Science

      Overview of Science at OLA                                 

      Science offers students the ability to access a wealth of knowledge and information which will contribute to an overall understanding of the world we live in. Science is able to explain the mechanics and reasons behind the daily functioning of complex systems, which range from the human body to the sophisticated modern understanding of our universe. Knowledge and understanding of science enables students to make well informed decisions and pursue new interests. Science also provides tactile and visible proof of many facts we read about in books or see on television. Many find science extremely inspiring and we aim to instil a sense of awe and wonder of the extraordinary world we live in.

      Science is part of the core curriculum followed by all pupils in Years 7 to 11 and Biology, Chemistry and Physics are optional subject in the Sixth Form. At OLA most students choose at least one science subject at this level.

      We have excellent, well equipped laboratories with specialist teachers in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. All students engage in regular practical work and are given an appropriate textbook for classwork and homework.


      Years 7 to 9 Science Curriculum

      In Year 7 pupils are taught in form groups for Sciences. The curriculum takes an investigative approach aimed at developing the critical thinking and practical skills they will need in the following years.  More detailed curriculum content is given under each science subject after this introduction.

      In Year 8 we introduce teaching sets based on the tests, classwork and teacher’s views of the pupils’ work in Year 7. They will now have lessons taught in the separate Science subjects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Each lesson usually involves hands on practical activities.

      In Year 9 we begin to teach the subjects at GCSE Level. All students will continue this in Years 10 and 11.

      Trips and Activities for Science in Years 7 to 9

      Science staff organise a range of trips and activities such as a biannual visit to OLA of Amazing Animals and visits out to the Science museums in London and Oxford. There are also talks on scientific topics held in school and at outside venues throughout the year.

      Co-curricular Activities for Science in Years 7 to 9

      Clubs are run at lunch time. These usually include: a science club, animal club and engineering.


      Years 10 and 11 Science Curriculum 

      AQA GCSE Specification Code 8464

      The majority of students study GCSE Combined Science. They are taught Biology, Chemistry and Physics by specialist teachers throughout. At the end they will gain two GCSEs in Science and if their grades are high enough (6-9) they can opt to go on to study any of the three sciences at A Level. The top set in Years 10 and 11 studies separate sciences in the same time allocation which will mean they will gain 3 Science GCSEs at the end of Year 11. There are compulsory practical activities associated with these courses.

      Trips and Activities for Science in Years 10 and 11

      There will be a number of opportunities to develop scientific interests throughout the courses with in-school talks and arranged visits.


      Sixth Form Science Curriculum

      Biology, Chemistry and Physics are all taught at A Level by specialist teachers. There are two teachers assigned to each group and we follow the OCR syllabuses. More details are given under each of the individual subject entries.

       

      Overview of Physics at OLA                     

      Physics is part of the Science core curriculum followed by all pupils in Years 7 to 11 and is an optional subject in the Sixth Form.
       

      Years 7 to 9 Physics Curriculum  

      Electricity, Magnetism, Energy and Forces are introduced in Year 7. These are followed in Year 8 by Light, Sound, Heating, Cooling and Forces involved in movement.

      In Year 9 we start the Physics GCSE specification which continues the themes of Particles, Waves, Energy and Forces.  Each pupil will have two course booklets per topic. The main booklet has printed notes and space to add their own worked examples or practical results. The second is the homework booklet which matches the lesson work and is handed in each week.

      The work in Years 7 to 9 is assessed in various ways, for example, classwork and homework assignments, end of topic tests and an end of year examination usually held after the May half term break.
       

      Years 10 and 11 Physics Curriculum

      AQA GCSE Specification Code 8463

      The complex and diverse phenomena of the world can be described in terms of a small number of key ideas in Physics. These key ideas are of universal application and we have embedded them throughout the subject content. They underpin many aspects of the science assessment and will therefore be assessed across all papers.

      The key ideas in Physics are:

      1. The use of models, as in the particle model of matter or the wave models of light and of sound

      2. The concept of cause and effect in explaining such links as those between force and acceleration, or between changes in atomic nuclei and radioactive emissions

      3. The phenomena of ‘action at a distance’ and the related concept of the field as the key to analysing electrical, magnetic and gravitational effects

      4. Differences, for example between pressures or temperatures or electrical potentials, as the drivers of change

      5. Proportionality, for example between weight and mass of an object or between force and extension in a spring, is an important aspect of many models in science

      6. Physical laws and models are expressed in mathematical form

      There are two written papers for the Trilogy Physics Examination:

      Paper 1 (Foundation or Higher Tier)

      Energy, Electricity, The Particle model of matter and Atomic structure

      Written examination: 1 hour 15 minutes for 70 marks

      Paper 2 (Foundation or Higher tier)

      Forces, Waves, Magnetism and Electromagnetism

      Written examination: 1 hour 15 minutes for 70 marks          

      For the top set there is a Paper 3 with further taught content and similar style questions to Papers 1 and 2


      Sixth Form Physics Curriculum

      Details of Sixth Form Physics

       

      Overview of Biology at OLA                   

      Biology is part of the core curriculum followed by all pupils in Year 7-11 and is an optional subject Sixth Form.

      We have excellent facilities for pupils to enjoy and be inspired by. All of the Biology laboratories are equipped with the latest flat screen panels which enable ICT to be used widely in lessons and to enjoy wildlife series by Sir David Attenborough on a regular basis.

      Practical work plays a significant role in our teaching of Biology at OLA and we have recently invested in additional high specification microscopes and extra data logging equipment for pupils to use.

      Pupils also enjoy watching and handling our extensive collection of animals which illustrate many important Biological concepts. Our collection currently includes a bearded dragon, an axolotyl, degus, giant African millipedes, giant Madagascan cockroaches, Colombian burrowing cockroaches and tropical fish.
       

      Year 7 to 9 Curriculum  

      In Year 7 pupils study Cells, the Structure and Function of Body Systems and Reproduction.

      In Year 8 pupils study Health and Lifestyle, Ecosystem Processes, Adaptation and Inheritance.

      In Year 9 we start the AQA GCSE Biology specification.  Pupils study the first of five GCSE modules which cover:

      1. Cell Structure and Transport

      2. Cell Division

      3. Organisation and the Digestive System

      4. Organising Animals and Plants

      The work in Year 7-9 is assessed in various ways, for example, classwork and homework assignments, end of topic tests and an end of year examination usually after the May half term break.

      Trips

      The following trips will be part of the course:

      1. Cotswold Wildlife Park for workshops and activities to support our topic on “Adaptation in Animals and Plants”.

      Co-curricular Activities

      1. In Year 9 pupils have the opportunity to take part in the British Biology Challenge, run by the Royal Society of Biology.

      2. The David Attenborough Biology Club during lunch time, run by Ms Edwards.

       

      Year 10 to 11 Curriculum 

      AQA GCSE Biology Specification 8461

      The complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a small number of key ideas in Biology. These key ideas are of universal application, and they are embedded throughout the subject and underpin many aspects of the science assessment.

      These Key Ideas in Biology are:

      1. Life processes depend on molecules whose structure is related to their function

      2. The fundamental units of living organisms are cells, which may be part of highly adapted structures including tissues, organs and organ systems, enabling living processes to be performed effectively

      3. Living organisms may form populations of single species, communities of many species and ecosystems, interacting with each other, with the environment and with humans in many different ways

      4. Living organisms are interdependent and show adaptations to their environment

      5. Life on Earth is dependent on photosynthesis in which green plants and algae trap light from the Sun to fix carbon dioxide and combine it with hydrogen from water to make organic compounds and oxygen

      6. Organic compounds are used as fuels in cellular respiration to allow the other chemical reactions necessary for life

      7. The chemicals in ecosystems are continually cycling through the natural world

      8. The characteristics of a living organism are influenced by its genome and its interaction with the environment

      9. Evolution occurs by a process of natural selection and accounts both for biodiversity and how organisms are all related to varying degrees

      There are two written papers (Foundation and Higher Tiers) for the Trilogy Biology Examination:

      Paper 1, Topics 1-4

      Cell Biology; Organisation; Infection and response; and Bioenergetics, 50%, examined at the end of Year 11 (1 hour 15 minutes)

      Paper 2, Topics 5-7

      Homeostasis and response; Inheritance; Variation and evolution; and Ecology, 50%, examined at the end of Year 11 (1 hour 15 minutes)

      There are no coursework projects but students must undertake required practicals as directed by AQA. A knowledge and understanding of these practicals is tested through written questions in the two papers.

      For the top science set who follow the triple science course there is further taught content and similar style questions to the Trilogy course, however the two written papers are longer, both 1 hour 45 minutes, to enable the extra content to be assessed.

       

      Sixth Form Curriculum: Biology

      Details of Sixth Form Biology

       

      Overview of Chemistry at OLA                               

      Chemistry is part of the Science core curriculum followed by all pupils in Years 7 to 11 and is an optional subject in the Sixth Form.


      Years 7 to 9 Chemistry Curriculum  

      In Year 7 we follow the Activate course and the topics of Particles, Chemical Reactions (Acids, Alkalis and Metals) and the Earth. These are followed in Year 8 by Elements, Metals, Separating Mixtures, Rocks and Practical skills. 

      In Year 9 we start with preparing for the GCSE course with a term developing practical skills. We then cover the structure of the atom, the periodic table and types of bonding. Each pupil will have a textbook to help with background reading and revision. In addition students will engage with a large number of practical activities, some are compulsory and some are designed to help grasp chemical concepts.

      The work in Years 7 to 9 is assessed in various ways, for example, classwork and homework assignments, end of topic tests and an end of year examination usually held after the May half term break.

      In Year 10 we carry on with the GCSE course, covering these topics: quantitative chemistry, chemical changes, energy changes and rates of reaction. 

      In Year 11 we complete the GCSE course, covering these topics: organic chemistry, chemical analysis, chemistry in the atmosphere and using resources.

      There are two written papers (Foundation and Higher Tiers) for the Chemistry Examination:

      Paper 1 - Topics 1–5

      Atomic structure and the periodic table; Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter; Quantitative chemistry, Chemical changes; and Energy changes. 

      Written examination at the end of Y11 (1 hour 45 minutes).  50% of the GCSE.

      Paper 2 - Topics 6-10

      The rate and extent of chemical change; Organic chemistry; Chemical analysis, Chemistry of the atmosphere; and Using resources.

      Written examination at the end of Y11 (1 hour 45 minutes).  50% of the GCSE.          

      There are no coursework projects but students must undertake required practicals as directed by AQA. A knowledge and understanding of these practicals is tested through written questions in the two papers.
       

      Sixth Form Chemistry

      Details of Sixth Form Chemistry