“We learn how to be safe in the science lab and I really like to do practical experiments. My favourite is with the Bunsen Burners” Rosie
Science at The Valley School is taught in fully equipped specialist rooms. We are also able to utilise the grounds which have a range of habitats for pupils to explore.
Drawing on both the primary and secondary curricula enables us to provide experiences suited to the very varied needs of our learners.
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To begin the year pupils look at basic ideas in chemistry through a topic entitled ‘Who Done It?’ which sets the work in a forensic science context. They learn about separating materials and how they can be changed. In the Spring term the work has a sporting context with ‘A Question of Sport’ looking at the importance of forces in sport followed by biological aspects, bones, muscles, the heart and circulation, fitness and nutrition. Finally in ‘Third Rock from the Sun’ pupils look at rocks and soils and then aspects of life on the Earth including classification, feeding relationships and life cycles.
The year starts with further work on forces including gravity, weight, levers and pulleys and then learning about the solar system and life in space. This is followed in the Spring term by more work on electricity and magnetism. Pupils are then introduced to the elements and the Periodic table and start to think of chemical changes in terms of the particle theory. In the Summer term they return to looking at life on Earth, how it is adapted to local conditions and the interrelationships between organisms including reproduction in animals and humans. They also learn about inheritance and the process of evolution.
Key Stage 4
In years 10 and 11 pupils follow a course leading to an AQA Entry Level Certificate in Science. This consists of six components covering the three disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics which can be taught in any order. Assessment is by practical coursework which is set internally and an end of component test which is set externally.
Component 1. Biology: The Human Body. This covers what the body is made from, how it works, how it fights disease and how it is coordinated.
Component 2. Biology: Environment, Evolution and Inheritance. This includes feeding relationships between living organisms, why species live where they do and how life has developed on Earth.
Component 3. Chemistry: Elements. Mixtures and Compounds. This covers atoms, elements and compounds, how structure affects properties, separating mixtures, metals and alloys and polymers.
Component 4. Chemistry: Chemistry in our world. This includes reactions of acids, energy and rate of reaction, Earth’s atmosphere, fuels and human impacts on the atmosphere and water for drinking.
Component 5. Physics: Energy, Forces and the Structure of Matter. This covers energy, energy transfers and energy resources, forces and work, speed and stopping distances, atoms and nuclear radiation.
Component 6. Physics: Electricity, Magnetism and Waves. This includes electrical current, domestic electricity, magnetism and electromagnetism, different types of waves and electromagnetic waves.