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Science

At RFSS, science means curiosity and discovery. Through discoveries within biology, chemistry and physics, science has changed our lives throughout history and is vital to the world’s future health, happiness and prosperity.

 The skills students develop in all science lessons are transferable across multiple career paths, both within and outside of what would traditionally be thought of as a scientific career. 

 
 

As a department, we aim to develop learners who have a thirst for knowledge, understanding and creative thinking. We promote a continual programme of awareness of scientific discoveries and careers and aim to ensure that a large proportion our students are able to pursue careers rooted in science.

Biology

Chemistry

Physics

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If an elderly but distinguished 

scientist says that something is 

possible, he is almost certainly 

right; but if he says that it is 

impossible, he is probably 

wrong. 

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Arthur C. Clarke

 

What are they learning?

Biology

Year 7


In year 7, students will begin to build on their prior knowledge of biological science from primary school. They will look in detail at cells as the building blocks of life in plants and animals, and see how cells can combine to form tissues, organs and organ systems. They will study some of the important organ systems including the musculo-skeletal system and the reproductive system. We will also get students to start considering the wider world around them by completing a unit on ecology and nature. We have developed our curriculum with our student's practical skills in mind. As we look to inspire the next generation of scientists we will equip them with suitable understanding of the methods and techniques they need to develop a firm understanding of 'how science works'. We also look to enrich our curriculum where possible by taking students out to experience learning outside of the school gates at sites like the Science Museum in London. We also offer after school clubs and chances to enter national competitions around biology.




Year 8


Year 8 continues to develop students' understanding of living things by looking at more advanced organ systems. We look at the digestive system, including the components of a healthy lifestyle, before moving on to look at the lungs and the circulatory system. We will then begin to look at DNA and how this universal code for living things controls our characteristics. We then look at a variety of micro-organisms that exist in the world around us and how we interact with them, both positively and negatively. Finally, we will once again get students thinking about the world around them as we complete another series of lesson on ecology and plants. Througout year 8 we maintain the same commitment to developing and extending students critical thinking abilities, practical skills and to provide opportunities to stretch themselves outside of the classroom.




Potential Careers relating to your subject


Biology can lead to a wide variety of careers. As a subject, it not only requires you to develop your analytical thinking skills and practical skills. You will also develop your mathematical skills, particularly in statistics, and your abilities in extended writing using technical vocabulary. This combination makes biology graduates highly sought after in many career paths. These include: Biotechnologist / Marine biologist / Microbiologist / Nanotechnologist / Nature Conservation Officer / Secondary School Teacher / Animal Physiotherapist / Genetic Counsellor / Prosthetist / Science Writer / Veterinarian / Dentist / Optician / Business and HR / Laboratory technician




Year 9


In biology, chemistry and physics, all Year 9 students start their GCSE course at the very start of the year. Time is built into the curriculum for deepening knowledge and understanding of topics studied in Year 7 and 8, making links between different topics and developing practical and applied mathmatical skills as well as learning new GCSE content.




GCSE


During their GCSE in biology, students will deepen their understanding of the principles of organisation in living things, genetics and ecology that were studied in earlier years. They will also explore new areas such as co-ordination and control of body systems and health and disease. Students will study 9 units in total: - B1: Key Concepts - B2: Cells and Control - B3: Genetics - B4: Natural Selection and Genetic Modification - B5: Health, Disease and the Development of Medicine - B6: Plant Structures and their Function - B7: Animal Co-ordination, Control and Homeostasis - B8: Exchange and Transport in Animals - B9: Ecosystems and Material Cycles Throughout the course, there are also a series of 'Core Practicals' that students must complete to prepare for their exams that will be done in addition to other relevant practical experiences during lessons. Students that show a particular aptitude and enthusiasm for the subject may be selected for the opportunity of taking the separate rather than combined science route, where they will study the same units as above but in greater depth still.





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Chemistry

Year 7


In the first half term all Year 7 students are introduced to the skills required to successfully study chemistry during their time at Rugby Free Secondary School. They will devise certain safety rules to follow while working in a laboratory and acquire skills needed to work scientifically and safely in a laboratory environment. The first topic of Elements, Compounds and Mixtures builds on the knowledge gained previously by the students on properties of materials during years 5 and 6. It enables them to classify different substances in nature based on their properties. In the second term all Year 7 students are introduced Physical and Chemical changes basing it on their prior learning about some reversible and irreversible changes they may have discussed in KS2. They will be further introduced to the terms reactants and products and will understand how to formulate a word chemical equation based on the information provided. In the third term all year 7 students are introduced to environmental chemistry which talks about the current issues relating to the atmosphere and how different human activities are influencing the current atmosphere. It also gives them an opportunity to do several STEM activities related and deepen their understanding about our environment. This will further form a basis to their learning in KS4.




Year 8


In year 8 we continue to introduce and develop various skills required for the students to work scientifically in a laboratory. The spiral curriculum enables the students to build on their existing knowledge and prepare themselves for the concepts we will be teaching them in GCSE. We incorporate several opportunities for the students to plan and carry out investigations catering to the practical element of the subject. The students will be discussing the following topics which will help them build on the GCSE curriculum.

  • acids and alkalis in detail
  • exploring physical properties of metals
  • understanding the reactivity series of metals
  • extraction techniques for different metals
  • law of conservation of mass
  • introduction to structure of an atom




Potential Careers relating to your subject


Studying chemistry does not restrict you to a career in a laboratory. It can lead to many different careers across a wide range of sectors: Biochemist / Pharmacologist / Geneticist / Dentist / Veterinarian / Chemical Engineer / Pharmacist / Environmental Scientist / Geologist / Materials Scientist / Polymer Scientist / Biotechnologist / Nanotechnologist / Pharmacologist / Forensic Scientist




Year 9


In biology, chemistry and physics, all Year 9 students start their GCSE course at the very start of the year. Time is built into the curriculum for deepening knowledge, and understanding of topics studied in Year 7 and 8, making links between different topics and developing practical and applied mathmatical skills as well as learning new GCSE content.




GCSE


Students are introduced to further content as well as re-visitng and expanding their knowledge and skills learned in key stage 3, through the spiral format of the physics curriculum. Students will cover the following topics in years 9,10 and 11:

  • Key concepts in chemistry
  • Groups in the periodic table
  • Rates of reaction and energy changes
  • Fuels and earth science
  • States of matter and mixtures
  • Chemical changes
  • Extracting metals and equilibria
Throughout these GCSE units, students will take part in Required Practicals alongside other investigations, which will be examined in the final GCSE papers in the summer of Year 11.





 

Physics

Year 7


In the first half term all Year 7 students are introduced to the skills required to successfully study chemistry during their time at Rugby Free Secondary School. They will devise certain safety rules to follow while working in a laboratory and acquire skills needed to work scientifically and safely in a laboratory environment. The first topic of Elements, Compounds and Mixtures builds on the knowledge gained previously by the students on properties of materials during years 5 and 6. It enables them to classify different substances in nature based on their properties. In the second term all Year 7 students are introduced Physical and Chemical changes basing it on their prior learning about some reversible and irreversible changes they may have discussed in KS2. They will be further introduced to the terms reactants and products and will understand how to formulate a word chemical equation based on the information provided. In the third term all year 7 students are introduced to environmental chemistry which talks about the current issues relating to the atmosphere and how different human activities are influencing the current atmosphere. It also gives them an opportunity to do several STEM activities related and deepen their understanding about our environment. This will further form a basis to their learning in KS4.




Year 8


In year 8 we continue to introduce and develop various skills required for the students to work scientifically in a laboratory. The spiral curriculum enables the students to build on their existing knowledge and prepare themselves for the concepts we will be teaching them in GCSE. We incorporate several opportunities for the students to plan and carry out investigations catering to the practical element of the subject. The students will be discussing the following topics which will help them build on the GCSE curriculum.

  • acids and alkalis in detail
  • exploring physical properties of metals
  • understanding the reactivity series of metals
  • extraction techniques for different metals
  • law of conservation of mass
  • introduction to structure of an atom




Potential Careers relating to your subject


Studying chemistry does not restrict you to a career in a laboratory. It can lead to many different careers across a wide range of sectors: Biochemist / Pharmacologist / Geneticist / Dentist / Veterinarian / Chemical Engineer / Pharmacist / Environmental Scientist / Geologist / Materials Scientist / Polymer Scientist / Biotechnologist / Nanotechnologist / Pharmacologist / Forensic Scientist




Year 9


In biology, chemistry and physics, all Year 9 students start their GCSE course at the very start of the year. Time is built into the curriculum for deepening knowledge, and understanding of topics studied in Year 7 and 8, making links between different topics and developing practical and applied mathmatical skills as well as learning new GCSE content.




GCSE


Students are introduced to further content as well as re-visitng and expanding their knowledge and skills learned in key stage 3, through the spiral format of the physics curriculum. Students will cover the following topics in years 9,10 and 11:

  • Key concepts in chemistry
  • Groups in the periodic table
  • Rates of reaction and energy changes
  • Fuels and earth science
  • States of matter and mixtures
  • Chemical changes
  • Extracting metals and equilibria
Throughout these GCSE units, students will take part in Required Practicals alongside other investigations, which will be examined in the final GCSE papers in the summer of Year 11.