Science at Ruislip High School

The Science Department at Ruislip High strives to ensure that every child is able to understand and critically evaluate any scientific problem they may be faced with in an ever-changing, modern world. Through the courses that we offer, we seek to provide an inspiring range of learning experiences. All pupils will be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of Science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. With this sound scientific foundation they will understand how Science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

In Year 7 students are introduced to some of the fundamental concepts in Biology, Chemistry and Physics providing them with a strong foundation in understanding cells and reproduction, states of matter and reactions as well as energy and forces. A scientific enquiry practical every term will enable students to develop their investigative skills, which can then be developed and applied throughout their scientific studies.

In Year 8 the students will deepen their understanding of the key concepts they met in Year 7, as well as being exposed to a wider range of ideas. In Year 8 Biology they will look at the key process of homeostasis as well as the importance of nutrition and energy transfers. In Chemistry they will learn about the structure of the atom, materials and metals and use this to deepen their understanding of chemical reactions. In Physics they will learn about electricity and forces. Embedded in the content are further development of investigative and mathematical skills.

In Year 9 students will complete their KS3 studies during the first term and a half, before beginning their GCSE studies. All students will be covering the material for AQA GCSE Trilogy Science during Year 9 and will focus on developing their investigative and mathematical skills to the required level for the new specification GCSE examinations.

Further reading/revision links for Key Stage 3

In Years 10 and 11 students will be continuing with AQA GCSE Trilogy Science, with a small group of students following the AQA GCSE Triple Science pathway. Students will cover a wide range of topics, from alpha particles to biodiversity. Students will develop the abilities to interpret complex relationships using mathematical and graphical techniques, and the ability to combine several equations together to solve scientific calculations. At the end of their GCSE Science studies, students will be thoroughly prepared to understand the scientific principles that will impact on their lives, work and society in the future.  

In Years 12 and 13, students have the option of studying A Levels in Biology, Chemistry or Physics.

A Level Biology 

Ruislip High School follows the AQA Biology course. At a glance, the course covers Biological molecules, cells, organisms exchange substances with their environment and genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms in Year 12. In Year 13, students build on Year 12 content and develop it further through topics such as energy transfer in and between organisms, organisms responses to changes in their internal and external environment, genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems and the control of gene expression.  All of this will be examined in three final year examinations at the end of Year 13. Students will be required to complete 12 assessed practical tasks over the two-year course and receive a separate endorsement of practical skills alongside the A-level grade at the end of the course. This is reported as either a Pass or Fail.

Biology - University and careers

A higher education Biology qualification can help you move into a career in Biomedical Sciences, teaching, environmental work and conservation projects, zoology, forensic Science and Biotechnology to name but a few, as well as continued biological research which is ongoing and ever popular.

A Level Chemistry 

Ruislip High School follows the AQA chemistry course. At a glance, the course covers Physical Chemistry – this is the study of macroscopic, atomic, subatomic, and particulate phenomena. Inorganic Chemistry – this deals with the synthesis and behaviour of inorganic and organometallic compounds. This field covers all chemical compounds except organic compounds. Organic Chemistry – this involves the scientific study of the structure, properties, and reactions of organic compounds and organic materials, ie, matter in its various forms that contain carbon atoms.

For the A level course there are three written papers. The first two written papers last two hours each and cover the key areas. The third written paper also lasts for two hours but assesses practical techniques, critical analysis of experimental data and consists of multiple choice questions. Throughout the course students will be assessed on their practical skills and receive a separate endorsement of practical skills alongside the A-level grade at the end of the course. This is reported as either a Pass or Fail.

Chemistry - University and careers

Chemistry is relevant to many sectors of industry, because it is used in the development and manufacture of all the products that we use, especially new technology. A qualification in chemistry opens doors to a wide range of careers. This includes Medicine, Biochemistry, Forensic Science, Pharmaceuticals, Food Science, Computing, teaching, law and accounting.

 A Level Physics 

Ruislip High School follows the AQA Physics course. At a glance, the course covers measurements and their errors, particles and radiation, waves, mechanics and energy and electricity and, in Year 13, further mechanics and thermal physics, fields, nuclear physics and astrophysics.

There are three exams at the end of the two years for A Level, all of which are two hours long. At least 15% of the marks for A Level Physics are based on what has been learned in Year 12 required practicals and students receive a separate endorsement of practical skills alongside the A-level grade at the end of the course. This is reported as a eitheras either a Pass or Fail.

Physics - university and careers

Studying A-level Physics offers an infinite number of amazing career opportunities including: Geophysicist/field seismologist, healthcare scientist, medical physics, higher-education lecturer, radiation protection practitioner, research scientist (physical sciences), scientific laboratory technician, secondary school teacher, meteorologist, structural engineer, acoustic engineer, product/process development scientist, systems developer, technical author. You can also move into engineering, astrophysics, chemical physics, nanotechnology, renewable energy and more: the opportunities are endless.