Spring 2

Heating

In this unit, pupils will learn about the internal energy of substances and how these are affected by heating. They will learn about the different methods of energy transfer: conduction, convection and radiation and the similarities and differences between each process. 

They will learn about specific heat capacity and investigate the specific heat capacity of different materials, use the specific heat capacity equation and explain what these different values can tell us about materials. They will also learn about specific latent of heat, both of fusion and vaporisation, and calculate these for a number of different materials. They will also compare the ideas of specific heat capacity and specific latent heat in terms of energy changes.

Also, in this unit, pupils will learn about pressure in fluids and the relationship between pressure and altitude, as well as the relationship between pressure and depth. They will learn about the factors that affect pressure in fluids, particularly temperature and volume, and explain the effects of these factors. 

How parents can get involved:

  • Discuss why camel have large feet
  • Make holes in a 2litre bottle, fill it with water, open the holes and observe what happens. Get your child to explain why they see different flows of water
  • Discuss why you use a wooden spoon to cook and not a metallic one

Genetics

In this unit, pupils will revisit the concept of reproduction and build on this to learn how characteristics are inherited. They will study the benefits of different types of reproduction to different organisms. They will be introduced to the process of meiosis and how this gives rise to the gametes of different organisms. 

Pupils will be formally introduced to heredity and learn how the scientific community developed an understanding of inheritance over time. Pupils will develop their understanding of the natural polymer, DNA, and its structure. Pupils will have the opportunity to explore the basics of protein synthesis, and how mutations alter the shape of proteins.

Pupils will be introduced to Mendelian Inheritance and develop an understanding of how different combinations of alleles result in different characteristics. Pupils will learn about particular genetic disorders and use Punnett squares and family trees to describe inheritance in terms of probability.

How parents can get involved:

  • Discuss how in your family certain genetic traits have been passed on. 
  • Get your photographs out of old relatives and compare them to your child, have they inherited features from grandparents, great grandparents?

Spring 1

Introduction to Quantitative Chemistry

In this unit, pupils will be introduced to quantitative chemistry. To begin with, pupils will encounter state symbols for the first time, and these will be used within equations throughout this unit and going forward.

From here, pupils will begin with calculation of relative atomic mass and formula mass. The mole is introduced here, described in simple terms, and pupils will be taught to relate number of moles with the relative atomic and formula mass. Pupils will also be introduced to the term ‘concentration’ and will be able to calculate concentration given mass and volume. This will include the conversion between cm3 and dm3. The concept of uncertainty will be introduced for the first time here. Finally, pupils will study the process to prepare a soluble salt.

How parents can get involved:

  • Ask your child the rules of rearranging equations
  • Tell them where you use concentrated solutions

Autumn 2

Movement and pressure

In this unit, pupils will be introduced to speed as a measure of how much distance is covered in a given time and be able to calculate speed using these values. They will also be introduced to changing speeds, including relative motion and acceleration as the rate of change of speed. Pupils will also cover how to draw and interpret distance-time graphs and calculate speed from these. 

This unit also covers the fundamental ideas of pressure, including applications of pressure where high pressure and low pressure are required, and the equation used to calculate it.

How parents can get involved:

  • Discuss the issues what happens as you put your foot on the gas pedal as you accelerate a car
  • Discuss why lying on a bed of nails will not hurt you

Autumn 1

Growth and differentiation

In this unit, pupils will develop their understanding of cell structure and specialisation. Pupils will learn to classify cells as eukaryotic or prokaryotic according to some basic features and revisit the function of the main sub-cellular structures. Pupils will also have the opportunity to investigate bacterial growth using agar and develop their skills in using aseptic techniques. This unit also introduces pupils to the three main methods of cell transport: diffusion, osmosis and active transport. Pupils will also study cell specialisation and learn how cells divide by mitosis to allow for growth and repair. Pupils will be introduced to cancers as a group of diseases that can arise from uncontrolled cell growth. They will also learn how scientists use stem cells to study and treat different diseases. 

How parents can get involved: 

  • Discuss the impact of different cancers on families and communities
  • Observe how different frozen vegetables defrost (some stay crunchy, whilst others become floppy) 

The Periodic Table

In this unit, pupils will develop their knowledge of atomic structure. They will learn about the nuclear model of the atom, as well as the development of our understanding of the atom, with an overview of some of the key discoveries and scientists that have paved the way so far. Important here also is that pupils’ understanding that our knowledge of the atom is still evolving now. Pupils will study the structure of the periodic table, and the distinct properties of some of the groups within it, as well as the link between those properties and the electronic configurations of the elements. Finally, pupils will look at the history of the periodic table and the contribution of Mendeleev.  

How parents can get involved:

  • Play guess the elements. Use different languages and say the name of the element. Pupils will need to guess this into English.