Science

Key Stage 3 Science

What will I learn in this subject?

Key Stage 3 Science is an integration of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  Students use scientific ideas to explain every day phenomena and events as well as describing familiar applications of Science.  Having studied Science at KS3, students will be able to:

  • discuss scientific and technological developments
  • take account of others’ views
  • carry out their own investigations
  • communicate clearly the significance of their work

Science is one of the key foundation subjects in the National Curriculum.  The curriculum is now based and assessed on the key concepts listed below:

  • Scientific thinking
  • Applications and implications of science
  • Cultural understanding
  • Collaboration

What skills and themes are covered?

The following areas are covered during the Key Stage:

  • Life and Living Processes
  • Energy
  • Particles and materials
  • Interdependence
  • Forces 1
  • Personal and social education
  • Geology

How is it assessed?

Science at KS3 uses assessment to measure attainment, progress and highlight areas where extra support may be needed.  This includes assessment of practical work, homework and tests.  These results are retained over the two years and are used to obtain your son’s Key Stage 3 final assessment in Year 8.

Where does this take me?

Students have many opportunities with a good Science education.  From Year 8, students enter Key Stage 4 where they study GCSE Combined Science which can lead onto Sixth Form BTECs or A Levels in subjects such as Biology and that in turn is a good launch pad into University.

Key Stage 4 – GCSE Combined Science

What will I learn on this course?

GCSE study in the sciences provides the foundation for understanding the material world. Scientific understanding is changing our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity. All students will learn essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. You will gain an appreciation of how the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a small number of key ideas that relate to the sciences and that are both inter-linked and of universal application. These key ideas include:

  • The use of conceptual models and theories to make sense of the observed diversity of natural phenomena
  • The assumption that every effect has one or more cause
  • The understanding that change is driven by differences between different objects and systems when they interact
  • The knowledge that many such interactions occur over a distance and over time without direct contact
  • The theory that science progresses through a cycle of hypothesis, practical experimentation, observation, theory development and review
  • The knowledge that quantitative analysis is a central element both of many theories and of scientific methods of inquiry.

These key ideas are relevant in different ways and with different emphases in the three subjects as part of combined science. The GCSE in Combined Science will enable you to:

  • Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
  • Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science, through different types of scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
  • Develop and learn to apply observational, practical, modelling, enquiry and problem solving skills in the laboratory, in the field and in other learning environments
  • Develop their ability to evaluate claims based on science through critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

You will study the sciences in ways that help you to develop curiosity about the natural world, that give you an insight into how science works and that enable you to appreciate its relevance to their everyday lives. The scope and nature of the study should be broad, coherent, practical and satisfying. It should encourage you to be inspired, motivated and challenged by the subject and its achievements.

How is this qualification taught and assessed?

The full course is taught over three years with the full assessment taking place at the end of year 11.

What qualification will I achieve?

Two GCSE’s in Combined Science from Edexcel

Where will this qualification take me?

GCEs, for example, in Biology, Chemistry and/or Physics ● Level 3 vocational qualifications in science, e.g. BTEC Level 3 in Applied Science ● employment, for example in a science-based industry where an apprenticeship may be available.

How can I find out more?

Speak to Ms Francois or email her at francoise@ntc.kent.sch.uk