Students study the 2014 National Curriculum organised by the Government which continues work from Key Stage 2 and Year 7 studies and develops student's practical science skills and their understanding of the three specialisms of Science: Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students will be in mixed ability group throughout Year 8.
Students will study the following modules in a rotation basis meaning they may do the modules in a different order from their friends in different groups:
Acids and Alkalis (Chemistry)
Students will be introduced to the chemistry of acids and alkalis and what they are, what they do and the effect of them. Students will look at how we test for both using various indicators and study the reaction of various acids with different substances. These lessons are highly practical based so will have health and safety and practical skills taught within the subject (SMSC).
The Periodic Table (Chemistry)
Students will begin to study the Periodic Table to begin to understand how we arrange elements according to their chemical properties. This module therefore looks at the different groups of element and how their reactivity changes due to their position in the groups. These lessons are highly practical based so will have health and safety and practical skills taught within the subject (SMSC).
In this module the properties of light is investigated so students know and understand what happens to light and when it travels through and interacts with boundaries. Students will develop an understanding of what light is and carry out practical activities to identify its properties by being introduced to the idea of light rays. Students will now also link the learning of light to the biological structure of the eye.
Forces and Motion (Physics)
In this module students will study the forces that act on us at all times and affect the way we live but we often don't even register. This will include looking at how forces cause motion, deformation and allow objects to float or sink. Students will also investigate pressures of different kinds and apply equations to calculate the exact value of these (numeracy).
Electricity and Magnetism (Physics)
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.
Planet Earth (Chemistry)
This geology based module links with geography to go over the rock cycle and how different rocks are formed. Students will learn how to use keys to identify types of rocks and will investigate what gives rocks their properties. A new more applicable emphasis to modern day life has now been introduced where students will investigate how we rely on the Earth's resources for our material processions and then focus on the product life cycle of a steel can and the importance of recylcing.
Digestion and Nutrition (Biology)
This large module focuses on the above three sections separately. In the food module students focus on what we eat and how healthy our diets are (SMSC) whilst in digestion they will look in depth at the digestive system and the functions of the digestive organs. This module also involves looking at the damaging effect of alcohol on the health of young people.
Kids Health and Diet:
Plants are essential to all animal life as they provide us with materials, habitats and possibly most vitally - oxygen. This module introduces the importance of photosynthesisin plants and ensures that students understand what factors can alter the rate of photosynthesis. Experiments will be done which measure the rate of photosynthesis in plants under different conditions (Numeracy). They will also look at the importance of plants in the wild and the impact of deforestation of our rainforests.
A new twist on this module for 2014 is now that students research food chains that occur near and around deep sea vents where no light can penetrate and ask the question how can life occur without photosynthesis?
Respiration and Gas Exchange (Biology)
This module looks at the very important reaction of respiration and how this reaction works. Students will learn how the lungs function to gain the oxygen cells need to respire and then also how carbon dioxide is removed. Students will be very active in this module and carry out investigations into how heart rate and breathing rate change with exercise and what the effects of anaerobic respiration is on our bodies.
Inheritance and Selection (Biology)
Genetics is often a difficult concept to students and therefore we feel that it is worth introducing during Key Stage 3 so that students are more confident with it at GCSE. Students will be introduced to what inheritance and variation is and will look at chromosomes and DNA to develop an understanding of the processes involved. This will also look at the potential future roles of genetic engineering, selective breeding and cloning in our society (SMSC). This module has a new element now in that students will also study about the important scientists who have developed our understanding of DNA technology (SMSC).
Chemical Reactions (Chemistry)
This module builds on work done in Year 8 with Chemistry to increase student's knowledge and understanding of reactions and the impact of combustion on the environment. This includes practical investigations into endothermic and exothermic reactions, looking at rusting, the reactions of various metals with water and acid before moving on to look at higher level equation work and mass conservation (Numeracy).
Describing Motion (Physics)
Students will take work they have done earlier in the Key Stage and increase their application of calculating speed to include distance time graphs and more practical applications. Students study the law of moments in this module which is about forces around a pivot and apply calculations to everyday situations (STEM)
*From January of Year 9 students of all groups will begin GCSE teaching.
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 complete three test based cumulative 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?
During this academic we will be further expanding our KS3 Virtual Learning Environment which can be found at:
BBC Science and Nature:
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?
In Year 9 we have a transition year focused on mastering the fundamental concepts and skills required to study GCSE Science in Year 10 and Year 11.