Science

Science

Introduction

The Auckland Grammar School Science Department aims to encourage students Forms 3, 4 and 5 to enjoy and excel at Science. The Science course is balanced across the three main branches Biology, Chemistry and Physics in these first three years, and then students can choose to specialise in any or all of the three in Forms 5, 6 and 7.

The courses provide a solid background for students intending to further their education in science so they can enter careers where applying scientific principles and knowledge is necessary. The skilled and enthusiastic staff motivate students to ensure they gain a better understanding and appreciation of the world they live in.

Form 4 Science:

Pre-requisites: Form 3 Science. The Form 4 course is for all students in all Form 4 classes.

Course outline: Form 4 Science prepares students to study all individual Science courses in Form 5. There are twelve topics covered during the year. Students work from study guides as they did in Form 3. Each study guide contains the topic information students need to know and are examined on. The topics studied include:

  • The Physical World: Mechanics, Electricity, Waves
  • The Material World: Chemical Structure and Bonding, Chemical Reactions, Organic Chemistry
  • The Living World: Cell Membranes and Movement, Ecology, Inheritance
  • Planet Earth and Beyond: Astronomy, Earth Science
  • The Nature of Science: Introduction to Safe Laboratory Practices

Methods of assessment: There is a one-hour examination in Term 1 that tests content from topics studied in Term 1 as well as Science skills from Form 3. The two-hour examination in Term 2 focuses on content from Term 2, but includes previously studied key Science skills and concepts. The two-hour examination in Term 4 focuses on the topic material studied in Terms 3 and 4, but will include skills reinforced throughout the year.

A Coursework Mark component in Terms 2 and 4 is derived from marks gained in topic tests, book marks, assignments and projects.

All students begin the study of Pre Q Science courses in Form 4. They are taught key concepts that are not covered in Form 5 schemes of work. Students are required to keep the Pre-Q study guides issued in Form 4 to assist with revision in Form 5.

Special equipment and costs: $20 for Education Perfect.

Continuation of subject: Science continues in Form 5 with a choice of five options:

  • NCEA Level 1 Science (a single option) for students in classes 5O-5P
  • Pre-Q Triple Science for students in classes 5A-5D (a double option where students study all three Pre-Q Sciences. This option is challenging and is offered to academically able students keen on Science)
  • Pre-Q Biology for students in classes 5A-5N
  • Pre-Q Chemistry for students in classes 5A-5N
  • Pre-Q Physics for students in classes 5A-5N

Form 5

Pre-requisites: Form 3 and Form 4 Science

Course description/aims: This subject is an extension of Science topics and skills taught throughout Form 3 and Form 4. This means many of the ideas have already been introduced and these ideas are further developed during the Form 5 courses. At this level the aim is to build a good foundation for students intending to continue with the specialist Sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) in Form 6.

The Science courses offered at this level include:

  • NCEA Level 1 Science (a single option) for students in Forms 5O-5P
  • Pre-Q Triple Science (BIO, CHEM and PHYSICS as a double option) for students in Forms 5A-5D. This option is challenging and is offered to academically able students keen on Science.
  • Pre-Q Biology (a single option) for students in 5A-5N
  • Pre-Q Chemistry (a single option) for students in 5A-5N
  • Pre-Q Physics (a single option) for students in 5A-5N

Notes:

  • 4A-4D can take Triple Science (SCQ and SCZ - two Sciences (BIO/CHE/PHY across two option lines) or up to two Science subjects (BIO/CHE/PHY).
  • 4E-4I can take up to two Science subjects (BIO/CHE/PHY), although it is recommended that students select a maximum of two Sciences.
  • 4J-4N can take up to two Science subjects (BIO/CHE/PHY).
  • 4O-4P will take NCEA Level 1 Science (SCI).

Continuation of subject: Students gaining pass grades in Pre-Q specialist Science courses (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) can continue Science by opting in Form 6 to study:

  • NCEA Level 2 in any of the specialist Science disciplines or
  • Specialist Cambridge AS Science courses (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) as long as they gain a minimum of 65% in each of 4 subjects in Pre-Q and at least 60% or better in each specialist Science course to be studied (note: 70% or better is recommended at Pre-Q for further study of any Cambridge AS Level Science course).

Form 5 (NCEA Level 1):

This course is a single Science option for students in 50 to 5P interested in Science and wanting to continue Science as part of the NCEA pathway in Form 6. Students opting for this course will take a range of NCEA Level 1 Biology, Chemistry and Physics Achievement Standards to allow them access to any of the NCEA Level 2 courses in Biology, Chemistry or Physics.

Course outline:

  • AS90944 - Demonstrate understanding of aspects of Acids and Bases [4 credits, External]
  • AS90930 - Carry out a practical chemistry investigation, with direction [4 credits, Internal]
  • AS90940 - Demonstrate understanding of aspects of mechanics [4 credits, External]
  • AS90935 - Carry out a practical physics investigation that leads to a linear mathematical relationship, with direction [4 credits, Internal]
  • AS90926 - Report on a biological issue [3 credits, Internal]

Special equipments/costs: $20 for Education Perfect, $18 for workbooks.

Continuation of subject: NCEA Level 1 Science leads onto all three NCEA Level 2 Sciences. Students must have passed the externally-assessed standards if they wish to continue studying Science in Form 6.

Form 5 Triple Science (Pre-Q):

Description/aims: This course covers all three Pre-Q Sciences - Biology, Chemistry and Physics across two Option Lines. Due to the demanding nature of this course, it will only be offered to students in 4A to 4D. Students sit separate School examinations in Terms 1, 2 and 4 to gain separate grades in each subject (Biology, Chemistry and Physics).

Students gaining marks of at least 60% in the specialist Science subjects get automatic entry to a Cambridge AS course in that subject ,assuming they have met the criteria of a minimum of 65% in each of four subjects in Pre-Q.

Methods of assessment: Internal assessment for Triple Science follows the separate Science formats for Biology, Chemistry and Physics with three examination sessions in Terms 1, 2 and 4. The examination format for each of the Sciences can be found in the relevant Pre-Q section of the Course Handbook.

Form 6 Earth and Space Science (NCEA Level 2):

Pre-requisites: Form 6 Earth and Space Science is a course that is suitable as:

  • A complementary subject for students who have studied Geography in Form 5 and intend to study Geography in Form 6.
  • A complementary subject for students who have studied one or more Science subjects (Biology, Chemistry or Physics ) in Form 5 and intend to study a Science subject in Form 6.
  • Students who are interested in studying Environmental or Earth Sciences at university

Recommended achievement levels:

  • A. Students averaging over 55% in Form 5 School Geography and/ or Form 5 Science examinations (Biology, Chemistry or Physics) have an appropriate achievement level to study Level 2 NCEA Earth and Space Science.
  • Students averaging 45%-55% in Form 5 Geography and/or Form 5 Science examinations (Biology, Chemistry or Physics) may find NCEA Level 2 Earth and Space Science difficult.

Course description/aims: Earth and Space Science (ESS) has three main dimensions:

  • Earth and Space Science (ESS) connects systems: ESS explores the interconnections between the land, ocean, atmosphere, and life of our planet. These include the cycles of water, carbon, rock, and other materials that continuously shape, influence, and sustain Earth and its inhabitants. ESS also explores the cyclical interactions between the Earth system and the Sun and Moon.
  • ESS explores how New Zealand has been shaped by its location: New Zealand straddles the boundary between two major tectonic plates. ESS scientists, and students who study ESS, investigate how this precarious location has impacted (and continues to impact) on New Zealand's geology and landforms, sometimes in dramatic ways.
  • ESS explores the solar system and beyond: Planet Earth is dynamically linked with the solar system and the wider universe. ESS investigates the structure and composition of these systems and develops understanding of the vast distances and times involved.

Research, practical investigation and report-writing is a major focus of the course, and three of the five standards are internally-assessed.

Course outline: The NCEA Level 3 Earth and Space Science course assesses six achievement standards:

  • 2.1 - Carry out a practical Earth and Space Science investigation [4 credits, Internal]
  • 2.3 - Investigate geological processes in a New Zealand locality [4 credits, Internal]
  • 2.5 - Demonstrate understanding of the causes of extreme Earth events in New Zealand [4 credits, External]
  • 2.6 - Demonstrate understanding of stars and planetary systems [4 credits, External]
  • 2.7 - Demonstrate understanding of physical principles related to the Earth System [4 credits, External]

Special equipment and costs: $25 for a course workbook and $20 for Education Perfect. Field work will form part of a teaching programme, but its nature may vary between classes depending on the topics being taught.

Continuation of subject: Earth Science is offered as an NCEA Level 3 Subject.

Form 7 Earth and Space Science (NCEA Level 3):

Pre-requisites: Form 7 Earth and Space Science is a course that is suitable as:

  • A complementary subject for students who have studied Geography in Form 6 and intend to study Geography in Form 7.
  • A complementary subject for students who have studied one or more Science subjects (Biology, Chemistry or Physics ) in Form 6 and intend to study a Science subject in Form 7.
  • A subject for students who have studied one or more Science subjects in Form 6 but are looking for an alternative in Form 7.
  • Students who are interested in studying Environmental or Earth Sciences at university

Recommended achievement levels:

  • Students averaging over 55% in Form 6 School Geography and/ or Form 6 Science examinations (Biology, Chemistry or Physics) have an appropriate achievement level to study NCEA Level 3 Earth and Space Science.
  • Students averaging 45%-55% in Form 6 Geography and/or Form 6 Science examinations (Biology, Chemistry or Physics) may find Form 7 (NCEA Level 3) Earth and Space Science difficult.

Course description/aims: Earth and Space Science (ESS) has three main dimensions:

  • Earth and Space Science (ESS) connects systems: ESS explores the interconnections between the land, ocean, atmosphere, and life of our planet. These include the cycles of water, carbon, rock, and other materials that continuously shape, influence, and sustain Earth and its inhabitants. ESS also explores the cyclical interactions between the Earth system and the Sun and Moon.
  • ESS explores how New Zealand has been shaped by its location: New Zealand straddles the boundary between two major tectonic plates. ESS scientists, and students who study ESS, investigate how this precarious location has impacted (and continues to impact) on New Zealand's geology and landforms, sometimes in dramatic ways. ESS investigates the major ocean currents that flow past New Zealand and the impact these and other factors have on our weather and climate.
  • ESS explores the solar system and beyond: Planet Earth is dynamically linked with the solar system and the wider universe. ESS investigates the structure and composition of these systems and develops understanding of the vast distances and times involved.

Research, practical investigation and report-writing is a major focus of the course, and three of the five standards are internally-assessed.

Course outline:

  • 3.1 - Carry out an independent practical Earth and Space Science investigation [4 credits, Internal]
  • 3.3 - Investigate the evidence related to dating geological event(s) [4 credits, Internal]
  • 3.4 - Demonstrate understanding of processes in the ocean system [4 credits, External]
  • 3.5 - Demonstrate understanding of processes in the atmosphere system [4 credits, External]
  • 3.6 - Investigate an aspect of astronomy [4 credits, Internal]

Special equipment and costs: $25 for a course workbook and $20 for Education Perfect. Field work will form part of a teaching programme, but its nature may vary between classes depending on the topics being taught.

Continuation of subject: Earth Science is taught by Science Faculties, usually as part of Environmental Science. It is also a useful foundation for the study of Geography in Arts Faculties.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our staff today.