Phase 1 Science Curriculum

At Royds Hall Community School we follow a thematic Science curriculum based on the ‘Smart Science’ published Scheme of Learning.  Each topic is twelve lessons in length; having ten lessons of new content followed by an end-of-term test and then a review lesson.

A schematic overview of the two-year Scheme of Work is shown below. The topics have purposely chosen a ‘theme’ that incorporates all three Science disciplines where possible and showing the links between all Sciences for cross-discipline working and projects.

Students have 4 hours of Science per week in Year 7 and 3 hours of Science per week in Year 8.

Two-year Scheme of Work: Year 1:

Autumn term / Term 1

Biology 1 – Living systems

Chemistry 1 – The particulate nature of matter

Physics 1 – Forces and motion

Spring term / Term 2

Biology 2 – Diet and health

Chemistry 2 – Atoms, elements and compounds

Physics 2 – Levers, moments and pressure

Summer term / Term 3

Biology 3 – Genetics and evolution

Chemistry 3 – Reactions

Physics 3 – Electricity and electromagnetism

Two-year Scheme of Work: Year 2:

Autumn term / Term 4
Biology 4 – Photosynthesis, respiration and circulation Chemistry 4 – Acids and alkalis Physics 4 – Energy
Spring term / Term 5
Biology 5  – Reproduction and growth Chemistry 5 – Materials and everyday chemistry Physics 5 – Waves
Summer term / Term 6
Biology 6 – Ecosystems Chemistry 6 – The Earth and atmosphere Physics 6 – Space

Phase 2 Science Curriculum

Students are following the AQA Combined Science Trilogy and Separate Science specifications. This curriculum builds on the solid foundations laid down in Phase 1 to deepen students understanding, allowing them to apply their knowledge to real life applications.  They are taught by specialist Biology, Chemistry and Physics teachers for 2 hours per week in each subject.

A high proportion of students take the Separate Science pathway which is aimed at students with a real interest and passion for Science and those who may wish to take up a future career or further learning in a Science discipline.  
The content for both pathways are similar in structure, with a deeper lever of demand in the Separate Sciences.  
Full specifications and content listing for all Science GCSEs is available from AQA.  Please click the link to take you there.

In Biology, students are given the chance to gain a good understanding of human biology, organisms, evolution and the environment. The course integrates the principles of ‘How Science Works’ throughout the units and helps put Biology in the context of students’ everyday lives with topics ranging from ‘Keeping healthy’ to ‘Humans and their environment’. It is suitable for students of all abilities, whether they intend further study in Science or not and can open the doors to future careers in Medicine and the Life Sciences.

In Chemistry, students learn about key concepts including the nature of substances and how they react together, how Chemistry is used in business and industry and how our use of raw materials in fuels and manufacturing can affect the global and local environment. The course is designed to help students understand how to formulate a scientific approach to understanding and explaining the world and solving problems and is structured in a way that starts with the fundamental ideas in Chemistry, putting the building blocks in place. This enables students to develop an understanding of topics such as chemical structures and their properties, chemical reactions and how to analyse substances. Many of the materials considered are substances that students will come across in their daily lives like drinking water, vegetable oils and metals. This helps engage students by putting their learning in context. 
In Physics, students will gain knowledge of the use and transfer of energy, waves, radiation and space and the application of Physics. The course is designed to give students the tools and concepts they need to be able to construct a scientific approach to solving problems. Students will learn to ask and answer questions about the fundamental laws that govern natural phenomena. This is done by integrating the ‘How Science Works’ approach throughout the three year course. Students are likely to be engaged by the aspects of the specification that they can relate to their everyday life such as the efficiency of electrical appliances and braking distances as well as larger concepts like nuclear fission and fusion and evidence of the Big Bang.

For each of the Sciences, students will also undertake a variety of ‘required practicals’, which form a large part of the new GCSE exam questions. They will be expected to plan, investigate, and analyse a wide range of Scientific theories, including uses of enzymes in Biology, reactions of acids and bases in Chemistry, and measuring current and resistance in Physics.

N.B.  Students must complete one full pathway and are not able to ‘mix and match’ GCSEs.  Therefore if they take the Separate Science pathway they must complete GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics.