In years 9 and 10 students receive 9 lessons per fortnight, usually with 2 (in a 4 and 5 split) or 3 (in a 3,3,3 split) teachers. Each topic lasts about 15 to 20 lessons which usually takes 6 to 10 weeks. The topics are studied on a rotation to enable access to specialised equipment. In addition, students carry out set practical tasks which will be assessed in the final exam. Most students take the double science award, but two groups each year take Biology, Chemistry and Physics as separate subjects (triple science).
The topics students learn about in year 9 are:
- B1 Cell-level systems – The structures of cells, DNA and the main cell processes; respiration and photosynthesis.
- B2 Scaling up Plants – Osmosis and diffusion, cell growth, the circulatory system and transpiration.
- B3 Organism-level systems – The nervous and endocrine systems
- C1 Particles – Chemical and Physical changes, atomic structure and its development.
- C2 Elements, compounds and mixtures – Formula mass, separation methods, bonding and ions and the properties of metals and plastics.
- C3 Chemical reactions – Chemical equations, types of reaction, electrolysis
- P1 The particle model – The atomic model, density, heating substances and gas pressure
- P2 Forces – Interpreting motion, forces and momentum, stretching materials
- P3 Electricity and magnetism – Electrostatics, simple circuits and magnetic fields
The topics students learn about in year 10 are:
- B4 Community-level systems – Ecosystems.
- B5 Genes, inheritance and selection – Inheritance, variation and evolution.
- B6 Global challenges – sampling, biodiversity and genetic engineering, health and diseases
- C4 Predicting and identifying reactions and products – group 1 metals, group 7 elements and the reactivity of elements
- C5 Monitoring and controlling chemical reactions – rates of reactions, chemical equilibria
- C6 Global Challenges – extraction of metals, alkanes and alkenes and polymerisation, the atmosphere.
- P4 Waves and Radioactivity – waves and their properties, the EM spectrum and radioactivity.
- P5 Energy – Energy transfers and efficiency
- P6 Global challenges – car safety and mains electricity
Parental advice - Students need to apply the knowledge they learn to new situations. The main reasons for students struggling are related to not remembering key ideas or terms or failing to include enough detail in answers. Ensure your child learns the key facts as they go through topics and get them into the habit of producing revision resources such as mindmaps and flash cards as they go along. Try to test them on these so you can see how much they remember. To help you the school provides subject guides with key facts, common questions and checklists. Get your child to show you and ask them questions from it. More extensive revision guides are available to buy for £9 for combined or £5 each for the triple from the Science Prep Room. The students also have access to kerboodle and GCSE pod.