Aims of the Department
We aim to equip our students with the knowledge, understanding and skills to enable them to engage with the key scientific and technological issues of today. Our lessons are engaging and carefully structured to facilitate the development of the key concepts required to gain an in-depth understanding of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Many of our students also aspire to study science further in order to pursue careers in disciplines such as engineering and healthcare. Whilst at Trinity all students receive the support from science specialists that will help them excel, whatever their motivation is for studying science.
Strengths of the Department
Students have a wide range of opportunities through our strong links with our local partners such as the University of Manchester and the Manchester Museum. These involve our students working with staff and students from these institutions both in school and off-site, at all levels - from Year 7 to Year 13. Our teaching team (both teachers and technicians) are supportive, enthusiastic, well-qualified subject specialists who are dedicated to get the best out of each one of our students.
The sciences are popular choices at Trinity, with many students opting to study three GCSEs (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) rather than the two compulsory (Combined Science). Our results have been consistently excellent with students achieving grades 8 and 9 across the three subjects. Our post-16 provision is broad, with A Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics and BTEC Level 3 in Applied Science. Students make excellent progress from their GCSE starting points and have been accepted onto competitive courses such as medicine at leading Universities.
Trinity KS3 Science – Curriculum Summary
Biology - Year 7
Cells – An introduction to Biology on a cellular level. We study the different types of cells and their organelles, including some specialised cells. We also learn how to use microscopes and begin developing the skills needed to do this efficiently.
Reproductive System – Studying the parts of the male and female reproductive systems. We look at sexual and asexual reproduction, as well as learning about puberty, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and birth.
Digestive System – Studying which foods make up a balanced diet, then how these foods are broken down (including the use of enzymes) and absorbed in our digestive system. We also use chemical tests to identify which nutrients are present in a given foodstuff.
Biology - Year 8
Circulatory and Respiratory System – Continuing from year 7’s work studying organ systems, we now study the circulatory system (heart, blood and blood vessels) and respiratory system (lungs, gas exchange, diffusion, respiration).
Immune System – Studying how our body protects against infection. This includes looking at how diseases spread and the different micro-organisms that cause disease, as well as how diseases can be treated and how vaccines can prevent the spread of disease.
Skeletal and Muscular System – Studying how our skeleton and muscles allow our body to move.
Plants – Looking at the structure of plants and how they function, including how photosynthesis works.
Biology - Year 9
Interdependence – Having studied biology on a smaller scale in years 7 and 8, we now look at how whole organisms interact. This includes looking at food chains and webs, pyramids of biomass and ecosystems. We also study predator=prey relationships, as well as the carbon cycle.
Genetics and Evolution – Studying how the DNA/chromosomes of an organism allow it to function. This includes how fertilisation occurs, how genetic material is inherited and how variation within species occurs. We then learn about how organisms have evolved, and how artificial selection can be used to choose specific features in a population.
Chemistry – Year 7
Science Skills – To start Chemistry in year 7, we look introduce the skills needed to work practically in a laboratory. This includes the use of several pieces of scientific equipment, focussing specifically on the safe use of Bunsen burners. We also learn how to measure scientific quantities and the correct units to use, and well as how to plan an investigation and identify key variables.
Particles – Studying the particles in solids, liquids and gases, as well as looking at the state changes when moving between these states. We also learn about expansion and contraction of materials, density and solubility.
Changes – Studying physical and chemical changes, including the squeaky pop test for hydrogen and combustion of fuels. We also look at what it means for something to ‘react’ in terms of particles.
Chemistry – Year 8
Elements, Compounds and Mixtures – Studying the difference between elements, compounds and mixtures in terms of particles. We learn about the differences between metals and non-metal elements, as well as looking at a variety of compounds and how to name them. We then look at how to write equations for chemical reactions, and how mass is conserved. Finally we look at pure and impure substances, and how to separate mixtures, including evaporation and chromatography.
Chemistry – Year 9
Acids and Alkalis – Studying different acids and alkalis and their pH. We use universal indicator to work out the pH of unknown substances, and look at neutralisation.
Chemical Reactions – We start by looking at the periodic table, and the information that can be found there. We then look specifically at the reactions of metals, metal oxides and metal carbonates with acids, and write equations for these reactions. We then look at displacement reactions, and how to write equations for these.
The Earth and Atmosphere – Studying the layers of the Earth and its atmosphere, including the composition of gases in the air and how the level of greenhouse gases are increasing, causing global warming. We then look at the rock cycle and how fossils are formed. Finally we learn about recycling, and the advantages and disadvantages of using different resources.
Physics – Year 7
Energy – To begin the Physics course, we study the different stores of energy and where they are found. We learn about how energy is transferred, and draw Sankey diagrams to represent this. We also looks at energy from fuels and foods, and how energy can be conserved to live more sustainably.
Forces – Studying how forces work in pairs, and how forces can be used to change the speed or shape of an object. We look at how to calculate speed and how to draw graphs showing speed, distance and time.
Space – Learning about our solar system, focussing specifically on the rotation, orbit and tilt of Earth to give the day/night, years and seasons. We then learn about gravity and weight, and how to calculate weight on different planets. Finally we then look beyond the solar system into the wider universe, looking at stars.
Physics – Year 8
Waves – Studying both light and sound waves – how they travel and how they are detected by our body. We look at why objects have different colours and how light waves are reflected and absorbed. We also look at how changing sound waves changes the volume and pitch of a sound.
Forces – Continuing from year 7, we study how forces act in interaction pairs, and how this can lead to resultant forces. We identify the forces present in different situations, including looking at levers and moments. We then look at pressure in solids and fluids, and the factors that affect these. We finally look at magnets, including making our own electromagnets and how to change their strength.
Physics– Year 9
Electricity – We study what electricity is, first by looking at atoms and their charge. We then learn about circuits, using practical work to calculate current, potential difference and resistance. We look at series and parallel circuits, and how these are used practically in everyday life.
Waves – Continuing from year 8, we now look at waves in more detail. This includes transverse and longitudinal waves and how to calculate wave speed. We then look at the electromagnetic spectrum, and the uses of these waves.
KS4 Science Curriculum
All students at Trinity study a minimum of GCSE Combined Science (a double award course worth two GCSEs). Many add to their scientific studies by opting to study three courses; GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics. GCSE Combined Science is offered at Foundation (grades 1-1 to 5-5) and Higher (grades 4-4 to 9-9). GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics is a Higher Tier only option for students who are aiming for grades 6 and above.
These courses are from the AQA ‘Trilogy’ suite of examinations. All the marks for the qualifications are from six terminal examinations which students sit in the summer of Year 11.
GCSE Combined Science
Students will learn aspects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics across the two years.
Final grades are dependent on the total marks from all six examinations.
There is a significant mathematical content across all the courses, and students will practice applying Maths skills to a wide range of science contexts.
Students are expected to support their learning by completing study and revision tasks at home – those who regularly review their understanding achieve the best results at the end of the course.
GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics
Sometimes referred to as ‘Triple Science’ or ‘Separate Science’, these courses cover a broader curriculum than Combined Science and lead to the awarding of three GCSE grades. Students are taught and examined in each subject separately. The grade awarded for each subject is dependent on the score in the two exams for that subject.