We believe that in order to be a chemist, one must develop a deep knowledge and understanding across the three key building blocks of Chemistry: the atom, the periodic table and chemical reactions. These concepts are the starting point for all chemical knowledge. We understand that Chemistry is a series of core questions to which students are able to find the answers, through investigation and an understanding of developing scientific models. In order to investigate answers to these core questions students will develop the skills and understanding to work like an expert chemist. They will be able to plan an investigation that allows valid conclusions to be drawn and precise, accurate data to be collected, presented and interpreted. Our learners will be able to analyse both qualitative and quantitative data and link this to explain concepts in both Biology and Physics. We want to impart sufficient scientific knowledge and develop scientifically literate young people who can make informed decisions about everyday scientific contexts and make sense of the world around them, for example, understanding the need to recycle and cut down CO2 emissions. We keep to the requirements of the National Curriculum and will expand this with incorporating the latest research into lessons and getting students to research latest developments in the ever-changing field of Chemistry.
We start the curriculum with looking at Particles and their behaviour and work our way towards how we can make different compounds and structures for use in medicine and in industry and finally looking at techniques of analysis to help solve both long- and short-term issues. This takes students on a systemic journey so that at each phase they are learning content built from the previous stage. Skills are embedded throughout the study of Chemistry, skills such as, development of scientific thinking, experimental skills and strategies, being able to analyse and evaluate information and using scientific vocabulary, quantities, units, symbols and nomenclature. The department aims to foster an interest in Chemistry such that our students appreciate the work of chemists in a quest for innovation, enhancement and improving efficiency and ultimately we want all students to consider pursuing further study or careers in STEM.
Key Stage 3 Overview
The curriculum starts each year looking at the key scientific skills that pupils will need, such as asking scientific questions, how to plan investigations, recording data, analysing data and evaluating data. Students will arrive already having studied different materials and their properties and how they make them suitable for their use. They learn the different states of matter and how one state changes into another and how some changes are reversible and others are not. They also come having gone through different separation techniques such as filtration, sieving and evaporation. This is all built upon in the curriculum where students will learn about the atoms that make up everything on Earth and beyond. Students will explore how chemical reactions make vital materials and transfer energy for almost everything we do. They go on to learn about the structure of the Earth, and the rocks of its crust. They will learn how they separate mixtures, and use chemical reactions, to obtain the materials we need from the Earth and its atmosphere. They will finally explore patterns in chemical reactions. They will identify patterns in the properties of elements, and learn how to use the Periodic Table to predict properties.
Year 7 topics
Chemistry 1 Chapter 1: Particles and their behaviour
Chemistry 1 Chapter 2: Elements, atoms and compounds
Chemistry 1 Chapter 3: Reactions
Chemistry 1 Chapter 4: Acids and Alkalis
Chemistry 3 Chapter 2: Turning points in Chemistry
Year 8 topics
Chemistry 2 Chapter 1: The Periodic Table
Chemistry 2 Chapter 2: Separation techniques
Chemistry 2 Chapter 3: Metals and acids
Chemistry 2 Chapter 4: The Earth
Chemistry 3 Chapter 3: Detection in Chemistry
Year 9 topics
Chemistry Topic 1: Key concepts in Chemistry
Chemistry Topic 2: States of matter and mixtures
Key Stage 3 Homework
Homework set will be a range of extended writing questions and project work and will be set once a fortnight.
Key Stage 4 Overview
The key ideas specific to the Chemistry content include:
- matter is composed of tiny particles called atoms and there are about 100 different naturally occurring types of atoms called elements
- elements show periodic relationships in their chemical and physical properties
- these periodic properties can be explained in terms of the atomic structure of the elements
- atoms bond by either transferring electrons from one atom to another or by sharing electrons
- the shapes of molecules (groups of atoms bonded together) and the way giant structures are arranged is of great importance in terms of the way they behave
- there are barriers to reaction so reactions occur at different rates
- chemical reactions take place in only three different ways: 1) proton transfer 2) electron transfer 3) electron sharing
- energy is conserved in chemical reactions so can therefore be neither created nor destroyed. All of these key ideas will be assessed as part of this qualification, through the subject content.
Year 10 topics
Chemistry Topic 3: Chemical changes
Chemistry Topic 4: Extracting metals and equilibria
Chemistry Topic 5: Separate Chemistry 1 – Separate science only
Chemistry Topic 6: Groups in the Periodic table
Year 11 topics
Chemistry Topic 7: Rates of reaction and energy changes
Chemistry Topic 8: Fuels and Earth science
Chemistry Topic 9: Separate Chemistry 2 – Separate science only
How is this qualification assessed?
Exam board: Edexcel
Please note that there is no longer any controlled assessment in the Sciences. Instead students have to complete required practicals and these will be assessed in the terminal examinations.
Separate Science assessment overview:
Paper 1 (1CH0/1) – 1hour and 45 minutes – 50% of qualification
Content: Topic 1: Key concepts in Chemistry, Topic 2: States of matter and mixtures, Topic 3: Chemical changes, Topic 4: Extracting metals and equilibria, Topic 5: Separate Chemistry 1
Paper 2 (1CH0/2) – 1hour and 45 minutes – 50% of qualification
Content: Topic 1: Key concepts in Chemistry, Topic 6: Groups in the Periodic table, Topic 7: Rates of reaction and energy changes, Topic 8: Fuels and Earth Science, Topic 9: Separate Chemistry 2
Combined Science assessment overview: (all 6 Science papers will inform the final double grade)
Paper 3 (1SC0/1C) – 1hour and 10 minutes – 16.67% of qualification
Content: Topic 1: Key concepts in Chemistry, Topic 2: States of matter and mixtures, Topic 3: Chemical changes, Topic 4: Extracting metals and equilibria
Paper 4 (1SC0/2C) – 1hour and 10 minutes – 16.67% of qualification
Content: Topic 1: Key concepts in Chemistry, Topic 6: Groups in the Periodic table, Topic 7: Rates of reaction and energy changes, Topic 8: Fuels and Earth Science
Key Stage 4 Homework
Homework set will be a range of extended writing questions and exam questions and will be set once a fortnight.
How is this subject assessed?
Once each chapter (Year 7 and 8) or topic (Year 9, 10 and 11) has been taught there will be an end of chapter test given the following lesson. There is a mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions. Once a test has been completed a reflection task is set for students so that they can work on any areas where gaps are still occurring and a further exam question will be given to them on that part of the topic. Gaps are identified by a full question-level analysis being conducted after each assessment.
Books are marked twice a term with a piece of deep marking taking place once a term on an extended writing piece. Deep marking will include some time given for students to feedback to marking.
How does this subject fulfil SMSC needs?
Social: Science is changing our society. The life expectancy is getting longer, people are driving more efficient and eco-friendlier cars, and more and more people are putting solar panels on their rooftops. Our society has become dependent on scientific developments which we could not have foreseen 50 years ago but also our lives are likely to change significantly in the future because of our reckless damaging activities to the environment as a human society. Students must consider their impact on the world around them and start to look at what we can do to help the next generation have a habitable planet. Areas we specifically focus on are that of pollution, global warming and destruction of the ozone layer. Learners will develop personal qualities and social skills by listening to the viewpoints of different scientific groups and politicians and developing the ability to take a full and active part in lessons on areas such as limestone quarrying and salt mining. Students will also look at ways in participating cooperatively and resolving conflict on issues such as looking at fossil fuels vs biofuels vs nuclear fuel They will also look at how science is portrayed in the media.
Moral: Our understanding of science has allowed us to develop technology we couldn’t have imagined 50 years ago. Now however, we must start deciding if we should we do all the scientific activities we are able to or morally should we decide not to. This can be as simple as should we test medicines for humans that could save lives on animals causing them cruelty? It could be as complex as should we allow somatic or germ line cell therapy? Moral development is a vital part of any scientist’s development. Students will need to develop a good understanding of it to firstly pass exams which always comprise ethical questions but more importantly to become a good rounded scientist. Learners will look at moral values and ethical issues such as the impact of wind farms or the use of bio fuels. They will also look at consequences of their actions such as the use of chemical based fertilisers on land-eutrophication.
Spiritual: Sometimes science and spiritual ideas do cause conflict but in a modern society it is important to understand why these conflicts arise so we can respect the views of others and move forward. It is seen more often that science is able to stand alongside the spiritual beliefs of many. This is looked at often from a neutral stand point within science lessons. Learners will explore the development of the periodic table in Chemistry and Wegner and sea floor spreading. They will look at the impact of pollution on our planet. They will get the opportunity to use their imagination and creativity in learning via developing speaking skills, presentation skills and building active display boards. They will also use descriptive writing to elicit emotion and feelings via silent debates and acting and role play.
Cultural: Scientific development comes from all across the world, from people of all backgrounds and cultures. Some of science’s most important discoveries have come from other parts of the world and it’s important for students to understand this as many believe that progress comes largely from the UK or America. It is also important to understand how the different cultures around the world can have different impacts on the planet and what impact more economically developed countries have on poorer areas. This will also be vital into the future as we need to monitor the impact of quickly developing cultures around the world on our environment. They will look at celebrating the role different scientists have played in our society.
How does the subject challenge more able pupils?
Students are grouped by ability in Science. More able pupils have the opportunity to study for separate sciences at GCSE. In lessons, challenge tasks are incorporated into all schemes of learning. One or more of the following four forms of challenge can take place in a science lesson:
- Cognitive conflict – present a scenario that is incompatible with students’ current thinking and then present an alternative idea
- Pace – limit the time taken to do something
- Off you go… – this limits the number of instructions before an open task is set. It is best used when the outcome is focused so students know when they have succeeded. This gives them immediate feedback.
- Probing questions – ask fundamental questions that promote deep learning
What provision is made for pupils with SEND?
- Differentiation by questions and outcomes
- Resources modelled depending on need e.g. blue writing and yellow background for dyslexic students and overlay provided
- Use of SEND register and guidance documents for specific needs provided by SENCO
- Joint planning with a learning support assistant
- Multisensory teaching
- One-to-one teaching after class where needs are identified.
Enrichment and extra-curricular opportunities
There is a range of regular activities at all key stages, including: KS3 STEM Club, KS3 STEM competitions – Raspberry Pi, KS4 Science lecture series and KS4 exam skills workshops. In addition, there are trips such as to CERN and to the Science Museum. There is the CREST Award and every March we celebrate Science Week with a project fair.
BBC bite size: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/z4882hv