Welcome to the Science Department

Departmental Courses
  • GCSE Double Science  (AQA)
  • GCSE Biology (AQA)
  • GCSE Chemistry (AQA)
  • GCSE Physics (AQA)
  • GCE Biology (AQA)
  • GCE Chemistry (AQA)
  • GCE Physics (AQA)
  • BTEC Science

Our goal is for our students to explore how the universe works whilst having fun.

We work to develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the study of biology, chemistry and physics.

The aim of the Key Stage 3 course is to equip students with an understanding and appreciation of science and scientific thinking.

We work to develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the study of biology, chemistry and physics. Students study topics in modules lasting approximately 9 weeks. Each module is assessed with all students being encouraged to clearly identify how to improve their level of work for the next module.

Students develop their understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science by carrying out projects and experiments on specific scientific questions about the world around them. In addition, students learn about the uses and implications of science, today and in the future. An example would be the potential implications of global warming on our planet.

Emphasis is placed on ensuring students develop skills in handling information and problem solving using and developing skills also gained in other subjects, especially mathematics and English. Students learn how to draw and interpret tables and graphs and write clearly and concisely using scientific terminology.

Homework is set to embed the practice of ‘student based learning’ where the student learns to take responsibility for their own learning. Many students especially enjoy project based homework where they can delve deeper into a particular subject that interests them. There is also a science club, which enables further investigation in a fun environment.

Pupils are regularly assessed with the data being used to inform parents of progress via the tracking point data system. In March of year 9, students sit a formal exam to establish their progress in science during key stage 3. The result is reported to parents. This information is used to establish the appropriate courses of study for science at key stage 4.

Science – GCSE Combined Science

In GCSE Combined Science, students study Physics, Biology, and Chemistry with subject specialist teaching, leading to a double award in science (worth two GCSEs). Combined science can be thought of as two GCSEs rolled in to one. Some students who are expected to attain highly in Science will be invited to select ‘Triple science’ (individual science GCSEs) as part of their option selection. Although the Triple award is an advantage if studying one of the sciences at A-Level, it is still possible to study an A-Level science if the combined science award has been taken.

Science – GCSE Triple Science

Why study Triple Science?

Studying GCSE Triple Science at Poole High School provides the opportunity to study Biology, Chemistry and Physics in more detail than covered in Trilogy (combined) Science course. This means that you will be well prepared for A-Level Biology, Chemistry or Physics or any Science based studies after GCSE.

Science GCSE’s are very well regarded due to the nature of the challenges and will make any application for further education more appealing.

Triple Science is a challenging curriculum and will only appear as an option to those students who are currently achieving beyond the expected progress at Key Stage 3, as determined by the science department. Students wishing to select Triple Science should have a conversation with a member of the science team at the GCSE Options evening.

Topics include:

  • 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: Forces, Energy, Waves, Electricity, Magnetism and electromagnetism, Particle model of matter, Atomic structure, Space physics

Assessment

For each science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) there are two exams – six exams in total

  • Exam Paper 1: First half of the topics – (50% of the GCSE),
  • Exam Paper 2: Second half of the topics – (50% of the GCSE).

Which students do well at Triple Sciences?

  • …those who have a genuine interest in Biology, Chemistry and Physics
  • …those who enjoy a challenge and don’t give up easily
  • …those who can work well independently

Who do I contact for more information?

Mr S Colley (s.colley@poolehigh.poole.sch.uk)

 

At Key Stage 5 we offer  A Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics plus BTEC Applied Science.

A Level Biology.

Biology involves the study of a wide range of topics, ranging from molecular biology to the study of ecosystems and microorganisms to mammoths. Many areas of biology are at the cutting edge of science with vital innovations occurring every year.

Success in biology involves plenty of additional independent study, a love of science, a problem solving brain and the ability to efficiently carry out practical work.

  • Topics studied include:
    Biological molecules
    Cell structure
    Organisms exchange substances with their environment
    Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
    Energy transfer in and between organisms
    Organisms respond to changes in their environments
    Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
    The control of gene expression

Assessment:

At the end of year 13 candidates will be assessed by 3 written assessment papers, each 2 hours long as well as a non-exam practical endorsement.

A Level Chemistry.

Chemistry is one of the most academically challenging courses offered by Poole High School and it is highly regarded by Russell Group universities. Success in this course depends on hard work, the ability to think logically and a high degree of self-motivation. It is a subject which develops competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills. Chemistry is involved in everything around us and is often referred to as the ‘central science’.  It helps to connect physical sciences, like Maths and Physics, with applied sciences, like Biology, Medicine and Engineering. Students who take Chemistry often also study Maths and/or another science subject from Biology, Physics, and Psychology.

Year12 Topics include:

  • Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations
  • Bonding and structure
  • The periodic table and periodicity
  • Organic substances and their synthesis and identification
  • Inorganic substances
  • Reaction rates and equilibrium
  • Energetics

Year 13 topics include:

  • Organic substances and their synthesis
  • Analysis
  • Inorganic substances, including the transition metals.
  • Polymers and biochemistry
  • Enthalpy, entropy and Gibbs free energy
  • Acids and bases
  • Electrochemistry
  • Kinetics

Assessment

There are three two hour exams at the end of the two-year course (AQA 7405 Chemistry).

The exams are:

Paper 1 Relevant physical chemistry topics. Inorganic chemistry and relevant practical skills.

Paper 2 Relevant physical chemistry topics. Organic chemistry and relevant practical skills.

Paper 3 Any content. Any practical skills.

A practical endorsement certificate is also awarded to students who show the required level of competence, based on 12 required practicals and additional practicals undertaken throughout the course. Each student keeps a hard backed laboratory book.

A Level Physics

Physics a fascinating subject that allows you to start to understand how and why the Universe works. While studying subjects from sub atomic particle physics to the forces that control the vastness of the universe you will develop your understanding of the world we live in, while accepting there is lots still to discover and explain.

A-level Physics is highly regarded and is identified as a key facilitating subject by the Russell Group of Elite Universities. This means that, along with some other A-Levels, Physics is given a slightly higher weighting when applying for courses at the top universities.

Through your study of Physics, you will develop your ability to problem solve, work with number and communicate ideas clearly. The study of Physics can lead to careers in Architecture, Law, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Dentistry, Computing, Economics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and engineering or electronics sectors.

Topics include:

Year 12

  • Measurements and their errors
  • Particles and radiation
  • Waves
  • Mechanics and materials
  • Electricity

Year 13

  • Further mechanics
  • Thermal physics
  • Fields
  • Nuclear physics
  • Optional topic : Cosmology, Turning points in physics, Medical physics

Assessment

At the end of year 13 candidates will be assessed by 3 written assessment papers, each 2 hours long as well as a non-exam practical endorsement.

BTEC Applied Science

Topics include:

Year 12

  • Measurements and their errors
  • Particles and radiation
  • Waves
  • Mechanics and materials
  • Electricity

Year 13

  • Further mechanics
  • Thermal physics
  • Fields
  • Nuclear physics
  • Optional topic : Cosmology, Turning points in physics, Medical physics

Assessment

At the end of year 13 candidates will be assessed by 3 written assessment papers, each 2 hours long as well as a non-exam practical endorsement.

Biology is also a well-recognised and respected course and is identified as a key facilitating subject by the Russell Group of Elite Universities. It can lead students on to study many different types of science course at university. Students from Poole High School have gone on to study pure Biology, Biochemistry, Environmental Sciences, Forensics as well as medical related courses such as physiotherapy, medicine, dentistry and nursing.

BTEC Applied Science would be excellent for a career in a science-related industry. It would provide the foundations for a subsequent vocational qualification. Most importantly, you would gain transferable life skills of analysis, evaluation, presentation, group work and independence.

Chemistry is a well-regarded facilitating subject. It is a key subject for many health and clinical professions, such as medicine, veterinary science, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy and forensic science. It will also equip students for a career in industry, for example in the petrochemical or pharmaceutical industries, chemical engineering and patent law. Chemistry opens up many other non- science related careers for example accountancy and management consultancy.

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