Sir Graham Balfour School

A member of the Sir Graham Balfour Multi-Academy Trust

Science

A-Level

AQA Biology

A level Biology is simply the study of life itself. Throughout the course students will learn about biological molecules and how these enable our survival, the interactions between our cells and different organisms, the principles of genetics, gene expression and how this leads to variation between organisms, plants and the environment, linking to natural selection and evolution. There are a number of opportunities to develop knowledge and understanding of these different areas and link the ideas together in a big picture.

A level Biology does include a lot of new key words and concepts that must be learnt as we progress through the course, it is vital that students have the ability to schedule time effectively to allow for regular review and revision as we move through the course. They will develop a solid grounding in analytical thinking, report writing and clear communication as they carry out the lab work required. Students will be assessed during any practical lessons to ensure they achieve the Practical Endorsement for Biology. This separate endorsement of practical skills will be taken alongside the A-level. This will be assessed by us and will be based on direct observation of competency in a range of skills that are not assessable in written exams.

A level Biology is a highly respected academic A level and it makes an excellent choice, offering access to a wide range of university courses and careers.  Biology is required for most degrees in medicine, biology, biomedical sciences, dentistry, dietetics, physiotherapy, and veterinary medicine.  Biology is usually required or recommended for courses in biochemistry, environmental science, nursing, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, sports science, physiology and speech therapy, but this is down to the requirements of the specific university.

Modules covered;

  1. Biological molecules
  2. Cells
  3. Organisms exchange substances with their environment
  4. Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
  5. Energy transfers in and between organisms
  6. Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
  7. Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems.
  8. The control of gene expression.

AQA Chemistry

Chemistry is the study of atoms and elements and how their combination and reaction leads us to understand the processes in the world around us. Chemistry is everywhere and through studying Chemistry A-Level you will gain an understanding of the vast number of applications Chemistry has. Over the two year course you will learn how Chemistry impacts our lives from the materials used in different situations, the impact that products from crude oil have had (both good and bad) and how common every day medicines have a complex chemical origin. Chemistry lessons are well resourced and delivered through a combination of theoretical and practical sessions by subject experts. Students have the opportunity to read ahead using the bank of resources and lesson materials available to them on Office 365. You will be assessed through three written exam papers and a separate practical endorsement, often a requirement for being accepted onto scientific university courses.

Students may go on to study Chemistry, Chemistry related courses, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science and many other subjects depending on their A-Level combinations, at University. Many of our recent students that have studied A-Level chemistry are now studying for scientific courses at university.

Employers rate Chemistry qualifications very highly due to the broad range of transferrable skills learnt during the course. A Chemistry A-Level can lead to a broad range of careers – not just in science! Have a look on this link to find out more: https://edu.rsc.org/future-in-chemistry

Year 12

Topics Studied

 

Unit 1 – Physical Chemistry

Atomic Structure

Amount of substance

Bonding

Energetics

Kinetics

Equilibria (Kc)

Redox Equations

 

Unit 2 – Inorganic Chemistry

Periodicity

Group 2

Group 7

 

Unit 3 – Organic Chemistry

Introduction to Organic Chemistry

Alkanes

Halogenoalkanes

Alkenes

Alcohols

Organic Analysis

 

Year 13

Topics Studied

 

Unit 1 – Physical Chemistry

Thermodynamics

Rate Equations

Electrode Potentials

Acids and Bases

 

Unit 2 – Inorganic Chemistry

Period Three Elements

Transition Metals

Reactions of ions in aqueous solutions

 

Unit 3 – Organic Chemistry

Optical Isomerism

Aldehydes and Ketones

Carboxylic Acids and Derivatives

Aromatic Chemistry

Amines

Polymers

Amino acids, DNA and Proteins

Organic Synthesis

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR)

Chromatography

 

AQA Physics

Physics is a fascinating subject and gives you a better understanding of the laws which govern our Universe.  It is Science’s last word in the quest to know ‘Why?’, and takes us to the edge of knowledge. Physics is the study of how and why nature seems to work through the properties and interactions of matter and energy. Our understanding of many features of the everyday world relies on knowledge drawn from the ideas and methods of Physics. A lot of the work covered at A level is based on familiar GCSE material, but goes beyond to give you a more complete understanding. New topics are covered such as Quantum Physics, Particle Physics and Astrophysics giving a glimpse of the limits of what is possible to know about the Universe ranging from the unimaginably small world of subatomic particles to the very edges of space and time. It is a truly challenging and academic course which requires high level maths skills, curiosity as well as an open imagination. We aim to inspire students, nurture their passion for the subject and lay the foundations for further study and the workplace. Physics develops a logical and analytical way of thinking which is valued by many professions such as Economics, Law, Medicine, Management and Engineering.  You will develop a clear, precise and considered communication style which will find wide application.

Physics lessons are well resourced and delivered through a combination of theoretical and practical sessions by subject experts. Students have the opportunity to read ahead using the bank of resources and lesson materials available to them on Office 365. You will be assessed through three written exam papers and a separate practical endorsement, often a requirement for being accepted onto scientific university courses.

The modules we cover are

  • Measurements and their errors
  • Particles and radiation
  • Waves
  • Mechanics and materials
  • Electricity
  • Further mechanics and thermal physics
  • Fields and their consequences
  • Nuclear physics
  • Astrophysics

 

GCSE

AQA Trilogy Science

Our aim of a Key Stage 4 course is to produce scientifically knowledgeable and responsible citizens, aware of how technology works and how it can change the world. We want our students to be able to begin to understand the wonder of the world in which we live, and to that end a guiding principle is to apply the world of Science to everyday life. The courses we offer allow students to be fully aware of how science impacts upon their lives, as well as the social and political implications of the material.

GCSE Science is compulsory for all students in Year 10 and 11 who do not opt for the Separate Science courses and leads to the award of two Science GCSEs.  This course is ideal for the student who does not wish to gain 3 GCSEs in the Sciences, usually because they wish to focus on other areas of the curriculum.

The course made up of the three Sciences taught by subject specialists. The course incorporates topics which are relevant to people today in their daily lives and are student centred in approach. There is a high proportion of practical work which we use to embed the ideas. The course is well supported with the materials that are on Office 365.

  • There are 6 exam papers of 1hr and 15min duration at the end of Year 11: 2 Biology, 2 Chemistry, and 2 Physics
  • Each paper has multiple choice questions, short and long answer questions there are 2 levels : Foundation and Higher
  • The grades will run from 1 ( the lowest) to 9 (the highest)
  • More details can be found at www.aqa.org.uk

 

Biology topics

              Chemistry topics

Physics topics

Cell biology

Organisation

Infection and response

Bioenergetics

Homeostasis and response

Inheritance, variation and evolution

Ecology

Atomic structure and the periodic table

Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter

Quantitative chemistry

Chemical changes

Energy changes

The rate and extent of chemical change

Organic chemistry

Chemical analysis

Chemistry of the atmosphere

 

Forces

Energy

Waves

Electricity

Magnetism and electromagnetism

Particle model of matter

Atomic structure

AQA Separate Science

  • We provide students with the opportunity to do the three Sciences as separate GCSEs, the advantage of taking the separate science course is that it will prepare students more fully for further scientific study.
  • Our aim of the course is to produce scientifically knowledgeable and responsible citizens, aware of how technology works and how it can change the world. We want our students to be able to begin to understand the wonder of the world in which we live, and to that end a guiding principle is to apply the world of Science to everyday life. The courses we offer allow students to be fully aware of how science impacts upon their lives, as well as the social and political implications of the material.
     

The course made up of the three Sciences taught by subject specialists. The course incorporates topics which are relevant to people today in their daily lives and are student centred in approach. There is a high proportion of practical work which we use to embed the ideas. The course is well supported with the materials that are on Office 365.

  • There are 6 exam papers of 1hr and 45min duration at the end of Year 11: 2 Biology, 2 Chemistry, and 2 Physics
  • Each paper has multiple choice questions, short and long answer questions there are 2 levels : Foundation and Higher
  • The grades will run from 1 ( the lowest) to 9 (the highest)

More details can be found at www.aqa.org.uk

BIOLOGY

CHEMISTRY

PHYSICS

Cell biology

• Organisation

• Bioenergetics

• Infection and response

• Homeostasis and response

• Inheritance, variation and evolution

• Ecology

Atomic structure and the periodic table

• Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter

• Quantitative chemistry

• Chemical changes

• Energy changes

• The rate and extent of chemical change

• Organic chemistry

• Chemical analysis

• Chemistry of the atmosphere

Forces

• Waves

• Magnetism and electromagnetism

• Energy

• Electricity

• Particle model of matter

• Atomic structure

Space

KS3

Key stage 3 is divided into 3 subject areas:

Biology which covers Organisms, Ecosystems and Genes.
Chemistry which covers Matter, Reactions and the Earth.
Physics modules which covers Forces, Electromagnets, Energy and Waves.

We address the following areas:

  • Key concepts: scientific thinking, the applications and implications of science, cultural understanding, and collaboration between students.
  • Key processes: practical and enquiry skills, critical understanding of evidence, communication in a variety of ways.
  • Curriculum opportunity: these are designed to encourage independent enquiry, the use of real life examples, contemporary and historical perspectives.

Over the course students will explore these subject areas in a variety of ways including:
experimentation, research, discussion, group work and comprehension activities.
There are a variety of assessments throughout the course to assess knowledge, understanding and application.  In this way we can provide the stretch and challenge needed to achieve the highest grades and the greatest understanding in preparation for the rigours of GCSE.

The course is fully resourced on the Office 365 to aid independent work and encourage students to stretch themselves.

 

Address

Sir Graham Balfour School
North Avenue
Stafford
ST16 1NR

For Sat Nav directions:

ST16 1NJ

Phone

01785 223490

Email

office@sirgrahambalfour.staffs.sch.uk