Head of Department: Mr S. Home |
Edwin Powell Hubble
Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.
Science is taught in two fully equipped laboratories which are well resourced and looked after by a full time technician. Pupils are normally taught Science by only one member of staff each year. To provide continuity pupils often keep the same Science teacher in Key Stage Three who is an experienced subject specialist. All teachers follow schemes of work written “in house” and which follow closely the new National Curriculum and which build on the science that is taught in the First schools (details below).
Throughout their time at Scissett Middle School, pupils are regularly assessed by open-ended tasks or by summative topic tests. Strategies to improve literacy and numeracy are incorporated into schemes of work and teachers look for opportunities to develop these skills in Science lessons. In addition, pupils take part in a wide range of activities such as practical work, using subject software, individual, paired and group work. Science has sets of laptops for pupils to use in each laboratory. Throughout the course the skills needed to be an effective scientist are taught and link in with the National Curriculum strand of “Working Scientifically”.
Basic Laboratory Skills
Properties and changing Materials
Living things and their Habitats
Evolution and Inheritance
Brief overview of content
Pupils are introduced to a wide range of laboratory equipment and procedures including managing risks and dangers. Lots of hands-on experiments provide a stimulating start to the course!
Looking at a range of different forces: gravity, air resistance, water resistance & friction. Developing an understanding of balanced & unbalanced forces & their effects. Investigating how mechanisms, like levers, pulleys & gears, help us to use smaller forces.
Exploring the structure of the heart & lungs. The double circulation through the lungs & the rest of the body is explained & children learn more about blood! How does exercise affect pulse rate? Why is exercise good for us & what can harm the body, including smoking and illegal drugs.
Revising the three states of matter & properties of materials. Introducing further properties: solubility & thermal conductivity. Separating materials using a range of methods & understanding that some changes are irreversible. Discussing the formation of new materials.
Looking at the history of classification of living things from Aristotle to the present day. Studying the binomial system introduced by Linnaeus & the 7 levels of classification used today. Understanding why classification is important & use & create classification keys.
Revision of simple circuits & then lots of hands on experience with symbols, diagrams & incomplete circuits. Two enquiries about the length of wire in a circuit & the use of cells. Compare series & parallel circuits then face some challenges!
Discussion of fossils as evidence of life millions of years ago & study the life of Mary Anning. Comparing offspring with parents & seeing how plants/animals are adapted to habitats. Looking at Darwin, Wallace & Mendel’s contributions to our understanding of evolution.
Forces and Space (revision)
Brief overview of content
States of matter, arrangements of particles. Pure substances and mixtures. Separating techniques. Introduction to acids, alkalis and indicators.
Fuels and energy resources. Energy changes, conservation of energy. Electrical circuits, current - including use of an ammeter. Series and parallel circuits. Short circuits and electrical safety. Introduction to resistance.
Microscopes. Plant and animal cells, specialised cells and unicellular organisms. Cells, tissues and organs.
Reproduction in humans. Fertilisation, gestation and birth. The role of the placenta. The menstrual cycle.
Revision of plant reproduction.
Balanced and unbalanced forces. Newtons as units. The effect of forces on stationary and moving objects. Gravity and magnetism as examples of non-contact forces.
Space revision to include: days, seasons. Sun as a star. Light years as a unit of distance.
Adaptations in plants and animals (focusing on polar bears and turtles). Ecosystems. The bee as an important insect pollinator. Food webs, pyramids of numbers.
Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. The rock cycle. Weathering and erosion.
Elements and the Periodic Table
Respiration and Photosynthesis
Brief overview of content
Healthy diets. Food groups. The human digestive system. Importance of diffusion in absorption of nutrients.
The human breathing system including the effects of exercise, smoking and asthma.
Sound as a vibration, echoes, reflection and absorption of sound. Frequency of sound waves. The need for a medium. The loudspeaker and microphone. Auditory range of human and animals and the ear.
Speed of light. Ray model to explain reflection and refraction. The human eye. Convex lenses. The prism. Colours of light. Filters and how we see different coloured objects.
Heat transfer by conduction, convection and radiation leading to the thermal equilibrium. Insulators. Revision of conservation of energy during transfers.
Atoms, elements and compounds. Chemical symbols and formulae. The Periodic Table – chemical groups and patterns in the table. Properties of metals, non-metals and their oxides.
Different types of chemical reactions including the energy changes involved. Chemical equations (word and symbol).
Acids, alkalis, pH, neutralisation in more detail. Salts.
Magnetism and magnetic fields.
Speed, distance and time calculations. Distance-time graphs. Relative motion.
Mass and weight. Equilibrium and opposing forces. Forces on stretched springs.
Aerobic and Anaerobic respiration in humans and micro-organisms.
Fermentation in yeast.
The importance of photosynthesis. The reactants and products involved. The need for minerals.
A number of pupils in Year 8 spend lunchtimes caring for the bearded dragon "Bowser".
In addition some pupils take him home for the holidays.
Animal House also look after the Department's fish.