Key Stage 3
When students are in year 7 and year 8, they will study science at key stage 3 level. This will prepare them for their GCSEs which they will commence half way through year 9.
What will I learn?
We follow the Exploring Science scheme of work. You will learn a variety of different and engaging topics.
In year 7 you will learn about the human body, animals, acids and other chemicals, energy, forces and electricity.
In year 8, you will cover the topics of nutrition, plants, metals, rocks, light and space!
The first half of year 9 will be spent consolidating skills and key concepts from key stage 3. This will include practical investigative skills and the fundamental ideas in science. After this, students will commence the new specification GCSE course.
How will I be assessed?
Throughout the years, you will be complete a range of ‘APP tasks’. These are skills based assessments focusing on the main skill areas of science, including modelling, investigating, analysing and evaluating. Students will also be completing tests regularly that will assess them on all the Science knowledge they have covered so far.
Key Stage 4
Core (GCSE Science A) and GCSE Additional Science
Most students will study for two GCSEs in science. These GCSEs are 2 separate GCSE courses. One of which is called ‘Science A’, which is taught in Year 10. The second GCSE ‘Additional Science’ is taught in Year 11. GCSE Additional Science builds upon the content covered in the GCSE Science A.
How will I be assessed?
Both GCSEs are assessed via 3 examinations all of which are sat at the end of Year 11. They contribute towards 75% of the qualification; the final 25% is assessed via in class tests called Controlled Assessments. This option allows students to study science at Post-16 and fulfills the science qualification requirement specified within the EBacc.
Course: GCSE Science A
Exam Board: AQA
Exam Specification Code: 4405
Course: GCSE Additional Science
Exam Board: AQA
Exam Specification Code: 4408
GCSE Science Triple Award
There is the opportunity to take separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. This is not an easy course although it does offer excellent progression into science-based careers and is better preparation for courses at Post 16 and university, than the GCSE Core and Additional Science option. Triple Award GCSE Science qualifies as the science qualification for the EBacc. Due to the difficulty of the course this is only open to students achieving a National Curriculum Level 6 or above in science.
Students will be consulted as to the recommended course for them at the end of Year 9, and this will be based on their termly assessment point data and feedback from their current science teachers.
Course: GCSE Biology
Exam Board: AQA
Exam Specification Code: 4401
Course: GCSE Chemistry
Exam Board: AQA
Exam Specification Code: 4402
Course: GCSE Physics
Exam Board: AQA
Exam Specification Code: 4403
Key Stage 5
What will I study?
If you are hoping to experience an International Curriculum reflecting 21st century global issues and values the International Baccalaureate Group 4 subjects are for you. As part of the IB you have to study at least 1 subject from Group 4 which includes Biology, Chemistry (also offered in group 6), Design Technology, Environmental Systems and Societies, Physics and Sports, Exercise and Health Science. All subjects can be studied at Standard Level which consists of a slightly narrower and simpler curriculum. Biology, Chemistry and Physics can be taken at Higher Level to extend and develop in depth knowledge about current scientific issues and theories. This is especially good for students who are looking at studying a related field at university. The Group 4 Curriculum will challenge you, it will enhance your knowledge yet more importantly will take you on a journey to develop your skills as a true scientist or manufacturer. IB Group 4 is not just about memorising facts; it is about developing the skills needed to apply your knowledge to new situations and to develop you as an individual. IB Group 4 subjects encourage independent research and rewards analytical thinking. IB Group 4 students are enquirers who apply their knowledge to new situations and develop ideas as well as solutions to ethical and moral issues relevant to a 21st century citizen.
If you take a Group 4 subject at Standard Level you will have 3 lessons a week whereas at Higher Level the additional depth requires 4 lessons per week. If you are considering a Biological Sciences course at university IB Biology (SL or HL) is the perfect spring board. If however you are a keen geographer you would be advised to take Environmental Systems and Societies (SL only). If you want to take a course in Medicine then both Biology HL and Chemistry HL can be studied as part of the IB, opening the doors to Medicine at university. For those of you interested in engineering and manufacturing careers there is a choice of Physics or Design Technology which are both available at SL or HL. If you enjoy sport and are interested in sports related careers you can choose from Sports, Exercise and Health Science (SL only) or Biology (SL or HL).
All Group 4 subjects (with the exception of Design Technology) require you to carry out 40 hours (Standard Level) or 60 hours (Higher Level) of practical work. This encourages the development of the skills needed to become an Independent Scientist. 10 hours of this practical time will be spent on an Individual Investigation where you will complete an extended practical on a topic of interest to you. This is submitted as 20% of your final grade. The Tudor Grange Academy Kingshurst has an excellent record of achievement in the Internal Assessment of this coursework. The CTC has an enviable amount of experienced teachers delivering IB Group 4 subjects, with a significant number who also are Examiners and Moderators for the International Baccalaureate Organisation itself.
Also part of the practical hours is a compulsory 10 hour Group 4 project during Year 12 which encourages you to appreciate the environmental, social and ethical implications of Science as well as developing group work skills, presentation skills and research that will give those of you who are aiming for university a real advantage over your peers. This exercise is collaborative and interdisciplinary based upon a theme e.g. Kitchen science, Clean Water, or Theme Parks.
You have the opportunity to do Extended Essays in Group 4 Subjects which are always a popular choice amongst students, with continued successful grades achieved. The Group 4 Extended Essay is a superb talking point at university interviews and will place you head and shoulders above the competition for university places. The breadth and depth of the knowledge developed by the IB is second to none and is recognised as the gold standard by universities all across the world.
If you like questioning scientific truths and searching for answers yet are looking for a superb and engaging course at Post 16 then the IB Group 4 is for you. Whatever your desire after Key Stage 5, we have a course to suit your needs.
How will be assessed?
Final Exams May Year 13:
In the science subjects you will take 3 exams in May of Year 13 which together account for 80% of your final grade. Paper 1 is a multiple choice paper which is followed by paper 2 consisting of short and extended response questions. The length of the exams reflects whether you have opted to take them at Standard or Higher Level. Paper 3 consists of questions on a compulsory option from a range of different choices dependent on the interests and needs of the cohort. Paper three also examines the practical skills learnt in the internal investigations.
Students will also sit internal midterm and end of year exams. There are also end of topic tests throughout the course which are used to monitor progress and support students.
What coursework will I need to do?
Internal assessment (coursework) counts for 20% of the final mark and is assessed by the teacher and verified by IB. This takes the form of an extended practical task.
You will complete a Group 4 project and submit your reflections on the project to IB.
Charlotte Davis – IB Biology Student:
My time on the IB has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding two years at CTC. It has allowed me to develop both academically and personally, all with the support of brilliant teachers. Now I am at university, I am finding essay writing, study skills and independent learning easy, and feel as though my academic ability is above my peers, because I have encountered them all before on the IB.
I particularly enjoyed the Group 4 IB Higher Biology course. The content was very interesting and relevant to modern day life, and the breadth of the course meant that everyone found an area to excel in. The teachers were amazing in helping us through the course, and the support Tudor Grange Academy Kingshurst gave throughout the IB was outstanding. I loved that IB Biology gave you the opportunity to research areas of interest to you, planning conducting and writing up experiments.