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Science Year 9

Departmental Curriculum

Year 9

In y9 we begin to teach separate sciences

Biology

The Biology course is designed in such a way as to allow pupils to appreciate the natural world around them and make observations of natural phenomena. It aims to develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science, through different types of scientific enquiries that encourages active learning through practical work for students to gain scientific knowledge, understanding and skills. The course identifies links to scientific ideas and their implications for society and helps pupils develop a critical approach to scientific evidence and methods.

Units studied:

Cell biology including microscopy and transport in cells

Cells are the basic unit of all forms of life. In this section we explore how structural differences between types of cells enables them to perform specific functions within the organism. These differences in cells are controlled by genes in the nucleus. For an organism to grow, cells must divide by mitosis producing two new identical cells. If cells are isolated at an early stage of growth before they have become too specialised, they can retain their ability to grow into a range of different types of cells. This phenomenon has led to the development of stem cell technology. This is a new branch of medicine that allows doctors to repair damaged organs by growing new tissue from stem cells.

Organisation

In this section we will learn about the human digestive system which provides the body with nutrients and the respiratory system that provides it with oxygen and removes carbon dioxide. In 26 Visit aqa.org.uk/8464 for the most up-to-date specification, resources, support and administration each case they provide dissolved materials that need to be moved quickly around the body in the blood by the circulatory system. Damage to any of these systems can be debilitating if not fatal. Although there has been huge progress in surgical techniques, especially with regard to coronary heart disease, many interventions would not be necessary if individuals reduced their risks through improved diet and lifestyle. We will also learn how the plant’s transport system is dependent on environmental conditions to ensure that leaf cells are provided with the water and carbon dioxide that they need for photosynthesis

Infection and Response

Pathogens are microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria that cause infectious diseases in animals and plants. They depend on their host to provide the conditions and nutrients that they need to grow and reproduce. They frequently produce toxins that damage tissues and make us feel ill. This section will explore how we can avoid diseases by reducing contact with them, as well as how the body uses barriers against pathogens. Once inside the body our immune system is triggered which is usually strong enough to destroy the pathogen and prevent disease. When at risk from unusual or dangerous diseases our body's natural system can be enhanced by the use of vaccination. Since the 1940s a range of antibiotics have been developed which have proved successful against a number of lethal diseases caused by bacteria. Unfortunately many groups of bacteria have now become resistant to these antibiotics. The race is now on to develop a new set of antibiotics.

Chemistry 

The Chemistry course is designed to give pupils the opportunities to develop their interest in and their enthusiasm for chemistry. Pupils are encouraged to develop a critical approach to scientific evidence and methods. There are many opportunities to carry out practical activities to enhance investigative skills. Pupils acquire and apply skills, knowledge and understanding of how science works and its essential role in society.

The units studied:

 Atomic structure and the Periodic Table

The periodic table provides chemists with a structured organisation of the known chemical elements from which they can make sense of their physical and chemical properties. The historical development of the periodic table and models of atomic structure provide good examples of how scientific ideas and explanations develop over time as new evidence emerges. The arrangement of elements in the modern periodic table can be explained in terms of atomic structure which provides evidence for the model of a nuclear atom with electrons in energy levels.

Structure, Bonding and Properties of Materials

Chemists use theories of structure and bonding to explain the physical and chemical properties of materials. Analysis of structures shows that atoms can be arranged in a variety of ways, some of which are molecular while others are giant structures. Theories of bonding explain how atoms are held together in these structures. Scientists use this knowledge of structure and bonding to engineer new materials with desirable properties. The properties of these materials may offer new applications in a range of different technologies.

Chemical Change

Understanding of chemical changes began when people began experimenting with chemical reactions in a systematic way and organizing their results logically. Knowing about these different chemical changes meant that scientists could begin to predict exactly what new substances would be formed and use this knowledge to develop a wide range of different materials and processes. It also helped biochemists to understand the complex reactions that take place in living organisms. The extraction of important resources from the earth makes use of the way that some elements and compounds react with each other and how easily they can be ‘pulled apart’.

 

Physics 

The Physics course is designed to give pupils the opportunities to develop their interest in and their enthusiasm for physics. Pupils are encouraged to develop a critical approach to scientific evidence and methods. There are many opportunities to carry out practical activities to enhance physics investigative skills. Pupils acquire and apply skills, knowledge and understanding of how science works and its essential role in society.

The units studied:

 Particle model of matter

The particle model is widely used to predict the behaviour of solids, liquids and gases and this has many applications in everyday life. It helps us to explain a wide range of observations and engineers use these principles when designing vessels to withstand high pressures and temperatures, such as submarines and spacecraft. It also explains why it is difficult to make a good cup of tea high up a mountain!

Energy

The concept of energy emerged in the 19th century. The idea was used to explain the work output of steam engines and then generalised to understand other heat engines. It also became a key tool for understanding chemical reactions and biological systems. Limits to the use of fossil fuels and global warming are critical problems for this century. Physicists and engineers are working hard to identify ways to reduce our energy usage.

Energy is stored inside a system by the particles (atoms and molecules) that make up the system. This is called internal energy. Internal energy is the total kinetic energy and potential energy of all the particles (atoms and molecules) that make up a system. Heating changes the energy stored within the system by increasing the energy of the particles that make up the system. This either raises the temperature of the system or produces a change of state.

Forces

Engineers analyse forces when designing a great variety of machines and instruments, from road bridges and fairground rides to atomic force microscopes. Anything mechanical can be analysed in this way. Recent developments in artificial limbs use the analysis of forces to make movement possible.

 

Waves

Wave behaviour is common in both natural and man-made systems. Waves carry energy from one place to another and can also carry information. Designing comfortable and safe structures such as bridges, houses and music performance halls requires an understanding of mechanical waves. Modern technologies such as imaging and communication systems show how we can make the most of electromagnetic waves.