Key Stage 4 Science is delivered to Years 9 – 11, and students all follow the OCR Gateway courses. Each student either follows the Double Science pathway (made up of Core and Additional Science which both contain elements of Biology, Chemistry and Physics) or Triple Science (made up of separate courses of Biology, Chemistry and Physics).
Syllabuses (Course Outline and Structure)
All students in Year 9 begin the learning for their GCSEs in Science. The decision as to whether the students will follow the Double or Triple Science course is not made until the end of the year when they have experienced the course and attempted some course assessments. The first units are identical to both the double and triple pathways and therefore all students begin the first units of the OCR Gateway course – B1, C1 and P1. Each unit is taught by a subject specialist. At the end of the teaching for these units, around the end of the spring term, each student sits a previous GCSE paper for these units. The decision regarding whether or not a student follows the Double or Triple Science course is made using the result of this test paper, other smaller assessments during the year, and the student’s preference as to whether they want to follow the Double or Triple Award pathway. As a general rule we require students to attain a B grade in this test paper in order to be considered for the Triple Science course.
Double Science – Students will complete the teaching of the B2, C2 and P2 units and will complete a Controlled Assessment Task which assesses their researching, practical and analytical skills. These units, combined with the B1, C1 and P1 units from the previous year constitute the Core Science GCSE. Students will then complete their Controlled Assessment for GCSE Additional Science in the second half of the summer term of Year 10. All exam dates will be communicated through students and Insight.
Triple Science – Students complete the teaching of the B2, B3, C2, C3, P2 and P3 units. They may also aim to complete the B4, C4 and P4 units and a Controlled Assessment Task per subject (three in total). There are no exams for Triple Science students in Year 10.
Students complete the teaching for GCSE Additional Science which constitute units B3,
Students complete the teaching for their three GCSEs by completing units B5, B6, C5, C6, P5 and P6. They also complete their Controlled Assessments if they were not completed in Year 10. In the June of Year 11 the pupils sit all of their Triple Science exams, currently 2 papers per subject: Paper 1: B1, 2, 3 and Paper 2: B4, 5, 6. This means that pupils will need to revise all of the content covered since the start of Year 9.
All students will complete regular monitoring tests, approximately 2 per unit, to provide an accurate indicator of how students are performing. It also means that student are regularly supplied with feedback regarding progress and will be able to identify any specific areas of strength or weakness, both in terms of subject knowledge in a specific area and in terms of the types of questions which are commonly asked. The monitoring tests are then taken home and should be used for revision purposes.
Entry Requirements and Prohibited Options
Key Stage 4 Science is a compulsory core subject and therefore there are no entry requirements in terms of completing Double Science. We do expect a grade B on the Year 9 exam in order to be considered for Triple Science. This is due to the speed of the course delivery, the volume of content and the length of time before completing terminal only exams.
Activities and Trips
There are no set trips for students, however opportunities may arise periodically.
Complimentary Subject Combinations and Enrichment Activities
As Science is a core subject it is studied by everyone. There are therefore no other subjects to consider when completing Year 9 options forms. It should be recognised however, that pupils will encounter mathematical equations and techniques such as graph drawing and will be expected to be able to communicate theories clearly, as spelling, punctuation and grammar are assessed in both the exams and in the controlled assessments.
Schemes of Work
Example schemes of work can be found at the following web sites, by scrolling to the bottom of the page. For simplicity this has been entered as Biology, Chemistry and Physics, but please note that Double Scientists complete only Unit 1 – 4 of each of the Science, and Triple Scientists complete all Units 1 – 6 of each Science.
These schemes are for information only and outline the topic content with suggested activities. Departments may change the order that the unit is being delivered in from time-to-time and will use different tasks when they feel it necessary.
Past papers are available at the following website, along with mark schemes, by clicking on Gateway Science Suite, and selecting the appropriate course, i.e. Science B (Core Science), Additional Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. When in the correct GCSE you should click “View All Documents” and the papers and mark schemes will appear under “Assessment Materials”.
Past papers are also available pre-printed from any members of the Science Department. These include the past papers for the previous (2006) specification. These papers are still relevant as well, but it would be advisable for students to get these from their subject teachers rather than from the OCR website, as the teachers can inform the students about which questions are no longer relevant to the course.
Students will also have monitoring tests which contain a bank of past paper questions on a smaller section of the course and homeworks will be set which also incorporate past paper questions.
Useful Links (internal and external)
The resource which we would suggest you use would be GCSE BBC Bitesize, available here http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/ and following the OCR Gateway links to either Core Science or Additional Science. Currently they do not cover the extra units for Triple Science.
An alternative free resource is from skoool.co.uk, which has lessons on various different aspects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. http://www.skoool.co.uk/logon.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2findex.aspx
For More information email, Mr G Tilstone - Head of Science.