Have you just started year 7?
Feeling a little overwhelmed with all the new science terminology being used?
Are you starting your GCSEs and think you have forgotten everything you were ever taught in science in KS3?
We are here to help and in this blog, we take a look at some topics we think will help your learning and understanding and make some of those tricky science topics seem like a walk in the park.
In biology, a great place to start is with Cells. If you learn the basic structure of an animal and plant cell this will help you throughout your KS3 and KS4 lessons. This topic is then built on in more depth every time you return to it. You will eventually learn how different cells specialise in their function and the correct terminology to use for all the organelles present in a cell. We suggest you make sure you understand this and draw and label a variety of different cells; including a palisade cell, a nerve cell, an epithelial cell.
Two other topics we think you need to get a good understanding of are Photosynthesis and Respiration. Learning the equations for these two processes and how they are linked is a really good starting point.
Whilst you are learning different chemistry topics at school we think one key area to focus on is Atoms, Elements and Compounds. Understanding this topic will give you the foundation you need to move on to other topics such as chemical reactions and the reactivity series.
To ensure you can explain certain aspects of chemistry we also think it is a good idea to know particle theory, what it is and how to use this theory when explaining states of matter, physical change and chemical changes. With particle theory, we would suggest that you make sure you are able to represent the three states of matter using particle theory and be able to explain the differences in the properties as a result.
Many students have a love/hate relationship with Physics (a little bit like Marmite!) It is important to remember that it is another science that is vital in explaining how things work. A topic that regularly needs revisiting before assessments is Energy. Students often find learning the difference between Energy Stores and Energy Types confusing. Make sure you can explain the difference. We have another blog that goes into this in more detail here.
Electrical circuits is an area you may cover every year, each time going into it in a little more detail. The ability to draw good, clear and correct circuit diagrams (in pencil!!) is important as this will feature in KS3 and at KS4 in your GCSEs. Make sure you know the difference between series and parallel circuits and what happens with breaks in these circuits (and also why it happens).
During practical lessons make sure you know what all the different equipment is called and what is is used for in experiments. You need to be able to recognise the different pieces of apparatus and be able to explain why they have been chosen for that particular experiment. When explaining an experiment and how you have set it up you must be able to identify the different variables involved. So make sure you know the difference between an Independent variable, a Dependent variable and Control variables. You will be expected to recognise each of these in an experiment you are given or to describe an experiment in which you must include these clearly. So make sure you know the difference between the three and be able to provide examples.
With all of these topics it is essential you have a clear understanding of the keywords for each topic and their definition. This will help when answering test questions and will ensure you can explain yourself correctly and demonstrate a good understanding of the topics the question is focussing on.
Hopefully this acts as a useful checklist for returning to your Science studies this academic year. This list doesn’t include everything but will definitely give you a starting point to help you prepare for the year ahead or if you are revisiting KS3 work ready for KS4 and the start of GCSEs.
Don’t forget to get in touch if you have any questions or would like some help with your KS3 science learning to fill in any knowledge gaps you have..
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