SCIENCE GRADE 8

Overview

The Science Syllabus at GEMS Wesgreen International middle School aims to stimulate a student’s curiosity to gain an understanding of the world around them. Learning opportunities in science allow students to develop reasoning and thinking skills to problem solve, communicate effectively, work cooperatively and use technology to become 21st Century learners. Students learn to ask scientific questions and begin to appreciate the way science will affect their future on a personal, national, and global level. Science is taught in dedicated Science lessons in the Lab and in classrooms.

Learning Outcomes

The aims of all subject's state what a teacher may expect to teach and what a student may expect to experience and learn. These aims suggest how the student may be changed by the learning experience.

The aims of the Science Syllabus are to encourage and enable students to:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
  • develop ideas and produce investigation plans based on previous knowledge and understanding of research which will help them to make suggestions and use preliminary work to decide how to carry out an investigation, make measurements and observations, use of equipment, assess hazards in the laboratory and use appropriate sampling techniques.
  • develop scientific knowledge and understanding to describe patterns of results, interpret results and evaluate the methods used and refine for further investigation

Ongoing Objectives

Throughout each unit the students are given the opportunity to build on the objectives below:

  • To ask simple questions and recognizing that they can investigate these questions scientifically.
  • To observe closely, using laboratory and conventional equipment.
  • To perform simple experiments.
  • To use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.
  • To gather and recording data to help in answering questions.

Blended learning

For blended learning we will provide video links, live demonstrations of practical investigation as well as access to the relevant worksheets and resources that all students will need. This will ensure that regardless whether or not a student is working in school or remotely they will still receive the same quality of teaching.

Unit Overviews

Term 1                  Approximate length: 12 weeks

For blended learning we will provide video links, live demonstrations of practical investigation as well as access to the relevant worksheets and resources that all students will need.

Unit 4 – Material properties

Approximate length: 2 weeks

In this unit students will deepen their understanding of the structure of atoms by describing details using atomic numbers and atomic mass to construct diagrams of the structure of an atom. They would use their understanding of what properties are to describe the trends of Group 1, Group 7 and Group 8 elements. Finally, the students will begin writing chemical word equations of reaction of the Group 1 metals with water.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • Describe the structure of an atom and learn about the methods and discoveries of Rutherford
  • Compare the structures of the first twenty elements of the Periodic Table
  • Describe trends in groups and periods
  • Talk about the contribution of scientists. Secondary sources can be used

Unit 5 - Energy changes

Approximate length: 2 weeks

In this unit students have to develop the idea of bond breaking and bond formation during chemical reactions. Specific exothermic and endothermic processes/reactions will be investigated and as well as the uses of these type of processes/reactions.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • Explore and explain the idea of endothermic processes, e.g. melting of ice, and exothermic reactions, e.g. burning, oxidation

Unit 9 – Forces in action

Approximate length: 2 weeks

In this unit students be able to understand, explain and establish density, pressure and moment equations. They will have to use mathematical skills to find out specific variables in these equations while paying attention to units. They will understand methods used in measuring mass volume and area. Finally, they would describe pressure in liquids and gasses and understand and explain the idea of force causing an object to turn about a pivot.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • Explain that pressure is caused by the action of a force on an area
  • Determine densities of solids, liquids and gases
  • Explain pressures in gases and liquids (qualitative only)
  • Know that forces can cause objects to turn on a pivot and understand the principle of moments

Unit 1 – Plants

Approximate length: 2 weeks

In this unit students will review photosynthesis and be able to write the word equation. Understand and investigate the importance of water and mineral salts in plants. Describe sexual reproduction in flowering plants from pollination, fertilization, seed formation and dispersal.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • Define and describe photosynthesis, and use the word equation
  • Understand the importance of water and mineral salts to plant growth
  • Understand sexual reproduction in flowering plants, including pollination, fertilization, seed formation and dispersal

Unit 2 – Living things in their environment

Approximate length: 2 weeks

In this unit students will be able to describe the adaptations of plants and animals for life in several different habitats. Construct food webs and understand the importance of decomposers. Lastly, they would investigate the effects of human activities, factors affecting population, pollution and threats to wetlands, rainforest and coral reef.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • Explain the ways in which living things are adapted to their habitats. Secondary sources can be used
  • Research the work of scientists studying the natural world Secondary sources can be used
  • Explain and model food chains, food webs and energy flow
  • Explain the role of decomposers
  • Describe factors affecting the size of populations
  • Describe and investigate some effects of human influences on the environment

Term 2                  Approximate length: 11 weeks

For blended learning we will provide video links, live demonstrations of practical investigation as well as access to the relevant worksheets and resources that all students will need.

Unit 10 – Electricity

Approximate length: 3 weeks

In this unit students will be able to observe and explain static electricity in terms of electrons. Based on their knowledge of the structure of the atom, they will able to investigate and identify electrical conductors and insulators and also develop the idea of electric current as a flow of electrons. Review circuits and investigate the effects of number of cells and electrical components on circuits in series and parallel.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • Describe electrostatics and the concept of charge, including digital sensors
  • Interpret and draw simple parallel circuits
  • Model and explain how common types of components, including cells (batteries), affect current
  • Explain how current divides in parallel circuits
  • Measure current using ammeters and voltage using voltmeters, including digital meters

Unit 3 – Variation and inheritance

Approximate length: 2 weeks

In this unit students will be able to understand and construct biological keys. Review variation, recording and displaying data showing continuous variation. They will be introduce inheritance, genes and chromosomes. They will understand how Darwin developed his theory of natural selection and lastly understand and compare artificial selection (selective breeding) and natural selection.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • Use and construct keys to identify plants and animals
  • Understand that organisms inherit characteristics from their parents through genetic material that is carried in cell nuclei
  • Describe how selective breeding can lead to new varieties
  • Discuss the work of Darwin in developing the scientific theory of natural selection

Unit 6 – Reactivity

Approximate length: 2 weeks

In this unit students will develop the Ideas of different levels of reactivity. They will able to write the word equations and describe the reactions of metals with oxygen, water, steam and dilute acids. Develop and establish the reactivity series through comparing the reactions of various metals with water, steam and dilute acids and understand the notion of displacement reaction in the reactivity series. During this unit students will have intensive practice writing chemical word equations.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • Describe the reactivity of metals with oxygen, water and dilute acids
  • Explore and understand the reactivity series
  • Give examples of displacement reactions.

Unit 7 – Salts

Approximate length: 2 weeks

In this unit student will describe what salts are, how to name salts. They will investigate preparation of salts using different methods like reactions of metals with acids and carbonates and preparing salts by neutralization. During this unit students will have intensive practice writing chemical word equations.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • Explain how to prepare some common salts by the reactions of metals and metal carbonates and be able to write word equations for these reactions

Term 3                  Approximate length: 6 weeks

For blended learning we will provide video links, live demonstrations of practical investigation as well as access to the relevant worksheets and resources that all students will need.

Unit 11 – Energy

Approximate length: 3 weeks

In this unit students will understand the principle of end uses of energy, fossil fuel and their uses in generating electricity. Describe renewable and non-renewable energy sources. Understand and explain heat transfer processes: conduction, convection, radiation and evaporation. Be able to explain heat transfer processes using the particle theory.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • Use knowledge of energy sources including fossil fuels and renewable energy resources to consider the world’s energy needs, including research from secondary sources
  • Identify and explain the thermal (heat) energy transfer processes of conduction, convection and radiation
  • Explain cooling by evaporation

Unit 8 – Rates of reaction

Approximate length: 3 weeks

In this unit student will understand and be able to measure the rate of a chemical reaction. Describe and investigates factors affecting the rate of reactions: surface area/particle size, temperature, concentration and catalyst. During this unit students carry out investigations, collect data, draw and interpret rate of reaction graphs.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • Give an explanation of the effects of concentration, particle size, temperature and catalysts on the rate of a reaction

Assessment

Formative: Throughout the units, the children will complete graded work, quizzes and investigation activities which allows the teacher to assess the students’ attainment and inform their planning.

For each unit the students complete a pre and post assessments. This allows us to see progress across the units and to inform our planning.

Summative: At the end of each term we complete internal assessment. This allows us to measure the students’ progress throughout the term and year.

Next Steps

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