Science - Year 9

Overview of the year:

In Year 9 students have 6 lessons of Science a fortnight. Students will be taught in sets. Students will study the GCSE combined Science Trilogy (AQA). They will be taught those units that are the most accessible and provide a good foundation for the GCSE course. There will be 2 exam windows during the year. Following the ST2 examination window, some of the highest attaining students will be invited to follow the Separate Sciences course and achieve 3 GCSEs at the end of Year 11. All other students will continue with the Combined Science course and achieve 2 GCSEs at the end of Year 11. The examination is linear. Linear means that students will sit all of their exams at the end of Year 11 and the exams contribute 100% of their final grade. Students are expected to bring to each lesson a pen, pencil, ruler and scientific calculator.


There will be internal assessment carried out during two student tracking windows in Year 9. In the final GCSE exam, students will complete 6 exam papers: 2 Biology, 2 Chemistry and 2 Physics; each contributing 16.7% of the final grade. Each written exam paper is 1 hour 15 mins for combined Science and 1 hour 45 mins for Separate Science and consists of multiple choice, structured, closed-short and open-response questions. There will be a total of 70 marks on each paper for Combined Science and 100 marks on each paper for Separate Science. Assessment is tiered; therefore students will study either Foundation or Higher tier from the beginning of Year 10.


There are 21 practical activities that are to be carried out in each subject area during the course. These activities are planned to develop skills of planning and conducting investigations, gathering information, team work and evaluating findings. Students will be assessed on these skills within the written examination at the end of the course, with 15% of the exam based on these practical assessments.

Topic  Overview  Assessment 
• Health & Disease - Students will learn about the structure of pathogens and how they cause disease, how the body defends itself against infection and how diseases can be treated and prevented. They will explore links between lifestyle and disease, such as smoking with cancer.

• Nervous system and Hormones - Students will also study the nervous system, hormones and homeostasis. They will learn how the nervous system is arranged and understand how hormones control the menstrual cycle.

• Cell structure – Students will learn to identify the organelles present in a cell and identify the function and adaptations of specialised cells.  
•Examination during assessment windows.
•Exam style questions provided regularly.
•Recall quizzes & interleaving activities.
•Practical activities carried out within the Scheme of Learning.
•Practical application activities. 
• Atomic structure - Students will cover atomic structure and chemical reactions such as metal extraction in this unit.

• Useful Resources - They will look at how useful products can be extracted and made from crude oil. This will be linked to exploring the benefits of recycling some of these products.

• Earth's Atmosphere - Students will study the evolution of the Earth's atmosphere and how this has changed to form todays atmosphere.

• Environmental pollution – Students will learn about various pollutants, paying particular attention to the Greenhouse gases and Global Warming.

• Testing gases.  
• Energy Efficiency - Students will cover a unit of work about heat transfer, energy and efficiency.

• Energy Resources - They will also learn about different energy resources and evaluate the usefulness of them.

• Waves - They will explore wave characteristics and the electromagnetic spectrum and also study forces.

• Calculations - They will be expected to learn and use a number of equations.

• Forces – Students will understand the difference between contact and non-contact forces.

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