Science

Our aim in the Science department is to inspire our students to want to find out more about the Science behind how our world works. Through inspirational teaching we aim to help students fulfil their potential and achieve success with us at The Roundhill Academy.

The Science department consists of 8 Science teachers from a range of Scientific backgrounds in Chemistry, Biology and Physics.

SCIENCE WEEK 2021

It’s Science week this week, and as part of our celebrations and activities Miss Woolman has kindly made some instructions for lots of fabulous experiments that you can try at home. Have a go using the instructions then send your science teacher a picture of what you’ve managed to do, or ask your parents to post a photo. There will be prizes for the best attempts!

Science Week Challenge 1

Topics covered in Science are detailed below

Topic 1 Scientific SkillsThis topic introduces students to scientific investigation and safety. Students develop scientific skills around safety and risk assessment; planning, method writing and variables; collecting and recording data, and concluding and evaluating. They experience a range of experiments and being to familiarise themselves with scientific equipment, including the Bunsen burner!
Topic 2 EnergyStudents develop their understanding of energy as a transferrable store required for events to happen. This is a fundamental concept underpinning the Physics element of their curriculum. They will study energy stores, applicable to real life events as a principal of Physics. Students will gain confidence in working with larger numbers including the Si units kJ and kW. Using these to compare the energy provided in food, fuel stores and domestic fuel bills. Students will study simple machines in a practical context. The concept of heat energy and how this energy can be transferred by conduction, convection and radiation will be studied. Further developing students ideas of how particles can, and cannot, transfer energy. The scientific skills, risk assessment and planning are further developed and consolidated.
Topic 3 ForcesForces play a role in one of the mechanisms by which energy is transferred, so a range of different forces and their actions are studied in this next topic. Students develop an understanding of how the action of contact and non-contact forces can impact on an objects shape and motion. The many practical opportunities in this topic allow students to consolidate their ideas and further improve their planning and risk assessment skills.
Topic 4 ParticlesStudents begin to study one of the most fundamental concepts in Chemistry: the particle. They use the particle model to build an understanding of the three states of matter, solid, liquid and gas, properties of these states of matter and how changes occur from one state to another. They look at what happens at the particle level during physical changes including changes of state, dissolving, density and diffusion. Students become more confident at identifying variables and use a range of methods to present data.
Topic 5 Atoms and ElementsStudents will explore the different types of substances known as atoms, elements, compounds and mixtures, how these substances can be represented with symbols and formulae and how substances within a mixture can separated. They will be introduced to the Periodic table and the principles underpinning its formation. They will investigate the physical and chemical properties of elements and groups of elements found in the periodic table, including metals and non-metals and learn how to use the periodic table to make predictions about other elements. Identifying variables and presenting data in different formats continue to be a focus in this topic.
Topic 6 Chemical ReactionsStudents are introduced to the Law of Conservation of Mass and chemical reactions, including how to construct word and chemical equations. A range of different chemical reactions are studied; combustion including respiration, thermal decomposition, oxidation and displacement reactions, that build upon their previous knowledge of the periodic table. The pH scale for measuring acidity and alkalinity is introduced along with reactions of acids with metals and neutralization reactions. Reactions involving energy changes like endothermic reactions including photosynthesis are also studied.
Topic 7 Cells and SystemsIn this topic students learn about the building blocks of life, the cell. They study the structure of animal and plant cells and develop an understanding of the role each structure within the cell, plays in the overall functioning of the cell. This leads on to explore the role and adaptions of specialised cells, building up to human organ systems; the circulatory and skeletal muscular systems are introduced. Microscopy offers students practical opportunities to understand the scale of size relating to cells. Students begin to develop the scientific skill of analysing data for its precision and repeatability.
Topic 8 Vital Processes 1Vital process begins by looking at the biological importance of the chemical reaction, respiration and leads on to study the organ system supporting this vital process. The structure of the respiratory system is studied in detail, looking at its adaptations for efficient gas exchange, to include features of the alveoli and the breathing mechanism. The impacts of smoking, exercise and asthma on the respiratory system are explored and students continue to analyse data.
Topic 1 Feeding RelationshipsThis topic focuses on the importance of plants as organisms and their role in supporting all other life on Earth. Students will study how plants are adapted to absorb sunlight for photosynthesis in order to build organic molecules that are an essential energy store and maintain levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. They will explore the role and adaptations of the leaf for gas exchange and the roots for the uptake of mineral ions and water. Students consider the importance of pollinators in plant reproduction and human life. From here, Feeding relationships considers the interdependence of organisms within an ecosystem and how organisms affect and are affected by their environment. Students are introduced to anaerobic respiration and the role of decomposers in the food chain and the cycling of nutrients. Practical opportunities enable students to study the biodiversity of plants within the school grounds, present their views and consider errors and anomalies within data collected.
Topic 2 Vital Processes 2Vital process begins by looking at the biological importance of the chemical reaction, respiration and leads on to study the organ systems supporting this vital process. The structure of the respiratory system is studied in detail, looking at its adaptations for efficient gas exchange, to include features of the alveoli and the breathing mechanism. The impacts of smoking, exercise and asthma on the respiratory system are explored. The role the digestive system plays in obtaining the raw materials for respiration, cell functioning and health is considered next. Healthy diets, the impact of an imbalanced diet, the process of digestion, including the role of enzymes, and the adaptations of the digestive system are all studied in detail. Investigations into enzyme function give students opportunities to master their processing and analysis of data.
Topic 3 Light and SoundStudents explore how waves radiate information and transfer energy which helps them understand how we communicate with world around us. The characteristic properties and transmission of light, sound waves are studied, giving students a deeper understanding of how we see in colour, hear sounds and use waves to our advantage in technology. The use of rays diagrams enable students to model how light waves are reflected, refracted and dispersed. Students are introduced to analysing data for its precision and repeatability.
Topic 4 Chemical ReactionsStudents are introduced to the Law of Conservation of Mass and chemical reactions, including how to construct word and chemical equations. A range of different chemical reactions are studied; combustion including respiration, thermal decomposition, oxidation and displacement reactions, that build upon their previous knowledge of the periodic table. The pH scale for measuring acidity and alkalinity is introduced along with reactions of acids with metals and neutralization reactions. Reactions involving energy changes, exothermic and endothermic reactions are also studied.
Topic 5 EnergyThe concept of energy and understanding what makes things happen, is a fundamental concepts in Science. This topic looks at the different energy stores and the mechanisms by which energy is transferred from one store to another, how thermal energy is transferred via conduction, convection and radiation and the different resources we use for generating energy. The skill of evaluating advantages and disadvantages is explored during this topic.
Topic 6 BirthBirth introduces students to human reproduction, including the structure and function of the male and female reproductive systems, the menstrual cycle, fertilisation, gestation and the effect of maternal lifestyle on foetal development. The use of secondary data provides opportunities to process and analyse data.
Topic 1 EnergyStudents will develop a deeper understanding of energy, in that an energy store of some kind is necessary for events to happen. This is a fundamental concept underpinning the Physics element of their curriculum. The will add further complexity from the ideas about energy stores taught in year 7 to include the idea of energy pathways utilising principal of conservation of energy in closed systems. They will identify the physical processes and mechanisms that cause changes of energy in systems. Students will also compare power ratings of appliances, and develop further understanding about the meaning of power related to energy changes. They will use mathematical techniques to compare energy transfers, including further developing their skills in unit identification and conversions. Students will study energy sources and develop their ability to justify choices for fuel and energy resources by evaluating evidence. Identify and explain energy stores and transfers and apply calculations to these build upon year 7 by covering method s of energy transfer in systems.
Topic 2 Periodic tableStudents continue to develop the idea that all matter is made up of atoms, and that materials made from a single chemical substance or mixture of substances give the material distinctive properties. This includes further development of ideas about the atomic model and the differences between atoms, elements and compounds. Evaluating evidence presented by scientists during the development of ideas about the atom is covered as part of this. Study of chemical symbols and formulae for elements and compounds along with mathematic application for the conservation of mass in chemical reactions is covered. Pure and impure substances and the simple techniques for separating mixtures in a practical context are developed. The periodic table is further explored as a tool for deciphering and predicting the varying physical and chemical properties of different elements. With the chemical symbols contained within it used for representing reactions of greater complexity.
Topic 3 CircuitsStudents develop the big idea of electrical charge and its role in helping us to develop technology and its role in electrical devices. They study static electricity and electric fields and their link to electrical current in circuits. The basics of circuits are revisited, further developing ideas about potential difference and resistance in circuits based upon different components. The national grid as a tool to transfer electrical energy and it’s link to potential difference and current in our homes is covered. Elements of working scientifically are revisited in this unit, based upon feedback from student’s summative assessments.
Topic 4 MagnetismStudents further develop the idea that electricity and magnetism and help us to develop technology that improves lives. They study the history of electromagnetism in the context of Micheal Faraday and his experiments including the threshold knowledge required to understand this – from magnetic poles to magnetic field lines. Students will study the Earths own magnetism and the relevance to navigation. The links between electromagnetism and motors is also covered in this unit, linking with ideas from the forces unit. Elements of working scientifically are revisited in this unit, based upon feedback from student’s summative assessments.
Topic 5 Health dataStudents develop their ability to manipulate and present data in this unit in the context of the big idea of health and disease – the interaction between organisms in their environment. Ideas about the circulatory system from key stage 2 are revisited and linked to health conditions that will likely have impacted students own lives. Data is studied related to communicable and non-communicable diseases, looking also at the effect of lifestyle on the way their bodies function. The effects of recreational drugs and their effect on health, including smoking and alcohol are also taught, incorporating students own preconceptions and misconceptions. Oracy in the description of data is developed. Students continue to practice practical planning in the context of a health investigation.
Topic 1 CellsIn this topic students continue learn about the cellular basis of life to greater depth. They continue study the structure of animal and plant cells including ideas about the role of diffusion in the movement of substances in and out of the cell. Students study the structural adaptations of prokaryotic unicellular organisms. The tissues and organs of the digestive system are studied in greater depth, including the structure and mechanisms for enzyme digestion. Students further develop their ability to plan a practical in the context of enzymes.
Topic 2 Non communicable diseasesStudents develop their ability to manipulate and present data in this unit in the context of the big idea of health and disease – the interaction between organisms in their environment. Ideas about the circulatory system from key stage 2 are revisited and linked to health conditions that will likely have impacted students own lives. Data is studied related to communicable and non-communicable diseases, looking also at the effect of lifestyle on the way their bodies function. The effects of recreational drugs and their effect on health, including smoking and alcohol are also taught, incorporating students own preconceptions and misconceptions. Oracy in the description of data is developed. Students continue to practice practical planning in the context of a health investigation.
Topic 3 Infection and responseThis topic links with students knowledge of cells from previous topics. It will help students to make the link between how the interactions of the body and it’s environment and can affect an organisms overall health. Pathogens are microorganisms that cause disease in plants and animals. Students will learn how to reduce or prevent the spread of disease. Students will also be able to identify defensive system to protect against pathogens in both animals and plants including the role of immunity. The process of development of drugs and vaccinations is also covered in this topic.
Topic 4 Bonding, structures and properties of matterThis topic links with students knowledge of chemical reactions from previous topics. It will help students to develop the concept of the universe being made of very small particles, and that their structure and bonding helps to explain their properties. Students will be able to identify the three types of chemical bonds and identify when they will be formed. Students will also be able to explain the chemical properties in terms of electrostatic forces and sharing or transferring of electrons. Patterns and trends of behaviour in the period table groups and their reactions will be covered.
Topic 5 BioenergeticsThis topic will further develop ideas from key stage 3 around the process of respiration as a chemical reaction for cellular respiration and energy release in plants and animals. It will help them to develop the big idea of the cellular basis of life, further developing the concept that organisms need a supply of energy and molecules to carry out life processes. Students will study photosynthesis as the reaction required to harness the suns energy to make food, and link this to the physiological and structural adaptations of plants. Students will investigation the conditions which affect the rate of photosynthesis, evaluating risk within a practical context.
Topic 6 Chemical changesStudents further develop their understanding of the big ideas of particles and structure and their rearrangement to form new substances in a chemical reaction. Through development of their ideas about different chemical changes such as displacement and neutralisation they will be able to predict the new substances formed and the properties of these. Students will look to apply their understanding to technological applications such as extraction of metals using displacement or electrolysis. Students will plan and carry out a practical to produce soluble salts as part of this unit.
Topic 7 Energy changesThis topic builds upon the exothermic and endothermic reactions studied at key stage three. Students further develop their understanding of the big ideas of particles and structure and their rearrangement to form new substances in a chemical reaction. We look at the energy changes involved in this process and how mathematical analysis and representation can be made for these processes using the concept of bond energies.
Topic 8 Particle model of matter and atomic structureStudents develop the big idea that the particle model can be used to predict the behaviour of solids, liquids and gases as part of this unit. This builds upon their ideas about the particle model from key stage 3. Students will develop their ability to explain the link between the motion of particles and the states of matter for a substance. The development of atomic theory is covered in this topic, linking to the stories of the people behind these discoveries and the subsequent applications for the use of radiation.
Topic 1 EcologyThis topic links builds upon the feeding relationships topic in key stage 3. In this unit students explore the concept of humans threatening planetary biodiversity through their actions, and the changes required in order to ensure the future health and wellbeing of organisms on the planet. It teaches how to analysis the relationships between different organisms in an ecosystem. Students are taught to plan how to sample a habitat and measure the population size within it using a range of apparatus.
Topic 2 HomeostasisThis topic builds upon the cells and systems topic in key stage 3. Within this unit students develop their understanding of how cells in the body can survive only within narrow physical and chemical limitations, and that these are controlled using hormonal and nervous systems. Students are taught to evaluate methods through studying fertility treatments and contraception methods.
Topic 3 ForcesThis topic builds upon the forces topic in year 7. It develops that concept that forces acting on an object are not seen directly, but instead and detected by their effect on the objects motion or shape. Students learn that when opposing forces are acting on an object they cause the object to turn or twist. Students are taught the mathematical skills required to carry out multi step calculations in this unit along with developing ideas about accuracy, precision and sources of error.
Topic 4 Rate of reactionThis topic builds upon the chemical reactions topic, continuing to explore the concept that during a chemical reaction – atoms are rearranged to form new substances. Students develop ideas around chemical reactions occurring at different rates and that these reactions can be reversible. Students will begin to link the idea of energy changes in chemical reactions to practical observations. Students are taught the mathematical skills required to calculate quantities in chemical reactions and apply their knowledge of risk to the practical activities carried out.
Topic 5 InheritanceThis topic builds upon ideas from key stage three around inheritance, variation and evolution. These ideas are further developed to discover how the units of inheritance are acquired through mitosis, meiosis and sexual reproduction. Students will consider the role of genetic mutation in health and disease, and evaluate how scientific technology may be utilised to improve the outcomes of people with genetic disorders. Students will apply their knowledge of inheritance to statistical models that allow probabilities of inherited characteristics to be calculated.
Topic 6 WavesThis topic builds upon the ideas from key stage 3 around sound and light waves. Student develop the concept that waves radiate information and the understanding of waves that helps us to communicate. Waves in air, fluids and solids are considered including their properties and uses. Models to represent longitudinal and transverse waves are covered along with mathematical models for wave properties and applications.
Topic 7 Magnetism application (Separate science only) This unit builds upon ideas from key stage 3 around magnetism, including ideas about poles, permanent and induced magnets and forces acting at a distance. This module further links the concepts behind electricity and magnetism in the use of electromagnets and the forces involved in the electromotive effect. Applications include motors, speakers and microphones.
Topic 8 Chemical analysisThis unit builds upon knowledge of atomic structure and using scientific language to describe the properties of pure elements and compounds. In this unit students use data and practical techniques to distinguish between pure and impure substances, identifying formulations from given information. Students evaluate methods of analysis such as chromatography and gas tests, along with other physical separation techniques. In separate science this topic is extended to include methods for ion tests.
Topic 9 AtmosphereThis topic builds upon knowledge from key stage three around the theory of global warming. Students look in greater depth at how our atmosphere has developed over time. Building upon the concept that the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere is dependent upon the balance of substances that are continually changing, and that this can effect the Earth’s climate and conditions.
Topic 10 Space (Separate science only)This topic builds upon ideas from key stage three around planets, stars and galaxies. It develops the concept of the vastness of space and gives students perspective as we examine the awe-inspiring scale of our universe. Students will link their knowledge of waves to ‘red shift’ as evidence for the big bang theory. Ideas around how theories change over time in relation to new evidence will be covered. Students will also begin to link knowledge behind the force of gravity and acceleration to explain the orbits of celestial bodies.

For more information about Science in the Curriculum contact the Head of Faculty – John Lindley. Email jlindley@roundhill.bepschools.org