Science

At Kings Norton Girls’ School we believe in sharing our enthusiasm of science with the students. This is achieved by providing a learning environment that is –

  • Accessible through differentiation that accounts for students’ different abilities and needs.
  • Varied, with use of practical experiments, interactive information technology and a wide variety of trips and activities.
  • Relevant, with an emphasis on explaining how science shapes and explains the world around us.

We aim to stimulate and develop an interest, enthusiasm and enjoyment in the acquisition of scientific knowledge and skills. We encourage an attitude of curiosity and enquiry and an awareness of the relevance of science to our everyday life. This includes the development of students’ awareness of social, economic, moral, spiritual and ethical issues in science.

KS3 Curriculum

In Year 7 & 8 our key stage 3 curriculum encourages the students to develop their knowledge and understanding of science through an investigative approach. This is where the students learn by using their scientific knowledge to make a prediction and then test this out through experimentation. It also introduces and develops subject knowledge and skills that will be revisited in GCSE which allows for a smooth transition from year to year.  We use the ‘Activate’ course to support the key stage 3 curriculum as this applies scientific principles to the real world so that students have a scientific understanding of how the world around them works.

In Year 9, pupils start the Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Science course. They learn about the fundamental principles that underpin GCSE science, including key practical and mathematical skills.  By starting GCSE in Year 9 we are able to deliver the content with greater depth and help to give pupils a clearer understanding about the combined science and separate sciences pathways that run throughout Years 10 and 11.

In Year 7 the students explore the following topics:

  • Biology:         cells, tissues, organs & organ systems; reproduction
  • Chemistry:    elements, atoms and compounds, reactions; acids and alkalis
  • Physics:         forces; sound, light; space

In Year 8 the students explore the following topics:

  • Biology:         health and lifestyle; ecosystem processes; adaptations and inheritance
  • Chemistry:    the Periodic Table; separation techniques; metals and acids, the Earth and its structure
  • Physics:         electricity and magnetism; energy; motion

In Year 9 the students explore the following topics:

  • Biology:        cell structure, specialised cells, cell division, stem cells, enzymes, the nervous system
  • Chemistry:    states of matter, methods of separating and purifying substances, atomic structure & bonding
  • Physics:        waves, the electromagnetic spectrum, radioactivity, motion

KS4 Curriculum

At KS4 students are taught by specialist teachers for the three areas of science: Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

There are two pathways at Key Stage 4, which ensures that all students follow the course which is best suited to their needs and interests. The ethos of the department is to inspire students to be interested in science and to develop the curiosity and motivation to further explore topics. We encourage students to be aware of the relevance of science to our everyday life. The two pathways are:

1. Combined Science

Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Combined Science Specification code 1SC0

Most students will study combined science, worth the equivalent of two GCSEs, both of the same grade. The course has an equal amount of biology, chemistry and physics, which will be taught by specialist teachers. This course can lead to A Level study in any science, but it would be preferable for students to study separate sciences at GCSE if they are considering further study in one or more of the science subjects. The exam papers are available at the Higher tier (grades 4-9) and Foundation tier (grade 1-5).

Year 10 Combined science topics

Biology

  • Topic 1: Key concepts in biology
  • Topic 2: Cells & control
  • Topic 3: Genetics
  • Topic 4: Natural selection & gene modification
  • Topic 5: Health, disease & the development of medicines

Chemistry

  • Topic 1: Key concepts in chemistry; amount of substance
  • Topic 3: Chemical change
  • Topic 4: Extracting metals and equilibria
  • Topic 6: Groups in the periodic table

Physics

  • Topic 2: Motion and Forces
  • Topic 3: Conservation of Energy
  • Topic 7: Forces doing Work
  • Topic 8: Forces and their Effects
  • Topic 9: Electricity and Circuits
  • Topic 13: Particle Model
  • Topic 14: Forces and Matter

Year 11 Combined Science topics

Biology

  • Topic 6: Plant structures and their functions
  • Topic 7: Animal coordination, control and homeostasis
  • Topic 8: Exchange and transport in animals
  • Topic 9: Ecosystems and material cycles

Chemistry

  • Topic 7: Rates of reaction and energy changes
  • Topic 8: Fuels and Earth science

Physics

  • Topic 9: Electricity and Circuits (continued from year 10)
  • Topic 10: Magnetism and the Motor Effect
  • Topic 11: Electromagnetic Induction

2. Separate Sciences

  • Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Biology Specification code 1BI0
  • Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Chemistry Specification code 1CH0
  • Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Physics Specification code 1PH0

The study of separate sciences leads to three GCSE qualifications – biology, chemistry and physics. This is a more demanding course in which topics are studied in greater depth in addition to more breadth. It is especially suitable for students who have a passion for science, and are considering further study of one or more of the science subjects at A-Level. Some students will be given the opportunity to study separate science. These students will be identified in the spring term by the science department through science assessments. Students who take separate sciences will be sitting exam papers at the Higher tier (grades 4-9).

Year 10 Separate Science topics

Biology

  • Topic 1: Key concepts in biology
  • Topic 2: Cells & control
  • Topic 3: Genetics
  • Topic 4: Natural selection & gene modification

Chemistry

  • Topic 1: Key concepts in chemistry; amount of substance
  • Topic 3: Chemical change
  • Topic 4: Extracting metals and equilibria
  • Topic 5: Transition metals, alloys and corrosion
  • Topic 6: Groups in the periodic table
  • Topic 7: Rates of reaction and energy changes

Physics

  • Topic 2: Motion and Forces
  • Topic 3: Conservation of Energy
  • Topic 4: Waves (separate content)
  • Topic 5: Light and the Electromagnetic Spectrum (separate content)
  • Topic 6: Radioactivity
  • Topic 8: Forces doing Work
  • Topic 9: Forces and their Effects
  • Topic 14: Particle Model
  • Topic 15: Forces and Matter

Year 11 Separate Science topics

Biology

  • Topic 5: Health, disease & the development of medicines
  • Topic 6: Plant structures and their functions
  • Topic 7: Animal coordination, control and homeostasis
  • Topic 8: Exchange and transport in animals
  • Topic 9: Ecosystems and material cycles

Chemistry

  • Topic 8: Fuels and Earth science
  • Topic 9: Separate chemistry 2 Qualitative analysis

Physics

  • Topic 7: Astronomy
  • Topic 9: Forces and their Effects (continued)
  • Topic 10: Electricity and Circuits
  • Topic 11: Static Electricity
  • Topic 12: Magnetism and the Motor Effect
  • Topic 13: Electromagnetic Induction
  • Topic 15: Forces and Matter (continued)

KS5 Curriculum

Please click for details:

Biology
Chemistry
Physics

Extra-curricular activities

KNGS pupils are offered exciting opportunities to explore science on trips and in our science clubs.  Science trips enrich our curriculum by allowing pupils to conduct outdoor investigations, explore science history at museums like the National Space Centre, and allow pupils to appreciate the role of scientists in research and industrial facilities such as at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. We have close ties with the University of Birmingham so we frequently attend their events, such as the GCSE Masterclasses, and A-Level Chemistry lectures.  Our explosive, themed science clubs, such as Halloween Science Club, are incredibly well attended and we aim to inspire scientific curiosity.  We British Science Week annually with a variety of activities designed to promote creativity and problem solving.  At KNGS all pupils are encouraged to take part in science extra-curricular activities to inspire as many pupils as possible.