Science

Staffing of the department

Ms K Cruickshanks – Head of Department
Miss A O’Brien – Second in charge
Mr A Moore – Science Teacher
Mr B Fisher – Science Teacher
Miss U Murphy – Science Teacher and Head of Year 8
Mrs L McHale – Senior Technician


Educational philosophy/Aims of the curriculum

Teaching the sciences at key stage 4 continues with the process of building upon and deepening scientific knowledge and the understanding of ideas developed at key stage 3 within the disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
Science at St Ursula’s is taught to ensure students have the knowledge to enable them to develop curiosity about the natural world, insight into working scientifically, and appreciation of the relevance of science to their everyday lives. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.


KS4 curriculum

Science is a core subject that is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all students will be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. They will be helped to appreciate the achievements of science in showing how the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a number of key ideas relating to the sciences which are inter-linked, and which are of universal application.


KS4 Programme of study

 Exams from 2018:
All girls will be encouraged to study Biology, Chemistry and Physics to gain 3x GCSEs.

  • Examination Board: AQA
  • Grades 1-9
  • There are six 105 minutes exams in in their yr 11:
  1. Two biology, two chemistry and two physics.
  2. Each of the papers will assess knowledge and understanding from distinct topic areas.
  • Higher and Foundation tiers of entry
  • No course work

Some girls may study for COMBINED SCIENCE

  • Combined science is called Trilogy
  • Examination Board: AQA
  • Two grades 1-9 duplicated to reflect 2 GCSEs.
  • There are six 75 minutes exams in their year 11:
  1. Two biology, two chemistry and two physics.    
  2. Each of the papers will assess knowledge and understanding from distinct topic areas.
  • Higher and Foundation tiers of entry
  • No course work

Current year 11’s

Pupils at St Ursula’s study for two science GCSE certificates in AQA Core and AQA Additional Science. Many girls choose to take an extra science option allowing them to study AQA GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics gaining them three GCSE certificates. All GCSE exams in science are terminal and taken at the end of the course


Exam overview

DOUBLE SCIENCE Paper 1 – 90 minutes Paper 2 – 90 minutes Controlled Assessment:
AQA (Science A) Core Science GCSE
Specification Code: 4406
Biology 1a
Chemistry 1a
Physics 1a
How Science Works
35% of GCSE grade
Biology 1b
Chemistry 1b
Physics 1b
How Science Works
40% of GCSE grade
25% of GCSE grade
AQA Additional Science GCSE
Specification Code: 4408
Biology 2a
Chemistry 2a
Physics 2a
How Science Works
35% of GCSE grade
Biology 2b
Chemistry 2b
Physics 2b
How Science Works
40% of GCSE grade
25% of GCSE grade
TRIPLE SCIENCE Paper 1 – 60 minutes Paper 2 – 60 minutes Paper 3 – 60 minutes Controlled Assessment:
AQA Biology
Specification code: 4401
Biology 1
25% of GCSE grade
Biology 2
25% of GCSE grade
Biology 3
25% of GCSE grade
25% of GCSE grade
AQA Chemistry
Specification code: 4402
Chemistry 1
25% of GCSE grade
Chemistry 2
25% of GCSE grade
Chemistry 3
25% of GCSE grade
25% of GCSE grade
AQA Physics
Specification code: 4403
Physics 1
25% of GCSE grade
Physics 2
25% of GCSE grade
Physics 3
25% of GCSE grade
25% of GCSE grade

Special requirements

Lab coats
Safety goggles
Scientific calculators


Links to useful sites for KS4 students, parents and members of the public

https://connect.collins.co.uk/school/portal.aspx
http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science
http://www.my-gcsescience.com/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zrkw2hv
http://www.docbrown.info/
http://www.scool.co.uk/