Physics

KEY STAGE 3

The Key Stage 3 Physics curriculum has been developed with the IGCSE specifications very much in mind. Most topics cover skills, knowledge and principals which are revisited and developed in Key Stage 4.

The assessment incorporates the use of questions from past IGCSE examination papers.

Year 7
Lessons involve a mixture of experiments, theory, questions, and discussion.
The following topics will be covered:

Measuring

We will practice various techniques for measuring and recording physical properties. Mass, length, time, volume, speed and density are all covered. The use of prefixes and conversion of units will be included. Scientific method will be developed, covering types of variables, control of variables, drawing of appropriate data tables and graphs, together with evaluation.

Energy

The nine different forms of energy are defined and energy transfer processes considered. The concept of conservation of energy is introduced .We learn about energy resources (methods of producing mains electricity); how they work, the energy transfers involved, their reliability, renewability and environmental impact.

Forces

The skill of applying physics to explain a wide range of situations is developed, including measuring forces, balanced and unbalanced forces, friction and air resistance, weight and speed.

Year 8

Lessons involve a mixture of experiments, computer activities, theory, questions, and discussion.

Light

The topic starts with a revision of the key ideas about light and shadow studied in primary school. We then learn about reflection, refraction and total internal reflection. This understanding is applied to learn about the function and uses of lenses and optical fibers. The topic ends with work about colour.

 Heat

The definitions of heat and temperature are clarified and students use various thermometers to measure temperature. They also make their own liquid thermometers. Thermal expansion of solids, liquids, and gases are demonstrated and students use the kinetic model of matter to explain their observations. Three processes are studied by which heat energy is transferred (conduction, convection and radiation), and this knowledge is applied to explain how our houses can be effectively insulated.

Space

The Space topic starts close to home with an explanation of why we experience days, years and the seasons on earth. Then we move outwards to find out about our moon and other satellites orbiting the earth. Students work on a project about the solar system and will also study stars and the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence.

Year 9

Forces and Mechanics

These topics are in preparation for the Forces and Energy units of the IGCSE
Motion graphs, forces, and acceleration, balanced and unbalanced forces, pressure, weight and mass, gravity (and satellites), moments and turning forces

Electricity and magnetism
The concept of magnetism is introduced, comparing the properties of permanent magnets and electromagnets.
This is followed by work on static electricity and electric charges as an introduction to flow of charge (current) in circuits. Students then practice building and drawing circuits with components in series and parallel. We learn the meaning of current and voltage and measure them in our circuits. Students also investigate simple cells made using fruits.

Pressure and Moments

Students learn to calculate pressure and about pressure in fluids. Experiments about turning forces are conducted leading to the principle of moments. Gravity is studied and basic ideas of balanced and unbalanced forces are revised.

Sound

Our final topic considers vibrations, sound waves and how sound travels through different media. We learn how sound can be defined by pitch and loudness, and how these are represented graphically. The relationship between speed, wavelength, frequency (pitch) is determined. Applications include echoes and the problem of noise.

Forces and Mechanics

These topics are in preparation for the  Forces and Energy units of the IGCSE
Motion graphs, forces, and acceleration, balanced and unbalanced forces, pressure, weight and mass, gravity ( and satellites ), moments and turning forces
Pressure and Moments


Students learn to calculate pressure and about pressure in fluids. Experiments about turning forces are conducted leading to the principle of moments. Gravity is studied and basic ideas of balanced and unbalanced forces are revised.

Sound

Our final topic considers vibrations, sound waves and how sound travels. Applications include echoes and the problem of noise.

Science: I.G.C.S.E

All students will follow an IGCSE course designed to meet their needs for a GCSE qualification in Science. In common with all science qualifications now on offer, this will be a terminally examined course.

It is proposed that there will be 2 routes through Science at GCSE.

Both will involve following a Balanced Science course which includes biology, chemistry, and Physics.

Route 1: Combined Science I.G.C.S.E.

The student will follow a 2-year course using the Combined Science syllabus offered by the Cambridge International Exam board. This will result in a single GCSE award.

The combined award may be studied at 2 different levels – Foundation or Higher tier.

The Foundation level offers grades C-G, whilst the Higher tier allows access to all grades up to and including A*.

At the end of Year 11, the student will sit 3 exam papers as follows:

· Paper 1 ( FT) or 2(HT) – 40 multiple choice questions based on all 3 scientific disciplines.
• Paper 3 (FT) or 4 (HT) - A structured answer based paper that overs all 3 scientific disciplines and encourages the student to consider the overlap that occurs between the sciences.

· Paper 6 – A practical exam paper which asks students to interpret diagrams, scientific data and record such data in an appropriate manner.

There is no coursework element as Paper 6 examines the practical skills gained by the students over the 2-year course, without putting pressure on them to undertake a one-off practical exam or produce a written scientific essay.

This course has been chosen since it provides a good grounding in the sciences and also covers the requirements for the AQA Entry Level certificate.

An Entry Level certificate would only be considered where staff felt that the student involved would struggle to attain the requirements of GCSE Grade G.

Route 2: Co-ordinated Science I.G.C.S.E.
Students will follow a 2 year course using the Co-ordinated Science (9-1) (Double Award) specification offered by Cambridge International Exam board. The award may be studied at 2 different levels, core and extended.

The core award covers grade 1-5 whereas the Extended award covers grades 5-9.

At the end of Year 11, the students will sit 3 exam papers:

Paper 1(FT) or 2 (HT) – 40 multiple choice questions based on all 3 scientific disciplines.

• Paper3 (FT) or 4 (HT) - A structured answer based paper that overs all 3 scientific disciplines and encourages the  student to consider the overlap that occurs between the sciences.

· Paper 6 – A practical exam paper which asks students to interpret diagrams, scientific data, and record such data in an appropriate manner.

There is no coursework element as Paper 6 examines the practical skills gained by the students over the 2-year course, without putting pressure on them to undertake a one-off practical exam or produce a written scientific essay.

There are common elements to both combined and co-ordinated science courses, thus enabling a student to move course within the first term if required.

The difference between the combined Science and Co-ordinated Science approach is purely the amount of factual content required and the way in which that factual content is applied.

It is envisaged that those students who have shown an aptitude for Science are encouraged to enter Route 2. Any student considering an A-level in a Science based subject should follow this route.

The provision of 3 independently assessed science qualifications is possible and is reviewed on an individual basis. This triple award option would involve giving up an option block within the GCSE timetable and thus limits the other options available.

© 2018 St. Dominic's Priory School Stone 21 Station Road, Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 8EN
Telephone: 01785 814181