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Curriculum Area: Science and Computing  

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Please scroll down for information on KS5 Science                                                                  

Science Key Stage 5

what will i learn about icon.jpgScience is the subject of the future. It is the only subject that is of national and international importance; from designing computer programmes that underpin the whole financial district right through to understanding how to improve the medicines and drugs we all rely on.


These advances are driven by Scientists across all disciplines. The A-level courses wescience page 3.jpg offer will further develop your passion and understanding of Science, as well as challenging you to think more globally about the impact of Science on the world.

By choosing a Science subject at A Level you are opening the doors to an increased number of future prospects. Biology, Chemistry and Physics are facilitating subjects which are required to enter some universities, such as the Russell Group.  By choosing these subjects you are widening the options available to you after A Level.  In addition, our teachers have an outstanding knowledge of Oxbridge applications and further studies following completion of  A Level and are available to offer help and advice to students.


what will i learn about icon.jpg Biology Key Stage 5

If you enjoyed GCSE Biology and have an interest in learning more in depth biological processes this is the right course for you.


Here at Penistone we study Edexcel Advanced GCE Biology A (9BN0).

Throughout the course you will be expected to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific processes in a theoretical and practical context. You will also analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information and practical procedures.

At A level you study 8 topics over two years. In year 1 some of these topics include the cardiovascular system, gene expression and protein synthesis, structures of biological molecules, eukaryotic cells and prokaryotic cells. In year 2 the topics include ecology, photosynthesis, immunity, microbiology, respiration, muscle contraction, homeostasis and the nervous system.

You will also develop your practical skills by completing a range of practical competencies, together with 18 core practical experiments. The core practical experiments will count towards a separate Science Practical Endorsement.

The course is assessed with three examinations taking place in May/June of year 2. Each exam makes up 33.33% of the total qualification. The exams are:

Paper 1: The Natural Environment and Species Survival
Paper 2: Energy, Exercise and Co-ordination
Paper 3: General and Practical Applications in Biology


Who can I speak to for more information?

For more information about A Level Biology please contact Miss A Crossland, Course Leader for Biology

what will i learn about icon.jpg Chemistry Key Stage 5

If you enjoy Chemistry and want to and know more about how chemicals interact both naturally and in a laboratory then Chemistry will appeal to you.        


Chemistry is a challenging but rewarding subject  and throughout the two years you will develop many new skills. A Level Chemistry combines theory with practical and analytical experience, encouraging imaginative, critical and logical thinking. You will have the opportunity to appreciate Chemistry and its relevance beyond the laboratory.

A qualification in Chemistry is highly valued and is a key subject for many degree courses such as Medicine and  Biochemistry. Most biological and environmental degrees require Chemistry and as it requires analytical powers and academic rigour, it creates a suitable foundation for careers in law, accountancy and economics. The skills learnt throughout the course are highly transferable  to further education.

Students will study the AQA specification, studying the three areas of physical, organic and inorganic chemistry with practical work providing an investigative approach to chemistry.  There are a broad range of topics studied, ranging from the structure of the atom to how to synthesise organic chemicals and how to calculate pH. At the end of Year 2, there are 3 examinations based on theory and practical work.

Who can I speak to for more information?

For more information about A Level Chemistry please contact Mr Pike, Course Leader for Chemistry

what will i learn about icon.jpg Physics Key Stage 5

Physics is taught in our well equipped laboratories by experienced teachers who pride themselves on the amount of support and guidance that they provide to students.


This course will help you to:
· Progress smoothly from GCSE
· Develop in-depth knowledge and understanding of the principles of physics
· Gain hands-on practical and data analysis skills
· Appreciate 'How Science Works' and its relevance beyond the laboratory
· See how physics links to other sciences and how the subject underpins important technologies

This course will appeal to students who are curious about how things work on every scale, from the smallest particles to the ends of the universe and to those who enjoy solving applied mathematical problems.

Students will work individually or in small groups and learn through a number of different approaches including practical experiments, problem solving, research, teacher explanations and demonstrations.

This AQA Physics course is a well-respected qualification with a good mixture of topics.

Students work to develop an understanding of the course content as well as developing practical and analytical skills. Theory topics covered include Particles, Electricity, Mechanics, Materials, Waves, Nuclear Physics and Turning Points in Physics.

Who can I speak to for more information?

For more information about A Level Physics please contact Mr A Hines, Course Leader for Physics