Key Stage 3
From Year 7 to Year 9 inclusive, girls have one double period each of Physics, Chemistry and Biology taught in modern and well-equipped laboratories. A strong emphasis is placed on practical work so pupils gain an understanding of how Science works in a stimulating context.
The Year 7 course takes the students through cell structure, including developing their microscopy skills, organ systems in living organisms, reproduction and ecosystems. In Year 8, the topics include digestion, drugs, photosynthesis, respiration and inheritance. We begin the AQA GCSE course in Year 9 and pupils study cells, transport, digestion and respiration.
The Key Stage 3 course starts with the basics, including the use of the Bunsen burner; solids, liquids and gases; acids, alkalis and solubility. In Year 8, having investigated the properties of elements, compounds and mixtures, pupils deepen their understanding of reactions through salt formation and the reactivity of metals. They also develop increased awareness of environmental chemistry. The Year 9 pupils embark on the AQA GCSE course, learning about the periodic table and the relationship between atomic structure and chemical properties.
Year 7 pupils study forces and energy and practise using graphs and equations for problem solving. Year 8 pupils study light, waves, sound and astronomy, carry out investigative work on shadows, take photographs using pinhole cameras, measure the speed of sound and compare musical instruments. We take an annual trip to Jodrell Bank to complement our astronomy course. Year 9 pupils study electricity, electromagnetism and microelectronics before starting the AQA GCSE Physics course specification.
At the end of Year 9, pupils can choose between three separate sciences and a double award (Trilogy) course for the following two years. The GCSE is a linear course and all pupils take science examinations at the end of Year 11.
Science Club gives pupils the opportunity to carry out fun experiments and take part in debates and quizzes. Girls of all ages are given the opportunity to enter national competitions and awards, and are encouraged to attend many of the lectures given by visiting speakers throughout the year. Zoo Club is open to all animal enthusiasts in Years 7 to 9. Regular activities involve taking care of the tropical fish – learning how to monitor the conditions in the tanks and ensuring the fish are all healthy and well fed. There are also a variety of activities that students can take part in such as animal behaviour experiments, dissection, and learning about conservation. There are also termly whole school events including visits from outside speakers that students can take part in.
“Science is such a fascinating subject as I have learnt so much of how everything works!”
A Year 7 pupil
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