaporation and condensation are and what is happening on a particle level to explain these (Literacy).
Atoms, Elements and Molecules (Chemistry)
In this module student understanding of particles is built on to include atoms and molecules. This will include a study of periodic table and some of the properties of different parts of it. It will also look at how we have developed our understanding of the periodic table.
Pure and Impure Substances (Chemistry)
In this module student understanding of particles will be further built on by looking at how we can separate mixtures and compounds into individual atoms. This is a heavily practical subject which will include looking at techniques students need to fully understand in later studies including chromatography and condensation.
Students are often most fascinated by this topic and bring in a huge level of knowledge which will be the starting basis of teacher's lessons. Student will research the different objects in space and our solar system including the planets, sun and natural satellites. Students will also learn about how the axis of our planet gives us seasons. An introduction to satellites will be studied and also a first look at the calculation of weight using gravity on planets (Numeracy) which is continued at GCSE.
In this module properties of sound waves are investigated so students know and understand what happens to light and sound when they travel and interact with boundaries. Students will develop an understanding of what sound is and carry out practical activities to identify their properties by being introduced to the idea of sound waves. Students will also link this work to speed calculations (Numeracy) and look at the biology of hearing as well the measuring the impacts of noise pollution (SMSC) and uses of ultrasound (STEM)
How many hours will students study science?
At Key Stage 3 students have six hours over the two week timetable which then alters at Key Stage 4 dependent on their choice of Science during options selection.
How are students assessed?
Teachers will be constantly monitoring and giving feedback to students, on a lesson by lesson basis. Students will have some form of formative assessment at the end of every module which will allow them to demonstrate their understanding. In addition to regular module assessments, students will complete three larger test based assessments during the year. Assessment at Key Stage Four (GCSE) is now becoming more examination based as we move forward so we are now beginning to re-establish that with Key Stage Three students.
How will the data from assessments be used by the school?
Teachers will use the data from all assessments and their own personal knowledge of each student to inform what support needs to be put in place to ensure every student achieves their full potential. We also use this information to reward pupils for consistently high levels of effort and academic success.
Where can I find extra support online to help improve my grade in this course?
At Key Stage 3 the main importance is that students enjoy science and we would recommend the following websites to follow science news and developments at an appropriate level for students. Also in preparation for end of topic testing we would recommend the following websites:
Interactive Free KS3 Science (and other subject) quizzes:
BBC Science and Nature:
Science For Kids:
Do you recommend any books for this course?
There are no essential books for Key Stage 3 Science and we would recommend any extra science based reading that students find interesting. Regular viewing of BBC science programs on television is also an excellent way of students seeing examples of work they have studied. If you do wish to purchase books to help your child improve their grades in Key Stage 3, the following text books and revision guides are recommended:
Hodder - Progress Science 1 Text Book
- ISBN-10: 147180142X
- ISBN-13: 978-1471801426
Hodder - Progress Science 2 Text Book
- ISBN-10: 1471801446
- ISBN-13: 978-1471801440
Letts - Subject Dictionaries: Title: Science Dictionary Age 11-14 ISBN: 184085457X
What do students do next with this course?
All students will go on to study the New 2014 Framework National Curriculum Science Year 8 programme of study