Report Abuse Home Email Log in
The Trinity School Nottingham Logo

Science - Subject Guide

Introduction

Science at Trinity has a strong tradition of being a popular, enjoyable and highly regarded subject. Our students make excellent progress and achieve very highly at both GCSE and A-Level.

Key Stage 3

Science is studied by all students in Key Stage 3. We aim to foster a love of science and learning and to develop key skills within the context of the core concepts in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Linked progress tasks help students to develop the key skills of:

  • data handling
  • graphing
  • literacy
  • mathematic application
  • working scientifically

Students have three lessons per week and have the same teacher for all three. Homework is set regularly and each section of work is assessed by a unit test.

Year 7

Students follow the Activate Scheme and have individual access to the text books online through the Kerboodle platform.

  • Biology: cells, the human body, reproduction
  • Chemistry: particles and their behaviour, rates of reaction, acids and alkalis
  • Physics: forces, sound, light and space

More information about each topic can be found on the Year 7 Activate contents page

Year 8

Students follow the Activate Scheme and have individual access to the text books online through the Kerboodle platform.

  • Biology: health, ecosystem, adaptation, inheritance
  • Chemistry: separation techniques, metals and acids, the Periodic table.
  • Physics: electricity, energy, motion

More information about each topic can be found on the Year 8 Activate contents page

Year 9

Students follow an in-house scheme of learning closely linked to the Collins GCSE scheme. Foundational GCSE topics are covered in Biology, Chemistry and Physics with a considerable emphasis on developing the skills for working scientifically.

  • Biology: cells, ecology
  • Chemistry: rates of reaction, the environment
  • Physics: kinetic theory, radioactivity

Access to the text book is through the Collins Connect platform where the homework can also be set.

KS4 Combined Science

Students study an amalgamation of the three sciences, leading to two GCSE qualifications. This Trilogy course is taught in five lessons per week and incorporates much of the separate science content but covered to a little less depth in places. The trilogy qualification is a valid route to studying sciences at A-Level and certainly does not restrict any higher education options.

Assessment and Course Content

This GCSE qualification is examined through six papers which assess students against three assessment objectives (AO):

  • AO1: demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, techniques and procedures (40% of marks)
  • AO2: apply knowledge and understanding to previously unseen situations (40% of marks)
  • AO3: analyse information and ideas to interpret and evaluate, make judgements and draw conclusions (20% of marks)

There is no controlled assessment. However, over the duration of the course the students have a number of Core Practical experiments to perform that support the theory being covered. Certain aspects of these core practicals will be examined.

This new specification is examined for the first time in June 2018 on the new (9-1) grading system.

  • Biology: cell biology, animal and plant tissue, organs and organ systems, and the human body's response to infection.
  • Chemistry: atomic structure and the periodic table, rates of reaction, bonding and chemical changes.
  • Physics: energy, kinetic theory, radioactivity and electricity.

Specification

AQA GCSE Combined Science (Trilogy) (8464)

KS4 Separate Sciences

Students study Biology, Chemistry and Physics as separate subjects, leading to three GCSE qualifications. This pathway is generally more appropriate for students who achieve a secure or extended (Level 6 or above) understanding of the course content in Year 9.

The sciences are taught by subject specialists (a Biologist, Chemist and Physicist) and students have two hours of each science each week. The separate sciences are an ideal preparation for A-Level study of any or all of the science subjects.

Assessment and Course Content

Each subject is examined through two papers which assess students against three assessment objectives (AO).

  • AO1: demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, techniques and procedures (40% of marks)
  • AO2: apply knowledge and understanding to previously unseen situations (40% of marks)
  • AO3: analyse information and ideas to interpret and evaluate, make judgements and draw conclusions (20% of marks)

There is no controlled assessment. However, over the duration of each course the students have a number of required practical experiments to perform that support the theory being covered. Certain aspects of these core practicals will be examined.

Each course gives students a firm foundation for studying that subject at A-Level and they include:

  • GCSE Biology: cell biology, animal and plant tissue, organs and organ systems, and the human body's response to infection
  • GCSE Chemistry: atomic structure and the periodic table, rates of reaction, bonding and chemical changes
  • GCSE Physics: energy, kinetic theory, radioactivity and electricity

Specifications

AQA GCSE Biology (8461)

AQA GCSE Chemistry (8462)

AQA GCSE Physics (8463)

KS5 A-Level Biology

Students study the Pearson Biology A (Salters-Nuffield) (9BNO) course delivered by two subject teachers over five lessons per week.

The course consists of three externally examined papers and the Science Practical Endorsement.  Students are expected to carry out the 18 core practical experiments that are identified in the content.

Overview of Content

  • Topic 1: Lifestyle, Health and Risk 
  • Topic 2: Genes and Health 
  • Topic 3: Voice of the Genome 
  • Topic 4: Biodiversity and Natural Resources 
  • Topic 5: On the Wild Side 
  • Topic 6: Immunity, Infection and Forensics.
  • Topic 7: Run for your Life 
  • Topic 8: Grey Matter 

Overview of Assessment

  • There are 3 assessment papers, each 2 hours consisting of multiple-choice, short open, open-response, calculations and extended writing questions. 
  • All papers will include questions that target mathematics at Level 2 or above . Overall, a minimum of 10% of the marks across the three papers will be awarded for mathematics at Level 2 or above. 
  • All papers will include questions that target the conceptual and theoretical understanding of experimental methods.
  • One section of the final paper will be underpinned by the pre-released scientific article. 
  • The final paper will include synoptic questions that may draw on two or more different topics

Specification

Pearson Biology A (Salters-Nuffield) (9BNO)

KS5 A-Level Chemistry

Students follow the OCR Salters Chemistry A level (H433) course delivered by two subject teachers over five lessons per week.

This course provides the opportunity to study the three strands of chemistry - organic, inorganic and physical - in a context which links to today’s issues. There are ten topics which cover these strands in a spiral curriculum which allows for ideas to be revisited, revised and developed, in preparation for 3 exams. In addition students complete the practical endorsement which involves completing 12 lab-based practical tasks and this endorsement is reported separately alongside the final exam grade.

The course consists of three externally examined papers and the Science Practical Endorsement.

Specification

OCR Salters Chemistry A level (H433)

KS5 A-Level Physics

Students follow the Pearson Physics A level (9PHO) course delivered by three subject teachers over five lessons per week.

The course consists of three externally examined papers and the Science Practical Endorsement. Students are expected to carry out the 18 core practical experiments that are identified in the content.

Overview of Content

  • Topic 1: Working as a Physicist
  • Topic 2: Mechanics
  • Topic 3: Electric circuits 
  • Topic 4: Materials 
  • Topic 5: Waves and Particle nature of light
  • Topic 6: Further mechanics 
  • Topic 7: Electric and Magnetic fields
  • Topic 8: Nuclear and Particle Physics
  • Topic 9: Thermodynamics
  • Topic 10: Space 

The Working as a Physicist unit is delivered during one lesson a week dedicated to developing students' CPAC and working scientifically skills. Students work in pairs on each of the core practical experiments on a rotation basis, writing up their findings in laboratory books used as evidence towards their practical endorsement. The course content is delivered in the remaining four hours of curriculum time.

Overview of Assessment 

  • There are 3 assessment papers, 2 of which are 1hour 45 minutes and the third, assessing practical skills and including synoptic questions that may draw on two or more different topics, is 2hours 30 minutes.
  • All papers will include questions that target mathematics at Level 2 or above. Overall, a minimum of 40% of the marks across the three papers will be awarded for mathematics at Level 2 or above. 

Specification

Pearson Physics A-Level (9PHO)

KS5 BTEC Applied Science

Students follow the Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Applied Science course which counts towards two Level 3 qualifications. The course is delivered by four teachers over ten lessons per week and consists of 8 units, 6 of which are mandatory and 3 of which are externally assessed through examination.

Students develop their investigative skills and practical techniques within the context of laboratory work and this is assessed both in a practical exam and an independent investigation of their choice.  General scientific principles are studied in detail for both the Unit 1 and Unit 5 external exams and finally two (optional ) coursework modules on disease and infection and forensic evidence and collection complete the course.

This is a well structured and balanced qualification that offers significant challenge but one that is both interesting and relevant. Independent learners with a mature work ethic and who are prepared for the quantity of work and that can meet regular deadlines tend to thrive on this course.

Overview of Content

  • Unit 1: Principles and Applications of Science I
  • Unit 2: Practical scientific procedures and techniques
  • Unit 3: Science investigation skills
  • Unit 4: Laboratory techniques and their application 
  • Unit 5: Principles and applications of science II
  • Unit 6: Investigative project 
  • Unit12: Diseases and infections
  • Unit 23: Forensic Evidence, Collection and Analysis

Specification

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Applied Science

Resources

The department benefits from six new, modern, spacious laboratories, each of which is equipped with a Clevertouch interactive screen. We also have a further eight dedicated laboratories with digital projectors and smartboards all of which are based on the Beechdale site.

We have a set of 15 iPads in the department for use in lessons.

The Science department also runs a daily drop in help session at lunchtime, staffed by the whole team, which students can attend for extra support with their classwork or homework. This is used extensively by students from all key stages.

The department comprises 16 experienced and dedicated teachers (6 biologists, 5 chemists and 5 physicists) enabling GCSEs to be taught by subject specialists.  A team of four technicians ensure equipment and chemicals are prepared for practical work.

We are well resourced with practical equipment, allowing for demonstrations of the more complex phenomena studied.

Successes

The school is actively involved with the Ogden Trust and has been the hub school for seven years, co-ordinating Physics events within our partnership of schools. These annual events are shared around the partnership schools and include:

  • Year 8 Physics Olympics
  • Year 9 Save the world (a chocolate inspired momentum challenge)
  • Year 10 Music challenge
  • An egg-citing bungee challenge
  • Year 12 Rocket challenge

Nottingham University host an annual Ogden lecture in November for partnership schools and their parents.

There is an bi-annual trip to CERN that in previous years has seen Year 12 students from Trinity and two of our partnership schools travel to the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva.

Year 12 students also have the opportunity to take part in the Engineering Development Trust’s annual Engineering Education Scheme. A team works alongside engineers in industry on real-life projects. The scheme runs from September to April and students develop their problem solving, teamwork and communication skills as well as learning how engineers tackle problems. The last three years have seen students receive gold CREST awards in recognition of their achievements.

The department has also initiated Ogden sponsored Superlabs that take place termly. KS4 students from the partnership schools are invited to rise to the challenge of building a particle accelerator and university-style experiments are available for students to ‘play’ with and learn about far more challenging and intriguing Physics than might normally be delivered in GCSE classes. We also run a Raspberry-Pi night where students have hands-on opportunity to build and code solutions to a vast array of problems.

The department is also partnered with the Nottingham Trent University, specifically with the CHEMWORKS project. Students have the opportunity to access a number of STEM based activities throughout the year including a biodiesel challenge, a suncream challenge and a water purification challenge. In addition to this, ‘Come Alive with Science’ visit school and run an annual event in which students are asked to present a chemistry topic in an arty or dramatic fashion. In 2017 Year 9 students presented a number of more complex chemical reactions to a group of Year 7 students.