Year 7

Autumn Term

Students begin their year 7 work in Science with an introduction module. This develops their knowledge and skills when using scientific equipment in a safe and secure way.

Following this, students begin studying a range of topics from Biology, Chemistry and Physics. In cell biology students understand how cells are organised in tissues and organs and how they can be specialised to carry out the wide variety of functions in living things.

In the particles unit, students understand how solids, liquids and gases form and the different properties of materials. The final unit of the term, forces, allows students to learn about contact and non contact forces and how they affect us in everyday life.

Spring Term

Students progress to learning about the functions of the body system, and how our organ systems carry out our essential life processes.

Following this, students learn the chemistry of atoms and how they form elements, and how those elements combine to form different compounds with different properties. The reactions topic then covers how different chemical compounds can react and how we can use those reactions to our benefit. The final unit of this term, space, gives students a deep understanding of our solar system and beyond.

Summer Term

The final term for year 7 science begins with the scientific concepts behind reproduction, from changes in our bodies through to fertilisation to the creation of life.

The acids and alkalis unit gives students an understanding of the different categories of these chemicals, how we can test for them, and the different uses they can have in our bodies and in everyday life.

Year 7 Science concludes with work on light and sound. Students study how these can be created, their uses and how our bodies are able to detect them.

Year 8

Autumn Term

In Year 8 Science students study the effects of health and lifestyle on our bodies. Diet, disease, and drugs and the effects on our bodies are studied.

The Periodic Table unit builds upon the work students covered in year 7 to give them knowledge and understanding of how the elements are arranged and ordered based on their various properties.

Electricity and Magnetism allows the students to develop their learning of these concepts and how we can use them in a variety of ways from building circuits to developing new methods of transport.

Spring Term

The spring term of year 8 begins with Ecosystems, where students study the various habitats of living things and how they and environmental factors interact with each other.

The Separation techniques unit gives students the scientific skills to be able to separate and identify a range of different chemical mixtures and compounds. Students then continue with a unit on Metals and Acids, where they develop an understanding of how these can react together and the products they make.

In a physics based Energy unit, students identify the methods we have of producing energy as well as the advantages and disadvantages of both renewable and non-renewable fuels.

Summer Term

Students continue their study of forces through a unit based on Motion and Pressure and how these can affect different objects.

Students then move on to study the differences between  living things, and how features of living things can be passed from parents to their offspring in the  Adaptations and inheritance unit.

The Earth unit finished year 8 Science by giving them an understanding of the structure of our planet and how different rocks and materials are formed in the Earth.

Year 9

Autumn Term

Students start the AQA Science curriculum and begin their journey on their GCSE education in Science. Work on cells is continued by studying the medical uses of stem cells as well as the ethical and social issues surrounding their use. In the chemistry units, students understand the structures of elements and compounds and how the combination of these can lead to new materials with different properties. Finally in the Energy unit, students expand their knowledge of energy stores and their transfer.

Spring Term

Students start the second term of year 9 by understanding cell division for the production of new cells in organisms and how transport of materials is controlled in and out of cells.

The methods of obtaining and producing various resources from the Earth is then studied, as well as how this can be done in a sustainable way.

Year 9 studies continue with how energy can be transferred and how calculations and equations can be used to determine the amount of work done, power and energy needed for a variety of situations.

Summer Term

Students start the final term of year 9 by understanding how cells and tissues can combine to make the various organ of living things.

The bonding structure and properties of matter are studied in Chemistry and the final unit of year 9 studies how electricity can be used in electrical circuits and the use of domestic electricity in Physics.

Year 10

AQA Combined Science GCSE, Biology GCSE, Chemistry GCSE, Physics GCSE

Autumn Term

Students continue their study of AQA GCSE Sciences either by following the Combined Science Trilogy which is equivalent to 2 GCSEs, or the separate science course which is equivalent to 3 GCSEs . In both courses students begin by learning about  infection and response in the human body in Biology followed by how organisms release energy through respiration. In Chemistry,  students learn about qualitative Chemistry and energy changes in reactions. Physics lessons cover the particle model of matter.

Spring Term

The mid term of year 10 has students studying topics in photosynthesis in Biology and how plants have an important role in ecology, energy changes in Chemistry to see how energy can be taken in or released from different chemical reactions. Atomic structure and radiation in Physics are then covered

Summer Term

In the summer term of year 10 students being the study of homeostasis and response to learn how the nervous and endocrine systems allow humans to adapt to different situations. Students also study the rate and extent of chemical changes to understand the different factors that can affect reactions. In Physics, students study the effects of different forces on everyday situations

Year 11

AQA Combined Science GCSE, Biology GCSE, Chemistry GCSE, Physics GCSE

Autumn Term

Year 11 Science starts with students learning about the genetic inheritance and variation that occurs in living things and how this leads to the evolution of new species. Students also learn about the role of organic chemistry and how chemical analysis can play a part in the identification of different chemicals.

Spring Term

The spring term of year 11 focuses on ecology in Biology and how humans can have an impact on the wider environment. Chemistry lessons focus on the chemistry of the atmosphere and how this has changed over time and how we can change it further. Magnetism and electromagnetism are taught in Physics covering how these principles work and how we can apply them to new technologies.

Summer Term

The final term of study concludes with how resources are used and ways we can we can lead sustainable lives in the future. Students also continue to reflect and review their GCSE learning to apply it to their final exams.

OCR AS and A Level Biology

Biology is an ideal choice for students with an interest and curiosity about the diversity and origins of the living world around them. A Level Biology aims to develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the ways in which living organisms function and their interactions with their environment. Many different organisms are studied, not exclusively humans and plants. Topics that our students find particularly interesting are: the brain, the heart, the transmission and spread of disease, the kidney, the liver, animal behaviour and genetics.

To be successful in Biology you must have a real thirst for learning, be curious, enthusiastic, organised and determined; Biology is a content-heavy subject and requires you to use complex terminology to explain and analyse key processes.

You will develop practical skills that are integrated into theoretical topics and assessed through exam papers. You will also learn how biological models are developed, the applications and implications of Biology; the benefits, risks and ethics that Biology brings and the ways in which society uses it to make decisions.

During AS Level Biology you will study 3 modules comprising of Foundations in Biology (cell structure and function, biological molecules and enzymes), Exchange and Transport (the movement of gases and other important molecules in mammals, other animals and plants) and Biodiversity, Evolution and Disease. Practical skills will be also taught throughout AS to be assessed within examination papers.

At A Level your practical skills will be developed further in preparation for higher education and you could be awarded a Practical Endorsement if a minimum of 12 key activities are performed correctly to collect data. You will continue to study Foundations in Biology to extend the depth of your learning and also study two other modules; Communications, Homeostasis and Energy (how the human body remains regulated by organs such as the liver and kidney with help from the nervous and hormonal systems and how energy is released in Respiration and Photosynthesis) and Genetics, Evolution and Ecosystems.

Studying Biology is the perfect entry route into a variety of careers such as veterinary science, ecology, zoology and biomedical science or paramedical subjects such as osteopathy and physiotherapy. Biology can lead to nursing, teaching or more vocational qualifications such as sports therapy and fitness training.

Qualification equivalence: AS/A Level
Course contact: Miss Stevenson
Assessment: Examination
Additional entry requirements: Grade B in GCSE Biology
Suggested combinations: Chemistry, Physics, Geography, Mathematics

OCR AS and A Level Chemistry

A Level Chemistry encourages you to think independently and develop the skills to become a logical thinker. If you would like to be someone who can solve problems and apply knowledge to new situations then this is the course for you.

Studying Chemistry allows you to appreciate how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society. A level Chemistry develops a deeper appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of how science works. The course allows you to develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of chemistry and how they relate to each other.

Chemistry is the science of materials. It is about gases, liquids and solids; how they interact and how they may be made. Think about plastics, pesticides, drugs, fireworks, fuels and explosives. Chemistry is, literally, everywhere. In AS Chemistry you will study the fundamental concepts of Chemistry in the first module and then move on to look at organic Chemistry which forms the basis of medicinal chemistry and food chemistry. In A Level you will look at the mathematical concepts behind physical chemistry and the importance of transition metals in everyday life.

Practical work is used throughout the course both to illustrate concepts and to enable the development of technical and investigative skills. You must be prepared to work hard and there is an emphasis on supported self-study. The course involves the use of maths; this aspect of the course builds on the mathematical concepts learnt at GCSE.

Chemistry is an essential qualification for a large number of careers such as: pharmacy, GP, physician, biochemist, forensic scientist, pharmacologist, biomedical scientist, lawyer, insurer, accountant, environmental scientist, nutritionist, and laboratory analyst.

Qualification equivalence: AS/A Level
Course contact: Miss Rutherford
Assessment: Examinations/Separate Practical Endorsement
Additional entry requirements: Grade B in GCSE Chemistry, Grade 4 in GCSE Mathematics
Suggested combinations: Physics, Biology, Maths, Geography


OCR AS and A Level Physics

Do you love Science? Are you interested in how the world works? Do you want a wide range of transferable skills? Then this A-Level in Physics is ideal for you. Our ethos is to teach you the concepts of physics through practical activities (wherever possible) so you can see how the science is applied to real life scenarios. This course will develop your physics knowledge, planning, instrumentation and analytical skills – skills which are in demand by employers and universities.

“A world without Physics is a world without answers.” Physics is both challenging and exciting and at Joseph Swan Academy we aim to provide our students with the best experience possible to allow them to be immersed into the wonderful world of Physics at advanced level.

You will not only develop your scientific skills but also develop life skills that will help you in your chosen career. You could choose to seek employment in engineering, medicine, forensics, sports science, geophysics, aeronautics, nanotechnology, research or teaching. At AS Level, students study the G481 “Mechanics” unit first. This unit covers such topics as motion, forces, car safety and energy. The second unit is G482 “Electrons, Waves and Photons”. In this, students study electricity, waves and radiation and are introduced to quantum physics. These units are examined in June. The G483 “Practical Skills in Physics 1” unit will be completed in class throughout the year.

The A Level Physics course builds on the skills and understanding gained at AS level. Course structure is identical to the AS Level course. Unit G484 “The Newtonian World” deals with such topics as Newton’s laws, circular motion, oscillations and thermal physics. Unit G485 “Fields, Particles and Frontiers of Physics” covers fields, capacitors, nuclear and medical physics and the universe. These units are examined in June. Again, the G486 “Practical Skills in Physics 2” unit is completed in class throughout the year.

Qualification equivalence: AS/A Level
Course contact: Miss Irving
Assessment: Examinations and practical assessment
Additional entry requirements: Grade B in Additional Science, Physics and Grade 6 in Mathematics
Suggested combinations: Chemistry, Biology & Mathematics.