Science


Welcome to the Science Department at OIEA.

Our department strives to allow students to be:

  • Inquisitive, thinking about the real world and how it works.
  • Able to learn collaboratively and independently about science concepts and phenomena.
  • Able to develop their own observational and practical skills.

Head of Science – Mrs V Herrod
Second in Science – Mrs J Taylor
Teacher of Science – Mrs L Amott
Teacher of Science – Mr R Deavin
Teacher of Science – Mr N Jardine
Teacher of Science – Mr P Romanos

Science Technician – Mrs L Lee
Science Technician – Mrs J Derbyshire

Head of science: Mrs V Herrod

Mrs Herrod is a physics specialist. She went to Birmingham University where she studied Sport and Exercise Science and she completed a number of modules on Physiology and Biomechanics. This inspired her into science teaching as every part of her degree studied science in an everyday context, so she knows first-hand just how crucial science is to all that happens around us.

Second in Science – Mrs J Taylor

I’ve always loved Science, asking questions and learning about the physical world around us.

‘Experiment. Fail. Learn. Repeat.’

Teacher of Science – Mr N Jardine

‘How can something so small (neutrino) have such a big impact on life!’

I am passionate about helping you to explain how and why.

Teacher of Science – Mrs L Amott

Captain Kirk and the crew of the ‘Starship Enterpise’, Johnnie Ball’s ‘Think of a Number’ and Magnus Pikes’s ‘Don’t Ask Me’, all helped to fuel my interest in the world of science. As a child I was never happy to just be told that things are the way they are, as I always needed to understand how and why. Becoming a science teacher was a ‘logical’ career choice.

‘Never trust an atom. They make up everything’

Teacher of Science – Mr R Deavin

Science touches every aspect of our lives, choose any career and there will always be a technical aspect to it. Having travelled to many parts of the world I still marvel at the complexity of the planet we share.

‘Remember however, don’t trust atoms they make up everything!’

Key Stage 3 Curriculum – Years 7 and 8

Subject time = 4 lessons per week, each lesson 1 hour long

Year 7 topics

Cells – All living things are made up of cells, tiny building blocks that come together to make complex organisms. Without cells there would be no life. Students should gain an understanding of the structure of plant and animal cells, the role and structure of specialised cells and their relationship with organisms and their organ systems.

Particles – All matter can be thought of as being comprised of particles, the arrangement of which determines a material’s properties. Students should be able to describe the structure of solids, liquids and gases using this model and use it to explain changes of state and the behaviour of each.

Forces, motion, pressure and moments – Any change we observe can be explained through the action of a force. Forces can change an object’s shape, direction or rate of motion and can be contact or non-contact. Students should identify the effect of common named forces and should appreciate the concept of an equilibrium between two balanced forces. Students will learn to calculate the speed of a moving object, by measuring the distance moved and time taken. They will learn how to describe how ideas about relative motion explain observations and will learn to interpret and plot distance-time graphs to represent different journeys. Students will look at the force that particles exert over an area in gases and liquid, they will calculate pressure and examine the turning effects of forces, calculating moments about a pivot

Biological processes – Pupils will learn about reproduction in mammals and plants, building on their knowledge from primary school. They will also learn about the process of photosynthesis and how almost all life on Earth depends on this process. Pupils will look at adaptations of plants and their leaves and cells.

Acids and alkalis – Students should be able to describe the uses of acids and alkalis and have an understanding of the pH scale and common tests for acidity. This will be used as an introduction to chemical reactions through neutralisation reactions and reactions with metals.

Electricity and electromagnetism – Students will look at electric and magnetic fields and learn how to describe and represent them. They will look at key areas of electricity including current, potential difference and resistance. They will investigate how these properties change in series and parallel circuits. They will be able to explain how electromagnets work and examples of where they are used.

Year 8 topics

Ecology and environment – Students will discuss how various organisms’ impact on one another and their environments. Students will also feel confident carrying out appropriate sampling techniques, as part of wider ecological investigations.

Atomic structure – Through this module, students will progress from thinking of materials as being comprised of simple ball like particles to understanding the nature of atoms and their role in the creation of elements and simple compounds. This is a vital concept that underpins many concepts throughout science.

Heat and energy – Students should be able to use their knowledge of the particle model and understanding of states of matter and energy transfers to explain common physical phenomena in terms of particle arrangement and motion. Students should describe and examine machines and common energy transfers.

The human body – Students should gain an understanding of the workings of the human body, how organs and organ systems interact with one another. They should gain and appreciate of the conditions necessary for the human body to function correctly, including diet and exercise and the effects of drugs.

Reactions and equations – This unit gives pupils the opportunity to investigate and predict what will happen in a series of chemical reactions. This should build on their knowledge of atoms, elements and compounds and give them the opportunity to practice writing formulae and applying chemical equations.

Light and sound – Students will build on their knowledge of light and sound to gain an understanding of their wave properties and phenomena.

The following is a link to BBC Bitesize which is an excellent website full of interesting Science facts:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zng4d2p

 

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

AQA Combined Science: Trilogy Specification: 2 Science GCSEs

Subject time = 5 lessons per week each lesson 1 hour long

On this pathway pupils follow the AQA Combined Science: Trilogy Specification in years 9-11. The qualification is linear and pupils will sit all their exams at the end of year 11.

Pupils will sit 6 exams (2 Biology, 2 Chemistry and 2 Physics papers)

Each paper is:

  • 1 hour 15 mins
  • 70 marks
  • 16.7% of GCSE

Questions on exam papers: multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response.

Practical Assessment: Practical work is at the heart of Science. Pupils will complete 21 required practical activities throughout the course. Pupils will be asked questions about the practical activities in their written exams. These questions will count for at least 15% of the overall marks for the qualification.

AQA Biology, Chemistry and Physics: 3 Science GCSEs

Subject time = 5 lessons per week each lesson 1 hour long

On this pathway pupils will follow the AQA Biology, Chemistry and Physics specifications in Years 9-11, leading to 3 separate GCSEs.  The qualification is linear and pupils will sit all their exams at the end of Year 11.

Pupils will sit 6 exams (2 Biology, 2 Chemistry and 2 Physics papers)

Each paper is:

  • 1 hour 45 mins
  • 100 marks
  • 50% of GCSE

Questions on exam papers: multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response.

Practical Assessment: Practical work is at the heart of Science. Pupils will complete 10 required practical activities throughout each specialism course. Pupils will be asked questions about the practical activities in their written exams.

Further information about the GCSEs can be found by clicking on the link below:

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse

Enrichment opportunities

Ask any chemist what set them on their chosen career path and they are likely to recall an event, or a personality, in a school chemistry lab.

Our after school chemistry club gives our students the chance to experiment with hands-on chemistry in a safe environment and bring about further questioning within lesson time to enhance the enjoyment and progress within science.

The club will run every Thursday after school 3pm until 4pm in B19.