Biology_Page_Photo
Chemistry_Page_Photo
Biology_Page_Photo
Chemistry_Page_Photo

Staffing

Mr K Finlinson - Head of Science/Head of Biology        Dr M R Gill 
Dr S Ireland - Head of Chemistry Dr A G McConkey
Mr S St John - Head of Physics Mr M D R Nightingale
Mrs C Bent Mrs J E Telford
Mr M R Brennan Mrs R L Vowles
Miss M Fergus  

 

Department Overview

The science department is well staffed by highly qualified graduates in all three main science disciplines. We employ a variety of teaching methods across all year groups so that we cater for the strengths of all our students. We approach science in a way that encourages students to develop their natural curiosity about the world in which we live. Science lessons explore many scientific issues that are debated by today's society and so equipping our students for making reasoned and informed judgements about science in their everyday lives.

KS3

The science curriculum at Key Stage 3 builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills that students have developed at Key Stage 2. We have developed our own schemes in line with the QCA guidelines covering topics from all three science areas. The same course approach is used throughout Years 7 to 8 with, where possible, a single science teacher being responsible for each class. In Year 9 groups will have three teachers to allow the beginning of specialised teaching and so better prepare students for the demands of Key Stage 4.

GCSE

GCSE Biology

Why study Biology?

The biology department provides GCSE courses which not only show that biology is an exciting and fascinating subject in its own right but also demonstrate its enormous practical, economic and social importance. Throughout the courses there will be opportunities to offer students guidance about the significance of their scientific studies for possible science-based careers as the new courses place an increased emphasis on the applications of science to society, business and the environment.

Features of the course:

The main areas of study are: cell biology; organisation; infection and response; bioenergetics; homeostasis and response; inheritance, variation and evolution; and ecology.

There is no coursework element contributing to the final grade. All marks come from the written exam papers however the new science qualifications do include set practical activities, the skills and knowledge developed and acquired from these are tested through questions within the written exam papers.

Enrichment:

All biology staff operate a drop in approach where students can come along at lunchtimes and seek support with any questions they may have. Where appropriate students are invited to get involved with STEM activities arranged for their year group.

What opportunities for progression does it offer?

Any science at grade 5 or above is very useful for to progress into a wide range of professions looking for a basic scientific knowledge. Students achieving at grade 7 or above would be encouraged to look at biology as a subject which they may wish to study to A-Level standard. Biology A-Level, alongside other qualifications, will enable students to go on and study a variety science specific subjects at university such as medicine, dentistry and physiotherapy . It is also a subject which can demonstrate a student has good analytical and practical skills and so would support students in applications for other non-science related subjects at university or, alternatively, prepare them for other more vocational routes into the world of work.

Key information:

Topics for Study:

Cell biology; organisation; infection and response; bioenergetics; homeostasis and response; inheritance, variation and evolution; ecology.

Assessment summary

2 x 1 hour 45 minutes examinations - multiple choice, short and long answer questions

Exam Board

AQA

 

 

GCSE Chemistry

Why study Chemistry?

The chemistry department follows the AQA GCSE course which not only shows that chemistry is an exciting and fascinating subject in its own right but also demonstrate its enormous practical, economic and social importance. Throughout the course there will be opportunities for practical investigative work as well as exploration of new developments in graphene and nano-technology that are bringing chemistry to the forefront of modern scientific advancements. Chemistry is a core subject which is studied by all students for GCSE.

Features of the course:

The new GCSE chemistry course is structured for progression from key stage 3, building upon core concepts such as the particle nature of matter extending this into the structure and bonding of ionic, covalent and metallic materials. The course has a 30% mathematical requirement which is taught in a context based manner integrated throughout the different topics across all three years.

There is no coursework element contributing to the final grade. All marks come from the written exam papers however the new chemistry qualification does include set practical activities, the skills and knowledge developed and acquired from these are tested through questions within the written exam papers.

Enrichment:

We invite students to take part in the Salters’ Top of the Bench competition during the course. Support is offered through lunch time drop-ins for students to come with any questions they may have, and from Sixth Form buddies.

What opportunities for progression does it offer?

This course is an excellent foundation for those students who are aspiring to study chemistry at A-Level.

Further study of chemistry is a core requirement for study of medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, pharmacy and many more. It provides an excellent support to many careers in science, technology and engineering. A grade 7 or above in chemistry is the threshold for many progression opportunities including A-Level.

Key information:

Topics for Study:

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; and using resources.

Assessment summary

2 x 1 hour 45 minutes examinations - multiple choice, short and long answer questions

Exam Board

AQA

 

 

GCSE Physics

 Why study Physics?

The physics department provides GCSE courses which not only show that physics is an exciting and fascinating subject in its own right but also demonstrate its enormous practical, economic and social importance. Throughout the courses there will be opportunities to offer students guidance about the significance of their scientific studies for possible science-based careers as the new courses place an increased emphasis on the applications of science to society, business and the environment.

Features of the course:

The main areas of study, already begun in Year 9, are: forces; energy; waves; electricity; magnetism and electromagnetism; particle model of matter; atomic structure; and space physics.

There is no coursework element contributing to the final grade. All marks come from the written exam papers. However the new science qualifications do include required practical activities, the skills and knowledge developed and acquired from these are tested through questions within the written exam papers.

Enrichment:

All physics staff operate a drop-in approach where students can come along at lunchtimes and obtain help with any questions they may have. There is also a weekly electronics club which encourages students to apply the basics they have learnt to all manner of interesting and fun applications. Current projects include the design of clocks, line-following robots and a weather station.

What opportunities for progression does it offer?

Any science at grade 5 or above is very useful for progression into a wide range of science-related careers. Students achieving grade 7 or above are encouraged to consider physics as an option when entering the Sixth Form. Physics A-Level is a crucial subject for entry to many of the engineering disciplines at university and is also highly-prized in many other science-based avenues of study.

Key information:

Topics for Study:

Energy; electricity; particle model of matter; atomic structure; forces; waves; magnetism and electromagnetism; and space physics.

Assessment summary

2 x 1 hour 45 minutes examinations - multiple choice, short and long answer questions

Exam Board

AQA

 

A-Level

A-Level Biology

Why study Biology?

Biology is the window onto the fascinating world of micro-organisms, plants, ecosystems, humans and other animals. Biologists try to understand some of the fundamental aspects of life itself.

Biology is a very rewarding subject that can lead to the study of biology in its own right as well as many associated subjects at a higher level. There are those subjects that are very obviously connected with biology such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary science, physiotherapy and occupational therapy. There are, however, many other courses and careers where having an A-Level in biology would be useful with the fastest growing areas being those of genetics, biotechnology and sports science.

What do I need to know or be able to do before taking this course?

If you are thinking of studying biology beyond A-Level, make sure you get good advice before making your final A-Level subject choice. Some careers or university courses related to biology will require you to have achieved a full A-Level in a second science subject, most often, but not necessarily, chemistry. Some students have little intention of pursuing biology beyond A-Level and simply wish to take it because it is a subject in which they are interested and one they know they will enjoy. Many students have demonstrated that it is a science that may be studied very successfully alongside art subjects.

Features of the course:

In Year 12 students will build on their knowledge of many of the themes covered at GCSE. Key topics include cell structure, variation, basic biochemistry and exchange and transport.

In Year 13 students will develop their biological skills further as they study energy transfers, responses to changes in their internal and external environments and genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems.

Key information:

Topics for Study:

Biological molecules; cells; organisms exchange substances with their environment; genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms; energy transfers in and between organisms; organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments; genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems; and the control of gene expression.

Assessment summary

Paper 1: 2 hour examination (35%)

Paper 2: 2 hour examination (35%)

Paper 3: 2 hour examination (30%)

Practical Endorsement: Assessment of practical competencies reported separately

Entry requirements

Grade A in GCSE Biology and a B in GCSE Chemistry

Exam Board

AQA

 

 

A-Level Chemistry

Why study Chemistry?

Chemistry is the study of the structures and properties of materials, and of the reactions in which one substance is transformed into another. It seeks to explain all this in terms of the behaviour of the atoms and molecules from which all matter is constructed.

The questions asked, and answered, by chemists are not confined to the immediate practical applications of their work. The origin of life on earth, the chemical basis of genetics, the nature of the planets and distant stars, the chemical composition of the centre of the earth’s core, life support systems for astronauts and projected planetary colonies are just some of the exciting projects on which chemists throughout the world are working.

Chemistry underpins much of modern life and the high standard of living which most of us enjoy. The increased industrialisation of society has drawbacks, of course - the rapid use of finite natural resources, for example, and increasing pollution. If these problems are to be solved, it will be by the application of scientific knowledge and understanding. Chemistry and chemists will play a central role by developing ways of using our resources more efficiently and, by so increasing our understanding of the chemistry of the atmosphere, oceans and soils, that we may, in future, grow the food we need without the use of large quantities of pesticides and fertilisers.

What do I need to know or be able to do before taking this course?

Chemistry provides a stimulating and rewarding study in its own right. A background in the subject is invaluable to those who are planning careers in engineering, materials science or metallurgy, geology, mining or the biological sciences. A knowledge of chemistry is essential for the successful study of medicine or veterinary science. The course has some mathematical content and you should be comfortable with handling chemical calculations involving moles and general rearrangement of formula.

Features of the course:

Roughly equal time is devoted to each of the three main branches of the subject: physical chemistry - the study of the underlying atomic and molecular principles; organic chemistry - which deals with the behaviour of substances based on carbon (thus with all substances of biological importance) and inorganic chemistry - which covers all the remaining elements, with an emphasis on the properties of the metals.

Key information:

Topics for Study: Physical chemistry; Inorganic chemistry; Organic chemistry
Assessment summary

Paper 1: 2 hour examination (35%)

Paper 2: 2 hour examination (35%)

Paper 3: 2 hour examination (30%)

Practical Endorsement: Assessment of practical competencies reported separately
Entry requirements Grade A in GCSE Chemistry and Grade 7 in GCSE Mathematics
Exam Board AQA

 

 

A-Level Physics

Why study Physics?

Physics is the most fundamental of all the sciences and is essentially, “the science of matter and energy and the interactions between the two”. Many physicists today are interested in either the science of the very small, such as investigating theories of fundamental particles called quarks and how matter is built from them, or the very large, developing theories on the formation and expansion of the universe.

The subject underpins all types of engineering and provides an excellent background for scientific careers at all levels. The employment prospects for those with qualifications in physics are generally good. Physics provides a route into many careers, and opportunities exist throughout the world. These prospects are not confined to research - they extend into a wide range of industries, into food, medicine, finance, marketing, business and management. The general skills of analysis and problem-solving that physicists develop are highly valued in many different fields of employment.

What do I need to know or be able to do before taking this course?

The mathematical content is modest in the first year of the course but becomes much more substantial in the second year.

Features of the course:

Each of the two years consists of four theory units, but practical work is woven into the course. During the two years, there are a dozen compulsory practical activities that may be assessed in the written examinations. In addition to this, there is an entirely separate practical endorsement, based on demonstration of core practical competencies.

Throughout the two-year course, there is a healthy emphasis on practical work. Students are taught how to make measurements of a range of quantities including length, current, potential difference and temperature. They will develop an awareness of the nature of measurement errors and of their numerical treatment.

Key information:

Topics for Study:

Core content: Measurements and their errors; particles and radiation; waves; mechanics and materials; electricity; further mechanics and thermal physics; fields and their consequences; and  nuclear physics.

Option taken at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School: Medical physics

Assessment summary

Paper 1: 2 hour examination (34%)

Paper 2: 2 hour examination (34%)

Paper 3: 2 hour examination (32%)

Practical Endorsement: Assessment of practical competencies reported separately

Entry requirements

Grade A in GCSE Physics and Grade 7 in GCSE Mathematics

Exam Board

AQA

 

 

 

 

 

 

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