Science

The science department is rightly proud of its successful record of accomplishment. Staffed by graduates from all scientific disciplines, the science department aspires to enthuse students by using practical experience, investigation and communication. We aim to help learners to appreciate and understand the physical, chemical, biological and geological processes and principles that embody the universe and recognise the impact we all have on the small blue planet we inhabit. 

The science department is the biggest department in the school with 17 specialist teachers and 2 laboratory technicians based in 11 science laboratories, 2 of which have IT facilities.

A new £2.3m dedicated science block of 6 large fully equipped and serviced laboratories is due to be completed in February 2022 and will enhance our existing facilities as well as replacing a smaller number of our older existing laboratories.

At KS3 & KS4 students work in class sets that reflect ability and learning needs.

A wide range of teaching and learning styles are used to ensure that students of all abilities enjoy and achieve in science.

At KS5 we offer the opportunity to study four sciences at A level and high numbers of John Kyrle science students go on to study sciences at university level.

Teaching Staff

Mr Frazer Smith  - Head of Department, email: science@jkhs.org.uk
Mr James Bolt - Assistant Head of Department

Mrs Rosamund Ruhback - Head of Biology

Mr Scott Pinner - Head of Chemistry

Mr David Bosticco - Head of Physics

Mr Mark Burton  - Biology, (Deputy Headteacher)

Mrs Ruth Hall  - Biology

Ms Bryony Jones - Biology
Dr Alison Seymour  - Biology
Mrs Joanna Walker  - Biology/Chemistry
Mrs Corrina Cameron-Trevail  - Biology/Chemistry

Mr J Dennis - Chemistry
Dr David Kelly  - Chemistry
Mr Chris Toomer  - Physics
Mrs Catherine Wacey  - Physics
Mr Joe Deuchar  - KS3 Science
Mr David Green -  A Level Geology

Support Staff


Mrs Susan Oliver  - Senior Laboratory Technician

Mrs Nicola Hughes - Laboratory Technician

Mr Frazer Smith

Head of Science

Key Stage 3

Throughout Years 7-9 all students are introduced to a stimulating variety of biology, chemistry and physics topics in line with the requirements of the National Curriculum. Our aim is to encourage students to understand the world around them, enjoy practical science and develop investigative skills. This programme of study provides excellent preparation for GCSE.

 

Every student receives seven lessons per timetable cycle in years 7 & 8. This rises to 9 lessons in year 9 and the introduction of the specialist disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

 

The curriculum is cyclic and develops over the course of KS3. Topics are revisited over the three years gradually increasing the depth of understanding of the concepts taught.

All students are assessed using written tests at regular intervals during the course. Topics will be taught to individual groups in rotations due to availability of resources.

Year 7 topics

Biology:

Cells, Body Systems, Reproduction, Investigative Skills

Chemistry:

Acids and Alkalis, Particles, Reactions, Elements

Physics:

Forces, Light, Sound, Space

Year 8 topics

Biology:

Health and Lifestyles, Adaptation and Inheritance, Ecosystem Processes

Chemistry:

Separation Techniques, Introduction to the Periodic Table, The Earth

Physics:

Electricity 1, Magnetism 1, Motion and Pressure

Year 9 topics

Biology:

Cells and Biological Organisation, Photosynthesis, Respiration, Biological Interdependence

Chemistry:

The Periodic Table and Electronic Structure, The Atom, Reactivity of Metals, Reactions of Acids, the Atmosphere and Analysis of Gases

Physics:

Forces and Motion, Energy, Electricity and Magnetism 2, Waves, Matter

Key Stage 4

During Years 10 and 11 all students study AQA Combined Science Trilogy (8464).  The course provides a broad, interesting  and relevant grounding in all three science disciplines and is a good preparation for students who wish to study sciences at higher levels in the future.

Internal assessments take place at regular intervals during Years 10 and 11 with the final external examinations taking place in the summer of Year 11.The final examinations consist of six papers (two for each subject – Biology, Chemistry and Physics) lasting 1 hour and 15 minutes per paper.

The final award given is a double award (worth 2 GCSEs) graded using the new 1-9 grading system.

Biology Paper 1:

Topics 1-4: Cell Biology, organisation, infection and response, bioenergetics.

Chemistry Paper 1:

Topics 8-12: Atomic structure and the periodic table, bonding, structure and properties of matter, quantitative chemistry, chemical change, and energy changes.

Physics Paper 1:

Topics 18-21: Energy, electricity, particle model of matter, atomic structure.

Biology Paper 2:

Topics 5-7: Homeostasis and response, Inheritance, variation and evolution, ecology.

Chemistry Paper 2:

Topics 13-17: Rates of change, organic chemistry, chemical analysis, chemistry of the atmosphere, using resources.

Physics Paper 2:

Topics 22-24: Forces, waves, magnetism, electromagnetism.

The full specification can be found here. 

Key Stage 5

Biology (Pearson: 8BIO AS and 9BIO A2)

Biology is the study of all living things; how they work and how they interact with each other and their environment.  It is taught through a mixture of note taking, discussion, research, presentations and practical work.  The residential field course takes place in the summer term and focuses on marine (seashore) ecology.  The course is based at the Field Studies Council centre at Orielton in Pembrokeshire and is a critical part of the study of A level biology. Key activities for the practical endorsement take place during this field course.

The full specification can be found on the  Pearson website 

Chemistry (AQA: 7404 AS and 7405 A2)

 

Chemistry is the study of matter, its properties, how and why substances combine or separate to form other substances, and how substances interact with energy. People often think of chemists as being mad white-coated scientists, mixing strange liquids in a laboratory and causing explosions, but in everyday life we are all chemists. Understanding basic chemistry concepts is important for almost every industry and profession. Chemistry is a fundamental part of every part of our lives. 

 

Year 12

Two written examinations both 1 hour 30 mins long:

  • Paper 1: Inorganic Chemistry and relevant Physical Chemistry and Practical Skills.

  • Paper 2: Organic Chemistry and relevant Physical Chemistry and Practical Skills.

 

Year 13

Three exams all 2 hours long, covering Y12 and Y13 chemistry:

  • Paper 1: Inorganic Chemistry and relevant Physical Chemistry and Practical Skills

  • Paper 2: Organic Chemistry and relevant Physical Chemistry and Practical Skills.

  • Paper 3: All Practical Skills

 

All students automatically enter AS exams at end of year 12.

The full specification can be found on the  AQA website 

Physics (OCR: A H156 AS & H556 A2)

 

The dictionary definition of physics is “the study of matter, energy, and the interaction between them”, but what that really means is that physics is about asking fundamental questions and trying to answer them by observing and experimenting.

 

Physicists ask really big questions like:

  • How did the universe begin?

  • How will the universe change in the future?

  • How does the sun keep on shining?

  • What are the basic building blocks of matter?

If you think these questions are fascinating, then you’ll like physics.

Physics is the study of everything – from sub atomic particles to the entire universe! It asks questions about how and why things behave as they do.

 

 

 

Physics is examined at AS level by two written papers:

  • Breadth in physics (1 hour 30 minutes, assesses modules 1-4)
  • Depth in physics (1 hour 30 minutes, assesses modules 1-4)

 

Physics is examined at A level by two written papers:

  • Modelling physics (2 hours 15 minutes, assesses modules 1,2,3,5)

  • Exploring physics (2 hours 15 minutes, assesses modules 1,2,4,6)

  • Unified physics (1 hour 30 minutes, assesses modules 1-6)

 

To pass physics at A level students must also pass the practical endorsement. This is a minimum of 12 practicals carried out and assessed by teachers during the two year A level course. It is reported separately on the A-level certificate as a pass/fail result.

The full specification can be found on the OCR website

Geology

Geology is the study of the earth, the materials of which it is comprised, the structure of those materials, and the processes acting upon them. It includes the study of organisms that have inhabited our planet in the past and the present. An important part of geology is the study of how Earth's materials, structures, processes and organisms have changed over time.

What does a geologist do?

Geologists work to understand the history of our planet. The better we can understand Earth’s history, the better we can foresee how events and processes of the past might influence the future.

Geology cannot be taught without real field experience. During Year 12 students  experience a five-day residential field course based in Pembrokeshire to gain experience of igneous and sedimentary rocks and structures in the field and as key preparation for component 2. The field course also provides opportunities to gain aspects of the practical endorsement.

 

Year 12 – WJEC Eduqas GCE AS Level Geology

Component 1: Geological Enquires

  • Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes (40% of qualification)

  • An investigation of the geology of an area shown on an accompanying simplified geological map.

 

The component involves:

  • The interpretation of hand specimens and photographs of minerals, rocks and fossils

  • The interpretation of a geological map

  • The construction of a geological cross section

  • The completion of data and stimulus response questions using, short, structured and extended answers

A mineral data sheet accompanies this assessment.

 

Component 2: Foundation Geology

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  • Written Examination: 1 hour 30 minutes

  • An assessment which covers all the AS Geology content.

 

This component involves:

  • Questions which require learners to respond to all aspects of geology shown in photographs, maps diagrams and graphs

  • The completion of data and stimulus response questions using, short, structured and extended answers

 

A mineral data sheet may accompany this assessment on occasions.

Year 13 – WJEC Eduqas GCE A Level Geology

During Year 13 students  experience a four-day residential field course based in Dorset to gain further experience of isedimentary rocks and structures in the field and as key investigations and activities towards  gaining  the practical endorsement .

Component 1: Geological Investigations

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Written examination: 2 hours 15 minutes - 35% of qualification

Section A: Two stimulus response questions requiring short and structured answers.

Section B: An investigation of the geology of an area shown on an accompanying simplified geological map, involving  the interpretation of hand specimens and photographs of minerals, rocks and Fossils,  map interpretation and cross-section construction,  the completion of questions using short, structured and extended answers.

Component 2: Geological Principles and Processes

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Written examination: 1 hour 45 minutes - 30% of qualification

Six stimulus response questions requiring short, structured and extended answers.

Component 3: Geological Applications

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Written examination: 2 hours - 35% of qualification

Section A: Geohazards. Two stimulus response questions requiring short and structured answers.

Section B: Geological map applications. An investigation of the geology of an area shown on a Geological Survey map extract using stimulus response questions requiring short, structured and extended answers.

Section C: Learners answer questions on one option from a choice of three. Each comprises three questions requiring short, structured and extended answers:

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  • Quaternary Geology

  • Geological Evolution of Britain

  • Geology of the Lithosphere

Practical Endorsement — Non-exam assessment

Assessment of practical competency. Reported separately and not contributing to final grade.

The full specification can be found on the eduqas website