Key Stage 3
At the start of the year students are placed into fast, medium or slower learning sets according to their SATs scores and levels. Usually a level 5 student will be in a faster learning group and a level 3 student will be in a slower learning group.
All students are taught an introductory section which concentrates on safety, new apparatus, Bunsen burner, measuring, carrying out an experiment and reporting it. The course is then divided into Biology, Chemistry and Physics modules with four units in each. Short tests follow each unit and major exams take place towards the end of each term, following the completion of each module.
The cell as a basic unit of life, explore cell structure and learn about some cell functions.
This extends their earlier ideas about human reproduction, considers and compares reproductive patterns in other animals with those in humans, relates how their bodies change during adolescence to knowledge about human reproduction, growth and the menstrual cycle.
Environment and feeding relationships
How habitats vary, adaptation by plants and animals and interaction with their environment. Feeding relationships and making food webs.
Variation and classification
Explores variation within and between species.
Acids and alkalis
Their properties and uses, use of the pH scale and neutralisation.
Simple chemical reactions
New substances are made from chemical reactions. Making gases and burning as examples of chemical reactions. Exploring gases and using word equations.
Particle model of solids, liquids and gases
Learn how the particle model can explain differences between solids, liquids and gases. Use these models to explain their properties, e.g. diffusion, expansion etc.
Dissolving. The separation techniques of filtering, chromatography and distillation. Pure substances and mixtures.
Fossil fuels and renewable sources of energy and implications for the environment. Energy from the sun and its role as the source of most of Earth’s energy.
Construct working circuits and drawing circuit diagrams. Parallel and series circuits, measuring voltage and current. Control the flow of electricity. Energy transfers in circuits.
The solar system and beyond
A simple model of the sun, Earth and the moon to explain eclipses, phases of the moon and seasonal changes. The plants and their positions. The Sun is a star.
Forces and their effect
Air resistance, up thrust, friction and weight, balanced and unbalanced forces, mass & weight and also Speed.
Food and digestion
Different foods and a balanced diet. How food is broken down by digestion so that it can be used by the body for energy, growth and repair.
How the cells are supplied with the materials they need for respiration. How cells in plants and animals release energy. Respiration is similar in all cells.
Microbes and disease
Micro-organisms share the characteristics of other living things.
Growing micro-organisms to make products and the role of micro-organisms in infectious diseases. The body’s defence systems and how immunisation protects us.
Study a habitat in detail and learn how:
- organisms can be identified and sizes of populations compared
- feeding relationships can be modelled quantitatively
- living things within a community influence each other and are affected by the environment.
Atoms and elements
What is an element and an atom? They explore the characteristics of some elements, use the particle model to describe what happens when they combine and learn that a wide range of materials can be made from a small number of elements.
Compounds and mixtures
What is a compound? Use of symbols and formulae. Compounds and mixtures. Distinguish between a chemical reaction and a physical one.
Rocks and weathering
Learn about the processes of weathering, erosion, transportation and sedimentation and about rock characteristics.
The rock cycle
Learn about the major rock forming processes and how they are linked. Rock texture as one of the key characteristics of sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks.
Heating and cooling
The need for a temperature scale; the difference between heat and temperature. Mechanisms of heat transfer: conduction, convection and radiation. Expansion and change of state. Use the particle theory to explain conduction, convection and change of state.
Magnets and electromagnets
Identify magnetic materials, make a magnet and test its strength. Use the concept of a magnetic field, a permanent magnet and an electromagnet. Investigate factors affecting the strength of an electromagnet. Explain the workings of a number of devices that use magnets and electromagnets.
How can we see objects? Light as ray to explain reflection and refraction. The origins of coloured light and the appearance of coloured objects.
Sound and hearing
How sound travels through media. How the ear works and the harmful effect of loud noise.
Each Year Eight student will have a text book to take home from which he/she can do homework, read and check their understanding. ICT skills are developed through the use of spreadsheets, data bases, data logging and the use of the internet. Literacy skills are nurtured by encouraging effective and critical reading and by developing a range of written styles and verbal communication.
These are very important and are taught in context throughout. We seek to further their ability at scientific enquiry by improving their planning, carrying out, analysing results and graphs and evaluating of procedures. The students are then set into new groups for the following year.
Students will have been set into fast, medium or slower learning sets at the end of Year Eight. The course is divided into Biology, Chemistry and Physics modules with four units in each. Short tests follow each unit and major exams take place towards the end of each term following the completion of each module. In May, Year 9 students will be formally assessed by the Key Stage 3 National Tests (SATS).
Habitats, pyramid of numbers and biomass. Adaptation to seasonal changes. Factors affecting population size, e.g. predation and competition. Plant structure and adaptations for photosynthesis. Environmental and inherited variation.
The periodic table, elements and compounds. Rocks and weathering. Chemical and physical change. Acids, alkalis and making salts. Energy in chemical reactions. The particulate theory of matter. Industrial processes with particular reference to the blast furnace.
Using electromagnets to solve everyday problems. Simple properties of light, including reflection, refraction and dispersion. A study of forces in machines and how they are used to make jobs easier. Energy conversion and efficiency, the difference between heat and temperature.