From September until Christmas students study the National Curriculum organised by the Government which continues work from Key Stage 2 and Year 7 and Year 8 studies and develops student's skills in practical science skills and their understanding of the three specialisms of science: Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
From January of Year 9 students will begin GCSE lessons (See GCSE Core Science). 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:
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).
This module is focused on the atmosphere, what it is made up of and what its function is. Students will study the layers of the atmosphere and then look at the different components which allow life to survive. These components are the ozone layer, the greenhouse gases and our water supply. We will study the damaging impact man has had on these areas and how we are now looking to control or repair the damage we have done (SMSC and STEM).
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).
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 / fortnight 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?
During this academic we will be further expanding our KS3 Virtual Learning Environment which can be found at: https://vle.arden.solihull.sch.uk/frogos/science
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
What do students do next with this course?
All students will go on to study one of the GCSE Science pathways during Key Stage 4.