Subjects

Science

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In Downshire School all pupils study science to GCSE level. Pupils are well prepared for the demands of GCSE single award and double award science by our key stage three science curriculum.

The aim of the science department is to enthuse pupils and generate interest in the world around them. We do this by delivering relevant and challenging lessons where pupils have opportunities to ask questions and indulge their curiosity. Our staff are dedicated to helping our pupils achieve their best at Key Stage 3 and GCSE.

The science teaching staff regularly look for opportunities to take science outside the classroom through educational visits, STEM workshops and visiting speakers.

The department has six laboratories all with interactive whiteboards, serviced by two prep rooms and a full time lab technician.

Pupils have the opportunity to participate in the Eco-Schools Project through the Eco-Schools committee.

Related Links

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/ks3bitesize/science/
http://www.scibermonkey.org/
http://www.schoolscience.co.uk/
http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/
http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/onlinestuff/games/
http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/

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Key Stage 3 Science Curriculum

At key stage three level pupils cover a range of science topics, with the teaching and learning material tailored to their academic ability. Practical work is carried out on a regular basis by all pupils.

Pupils are set regular homework tasks in a variety of forms. Homework may include written comprehension, research tasks, revision of classwork, drawing diagrams or charts and spellings. Many tasks will contribute to the development of literacy and numeracy skills. Homework is marked by the teacher and feedback given. On some occasions work may be peer assessed.

In Years 8 – 10 a range of topics are studied covering many aspects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Year 8 Topics

Five periods per week (2.5 hours)

  Topic Approximate

Time Scale

Other

Information

1. Introducing Science Sept à Oct Use for Pupil Tracking 1
2. Materials Nov à Dec Use for Pupil Tracking 2
3. Cells                                Any Order Jan à March  
4. Electricity April à May  
5. Forces May à June After Summer Exam

 

The summer examination will test pupils on information covered in Introducing Science, Materials, Cells and Electricity and also assess their investigative skills.

Year 9

Five periods per week (2.5 hours)

  Topic Approximate

Time Scale

Other

Information

1. Body Systems Sept à Oct Use for Pupil Tracking 1
2. Energy                                 Any Order Nov à Dec Use for Pupil Tracking 2
3. Gases in Balance Jan à March  
4. Earth and Space April à May  
5. Lifecycles and Habitat May à June After Summer Exam

 

The summer examination will test pupils on information covered in Body Systems, Energy, Gases in Balance and Earth and Space and also assess their investigative skills.

Year 10

Five periods per week (2.5 hours)

  Topic Approximate

Time Scale

Other

Information

1. Chemical Reactions Sept à Oct Winter Exam (PT1)
2. Sound                                  Any Order Nov à Dec Use for Pupil Tracking 2
3. Genetics and Repro. Feb à March  
4. Speed & Road Safety April à May  
5. Food Chains May à June After Summer Exam

 

  • In January another short booklet (Science and Enterprise) will be completed in preparation for subject choice interviews. This booklet highlights the pupils’ choices for science subjects available at GCSE level.

The year 10 winter examination will test pupils on a range of topics from key stage three (years 8 and 9) including Chemical Reactions and Speed and Road Safety from year 10. The results of this examination will be used during the subject choice interviews held in January to assess suitability for double award science (GCSE).

C. Acheson

Head of Department

(KS3 Science)

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At KS4 pupils study for GCSE qualifications taking either;

  • CCEA Single Award Science
  • CCEA Double Award Science (2 GCSEs)

Both qualifications demand commitment from pupils both in class and through home study. The department prides itself on achieving very pleasing results at GCSE, regularly significantly above the Northern Ireland Average.

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Examining body: CCEA

Grades achievable: A* – G

Assessment Components:

  • Unit 1 (Biology) 25% – taken in Year 12
  • Unit 2 (Chemistry) 25% – taken in Year 11
  • Unit 3 (Physics) 25% – taken in Year 12
  • Unit 4 (Controlled Assessment) 25% – taken in Year 11
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Examining body: CCEA

Grades achievable: A* – G

Assessment Components:

Year 11

  • Three unitised exams = 33%
  • Controlled Assessment = 25%

Year 12

  • Three unitised exams = 42%