Bringing Science to Life within the British School Curriculum
Our Science Faculty firmly believes in a practical, investigative approach to learning, and this allows for plenty of fun experimental work to engage students. We aim to train students to ask questions and develop a line of enquiry based on observations of the real world, alongside prior knowledge and experience.
We follow the Science national curriculum for England. Physics, Biology and Chemistry topics are taught in separate units, following on from skills and knowledge learnt during Key Stage 2 and in preparation for Key Stage 4 Sciences.
The study of Science forms part of the core of the British school curriculum. As such, all students at the British School of Bucharest are expected to study integrated Science at Key Stage 3 and specialised Science subjects (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5. Students may choose to study one, two or three Science subjects at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5.
Whilst examination results are important we do not view Science as being purely theoretical within the British school curriculum. We understand that students of all ages benefit greatly from regular exposure to experimental work and fieldwork to develop their investigation, analysis and evaluation skills. This is the reason why all our Science lessons are taught in one of four fully equipped laboratories.
Such an approach encourages them to view scientific problems in an imaginative and creative way and allows them to appreciate and be genuinely fascinated by the wonder of Science.
Science is an increasingly popular subject choice at IGCSE/GCSE and A-Level. Many students opt for more than one Science at IGCSE/GCSE, increasing numbers of students continuing with Science at A-Level.
Key Stage 3
Major Biology topics include ecology, human health and disease, reproduction, genetics and cells. Physics topics covered include waves, electricity and magnetism, energy and power generation, forces
and motion and space. Students will learn about chemical reactions in Chemistry, including symbol equations, the periodic table, acids and bases, and particles.
Each topic is taught over a half term, with a 50-minute end of unit test. Most units also contain an assessed written task or practical project.
Each unit contains a significant amount of practical activity and outdoor learning where appropriate. There is also a practical approach to learning Laboratory skills throughout Science lessons at BSB. Standard safety procedures are a vital part of our approach to collecting data, and the practice of correct scientific methodology is essential.
Key Stage 4
In Key Stage 4, students will be able to study IGCSE Biology, IGCSE Chemistry and IGCSE Physics as part of their curriculum.
In IGCSE Biology, students will learn about the characteristics and classification of living things, organisation and maintenance of the organism; development of the organism and the continuity of life; the relationships of organisms with one another and their environment.
During the IGCSE Chemistry course, some of the topics will include the atomic structure and the periodic table, bonding, structure and properties of matter, and quantitative chemistry and the electrical and chemical changes.
In IGCSE Physics, some of the topics learned will include general physics, thermal physics, atomic physics, the properties of waves,
electricity and magnetism, which will provide a base for further study in subjects such as cosmology, relativity and particle physics.
Fieldwork is an essential part of the study of Science. Students will be expected to participate in field trips and laboratory work as part of the IGCSE courses. Practical skills, laboratory work and fieldwork skills will be assessed continuously throughout the year.
Key Stage 5
During Key Stage 5, students will be able to study AS/A Level Biology. They will develop their analytical and evaluation skills so that they will be able to assess the validity, reliability and credibility of both their own work and that of others encountered through their more extensive reading.
Some of the topics include photosynthesis, global warming, evolution, nutrient recycling, DNA profiling and PCR, the structure of bacteria and viruses, infectious diseases and immunology, anaerobic and aerobic respiration, the heart, homeostasis, the nervous system, impact of exercise on the body, hormonal coordination, brain structure and development, imbalances in brain chemicals and the Human Genome Project.
AS / A Level Chemistry builds on and expands the knowledge and skills acquired at IGCSE level. The syllabus is built around the themes of ‘The Core Principles of Chemistry’, ‘Application of Core Principles of Chemistry’, ‘Chemistry Laboratory Skills’ and ‘General Principles of Chemistry’.
Topics covered will include:
AS Level: ‘formulae, equations and amount of substance’, ‘atomic structure and the periodic table’, ‘bonding and structure’, ‘introductory organic chemistry and alkanes’, ‘energetics’, ‘intermolecular forces’,‘redox chemistry and groups I, II and VII’, ‘introduction to kinetics and equilibria’ and ‘organic chemistry: alcohols,halogenoalkanes and spectra’.
A Level: ‘kinetics’, ‘entropy and energetics’, ‘chemical equilibria’, ‘acid-base equilibria’, ‘organic chemistry: carbonyls, carboxylic acids and chirality’, ‘redox equilibria’, ‘transition metals and their chemistry’, ‘organic chemistry: arenes’, ‘organic nitrogen compounds: amines, amides, amino acids and proteins’.
The focus throughout the course is on developing knowledge and understanding of key Chemistry concepts and applying these concepts in novel contexts.
The syllabus for the AS/A Level Physics includes the main theoretical concepts which are fundamental to the subject and the development of practical skills.
Topics covered will include:
AS Level: Mechanics, including rectilinear motion, forces, energy and power. Materials, including fluid flow, viscosity, and solid materials properties; Waves, including diffraction, refraction and polarization and an introduction to Quantum Physics; Electricity, including circuit design and the conductivity of materials.
A-Level: Further Mechanics, including circular motion, gravitation and momentum; Fields, including electric fields, magnetic fields and particle physics; Radiation and Waves, including nuclear decay, oscillations, cosmology and astrophysics.
The courses are designed to foster creative thinking and problem-solving skills which are transferable to any future career path in Sciences.
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