Welcome to the Science Department


We will instil a love of science in students through a highly engaging, skills-based curriculum that challenges students to learn and achieve. We will encourage pupils to awaken their curiosity about the world around them and equip them with the necessary skills to explain what they see.

 

Why learn Science?

What are the world’s problems? Who is going to solve them? Science is important because it give us an understanding of the world around us and allows us to think logically to solve a problem. It aims to stimulate our natural curiosity in finding out why things happen in the way they do. It equips us with not only knowledge, but essential skills such as critical thinking, analysing, decision making, problem solving and evaluating. Studying science opens a whole world of possibilities where the skills you learn are transferable to many different career pathways. It can open the door to many STEM related careers such as engineering, architecture, medicine, agriculture, cosmetics, building and construction.
 

Year 7

During year 7, students will study the following topics:


Fertile question: What are we made of?

  • What is the structure of an animal cell?
  • What is the structure of a plant cell?
  • What is the structure of a bacterial cell?
  • What other unicellular organisms exist and what do they look like?
  • How can microscopes be used to view cells?
  • Work practically to prepare microscope slides.
  • What is the equation that links image size, magnification and actual size?

 

Fertile question: How does our body keep us alive?

  • When you breathe in what happens to the air? Where does it go?
  • What do your lungs look like?
  • How do you breathe?
  • What is asthma and how does this condition affect the lungs?
  • What harmful chemicals are in cigarettes?
  • How does smoking affect the lungs?
  • Can you persuade someone to stop smoking?

 

Fertile question: Why can you skate on an ice rink and not on a swimming pool?

  • What are the three states of matter?
  • How can you represent the three states of matter using particle models?
  • How do you explain the energy changes that take place during changes of state?
  • What determines whether an object floats or sinks on water?
  • How can you calculate the density of an object?

 

Fertile question: Why would you put salt on your chips when sodium reacts violently with water and chloride is a deadly poisonous gas?

  • How are elements organised in the periodic table?
  • What is an element?
  • What is a compound?
  • How can you use symbols and formula to represent different elements and compounds?
  • How do you name compounds?
  • How are the properties of a compound different to the properties of the elements that make it?

 

Fertile question: How can you separate this mixture?

  • Can you determine which solids are soluble or insoluble? 
  • What method would be needed to separate different mixtures?
  • How can filtration be used to separate a mixture?
  • How can crystallisation be used to separate a mixture?
  • How can distillation used to separate a mixture?
  • How can chromatography used to separate a mixture?

 

Fertile question: Why are magnets so useful on a DofE expedition?

  • What are magnets?
  • Which materials are magnet?
  • How can you make a magnet?
  • What does the magnetic field of a magnet look like?

 

Fertile question: How much does it cost to run a home?

  • What different energy resources are available for producing energy and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each resource?
  • How much energy do different electrical appliances around the home use?
  • How much would it cost to use different electrical appliances around the home? 
  • What makes some appliances more expensive than others?
  • How much energy is stored in different foods?
  • How will exercise affect the amount of food you need to eat to meet your energy demand?

 

Fertile question: If energy cannot be destroyed where does it go?

  • What different ways can energy be stored?
  • How can you increase or decrease the amount of energy stored in different situations?
  • What are the different types of energy?
  • How can energy be transferred?
  • In different energy transfers, which is the useful energy transfer and which is the wasted energy transfer? 
  • How can you calculate the efficiency of different electrical appliances?

 

Fertile question: Where does our energy come from?

  • What is respiration?
  • What does the body need for respiration?
  • What are the waste products of respiration?
  • What are the differences between aerobic and anaerobic respiration?

 

Fertile question: Where does life begin?

  • What changes take place in males and females during puberty?
  • What structures form the male and female reproductive systems?
  • What is the menstrual cycle and why is it important?
  • What is fertilisation and why is it important?
  • How does a baby develop inside the womb?
  • What factors can affect the development of a foetus?

 

Fertile question: Where does life begin?

  • What structures can be found inside a flower and why are they important?
  • What are the different ways that a plant can be pollinated?
  • What stages are involved in plant fertilisation?
  • Why are bees so important to us? 
     

Fertile question: How do metals react?

  • Where are metals and non-metals found on the periodic table?
  • What are the typical properties of metals and non-metals?
  • What is the order of reactivity for metals?
  • What happens when metals react with acids?
  • What happens when metals react with oxygen?
  • How do you write word and symbol equations to show the reactions of metals?
  • What is an oxidation reaction?
  • What is a reduction reaction?

 

Fertile questions: 

What useful materials do we get from the Earth?

How can we protect the Earth’s resources?

  • What does the structure of the Earth look like?
  • What are the three types of rock that can be found in the Earth and how are they formed? 
  • What is an ore and how are they formed?
  • What methods can be used to extract metals from the ground?
  • What method of extraction would be used for different metals?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different methods of extraction?
  • How do you write word and symbol equations to show the extraction of methods?
  • What do the terms reuse and recycle mean?
  • What materials can be reused and recycled?

 

Fertile question: How are humans destroying the Earth?

  • What harmful pollutants are released when we burn fuels?
  • How are humans contributing to global warming?
  • How are humans contributing to acid rain?
  • How are humans contributing to global dimming?
  • What can be done to reduce the level of pollutants in the atmosphere?
  • How is carbon cycled in the environment? 

 

Fertile question: Why don’t formula one cars keep accelerating down a long straight?

  • What is a force?
  • What are the different types of forces?
  • What happens to an object when the forces acting on it are balanced?
  • What happens to an object when the forces acting on it are unbalanced?
  • How might a force slow an object down, or speed an object up?

 

Fertile question: How did Archimedes plan to lift up the Earth?

  • What is meant by the term ‘work done’?
  • How can work done be calculated?
  • How are levers able to make jobs easier?
  • How are pulleys able to make jobs easier?

 

Fertile question: Why is a pie filling more likely to burn you than the pastry?

  • What different ways can heat be transferred?
  • How is heat transferred through solids?
  • How is heat transferred through fluids?
  • How can heat be transferred through radiation?
  • What materials are the best at insulating heat?
  • How can you keep your house warm? 

 

Year 8

During year 8, students will study the following topics:

 

Fertile question: How does our body move?

  • What are the names of the different bones in the human body?
  • What are the jobs of the skeleton?
  • How do muscles work in pairs to produce movement?
  • What role do ligaments and tendons play in movement?
  • What different joints can be found in the body? 

 

Fertile question: What happens to the food that we eat?

  • What are the seven food groups?
  • What organs are involved in digestion?
  • How does food pass through the digestive system?
  • What is the role of each organ in the digestive system?
  • How much energy do different food release?
  • How can you work out the concentration of different orange juices using titration?

 

Fertile question: In terms of average speed who was faster the tortoise or the hare?

  • What does ‘speed’ mean?
  • How can you calculate speed?
  • How can you work out the speed of an object through practical work?
  • How can you work out how far an object travelled?
  • How can you work out how long an object was travelling for?
     

Fertile question: Why would you weigh less on the moon than on Earth?

  • What is the different between mass and weight?
  • Why does the mass of an object stay the same on the Moon or on different planets?
  • Why does the weight of an object change on the Moor or on different planets?
  • How can you calculate the weight of an object?

 

Fertile question: Why do cranes have caterpillar tracks, not wheels?

  • How can you measure the density of an object?
  • How can you calculate pressure?
  • How can you change the pressure exerted by an object?
  • How can gases cause pressure?

 

Fertile question: Could humans survive without plants?

  • What are the main tissues and organs found in a plant?
  • What are the functions of the stem, root and leaves?
  • What adaptations do stems, leaves and roots have to help them do their job?
  • What is photosynthesis?
  • What do plants need for photosynthesis?
  • What is produced in photosynthesis?
  • How can you test for the presence of glucose?

 

Fertile question: Why is biodiversity important?

  • What keywords can we use to describe plants and animals?
  • What feeding relationships are there in different habitats?
  • Can you create food chains and food webs to show different feeding relationships?
  • What different factors can affect the plants and animals that live in different habitats?
  • How can different levels of pollution affect seed germination? 
  • What is bioaccumulation and how can it affect living things?

 

Fertile question: Everything in the world is made from particles called atoms, but what are atoms made from?

  • What does an atom look like? 
  • How can you work out how many protons, neutrons and electrons an atom has?
  • How are electrons arranged around an atom?
  • How has the model of the atom changed over time?

 

Fertile question: What does the position of an element on the periodic table tell you about the element? 

  • How is the periodic table organised?
  • How was the periodic table created?
  • What are the properties of elements in Group 1?
  • What are the properties of elements in Group 7?
  • What are the properties of elements in Group 0?

 

Fertile question: Why do we look similar to our siblings but different to each other?

  • What are the two types of variation?
  • What determines what we look like?
  • How do we inherit characteristics?
  • How can you use Punnett squares to determine what the offspring of two organisms may look like?
  • How can we extract DNA?
  • What does DNA look like?
  • How was DNA discovered?

 

Fertile questions:

Where do our differences come from?
Where do new species come from?

  • How do animals evolve?
  • What is Darwin’s theory of natural selection?
  • How did Darwin come up with his theory of natural selection?
  • What factors can cause animals to become extinct?

 

Fertile question: What is the connection to an electric circuit and a coal train?

  • Can you draw the 14 circuit symbols?
  • Can you identify the 14 circuit symbols?
  • What does electricity do?
  • What is an electric current?
  • What is potential difference?
  • What is the relationship between charge, current and time?
  • What is the relationship between current, resistance and potential difference?
  • What is resistance?
  • How can you calculate resistance?

 

Fertile question: When a candle burns, where does it go?

  • What different types of chemical reactions are there?
  • What happens during a chemical reaction?
  • What is the law of conservation of mass?
  • How do you work out the mass of a product or reactant?
  • Why does the mass in a chemical reaction sometimes appear to increase?
  • Why does the mass in a chemical reaction sometimes appear to decrease?

 

Fertile question: How can an acid be neutralised?

  • How can you identify whether a substance is an acid, alkali or neutral?
  • What is the pH scale and how can it be used to identify the strength of acids and alkalis?
  • What happens when an acid and an alkali react together?
  • What real life applications of neutralisation reactions are there?

 

Fertile question: What energy changes take place during a chemical reaction?

  • What chemical reactions release energy?
  • What chemical reactions absorb energy?
  • How can you identify what type of chemical reaction is taking place?
  • Why do some reactions release energy and some reactions absorb energy?
     

Fertile question: Why do we see lightning before we hear thunder?

  • Why do different musical instruments make different sounds?
  • What determines the pitch of a sound?
  • What determines the loudness of a sound?
  • What does a sound wave look like?
  • How does sound travel?
  • How do we hear sound?

 

Fertile question: Why might your yellow shirt appear red at a concert?

  • How does light travel?
  • What happens to light when it hits a reflective surface?
  • What happens to light when it hits a material such as glass or water?
  • How do we see different colours?
  • Why do different objects appear different colours under different coloured lights?

 

Fertile question: How can gamma rays, which cause cancer, be used to cure cancer?

  • What are transverse waves?
  • What are longitudinal waves?
  • What are the seven electromagnetic (EM) waves?
  • How are the different waves on the EM Spectrum different?
  • What are the different EM waves used for?
  • What are the dangers of the different EM Waves?

 

Year 9 - Biology

During year 9, students will study the following topics:

 

Fertile question: What are the building blocks of life? How can they be seen?

  • What is the structure of an animal cell?
  • What is the structure of a plant cell?
  • What is the structure of a bacterial cell?
  • How can microscopes be used to view cells?
  • Work practically to prepare microscope slides.
  • What is the equation that links image size, magnification and actual size?
  • How are animals and plants organised?

 

Fertile question: How do cells work together for organisms to survive?

  • Describe the structure and function of the digestive system.
  • What are the roles of the liver and gallbladder in digestion?
  • What is the role of enzymes in digestion?
  • Describe the structure and function of the leaf, root, xylem and phloem.
  • How do molecules enter cells?

 

Fertile question: How does the body defend itself against disease?

  • Identify different types of pathogens and how they cause disease.
  • What is a pathogen?
  • Explain the difference between communicable and non-communicable disease with examples and named risk factors.
  • Describe the body’s specific and non-specific defence mechanisms.
  • How do vaccines lead to immunisation?
  • What are the issues surrounding vaccines?
  • How are new medicines developed?
  • The importance of drug-trials.
  • Issues with overuse of antibiotics

 

Fertile question: How do different body systems work together to keep us alive?

  • What is the composition of the blood?
  • Link the structure of blood vessels to their function.
  • Describe the structure and function of the heart.
  • Describe the structure and the function of the breathing system.
  • How do the breathing and circulatory systems support each other during exercise?
  • Identify the differences between aerobic and anaerobic respiration in plants, animals and yeast.
  • What is metabolic rate?
     

Year 9 - Chemistry

During year 9, students will study the following topics:

 

Fertile question: What are substances made of?

  • What is the difference between an element, compound, molecule, mixture and pure substance?
  • How do you write chemical formula for chemical compounds?
  • How can you balance symbol equations for chemical reactions?
  • How can we use particle diagrams to represent elements, compounds, molecules, mixtures and pure substances?
  • What is a formulation and examples of their uses?
  • How can you identify from melting point and boiling point data whether something is a mixture or a pure substance?
     

Fertile question: How can you separate this mixture?

  • What method would be needed to separate different mixtures?
  • How can filtration be used to separate a mixture?
  • How can crystallisation be used to separate a mixture?
  • How can distillation used to separate a mixture?
  • How can chromatography used to separate a mixture?
  • How can you calculate Rf values for different dyes on a chromatogram?
  • Why do the different separation methods only work on some mixtures?

 

Fertile question: How is water made safe to drink?

  • How does the UK produce safe drinking water?
  • How do other countries that do not have ground water produce safe drinking water?
  • What other methods could be used to produce safe drinking water?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different methods used to produce safe drinking water?
  • How can you produce safe drinking water using distillation in a lab?
  • How could you find out the pH of different water samples?
  • How could you find out the level of dissolved salts in different water samples through practical work? 

 

Fertile questions: 

How was the periodic table created?

What does the position of an element in the periodic table tell you?

How has the model of the atom changed over time?

  • How was the periodic table created – what scientists were involved and how did they order the elements?
  • How has the model of the atom changed over time – what scientists were involved and what did they discover about the atom?
  • What does an atom look like?
  • How can you use the periodic table to work out the number of protons, neutrons and electrons in an atom?
  • How are the electrons arranged around an atom?
  • What does an elements group number in the periodic table tell you about its atoms?
  • What does an elements period number in the periodic table tell you about its atoms?
  • What is an isotope?
  • How can you calculate the relative atomic mass of an isotope?

 

Fertile question: How do metals and non-metals react together to form compounds?

  • How do different atoms gain a full outer shell of electrons?
  • What charge ions do different atoms form? 
  • How can you work out the charge of an ion?
  • What is an ionic bond?
  • How do metals and non-metals react together to form ionic compounds?
  • How do you draw dot and cross diagrams to show the ionic bonds that form between metals and non-metals?
  • How can you write chemical formula for different ionic compounds to show the number of ions present? 

 

Fertile questions:

How do non-metals react together to form stable molecules?

How do you identify an unknown gas?

  • What is a covalent bond?
  • How do non-metals react together to form covalent bond?
  • How do you draw dot and cross diagrams to show the covalent bonds in molecules?
  • How can you test for the following four gases – oxygen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide and chlorine?
     

Fertile question: In a chemical reaction how does the mass of the reactants compare to the mass of the products?

  • How can you work out the relative formula mass of a compound?
  • How can you work out the percentage by mass of an element in a compound?
  • What is meant by the term conservation of mass?
  • How can you use conservation of mass to work out the missing masses in a chemical equation?
  • Why does the mass during a reaction sometimes appear to decrease?
  • Why does the mass during a reaction sometimes appear to increase?

 

Fertile question: 

How do metals react?

What determines the method of extraction used for a metal?

  • Where are metals and non-metals found on the periodic table?
  • What are the typical properties of metals and non-metals?
  • What is the order of reactivity for metals?
  • What happens when metals react with acids?
  • What happens when metals react with oxygen?
  • How do you write word and symbol equations to show the reactions of metals?
  • What is an oxidation reaction?
  • What is a reduction reaction?
  • What is an ore and how are they formed?
  • What methods can be used to extract metals from the ground?
  • What method of extraction would be used for different metals?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different methods of extraction?
  • How do you write word and symbol equations to show the extraction of methods?
  • How is aluminium extracted from aluminium oxide using electrolysis?
  • How might other metals be extracted from their ores using electrolysis?
  • What happens during the electrolysis of molten compounds?
  • How do you write half equations to show the reactions that take place during electrolysis?
  • What alternative methods of extraction can be used on low-grade ores?

 

Fertile question: What properties determine an elements position in the Periodic Table?  

  • What are the names for the different groups in the periodic table?
  • How are elements in the same group of the periodic table similar to each other?
  • What reactions do the Alkali metals have?
  • How do you write word and symbol equations for the reactions of the Alkali metals?
  • Why do the Alkali metals get more reactive as you go down the group?
  • What reactions to the Halogens have?
  • How do you write word and symbol equations for the reactions of the Halogens?
  • What is a redox reaction?
  • Why are the displacement reactions of Group 7 examples of redox reactions?
  • How do you write half equations for redox reactions?
  • How do you write ionic equations for reactions?
  • Why do the Halogens get less reactive as you go down the group?
  • Why are the Noble Gases stable?
  • What are the properties and uses of the Noble Gases?

 

Year 9 - Physics

During year 9, students will study the following topics:

 

Fertile questions:

How does a million tonne oil tanker float but a 5g piece of plasticene sink?

Why is the sand at the beach hot but the water cool when both receive the same heat from the Sun?

Why it is difficult to make a good cup of tea high up a mountain?

  • How do you calculate the density of an object?
  • How do you measure the density of regular objects, irregular objects and liquids? (required practical)
  • How are particles arranged in solids, liquids and gases?
  • How do particles move in solids, liquids and gases?
  • Describe the forces between particles in a solid, liquid or gas.
  • Describe the energy of particles in a solid, liquid or gas.
  • What happens to the temperature of a substance as it is heated from the solid state to a liquid and then a gas?
  • What are the change of state processes called and what is needed to achieve them?
  • How can you calculate the energy required for a change of state?
  • What types of energy together constitute Internal Energy?
  • How is the internal energy of a substance changed as it is heated?
  • What are the differences between physical and chemical changes?
  • What happens to the mass of a substance when it changes state?
  • How do you calculate the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of an object without changing its state?
  • Explain pressure in gases.
  • How can you increase the pressure in gases?
  • Calculate pressure or volume of a gas before or after an expansion or compression using Boyle’s Law.
  • Why does a bicycle pump become hot when inflating a tyre?

 

Fertile questions:

How much would a penny made of just protons and neutrons weigh?

What happens if a scientist’s results don’t agree with previous scientists’ ideas?

How can a plant from thousands of years ago tell us how old and Egyptian mummy is?

  • How has the model of the atom changed through history?
  • What were the surprising results of Rutherford’s experiment that led to the nuclear model of the atom?
  • What are the dimensions of an atom?
  • What are the dimensions of the nucleus of an atom?
  • What 3 particles make up the atom?
  • What are the relative masses and charges on these 3 particles?
  • What are ISOTOPES?
  • What are the 3 types of radioactivity?
  • How can radioactive particles or waves be stopped?
  • What does ionising radiation mean?
  • What are the relative ionising powers of the 3 types of radioactivity?
  • What are the hazards from radioactivity?
  • What can radioactivity be used for?
  • How does the nucleus change when it emits radioactivity?
  • Can you write nuclear equations for the 3 types of radioactive decay?
  • What is the half-life of an isotope?
  • How can you calculate half-life from a half-life graph?
  • How can half-life help choose a particular isotope for a particular use?
  • What is contamination?  What do you do if you are contaminated by radioactive isotopes?
  • What is irradiation?  How do you protect yourself from irradiation?
  • What is background radiation?  Where does it come from?
  • How is nuclear radiation used in medicine?
  • What is nuclear fission?  How is it controlled?
  • Draw a diagram to explain the nuclear fission “chain reaction”.
  • What is nuclear fusion?  Where does it occur?

 

Fertile questions:

If energy is not destroyed where does it go?

Which has more energy, a bullet or Usain Bolt?

Which can keep your bed warmer for longer, one kilogram of iron or one kilogram of water (in a bottle obviously!)?

When you drop a ball from a certain height why doesn’t it bounce back up to the same height?

  • Where do you get your energy from?
  • How is energy stored?
  • How is energy transferred?
  • Why is all energy not transferred in an open system?
  • What type of energy does a catapult possess?
  • Why do you have more energy at the top of the ladders than at the bottom?
  • Can you use the formula for Ep to calculate m,g and h by changing the subject of the equation?
  • How can you calculate the kinetic energy of an object?
  • What is efficiency?
  • How can you calculate the efficiency of a system?
  • How can you improve the efficiency of a system?
  • If a pizza comes out of an oven which is hotter- the cheese or the base? Which has the most energy?
  • What affects how quickly a kettle boils?
  • How do you calculate specific heat capacity?
  • Can you identify independent, dependent and control variables in an investigation?
  • Can you give the units of energy, gravitational field strength, height, mass, velocity?
     

Year 10 - Biology

During year 10, students will study the following topics:

 

Fertile question: Where does life start?

  • What is photosynthesis?
  • Why do plants need glucose?
  • How is a plant adapted for photosynthesis?
  • How can the rate of photosynthesis be measured?
  • How are essential substances for life transported in and out of cells?
  • What diseases affect plant growth?
  • How do plants defend themselves against pathogens?
  • How does tropism support plant growth?

 

Fertile question: How does the body respond?

  • Describe the sensory system.
  • Describe the structure and function of a sensory, motor and relay neurone.
  • Describe the importance of a reflex action.
  • Use scientific methods to investigate reaction time.
  • Explain the role of the endocrine system.
  • How are adrenaline and thyroxine controlled?
  • How is body temperature controlled?
  • Describe the structure and function of the brain and the eye.
  • How is blood sugar controlled by the body?
  • How do hormones control fertility?

 

Fertile question: Why are we all different?

  • Where does variation come from?
  • How is DNA structured?
  • How does DNA determine our characteristics?
  • How do cells divide?
  • Evaluate the ethics surrounding stem cell usage.
  • How can humans use knowledge of genes?

 

Year 10 - Chemistry

During year 10, students will study the following topics:

 

Fertile question: How can we use the particle model to explain the properties of solids, liquids and gases?

  • Predict the state of substances at different temperatures.
  • How can you represent the three states of matter using particle models?
  • How do you explain the energy changes that take place during changes of state?
  • What are the 3 states of matter?
  • What are the limitations of simple models in explaining changes of state?

 

Fertile question: How does the structure of a material influence its properties?

  • How can you describe the structures of giant ionic, giant covalent, metallic and simple covalent molecules including diamond, graphite and fullerenes?
  • How can you explain how the structure of a material affects its properties in terms of melting point, boiling point and electrical conductivity?
  • Why does graphite conduct electricity but diamond does not?
  • Why is graphite soft and flaky and diamond hard. 
  • Why are pure metal soft and alloys hard?
  • What are nanoparticles?
  • What are fullerenes used for?

 

Fertile question: How can an acid be neutralised? How can you make a pure, dry sample of a soluble salt?

  • What is the pH scale?
  • How can you use indicators to measure the pH of a solution?
  • How can you use pH scale to identify acids and alkalis? 
  • How do metals react with acids?
  • How are acids and alkalis neutralised?
  • How do you make a soluble salt?
  • What ions are responsible for making substances acids and alkalis?
  • How can you calculate the concentration of an acid or alkali?
  • Why are some acids strong and others weak?

 

Fertile questions: 

What happens during a chemical reaction?

How can you make a chemical reaction faster? 

  • Why do chemical reactions happen?
  • How can you calculate the rate of a reaction?
  • What factors affect the rate of a reaction?
  • Use a particle model to describe how changing surface area, concentration and temperature affect the rate of a reaction.
  • Why do catalysts speed up chemical reactions?

 

Fertile question: What energy changes take place during a chemical reaction? 

  • What are exothermic and endothermic reactions?
  • How can you tell if a reaction is exothermic or endothermic?
  • How are exothermic and endothermic reactions used?
  • Describe exothermic and endothermic using reaction profiles.
  • How can you calculate the energy change for a chemical reaction?
  • Is breaking bonds exothermic or endothermic?

 

Fertile question: How do you determine the optimum conditions for a chemical reaction?

  • What is a reversible reaction?
  • What is dynamic equilibrium?
  • What does Le Chatelier’s Principle state? 
  • What conditions affect reactions that are in equilibrium?
  • How does changing these conditions affect equilibrium?

 

Fertile question: How can electricity be used to break apart a chemical compound?

  • What is electrolysis?
  • What type of compounds are involved in electrolysis?
  • Why do compounds need to be molten or aqueous for electrolysis to work?
  • Why is electrolysis used to extract some metals?
  • What are half equations and how are they used to describe electrolysis?

 

Year 10 - Physics

During year 10, students will study the following topics:

 

Fertile questions: 

Why is the sand at the beach hot but the water cool when both receive the same heat from the Sun?

Why can’t a rollercoaster just keep going forever without putting more energy into it?

How come a hot cup of tea gets colder but a cold glass of coke gets warmer in the same room?

  • Where do you get your energy from?
  • How is energy stored?
  • How is energy transferred?
  • Why is all energy not transferred in an open system?
  • What type of energy does a catapult possess?
  • Why do you have more energy at the top of the ladders than at the bottom?
  • Can you use the formula for Ep to calculate m,g and h by changing the subject of the equation?
  • How can you calculate the kinetic energy of an object?
  • What is efficiency?
  • How can you calculate the efficiency of a system?
  • How can you improve the efficiency of a system?
  • If a pizza comes out of an oven which is hotter- the cheese or the base? Which has the most energy?
  • What affects how quickly a kettle boils?
  • How do you calculate specific heat capacity?
  • How do you calculate work done?
  • Why is someone pushing against a wall not doing work?
  • In which gym exercise do you do most work?
  • What makes it harder to move an object over a surface?
  • Can you identify independent, dependent and control variables in an investigation?
  • Can you calculate power?
  • Can you give the units of power, energy, gravitational field strength, height, mass, velocity?
  • What are the advantages of a more powerful machine?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of fossil fuels, nuclear power, solar power, wind power, hydroelectric power, wave power, tidal power, geothermal and biomass as energy sources?
  • Why may some people have different opinions about where they should be constructed?

 

Fertile questions: 

What does electricity have in common with a Victorian gent on a horse and cart?

How does a washing machine turn itself off if a stray live wire makes the case live, saving a person’s life?

  • Can you draw the 14 circuit symbols?
  • Can you identify the 14 circuit symbols?
  • What does electricity do?
  • What is an electric current?
  • What is the relationship between charge, current and time?
  • What is the relationship between current, resistance and potential difference?
  • What is resistance?
  • What is potential difference?
  • What is the relationship between length of wire and resistance? (required practical)
  • How does resistance change when resistors are in parallel or series? (required practical)
  • Identify components from the characteristic I-V curves.
  • Plot characteristic I-V curves for filament lamp, fixed resistor at constant temperature and diode. (required practical)
  • Explain shapes of I-V curves.
  • What is the relationship between light intensity and resistance for an LDR?
  • What is the relationship between temperature and resistance for a thermistor?
  • Where could you use LDRs and thermistors?
  • Can you draw the circuit you would use to measure the resistance of a component?
  • How does current and potential difference vary in series and parallel circuits?
  • What is the difference between a.c. and d.c.?
  • Can you identify the components in a 3-pin plug and where they go?
  • Can you identify the safety features of 3-pin plug?
  • Can you calculate current, resistance, power or potential difference in appliances?
  • Can you calculate energy, charge, power, time or potential difference in appliances?
  • Can you calculate the efficiency of appliances?
  • What is the national grid?  What is its purpose?
  • What do transformers do?  Why do we use them?
  • How do objects become charged with static electricity?
  • What materials can become charged with static electricity?
  • What is an induced charge?
  • What do opposite and same charges do when brought close together?
  • What is an electric field?  How can you work out the direction of the field?
  • Where is the field strongest?  How do you know?
  • What type of force is electrostatic force between charges?

 

Fertile questions: 

How can you travel 1000km but have a displacement of 0km?

How can you travel at a steady speed of 30m/s but be accelerating?

How can a space ship keep moving through space without any forward force?

  • What is the difference between scalars and vectors?
  • What are the non-contact forces?
  • What are the contact forces?
  • What causes weight?
  • How do you calculate weight?
  • How would you measure weight and in what units?
  • What 3 things can forces do?
  • What happens to an object that has balanced forces acting on it?
  • Calculate the resultant force on an object in one dimension?
  • What happens to an object if a resultant force acts on it?
  • Calculate the resultant force on an object in two directions.
  • Resolve a single force into two forces, vertical and horizontal.
  • Calculate the work done on an object when moved by a force.
  • What energy is dissipated when friction occurs?
  • What is the relationship between force and extension of a spring.
  • Calculate force or extension of a spring using Hooke’s Law.
  • Calculate the energy stored in a spring.
  • What are elastic and inelastic deformation?
  • Investigate the relationship between Force and Extension for a spring. (required practical)
  • Calculate the moment of a force.
  • How can levers and gears make physical work easier?
  • Calculate pressure.
  • How does pressure in a liquid vary with depth?
  • Calculate the pressure in a liquid.
  • What causes atmospheric pressure?
  • Calculate the speed of an object.
  • What is the difference between speed and velocity?
  • How can on object moving in a circle at constant speed be accelerating?
  • Calculate acceleration.
  • How does a distance-time graph describe motion?
  • How does a velocity-time graph describe motion?
  • What does Newton’s First Law state?
  • What does Newton’s Second Law state?
  • Investigate the relationship between Force, Mass and Acceleration. (required practical)
  • What does Newton’s Third Law state?
  • What affects the stopping distance of a car?
  • Calculate momentum.
  • What does the Conservation of Momentum Principle mean?
  • Calculate changes in momentum and the effect on impact forces.

 

Year 11 - Biology

During year 11, students will study the following topics:

 

Fertile questions: 

Why are we all different?

Are we still evolving?

  • What is Darwin’s theory of evolution?
  • What is Wallace’s theory of speciation?
  • How do bacteria evolve?
  • Where does the evidence for evolution come from and how is it presented scientifically?

 

Fertile question: Will the world survive?

  • Why is competition necessary?
  • How is energy lost through a food chain?
  • How can be populations be sampled?
  • How are nutrients cycled?
  • What is the impact of global warming on biodiversity?
  • How can we take steps to limit the impact of global warming?
  • What is the impact of increasing populations on food supplies?
     

Year 11 - Chemistry

During year 11, students will study the following topics:

 

Fertile question: When making a product how do chemists ensure the reaction is efficient and produces little waste?

  • How can you work out the atom economy for a reaction?
  • How can you work out the percentage yield of a product in a reaction?  
  • How does Haber process for making ammonia reduce waste?

 

Fertile questions:

What useful products do you get from crude oil?

How does the structure of an organic molecule affect its properties?

  • Where does crude oil come from?
  • What are hydrocarbons?
  • What is the difference between an alkane and an alkane?
  • How is crude oil separated into useful products?
  • How does the size of a hydrocarbon molecule affect its properties in terms of boiling point / viscosity and flammability?
  • What are the products of burning hydrocarbons?
  • Why are hydrocarbons broken down into smaller molecules? What is this process called?
  • How can you distinguish between an alkene and alkane?
  • What is the difference between alcohols, carboxylic acids?
  • What is a polymer?
  • What is the difference between addition polymerisation and condensation polymerisation?  
  • Name two naturally occurring polymers.

 

Fertile question: How are humans destroying the Earth?

  • What harmful pollutants are released when we burn fuels?
  • How are humans contributing to global warming?
  • How are humans contributing to acid rain?
  • How are humans contributing to global dimming?
  • What can be done to reduce the level of pollutants in the atmosphere?

 

Fertile questions: 

How has the Earth changed?

How can we protect the Earth’s resources?

  • What is the difference between todays atmosphere and the early Earth’s atmosphere? What caused these changes?
  • What are greenhouse gases and how do they cause the Earth to warm up?
  • How are humans adding to greenhouse gases?
  • What are the effects and implications of global climate change? 
  • How can we reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere?
  • What is the difference between finite and renewable resources?
  • What is a Life Cycle Assessment LCA?
  • What do the terms reuse and recycle mean?
  • What materials can be reused and recycled?

 

Fertile question: How do you identify an unknown substance? 

  • How do you identify the positive ion present in a compound using precipitate tests? 
  • How do you identify the positive ion present in a compound using flame tests?
  • How do you identify the negative ion present in a compound?
  • What instrumental methods can be used to identify an unknown substance?

 

Year 11 - Physics

During year 11, students will study the following topics:

 

Fertile questions: 

Why might your yellow shirt appear red at a concert?

Why do we see lightning before we hear thunder?

How can gamma rays, which cause cancer, be used to cure cancer?

  • Can you give examples of waves?
  • What is frequency?
  • How do you calculate wavelength?
  • Can you identify amplitude, wavelength, period and frequency on a diagram?
  • What is the difference between a longitudinal and a transverse wave?
  • How you can measure the speed of sound in air?
  • How can you measure the wave speed in a ripple tank?
  • Can you describe the changes in velocity, frequency and wavelength, in transmission of sound waves from one medium to another?
  • How do you hear?
  • How can sound waves be used in imaging?
  • How can the waves on the electromagnetic spectrum be useful or dangerous?
  • Which waves are ionising?
  • What happens to a wave as it passes into a different medium?
  • Do you know the order of waves in the electromagnetic spectrum by wavelength?
  • How do lenses help focus light?
  • Can you draw ray diagrams showing how light waves move through different materials?
  • How can magnification be calculated?
  • How do we see different colours?
  • What factors affect the temperature of the Earth?
  • How do objects increase or decrease in temperature?

 

Fertile question: Why are magnets so useful on a DofE expedition?  

  • What do you know about the poles of a magnet?
  • What is an induced magnet?
  • How could you plot the shape of a magnetic field around a bar magnet?
  • Where is the magnetic field strongest?
  • How does a compass work?  What evidence does this provide for the structure of the earth?
  • What is a solenoid?
  • How can you make a solenoid into an electromagnet?
  • What is the shape of a magnetic field around a single wire?
  • How could you plot the shape of a magnetic field around an electromagnet?
  • How does current affect the strength of an electromagnet?
  • Can you interpret diagrams of electromagnetic devices in order to explain how they work?
  • What is the motor effect?  How can you change the size or direction of the force produced?
  • How does Fleming’s left hand rule work?
  • Calculate the force on a conductor in a magnetic field.
  • Why do motors rotate?
  • Explain how loudspeakers work.
  • How do you induce a potential difference? How can you change the size and direction of the induced potential difference?
  • How do generators produce electricity?
  • How do microphones work?
  • How do transformers change potential difference?
  • Can you calculate currents and potential differences in transformer circuits?
     

Fertile questions:

What would happen if the Sun suddenly disappeared?

What is the Earth made of and where did it come from?

  • What is there in our Solar System?
  • What is a galaxy and which one is our Solar System part of?
  • Can you describe the “life Cycle” of a star?
  • What different outcomes are there for small stars like our Sun compared with massive stars?
  • How are elements up to iron made inside a star?
  • How are elements bigger than iron formed?
  • What keeps objects in orbit around other objects?
  • What is the Doppler Effect?
  • What is Red-Shift and how does it support the Big Bang Theory?
  • What don’t we understand yet about the Universe?

 

Miss K. Chelton

Head of Department

Miss N. Corsby

Second in Department

Miss S. Connon

Assistant Headteacher & Teacher of Science

Mrs S. Ethell

Teacher of Science

Miss S. Mohammed

Teacher of Science

Mr C. Wallis

Teacher of Science & Business Links Senior Leader

Mr S. Walsh

Teacher of Science


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