Our S2 Science pupils have 4 week rotations of Biology, Physics and Chemistry. This allows them to decide which of the sciences they enjoy the most and would like to carry forward into S3.
The pupils cover the following topics in three blocks and sit a test at the end of each to assess their knowledge and understanding:
Cell Biology: Pupils learn how to use a microscope to view and compare plant and animal cells. Specialised cells in multicellular organisms are investigated, along with the structure and function of DNA. Pupils can extract DNA from fruit samples and engage in debates discussing ethical issues in cell Biology.
Electricity: Pupils learn through experimentation how to construct electrical circuits in series and parallel. They learn the definitions of voltage, current and resistance and use the information and experimentation to solve problems applied to every day life.
Chemical Reactions: Pupils learn about elements, their properties and how they are arranged in the Periodic Table. Atomic structure, including sub atomic particles, is investigated. Various chemical reactions are carried out and pupils learn how to name the compounds produced, and write word equations for the reactions. Endothermic and exothermic reactions are investigated through experimentation.
Heart & Lungs: Pupils study the structure of the respiratory system and the mechanism of breathing in and out through various experiments, and measurements of their own lung capacity. The effects of smoking, Cystic Fibrosis and asthma on the lungs are researched. Pupils also cover the structure of the heart and blood vessels; the effects of exercise on the heart; and research heart disease and the technology used to treat it.
Forces & Friction: Pupils discuss the eight types of Energy with a focus on kinetic energy (movement). The effects of friction on objects is investigated through experimentation, and pupils discover the effects of streamlining and reducing friction on moving objects.
Acids & Alkalis: Pupils are introduced to the pH scale and test the pH of everyday substances. What makes a good indicator is investigated, and pupils are introduced to neutralisation through experimentation. Soil and water pH, and the effects of acid rain, are researched and pupils investigate factors that will speed up the erosion of limestone.
Microbes & Immunity: Pupils are introduced to the different microbial groups (Bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa). They discover applications of useful microbes including yeast and bacteria and how they recycle nutrients. Pupils carry out experiments in controlling the growth of microbes and learn about the body’s defence to microbes. Immunisation and auto-immune diseases are researched.
Heat: Pupils learn the distinction between ‘heat’ and ‘temperature’. Conduction, convection and radiation are investigated to demonstrate how heat travels through substances. Pupils research and compare materials to demonstrate good conductors and insulators of heat.
Earth’s Materials: Pupils investigate the three sides of the fire triangle and the chemical reaction of combustion. The reactivity of metals with water, acid and oxygen are investigated through experimentation and used to form a reactivity series. The distinction between corroding and rusting is made and methods to reduce corrosion are researched.