Devizes School Learning & Education

KS5 Science

A-Level Biology

A-level Biology is a stepping stone to future study, which is why we allow students to develop the skills that they will need. We believe that Biology is fundamentally an experimental subject. This course will provide numerous opportunities to use practical experiences to link theory to reality, and equip students with the essential practical skills they need.

Lessons will inspire students, nurture a passion for Biology and lay the groundwork for further study in courses like biological sciences and medicine.

By the end of Year 12 our Biologists will have studied:

That all life on Earth shares a common chemistry of biological molecules, which provides indirect evidence for evolution

All life on Earth exists as cells. Cells have basic features in common. Differences between cells are due to the addition of extra features, providing further indirect evidence for evolution

The internal environment of a cell or organism is different from its external environment. The exchange of substances between the internal and external environments takes place at exchange surfaces. To truly enter or leave an organism, most substances must cross cell plasma membranes.

Biodiversity is reflected in the vast number of species of organisms, in the variation of individual characteristics within a single species and in the variation of cell types within a single multicellular organism.

By the end of Year 13 our Biologists will have studied:

That life depends on continuous transfers of energy between photosynthesis and respiration.

Stimuli, both internal and external, are detected and lead to a response. This could be via hormones and nerves in animals or hormone-like growth substances in plants.

The theory of evolution underpins modern Biology. All new species arise from an existing species. This can be investigated by studying genetics and populations.

  • The control of gene expression within cells and humans are applying these ideas to many medical and technological applications.

A-Level Chemistry

In KS5 Chemistry students will develop many of the key concepts from GCSE further and cover more complex and detailed explanations to there is a seamless progression between qualifications.

As well as building on GCSE content new topics are introduced and the division of Chemistry into it sub topics of physical, inorganic and organic Chemistry. The course aims to inspire students, nurture their passion for chemistry and lay the groundwork for further study in courses such as chemistry, medicine and pharmacy.

This Chemistry content is a stepping stone to future study allowing students to develop the skills that universities and other higher education establishments are looking for in prospective students.

Chemistry is fundamentally an experimental subject and both AS an A Level provide numerous opportunities to use practical experiences to link theory to reality, and equip students with the essential practical skills they will need for post 18 choices.

In AS Chemistry is split into the following topics and content:

Physical Chemistry

  • Atomic structure
  • Amount of substance
  • Bonding
  • Energetics
  • Chemical Equilibria, Le Chateliers Principle and Kc
  • Oxidation and redox equations

Inorganic Chemistry

  • Periodicity
  • Group 2, the alkaline earth materials
  • Group 7 (17) the halogens

Organic Chemistry

  • Introduction to Organic Chemistry
  • Alkanes
  • Halogenoalkanes
  • Alkenes
  • Alcohols
  • Organic Analysis

In A Level in addition to the AS Level content topics include:

Physical Chemistry

  • Thermodynamics
  • Rate Equations
  • Equilibrium constant Kp for homogenous systems
  • Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells
  • Acids and Bases

Inorganic Chemistry

  • Properties of period 3 elements and their oxides
  • Transition metals
  • Reactions of Ions in aqueous solution

Organic Chemistry

  • Optical Isomerism
  • Aldehydes and Ketones
  • Carboxylic Acids and derivatives
  • Aromatic Chemistry
  • Amines
  • Polymers
  • Amino Acids, proteins and DNA
  • Organic Synthesis
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy
  • Chromatography

A-Level Physics

A-level students at Devizes school follow a flexible, content-based physics course, divided into six topics. Each topic will cover key concepts in physics as well as practical skills for students to utilise and develop across the course. This approach will enable students to build their knowledge and apply their understanding to problem-solve across broad topic areas such as Newtonian physics, wave mechanics, gravitational forces, and nuclear radiation.

In the first year, Year 12 students will start by developing their practical ability and understanding the important conventions needed for physicists to effectively communicate their findings with the wider scientific community. From there, we delve into the concepts of forces and motion and wave physics, taught concurrently by both teachers. Our students will learn how to model the motion of objects using mathematics, understand the effect forces have on objects, learn about the important connection between force and energy, appreciate how forces cause deformation, and understand the importance of Newton’s laws of motion. Before any sophisticated work can be done on quantum physics, students need to appreciate what electrons are and how they behave in electrical circuits. A basic understanding of wave properties is also required. In the fourth module, students will learn about electrons, electric current, electrical circuits, wave properties, electromagnetic waves and, of course, quantum physics.

For the second year, our Year 13 students will delve into the greatest and the smallest concepts of physics. The microscopic motion of atoms can be modelled using Newton’s laws and provide us with an understanding of macroscopic quantities such as pressure and temperature. Newton’s law of gravitation can be used to predict the motion of planets and distant galaxies. Students will explore the intricacies of stars and the expansion of the Universe by analysing the electromagnetic radiation from space, and students will be considering how the development of the scientific model is improved based on the advances in the means of observation.

By the end of the course, a Devizes physicist will have:

• essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to each other;

• a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods;

• competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem-solving skills;

• interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject;

• understanding of how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society

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