Year 9 — Science

Term 1: Genes & Electromagnets

Genes -

1. Inheritance

2. Evolution

In this topic students extend their knowledge of reproduction from Year 7 and learn about inheritance of characteristics. They also learn about genes, chromosomes, DNA and how these are passed on from parents to their offspring. Students learn about genetic and environmental variation and cell division. They also learn about evolution, natural selection and the role of adaptation in these theories.

Electromagnets -

1. Magnetism

In this topic students learn about the behaviour of magnets including permanent bar magnets, solenoids and electromagnets. They investigate the factors that affect the strength of an electromagnetic and learn about the earth's magnetic field.

Genes - 24 Mark end of unit test that covers: Variation, chromosomes & genes, DNA, reproduction and inheritance, adaptations, natural selection, evolution.

Electromagnets - 24 Mark end of unit test that covers: Magnets, magnetic fields, factors that affect electromagnets, earth's magnetic field.


Pure substances made up of two or more elements chemically joined together.


The basic “building block” of an element which cannot be chemically broken down.


A substance made out of only one type of atom.


The combination of different elements and/or compounds that are not chemically combined.


Small positive particle found in the nucleus of an atom.


Small negatively charged particle within an atom that orbits the nucleus.


A small particle which does not have a charge and found in the nucleus of an atom.


A charged particle (can be positive or negative).


Atoms with the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons.

Ionic Bond

A chemical bond between two ions of opposite charges. It is a bond between metals and non-metals.

Covalent Bond

Bonds between atoms where some of the electrons are shared. It is a bond between non-metals.

Metallic Bond

The bond between close-packed metal ions due to delocalised electrons.

Delocalised Electrons

Electrons which are free to move away through a collection of ions – as in a metal.

Intermolecular Force

A force between different molecules.


A molecule that can be bonded to other identical molecules to form a polymer.


Very large molecules with atoms linked to other atoms by covalent bonds.


Formed when two metals, or a metal and a non-metal are mixed together to form a substance with different useful properties.


Very small particles on the nanoscale.

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Term 2: Cell Biology & Energy

Cell Biology -

This topic extends the work done in Year 7 and 8 and students learn about the structure and nature of cells and how they develop. This topic also covers the two ways in which cells divide in the human body and transport in cells including diffusion, osmosis and active transport.

Energy -

This unit explores how different energy transfers take place and how electricity is made using the National Grid. It will also involve a high demand in the use of numeracy where students will need to be able to analyse data and use equations.

Cell Biology - 30 Mark end of unit assessment covering: Cell structure, cell division, transport in cells.

Energy - 30 Mark end of unit assessment covering: Energy changes in systems, conservation and dissipation of energy, National and Global energy resources.


An organelle that controls the cell and contains the genetic information.

Cell Membrane

A layer around the cell which helps control substances entering and leaving the cell.


The material within a living cell where the majority of chemical reactions take place.


A cell structure found in green plants that contains chlorophyll for photosynthesis.

Cell Wall

A layer lying outside the cell membrane that provides structure to plant, fungi and bacteria cells.

Prokaryotic Cells

Single cells of bacteria and Archaeans with DNA found in a loop not enclosed in a nucleus.

Eukaryotic Cells

Cells from eukaryotes that have a cell membrane, cytoplasm, and genetic material enclosed in a nucleus.


When cells or tissues become adapted to carry out their specific function.


Cell division that results in genetically identical diploid cells.


The process whereby water moves from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration through a semi-permeable membrane.

Stem Cells

Unspecialised body cells (found in bone marrow) that can develop into other, specialised cells that the body needs.


The process used by all organisms to release the energy they need from food.

Active Transport

The movement of substances from a dilute solution to a more concentrated solution against a concentration gradient, requiring energy from respiration.


Biological catalysts, usually proteins.

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Term 3: Atomic structure and the periodic table, Revision & Required Practical Activities

Atomic structure & the periodic table -

Students will learn how the periodic table provides chemists with a structured organisation of the known chemical elements from which they can make sense of their physical and chemical properties. The historical development of the periodic table and models of atomic structure provide good examples of how scientific ideas and explanations develop over time as new evidence emerges. The arrangement of elements in the modern periodic table can be explained in terms of atomic structure which provides evidence for the model of a nuclear atom with electrons in energy levels.

Revision & Required practical activities - This time will be used to revise topics to date and consolidate prior knowledge. Students will also undertake the Required practical activities for these topics.

Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table - 30 minute end of unit assessment covering: Models of the atom, symbols, relative atomic mass, electronic charge & isotopes, periodic table.

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Term 4: Organisation & Bonding, structure and properties of matter

Organisation -

In this topic students explore how cells work together and focuses, in particular on how the digestive, circulatory and respiratory systems function. In each case they provide dissolved materials that need to be moved quickly around the body in the blood. Students learn how the plant transport system is dependent on environmental conditions to ensure that leaf cells are provided with the water and carbon dioxide that they need for photosynthesis.

Bonding, structure and properties of matter -

Chemists use theories of structure and bonding to explain the physical and chemical properties of materials. Analysis of structures shows that atoms can be arranged in a variety of ways, some of which are molecular while others are giant structures. Theories of bonding explain how atoms are held together and scientists use this knowledge to engineer new materials.

Organisation - 30 minute assessment covering: Principles of organisation, animal Tissue, organs & organ systems, plant systems.

Bonding, structure and properties of matter - 30 Mark end of unit assessment covering: Chemical bonding, How bonding and structure are related to the properties of substances, structure and bonding of carbon.


Atoms with the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons.

Kinetic Energy

Energy an object has because of its movement; kinetic energy is greater for objects with greater mass or higher speed.

Specific Latent Heat

The energy needed to change the state of matter without raising it's temperature per unit mass.


A return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.


The complex of physical and chemical processes occurring within a living cell or organism that are necessary for the maintenance of life. In metabolism some substances are broken down to yield energy for vital processes.


Protein normally present in the body or produced in response to an antigen, which it neutralises, thus producing an immune response.


When the body is protected from a pathogen as it has already encountered it and can therefore produce antibodies against it, rapidly.


White blood cells that produce antibodies and antitoxins to destroy pathogens.


Harmful microorganism that invades the body and causes infectious diseases.


A type of white blood cell that enters tissues and engulfs pathogens then ingests them.


A treatment that does not contain a drug.


Injection of a small quantity of inactive pathogen to protect us from developing the disease caused by the pathogen.

Internal Energy

The sum of all the kinetic energy and potential energy of each particle in a substance.


The time taken for the radioactivity of a specified isotope to fall to half its original value.

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Term 5: Particle model of matter and Atomic structure, Revision and Required Practical Activities

Particle model of matter & Atomic structure -

In this topic students revisit work from Year 7 on changes of state but this is done at a molecular level. They also consider the behaviour and energy changes of particles when substances change from one state to another. In addition, students explore the different types of radiation from atoms. They look at the effects, uses and the hazards that of each type of nuclear radiation. Students will use mathematical skills to determine the half-life of different types of radiation and furthermore, determine how old a substance may be based on the radiation it emits.

Revision & Required practical activities - This time will be used to revise topics to date and consolidate prior knowledge in preparation for an end of year assessment. Students will also undertake the Required practical activities for these topics.

Particle Model of Matter & Atomic structure - 30 minute end of unit assessment covering: Changes of state, particle model, atoms and isotopes, nuclear radiation, Hazards and uses of nuclear radiation.

End of Year Assessment

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Term 6: Electrolysis & Energy Changes

Electrolysis & Energy changes -

In this topic students explore chemical reactions in a systematic way and learn how to analyse their results logically. They are encourages to use their prior knowledge of the structure and bonding of ionic compounds and electric current as flow of charge to learn about electrolysis. This leads on to consider that energy changes in reactions and that the interaction of particles often involves transfers of energy due to the breaking and formation of bonds. The Required practical in this topic enables students to develop a wide range of investigative and mathematical skills to analyse results.

Working Scientifically - students will do a series of investigations to develop the skills they have learnt throughout the Key Stage 3 program of study. There will also be some focus on the mathematical skills they will need to master in preparation for further study of science in Years 10 and 11

Electricity & Energy changes - 30 minute end of unit assessment covering: Electrolysis of molten and aqueous solutions of ionic compounds, exothermic and endothermic Reactions, bond breaking and bond making.

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