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Science

Science

Welcome to the Science Curriculum area.

What courses do our students follow? 

In Year 7 to 8 students follow the "Wikid" Science course, which aims to cover scientific concepts in an applied and relevant way, allowing students to see the relevance of Science to real life. For example, in Year 7, Students study the topics "Forensics", "Cook", "Accident and Emergency", "Alien", "Electromancer" and "Extinction".       

For G.C.S.E. (Years 9, 10 and 11), students follow the AQA Science qualifications. We operate a pathways structure which is illustrated in the table below. Students follow either Core and Additional Science (shown as "horizontal rows" in the table) or three separate sciences, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, (shown as "vertical columns").  Each Science GCSE qualification consists of four units; three examinations and a practical/wriiten assessment known as an ISA. 

In Years 12 and 13, students can undertake A'levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics- for more information visit the 6th form area to view copies of the "Subject Information Sheets".


Biology

Miss Miller is Head of Biology. If you have any questions, she will be pleased to answer them for you.

Biology ‘A’ level follows the AQA Specification. This extends the basics covered at GCSE level and includes traditional Advanced level content as well as developing newer topics like health and disease.

The course will develop a greater understanding of Biology together with an appreciation of its significance in the changing world. It aims to further personal interest in living organisms and recognise the responsible use of biology in society. You will gain greater practical expertise by completing the core practical aspect of the course.  

There are 6 units. Units 1-3 (AS level) Units 4-6 (A2 level). 

Unit 1: Lifestyle, Transport, Genes and Health

This includes the study of the structure and function of biological molecules; enzyme action; structure, properties and movement through cell membranes; protein synthesis; monohybrid inheritance & mutations; social and ethical issues of gene therapy. This unit is externally assessed by a written examination paper, lasting 1 hr 30 mins. 

Unit 2: Development, Plants and the Environment

This includes the study of cells; mitosis & meiosis; genotype & environment; stem cell research; biodiversity and natural selection; classification; transport in plants; uses of plant products. This unit is externally assessed by a written examination paper, lasting 1 hr 30 mins. 

Unit 3: Practical Biology and Research Skills

Students write a report of between 1500 and 2000 words, either a record of a visit to a site of biological interest or a report of research into a biological topic of their choice. 

Unit 4: The Natural Environment and Species Survival

This includes the study of photosynthesis; energy transfer within ecosystems; global warming; natural selection, speciation & evolution; nutrient recycling; DNA profiling & PCR (a technique to copy small DNA samples to produce larger ones for forensic analysis) ; structure of bacteria & viruses; infectious diseases & immunology. This unit is assessed by a written examination paper, lasting 1 hr 30 mins.

Part of this Unit involves a Field Trip to Reculver Bay near Herne Bay in Kent.

Unit 5: Energy, Exercise and Co-ordination

This includes the study of anaerobic & aerobic respiration; the heart; homeostasis; the nervous system; exercise & improving performance; hormonal coordination; brain structure and development; imbalances in brain chemicals causing disease; Human Genome Project. This unit is assessed by a written examination paper, lasting 1 hr 30 mins. 

Unit 6: Practical Biology and Investigative skills

Students will complete a written report of an individual experimental investigation, which they have planned and carried out. 

What can you do with A'level Biology ? 

After successful completion, you could go on to study Biology and related disciplines i.e.: medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, biomedical science, nursing, midwifery, horticulture, veterinary science, genetics, physiotherapy and speech or occupational therapy at university. Students can also use their transferable skills to access other subjects i.e.: law & accountancy. 


Chemistry

Welcome to Chemistry! Any questions? please speak to Dr Canfield (Head of Chemistry, Head of Science and member of SLT).

At Chatham Grammar School for Girls, Students who opt for A-level Chemistry, undertake the new Edexcel Specification, which covers traditional Advanced level content as well as embracing the more modern aspects of this important scientific discipline.

Through the study of Chemistry at A'level, students will develop and sustain an interest in and enjoyment for the subject, encouraged by our enthusiastic staff. A'level explores and widens the knowledge and understanding of Chemistry from the basics covered at GCSE. Many topics, such as "Green Chemistry" and "Organic Synthesis, including drug development", enable students to recognise the significance of this subject and its applications; its relevance to the World. Chemistry is also, by its very nature, a practical subject, and it is always our ambition to equip students with highly-developed practical laboratory skills and an awareness of the commonly used techniques.

During the academic year (2011 - 2012), our A'level Chemists, both Year 12 and 13, were fortunate enough to be able to visit the University of Greenwich to see their "spectrometers and spectroscopists" in operation. This allowed them to gain a valuable insight into the workings of analytical laboratories and of University-level research.

We have been able to further strenghten our links with the University of Greenwich through their willingness to offer work placements to both Year 10 and Year 12 Chemists; an amazing opportunity for our students which has proven very popular.

We were also fortunate to have three successful Nuffield Bursary applicants, who undertook research project placements at the University. Every year, the Nuffield Foundation offers up to 1000 bursaries across the UK, to enable students to work alongside professional scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians. These paid research placements, which take place during the summer holidays, give students an invaluable insight into the world of scientific research and development, whilst also providing experience of working in a real laboratory environment. For the second successive year, we were successful in securing prestigious Nuffield Foundation bursaries for a number of our A'level Chemistry students: Saira, Carys and Daisy, who undertook placements, at the Medway campus of the University of Greenwich, under the watchful eye of Dr Nichola Coleman and her colleagues.

During their placements, Carys and Saira investigated the “Reverse Micellar Extraction of Lysozyme”, while Daisy spent her time researching new science outreach workshops. Their work was honoured at a Nuffield Foundation event where certificates were presented to acknowledge their achievement.

We are hoping for a repeat of our success this Summer, and are just waiting to hear if our applications have been successful ............

The Edexcel Chemistry A'level consists of 6 Units: Units 1, 2, 4 and 5 are written examinations, whereas Units 3 and 6 consist of practical assessments (further evidence for the value placed on developing practical skills to a high level).

A'level consists of three main areas of study: Inorganic Chemistry (centred on the periodic table, the elements and their compounds), Organic Chemistry (the study of carbon compounds, such as alkanes and alcohols) and Physical Chemistry (including topics such as rates of reaction (kinetics), energy changes etc). 

Main Topics Covered

UNIT 1        

Formulae, equations, calculations, energetics and bonding. Periodic table and an introduction to    organic chemistry (alkanes and alkenes).

UNIT 2        

Intermolecular bonding (forces between molecules), qualitative equilibria (reversible reactions), redox reactions, reaction rates, alcohols & halogenoalkanes. Green chemistry and climate change.

UNIT 3        

Experimental skills (qualitative, quantitative and preparative) in organic, inorganic and physical chemistry. This unit consists of laboratory-based practicals.

UNIT 4        

Quantitative kinetics (rates of reaction) and organic reaction mechanisms, entropy and equilibria, carboxylic acids and derivatives.

UNIT 5        

Redox equilibria, transition metals, arenes (compounds containing the benzene ring), amides, amino acids and proteins.

UNIT 6        

As for module 3 but in more depth.

Where do our students end up?

Some choose to continue their Chemistry studies at university. We have also seen our students accepted for medicine, veterinary science, pharmacy and biomedical degrees. Chemistry is a subject which can be used for many degrees which do not have an equivalent school subject (for example, Law and Accountancy) but which do require logical thought. An A level in Chemistry opens many doors!


GCSE SCIENCE (AQA)

 

 GCSE Science will enable you to:

  • Develop your interest in, and enthusiasm for, science.

  • Develop a critical approach to scientific evidence and methods.

  • Acquire and apply skills, knowledge and understanding of science and its essential role in society.

  • Acquire scientific skills, knowledge and understanding necessary for progression to further learning.

GCSE Science is taught as three subjects - Biology, Chemistry and Physics - and every student studies all three science subjects. Please refer to the specific science areas of the website for additional information on content and for links to the specifications. 

Students will follow the Trilogy Science course (equivalent to two GCSEs).  However, separate Science (3 GCSEs) can be chosen.

 

Mathematical skills

A minimum of 10% of marks will test maths skills in GCSE Biology; 20% in GCSE Chemistry; and 30% in GCSE Physics. For the Trilogy Science qualification, maths skills will be in the ratio 1:2:3. In other words for every one mark of maths in biology there must be two in chemistry and three in physics.

 

Why choose to do Separate Sciences (GCSE Chemistry, GCSE Physics and GCSE Biology)?

  1.  You may be considering a future career in Science, Technology or Engineering, e.g. Medicine, Pharmacy or Veterinary Science.
  2. You enjoy Science and want to cover the subjects in more depth.

Ideally, if you wish to study one or more of the science subjects at A’level, then Separate Sciences is the preferred option. Please note, however, that opting for Trilogy Science (Double award) will still allow you to take Science subjects at A Level.

 

Assessment (For Trilogy Science – Double award)

Six papers: two biology, two chemistry and two physics (each 1 hour 15 minutes). Each paper will assess different topics and is worth 70 marks (16.7% of the final grade).

 

Assessment (For each of the Separate Sciences)

Two papers: each paper (1 hour 45 minutes) will assess knowledge and understanding from different topics. Each paper is worth 50% of the grade and has 100 marks available.

 

What’s changed for new Science GCSEs?

• No controlled assessments (ISAs) or coursework but there are required core practical activities which must be undertaken.

• No assessment of quality of written communication.

• The minimum exam time for each GCSE: Biology, Chemistry and Physics will be

3 hours 30 minutes.

• The minimum exam time for Trilogy Science will be 7 hours.

• 15% of GCSE marks will be for practical skills which will be assessed through the written examinations.

 

 Grades

  • The A* to G grades will be replaced by 9 to 1 for Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
  • Combined Science will have a 17 point grading scale, from 9-9, 9-8 through to 2-1, 1-1.