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Science

“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” Marie Curie

Our Philosophy

The Science Department consists of 17 highly skilled and motivated members of staff who are fully committed to ensuring each student maximises their potential in science and is able to enjoy the diverse range of topics that we study at LPGS.

We believe that Science provides an opportunity to develop an understanding of the concepts and processes that describe the world around us, and can lead to diverse and dynamic choices for future study and careers.

Key Stage 3

We deliver an exciting spiral curriculum, in which skills and knowledge are developed in strands which feed into our GCSE program of study. Students are empowered to develop their memory and recall through frequent links with prior learning, and practical and investigative skills are interweaved with theory in order to promote the development of a sound and thorough understanding of key concepts together with analytical and evaluative skills required for success in science.

Assessment via topic tests at the end of each strand has the twofold aim of developing strong retrieval of core facts as well as the application of knowledge through extended writing, calculation practice and analysis. During the course of each year, students develop their scientific enquiry skills through planning, undertaking and evaluating a full practical investigation.

 

Biology

  • Cells
  • Medicine and Disease
  • Genetics and Ecology

 

Chemistry

  • Chemical change
  • Structure and Bonding
  • Environmental and Industrial Chemistry

 

Physics

  • Motion, Forces and Radiation
  • Electricity and Waves
  • Energy and Matter

 

Click here to view the a full breakdown of the KS3 science curriculum

Key Stage 4: GCSE Combined Science & Triple Science

At GCSE most students study Combined Science (AQA); a double award GCSE suitable for all abilities and covering a wide range of topics in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students are also given the opportunity to select Triple Science as an option during Year 10 and Year 11. This leads to separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics (AQA) and offers a wider array of topics, also providing a very thorough preparation for A-levels in Science subjects.

For our GCSE courses, students are assessed through formal examinations at the end of Year 11. Students also undertake a number of core practicals, as well as getting plenty of opportunities to develop their investigative skills through further experimental work.

AQA GCSE Science Topic List

Biology

  • Cell biology
  • Organisation
  • Infection and Response
  • Bioenergetics
  • Homeostasis and response
  • Inheritance, variation and evolution
  • Ecology

 

Chemistry

  • 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
  • Using resources

 

Physics

  • Energy
  • Electricity
  • Particle model of matter
  • Atomic structure
  • Forces
  • Waves
  • Magnetism and electromagnetism
  • Space (Triple Science only)

Key Stage 5: A Level Biology (EDEXCEL)

‘A modern, relevant and exciting course that engages students, takes account of the many recent advances in biology and makes use of the most appropriate teaching approaches and technologies to enable students to learn’. Michael Reiss (Director of the Salters-Nuffield Advanced Biology Project)

Description of Course

Year 12

Unit 1 Lifestyle, Transport, Genes and Health
Topic 1 Lifestyle, Health and Risk. This includes the circulatory system, lifestyle factors and cardiovascular disease, structure and function of carbohydrates and lipids
Topic 2 Genes and Health. This includes transport of materials across cell membranes, DNA structure and replication, protein synthesis, inheritance, diagnosis and treatment of cystic fibrosis, gene therapy.

 

Unit 2 Development, Plants and Environment
Topic 3 The voice of the genome. This includes the Human Genome Project, gene action, cell ultrastructure, cell differentiation, fertilisation and stem cells.
Topic 4 Biodiversity and natural resources. This includes plant anatomy, traditional and novel uses of plants, the role of zoos in conservation of endangered species, biodiversity and classification.

 

 

Year 13

Unit 1 Lifestyle, Transport, Genes and Health
Topic 1 Lifestyle, Health and Risk. This includes the circulatory system, lifestyle factors and cardiovascular disease, structure and function of carbohydrates and lipids
Topic 2 Genes and Health. This includes transport of materials across cell membranes, DNA structure and replication, protein synthesis, inheritance, diagnosis and treatment of cystic fibrosis, gene therapy.

 

Unit 2 Development, Plants and Environment
Topic 3 The voice of the genome. This includes the Human Genome Project, gene action, cell ultrastructure, cell differentiation, fertilisation and stem cells.
Topic 4 Biodiversity and natural resources. This includes plant anatomy, traditional and novel uses of plants, the role of zoos in conservation of endangered species, biodiversity and classification.

 

Unit 3 The Natural Environment and Species Survival
Topic 5 On the wild side. This includes photosynthesis, ecosystems, climate change, global warming and its effects on plants and animals. Human responsibility for the environment.
Topic 6 Infection, Immunity and Forensics. This includes forensic pathology techniques, bacterial and viral infections and protection from disease.
Unit 4 Energy, Exercise and Co-ordination
Topic 7 Run for your life. This includes human physiology and exercise, performance, respiration, muscle physiology, homeostasis, medical technology and performance enhancing substances.
Topic 8 Grey Matter. This includes the nervous system, sight, brain development, memory, brain imaging techniques, diseases of the nervous system, and the ethical issues related to the use of animals in medical research.

 

 

Year 13 Assessment

  • Paper 1 The Natural Environment and Species Survival 2 hours 33.33%
  • Paper 2 Energy, Exercise and Co-ordination 2 hours 33.33% 
  • Paper 3 General and Practical Applications in Biology 2 hours 33.33% 

Practical skills will be assessed throughout the two years.

Other A-Level subjects that have links with this Biology course are Chemistry. Geography, Psychology and Sports Science (PE)

 

Skills Required 

  • Ability to learn and retain factual information
  • Ability to think clearly and interpret information
  • The ability to use initiative to research information independently
  • The ability to manipulate practical equipment, follow experimental procedures
  • Design and carry out investigations

 

Entry Qualification 

  • 6 in Biology GCSE or 6 in Science GCSE and 6 in all Biology papers
  • 5 in GCSE Mathematics

During the course, visits are arranged to museums and other places of biological interest. You are encouraged to attend outside lectures and read from a variety of sources. There are a wide range of resources available on the Salters-Nuffield website package together with weblinks on the internet. There is a comprehensive range of inhouse revision materials for each topic.

 

 

Contact Name Mr T Fulford (Head of Biology)

tfulford@lpgs.bromley.sch.uk

Educational Progression and Career Opportunities

Study of Biology and other A-Level Sciences can lead to a variety of careers, not necessarily involving further study of science. Biology would be needed for further study or careers in the fields of zoology, Botany, Veterinary work, Physiotherapy, Nursing, Environmental Science, Genetics and Medicine.

Key Stage 5: A Level Chemistry (AQA)

Description of Course

The AQA Chemistry course is designed to bring Chemistry to life and provides a stimulating and worthwhile range of experiences which will engage your interest, motivate you to the study of Chemistry and encourage you to:

  • develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to each other
  • develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods
  • develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills
  • develop your interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject
  • understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society
  • develop your interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject

 

Course Breakdown

The course is divided into three units, each covering different key concepts of chemistry:

Unit 1 – Physical Chemistry

  • Atomic structure
  • Amount of substance
  • Bonding
  • Energetics
  • Kinetics
  • Chemical equilibria, Le Chatelier’s principle and Kc
  • Oxidation, reduction and redox equations
  • Thermodynamics (A-Level only)
  • Rate equations (A-Level only)
  • Equilibrium constant Kp for homogeneous systems (A-Level only)
  • Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells (A-Level only)
  • Acids and bases (A-Level only)

 

Unit 2 – Inorganic Chemistry

  • Periodicity
  • Group 2, the alkaline earth metals
  • Group 7(17), the halogens
  • Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides (A-Level only)
  • Transition metals (A-Level only)
  • Reactions of ions in aqueous solution (A-Level only)

 

Unit 3 – Organic Chemistry

  • Introduction to organic chemistry
  • Alkanes
  • Halogenoalkanes
  • Alkenes
  • Alcohols
  • Organic analysis
  • Optical isomerism (A-Level only)
  • Aldehydes and ketones (A-Level only)
  • Carboxylic acids and derivatives (A-Level only)
  • Aromatic chemistry (A-Level only)
  • Amines (A-Level only)
  • Polymers (A-Level only)
  • Amino acids, proteins and DNA (A-Level only)
  • Organic synthesis (A-Level only)
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (A-Level only)
  • Chromatography (A-Level only)

 

Practical Skills

Chemistry is a practical subject and the development of practical skills is fundamental to understanding the nature of Chemistry. Teaching of practical skills is integrated with the theoretical topics and they are assessed both through written papers and, for A-Level only, the Practical Endorsement. Learners will have the opportunity to develop the fundamental skills needed to collect and analyse empirical data. Skills in planning, implementing, analysing and evaluating will be assessed in the written papers.

 

Assessment

The A Level is assessed through three written examinations at the end of the two year course. The examination papers will include multiple choice questions, short answer question styles (structured questions, problem solving, calculations, practical techniques and data analysis) and extended response questions. Stretch and challenge questions will support the awarding of the A* grade at A-Level. All three written examinations contain some synoptic assessment.

 

Entry Qualifications

  • 6 in Chemistry GCSE or 6 in Science GCSE and 6 in all Chemistry papers
  • 6 in Mathematics GCSE

 

Skills Required

The main activities in which the students are engaged are:-

  1. Solving problems using concepts
  2. Solving problems using mathematical techniques
  3. Using practical techniques to investigate the behaviour of materials
  4. Looking for and using patterns in the behaviour of substances
  5. Studying the applications of chemistry in selected fields, together with their social and economic aspects

 

Contact Name Ms V Parry (Head of Science and Chemistry)

vparry@lpgs.bromley.sch.uk

 

Educational Progression and Career Opportunities

Chemistry is an essential subject for many degree courses including Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Pharmacy, Nutrition, Food Science, Metallurgy, Materials Science, Agriculture and Chemical Engineering. Study of Chemistry at A-Level can also lead to a wide variety of degree courses and careers, not necessarily involving further study of science.

Key Stage 5: A LEVEL Physics (EDEXCEL)

Description of the Course

This course is designed to lead on from GCSE Combined Science or GCSE Physics and aims to embed fundamental physical concepts and develop those areas of Physics which are most relevant to the modern world. Teaching is concept-based with an emphasis placed on the solving of problems and the application of knowledge in new and challenging situations.

Students will be issued with a student textbook to support their study, and the Physics Department holds regular problem solving classes as well as a wide range of enrichment activities throughout the year.

In Year 12 we study:

  • Working as a Physicist
  • Mechanics
  • Materials
  • Waves
  • The Particle Nature of Light
  • Electric Circuits

 

In Year 13 we study:

  • Further Mechanics
  • Fields; electric, magnetic and gravitational
  • Nuclear and Particle Physics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Astrophysics
  • Oscillations and exponential decay

 

Entry Requirements

  • 6 in Physics GCSE or 6 in Combined Science GCSE.
  • 6 in Mathematics
  • GCSE A-Level Mathematics does not need to be taken alongside A-Level Physics, although students often find A-Level Mathematics helpful.

 

Skills required and then further developed during the course

  • The ability to manipulate mathematical equations. 
  • The ability to think clearly and interpret information.
  • The ability to research information and think independently.
  • The ability to manipulate practical equipment, follow and design experimental procedures and communicate findings effectively.
  • To contribute fully in group situations.
  • Curiosity and a hunger for asking questions and solving problems.

 

Websites

EDEXCEL COURSE INFORMATION

Institute of Physics: General Physics and Careers information

 

Structure of the Course

The examinations at the end of Year 13 will cover topics from all units and these will provide a final grade for the A-Level. An outline structure and assessment of the course is laid out below:

Name Assessment Marks
Advanced Physics 1 Written Examination: 1 hr 45 min 90
Advanced Physics 2 Written Examination: 1 hr 45 mins 90
Advnaced Physics 3 Written Examination: 2 hr 30 mins  120

 

Please note that there will no longer be any assessment of practical skills that contribute towards the final A-Level result. However, each student will complete a series of core practicals and receive a Certificate of “Practical Competency”.

 

Contact Name Mr R Small (Head of Physics)

rsmall@lpgs.bromley.sch.uk

 

Educational Progression and Career Opportunities

The study of A-Level Physics is a rewarding experience. The demands of this rigorous course, from developing abstract concepts to applying problem solving skills, means that it is seen by Universities as a “facilitating” subject, enabling access to a wide variety of university courses and careers. Nobody takes A-Level Physics because they think it will be easy, but as a result of this Physics opens many doors. In addition to the traditional university courses in Physics, Medicine, Engineering Sciences, Astronomy and Cosmology, the study of A-Level Physics is highly valued by universities (and employers) awarding places to students looking to study subjects as diverse as Law, Philosophy, Journalism, Accountancy, Insurance, Finance and Banking. Should a student wish to study Physics or Engineering at degree level, they will also need A-Level Mathematics

Key Stage 5: BTEC Applied Science

Level of Study

  • Level 3

  • 8 Units (equivalent to 2 A Levels)

 

Description of Course

This course consists of eight units which are adapted to equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to pursue a career in a variety of sectors including biomedical sciences and nursing.

Learners will study six mandatory units: Principles and Applications of Science I; Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques; Science Investigation Skills; Laboratory Techniques and their Application; Principles and Applications of Science II; Investigative Project. They will also study a further two units which will support progression to higher education and link with relevant occupational areas.

 

Skills Required

An interest in science and associated professions, a commitment to hard work, reliability, the ability to work as part of a team, the ability to organise your time effectively and lots of enthusiasm.

 

Entry Requirements

At least 5 GCSE passes including a minimum of 4-4 in Combined Science or 4-4-4 in Triple Science and a grade 4 or above in English Language and Maths.

 

Methods of Assessment

This course is assessed through eight units in total. Five of these units will be internally assessed (coursework). Your coursework tasks may include case studies, information booklets, essays, discussion based exercises and presentations. Three of the units will be externally assessed (two examinations and one written task).

 

Contact Name: Mrs V Parry

vparry@lpgs.bromley.sch.uk

 

Education Progression and Career Opportunities

This qualification is primarily designed to support progression to applied science and related employment after further study at university. However, it also supports learners progressing directly to employment when applying for a range of entry-level industry training programmes and/or Higher Apprenticeships in scientific areas.

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