Balcarras

Science

The Science department is committed to an active learning approach and lessons have a strong practical investigative basis.

Throughout their time at school students are encourage to be curious and develop their own ideas so that Science is seen as an interesting, exciting and rewarding experience.

The Science department has an enthusiastic team of 13 specialist teachers supported by four highly qualified science technicians. We are housed in ten labs (including two sixth form labs) and have recently completed a refurbishment program so our teaching and preparation facilities are modern and pleasant to work in. We have excellent ICT resources in our labs and a first class VLE.

Curriculum map Science Key Stage 3 and GCSE

Year group

Subject

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

March

April

May

June

July

Y7

Biology

7B1 The basics of life

7B2 Ecosystems and life processes

EXAM w/c 25th

 

Chemistry

7C1Physical changes and the particle model

7C2 Atoms, elements and mixtures

 

Physics

7P1 Waves and space

 

7P2 Forces

Y8

Biology

8B1The body

8B2 DNA and inheritance

Revision

EXAM w/c 13th

Working scientifically

Chemistry

8C1Properties of elements

8C2 Chemical reactions and the Earth

Physics

8P1 Electricity and magnetism

8P2 Energy

Y9

Biology

B1 Cell Biology

B3 Infection and response

EXAM 5th

B2a Organisation

Chemistry

C7 Organic Chemistry + C8 Chemical analysis

C9 Chemistry of the atmosphere + C10 Using resources

C5 Energy changes

Physics

P5a Forces and motion

P2a Electricity

P1a Energy resources

Y10

Biology

10B1 Diseases 7 treatments

10B2 Plants and photosynthesis

10B4 Conservation

 

EXAM 25th – 29th

10B3 Environment & Ecology

Chemistry

10C1 Rates of reaction

10C4 Metals

10C2 Oils & polymers

10C3 Earth’s atmosphere & resources

 

Physics

10P1 Energy

 

10P2 Waves

10P3 Matter

10P4 Energy resources

Y11

Biology

11B1 Cells & cell division

MOCKS

1st – 12th

11B2 Homeostasis

11B3 Inheritance & evolution

Y9+Y10 B Revision

Practice Papers

 

Chemistry

11C1 Structure & bonding

11C2 Electrolysis, energy changes & equilibria

11C3 Acids, neutralisation & calculations

Y9+Y10 C Revision

Practice Papers

 

Physics

11P1 Forces

11P2 Electricity

11P3 Magnetism

Y9+Y10 P Revision

Practice Papers

 

Curriculum map A level Biology

Curriculum map A level Chemistry

Year group

Subject

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

March

April

May

June

July

Y12

Teacher 1

2.2.1

Electron structure.

 

2.1.1, 2.1.3, 2.1.4

Atoms and reactions.

 

2.1.2

Compounds, formulae and equations.

 

3.1.4

Qualitative Analysis

Moles test

3.2.2

Rates

3.2.3

 Equilibrium

    3.2.1

Enthalpy changes.

Unit 5 test

4.2.1

Alcohols

 

4.2.3

Practical skills and synthesis

   4.2.3

Practical skills and synthesis

Revision and

Exam

6.1.1

Aromatics

Teacher 2

2.2.2

Bonding & structure.

 

3.1.1

Periodicity.

2.1.5

Redox

3.1.2

Group 2

3.1.3

Group 7

 

Unit 2 and 3 test

4.1.1

Basic concepts.

4.1.2

Alkanes

 

4.1.3

Alkenes

 

Unit 4 test

4.2.2

Haloalkanes

 

 4.2.4

Analytical technique

Practice paper

 

Revision and

Exam

6.1.2

Carbonyls

 

Y13

Teacher 1

6.2.1 Amines 6.2.3 Polyesters and Polyamides

6.2.4 Carbon–carbon bond formation

 

6.3.1 Chromatography and qualitative analysis

6.2.5 Organic synthesis

 

 

Practice Paper 2

5.1.2 How Far?

 

Exam w/c 3rd (paper 2 plus some paper 1)

 

5.1.3 Acids,Bases and Buffers

    5.3.1 Transition elements

 

 

Test  (Unit 5)

5.3.2 Qualitative analysis 

 

5.2.3 Redox titrations        

 

Revision

Revision

 

Practice Papers

(1,2 and 3)

 

 

Teacher 2

6.1.3 Carboxylic acids and esters

6.2.2 Amino acids, amides and chirality

 

Test (Unit 6)

6.3.2 Spectroscopy

 

5.1.1 How Fast?

 

 

Exam w/c 3rd

 

 5.1.1 How Fast?

5.2.3 Redox

 

5.2.3 Electrode potentials

5.2.1 Lattice Enthalpy

 

 

5.2.2 Enthalpy and Entropy

    PAG Extension and Analysis questions (catch up missed PAGs)

Revision

 

Practice Papers

(1, 2 and 3)

 

 

Curriculum map A level Environmental Science

Year group

Subject

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

March

April

May

June

July

Y12

Teacher 1

The Atmosphere

The Atmosphere

 

Global Climate Change

 

 

Ozone Depletion

 

Test

 

Hydrosphere

Mineral resources

 

 

Exam fortnight

 

Mineral Resources

Soils

Soils

Soils

 

Test

River Survey

Revision and Test

Teacher 2

Conservation Biology

Conservation Biology

Conservation Biology

Selected habitat case studies

Selected habitat case studies

Exam fortnight

 

Conservation biology and Selected habitat case studies

Life processes + conservation management

Life processes + conservation management

Conditions for life

Revision

Y13

Teacher 1

Agriculture

Agriculture

Test

 

Aquatic food production systems

Forest resources

 

 

Exam fortnight

 

Sustainability

 

 

Dynamic equilibra

 

 

Energy

Material cycles

The circular economy

Revision

 

Practice papers

 

 

Teacher 2

Energy resources

Energy resources

Pollution

Pollution

Exam Fortnight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curriculum map A level Physics

Year group

Subject

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

March

April

May

June

July

Y12

Teacher 1

Topic 2 Mechanics

Topic 4 Materials

Topic 1 WAP

Revision

Modelling

Teacher 2

Topic 5 Waves

Topic 3 Electricity

Topic 1 WAP

Revision

Modelling

Y13

Teacher 1

Topic 7a Electric Fields and Capacitors

Topic 7b Magnetic Fields

 

Topic 8 Particle Physics

Topic 9 Thermal Physics

Revision

 

 

Teacher 2

Topic 6 & 12 Mechanics and Gravity

Topic 10 Space

 

Topic 13 Oscillations

Topic 11 Nuclear Physics

Revision

 

 

Science Staff

Mr A Spring Wallis Head of Science, Physics
Mr G Towers  Assistant Head, Biology
Mr J Niblett Head of Physics
Mrs J Taylor Acting Second in Science, Chemistry & Biology
Mr S Brotherton Head of A level Chemistry
Mrs Atkin Assistant Head, Chemistry
Mrs K Taylor-Wood Head of Biology
Mr P Godfrey Physics
Mrs C Hearing Chemistry
Mrs S Renton Second in Science
Dr K Praki Physics
Mr W Rothwell Acting Head of Graveny, Biology
Mr J Butler Biology and Environmental Science
Mrs L Thomson Head of A Level Environmental Science
Mrs G Cannon Head Technician
Mr M Howarth Technician
Mrs H Bocchi Technician

Key Stage 3

Pupils study the key stage 3 program of study in Years 7 and 8, supported by the Scientifica textbooks. Pupils receive front sheets for each topic so they know what will be covered and to help them plan revision. There are also extensive resources on our VLE and on the R drive. Pupils complete two levelled homeworks within each topic and a written test at the end of each topic. They also sit an exam at the end of each year. 

All these results are used to track pupil progress and form the basis of setting Years 8 and 9.

Year 7 Units

7B1 Cells, photosynthesis, reproduction
7B2 Ecosystems, digestion, health
7C1 Solids, liquids, gases, changes of state
7C2 Atoms, elements, compounds, separation
7P1 Light, sound, space
7P2 Fuel use and cost, energy resources

Year 8 Units

8B1 The Body
8B2 DNA & Inheritance
8C1 Properties of Elements
8C2 Chemical Reactions & the Earth
8P1 Electricity & Magnetism
8P2 Forces & Motion

GCSE

Pupils start their GCSE science courses at the beginning of Year 9 with a view that the majority of students will gain two science GCSEs. They complete six GCSE topics; two each in biology, chemistry and physics. Each topic is assessed by two graded standard homeworks and a test.

Year 9 Units

9B1 Cells
9B2 Transport in Organisms
9C1 Atomic Structure & the Periodic Table
9C2 Chemical Analysis & Water
9P1 Forces
9P2 Particles & EM Spectrum

Students in Year 10 continue studying GCSE science, they complete twelve topics: four each in biology, chemistry and physics. Each topic is assessed by two graded standard homeworks and a test.

Year 10 Units

10B1 Disease & Treatments
10B2 Plants & Photosynthesis
10B3 Environment & Ecology
10B4 Conservation
10C1 Rates of Reaction
10C2 Oils & Polymers
10C3 Earth’s Atmosphere and Resources
10C4 Metals
10P1 Energy
10P2 Waves
10P3 Matter
10P4 Energy Resources

Students in Year 11 continue studying GCSE science, they complete nine topics: three each in biology, chemistry and physics. Each topic is assessed by two graded standard homeworks. Pupils also do a number of examination papers as mocks and for practice.

Year 11 Units

11B1 Cells & Cell Division
11B2 Homeostasis
11B3 Inheritance & Evolution
11C1 Structure & Bonding
11C2 Electrolysis, Energy Changes & Equilibria
11C3 Acids, Neutralisation & Calculations
11P1 Forces
11P2 Electricity
11P3 Magnetism
   

A Level

Sciences are extremely popular at Balcarras with take-up far above the national average. Grades are very high and value added scores amongst the highest in the sixth form. We benefit from highly qualified specialist staff teaching each of the disciplines. At present, four options are offered at A level – Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Applied Science.

Biology A level follows the AQA curriculum is run by Miss Taylor. Also teaching biology are Mr Towers, Mr Rothwell, Mr Butler and Dr Jones.
Chemistry A level follows the OCR curriculum and is run by Mr Brotherton.  Also teaching chemistry are Mrs Atkin, Mrs Hearing and Miss Evans.
Physics A level follows the Edexcel curriculum and is run by Mr Niblett. Also teaching physics are Mr Spring Wallis and Mr Godfrey.

Environmental Science A level follows the AQA curriculum and is run by Mrs Hearing . Subject specialists take different units and this year Dr Jones, Mr Butler and Mrs Hearing are all taking units.

Our sixth form resources on the VLE are particularly well used by staff and students and we would always recommend this as a first port of call for information.  We are also keen to encourage sixth form students to use resources beyond the classroom and you will find links to science websites, online tutorials and suggested viewing for TV documentaries on the VLE.

Trips

We have a thriving Science Club for Year 7 and Year 8 pupils run by Mr Rothwell and Mrs Flavell. In September 2014 we started a Lego Mindstorm club for Years 9 and 10 run by Dr Sharp. We have a number of links with local industries and institutions and often enter pupils into competitions and workshops with them.

Our biggest event of the year is the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) festival held in Science & Engineering Week. We have outside providers in to run workshops with pupils, scientists and engineers come in to work with pupils on specific projects.

We also run a series of lunchtime lectures. So far themes have included

  • Working in Space
  • The Science of Music
  • Using Resources in the 21st Century
  • Biotechnology

Over the years our guests have come from Magnox, GCHQ, Severn Trent, GE Aviation, Space Odyssey, AIS, Gamelan, West Midland Safari Park and others. 

Future Possibilities

Many students from Balcarras take their study of science on to university. From Medicine to Aeronautical Engineering the possibilities available to those with qualifications in science are vast. Below is just a small selection of Balcarras students currently studying sciences at university.

  • Sophie Ingledew is studying Veterinary Science at Cambridge University
  • Mike Woodford is in his third year reading Engineering at Cambridge University
  • Nicola Pearson is studying Medicine at Newcastle University
  • James Courtney is reading Chemistry at Bath University