Welcome to the Science Faculty

Director: Dr A Stanger Contact details: asta4673@johnmason.oxon.sch.uk

Teachers in this Faculty: Ms L Nubel (Deputy Director), Dr R Marsh, Mrs C Batcheldor, Mr B Gilkes, Mrs C Orme, Mrs C Blackman, Mrs R Luney & Dr B Greenaway

Science at John Mason has an emphasis on developing students’ understanding in “working scientifically”. This means that students have opportunities to learn and master the skills required to think and operate like scientists. These skills suit students well whether they wish to pursue a career in science or not. Students will learn how to plan, carry out and analyse scientific investigations. They will also have opportunities to develop their writing skills, apply mathematics in science contexts, develop logical thinking and problem solving skills.

Key Stage 3

Our key stage three scheme of learning has been developed in-house but is based on the structure of ‘Activate’ by Oxford University Press.

Key stage three lasts for two years, during which time, students study a diverse range of topics, with an emphasis on developing the skills required to think critically, write accurately and concisely and to refine mathematical processes. In addition, it is also about developing a broad factual knowledge base, which will allow for the mastery of more complex abstract understanding.

Full details of the topics studied are given below.

Key Stage 4

Students start a three year key stage 4 in year 9 in science. All students undertake at least two GCSEs in science, but as part of the schools option process, students can choose to study for an additional GCSE in science.

All students currently in year 10 and 9 are following the AQA combined science trilogy specification, worth two GCSEs, or AQA biology, chemistry and physics GCSE specifications worth three GCSEs.

Year 11 students are following OCR 21st century science specifications, either science & additional science (two GCSEs), or biology, chemistry and physics (three GCSEs).

Whichever course students take at GCSE, their understanding of complex scientific and ethical issues will develop, as will their ability to problem solve

We have planned schemes of learning to ensure students have opportunities to improve the practical skills, through carrying out a number of different experimental activities and we ensure all students have opportunities to access the required practicals.

Our schemes build progression from the knowledge base students have acquired at key stage 3 as well as develop further their skills of ‘working scientifically’. This is to ensure that students have a good appreciation of the place and importance of science in society and that they have a broad range of skills with which to be successful in the future, whether they intend to stay in the field of science or not.

Key Stage 5

Following GCSEs, students can choose to continue with Biology, Chemistry and Physics at A Level, and all three are currently popular options. Candidates with science A levels are regarded very highly by Universities and employers as they demonstrate skills of data analysis, critical thinking and creativity.

Topics studied throughout Key Stage 3 are:

Year 7:

Biology: cells, body systems and reproduction.
Chemistry: particles, atoms & elements, reactions and acids & alkalis
Physics: forces, sound, light & space.

Year 8:

Biology: health, ecosystems and adaptation & inheritance
Chemistry: the periodic table, separation techniques, metals & the Earth
Physics: electricity & magnetism, energy and motion

Topics of the AQA specification for Years 9 and 10 are as follows:

Year 9:

Biology: Cell biology & organisation
Chemistry: Atomic structure and the periodic table & bonding structure and the properties of matter.
Physics: Energy and electricity

Year 10:

Biology: Organisation, infection and response and bioenergetics
Chemistry: Bonding structure and the properties of matter, quantitative chemistry, chemical changes & energy changes.
Physics: Energy, electricity, particle model of matter & atomic structure.

Year 11 students are currently completing the OCR 21st Century Specification. Topics taught are:

B5 - growth and development & B6 - brain and mind
C5 - Chemicals of the natural environment & C6 - chemical synthesis
P5 - electric circuits & P6 - radioactive materials

Biology A Level AQA

Year 12 AS qualification, topics taught: biological molecules, cell biology, organisms exchange substances with their environment & genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms.
Year 13 A2 qualification topics taught: energy transfers in and between organisms, organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments, genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems & the control of gene expression.

Chemistry A Level OCR A

Year 12 AS qualification - topics taught: development of practical skills in chemistry, foundations in chemistry, periodic table and energy & core organic chemistry.
Year 13 A2 qualification – topics taught: physical chemistry and transition elements & organic chemistry and analysis.

Physics A Level OCR A

Year 12 AS qualification - topics taught: development of practical skills in physics, foundations of physics, forces and motion & electrons, waves and photons.
Year 13 A2 qualification – topics taught: Newtonian world and astrophysics & particles and medical physics.

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