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BIOLOGY Exam Revision Notes (designed for ~14-16 year old science students)

CHEMISTRY Revision Notes (designed for ~14-16 year old science students)

PHYSICS Exam Revision Notes (designed for ~14-16 year old science students)

CHEMISTRY Exam Revision Notes (for ~16-18 year old pre-university students)


Adapted from Wikipedia

Secondary education in the United States is the last seven years of statutory formal education grade 6 (age 1112) through grade 12 (age 1718). It occurs in two phases. The first is the ISCED lower secondary phase, a junior high school or middle school for students grade 6 (age 1112) through grade 8 (age 1314). The second is the ISCED upper secondary phase, the high school for students grade 9 (age 1415) through grade 12 (age 1718). There is some debate over the optimum age of transfer, and variation in some states.

Curriculum

Authority to regulate education resides constitutionally with the individual states, with direct authority of the U.S. Congress and the federal U.S. Department of Education being limited to regulation and enforcement of federal constitutional rights. Great indirect authority is, however, exercised through federal funding of national programs and block grants although there is no obligation upon any state to accept these funds. The U.S. government may also propose, but cannot enforce national goals, objectives and standards, which generally lie beyond its jurisdiction.

Many high schools in the United States offer a choice of vocational or college prep curriculum. Schools that offer vocational programs include a very high level of technical specialization, e.g., auto mechanics or carpentry, with a half-day instruction/approved work program in senior year as the purpose of the program is to prepare students for gainful employment without a college degree. The level of specialization allowed varies depending on both the state and district the school is located in.
Core

Many states require that courses in the "core" areas of English, science, social studies, and mathematics every year although others allow more choice after 10th grade. The majority of high schools require four English credits to graduate.[15]

Generally, three science courses are required. Biology, Chemistry, and Physics are usually offered. Courses such as physical and Life Science serve as introductory alternatives to those classes. Other science studies include Geology, Anatomy, Astronomy, Health science, Environmental Science, and Forensic Science.

High school mathematics courses typically include Pre-algebra, algebra I, geometry, Algebra II w/ trigonometry classes. Advanced study options can include precalculus, calculus, statistics, and discrete math generally with an opportunity to earn Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) accreditation. Usually, only three math credits are required for graduation (although four is recommended).

English/Language classes are usually required for four years of high school although many schools count journalism, public speaking/debate, foreign language, literature, drama, and writing (both technical and creative) classes as English/Language classes.

Social science classes include History, Political Science, Economics and Geography. Political science and Economics classes are sometimes combined as two semesters of a year-long course. Additional study options can include classes in Law (constitutional, Criminal, or international), Criminal justice, Sociology, and Psychology.

Many states require a health or wellness course in order to graduate. The class typically covers basic anatomy, nutrition, first aid, sexual education, and how to make responsible decisions regarding illegal drugs, tobacco, and alcohol. In some places, contraception is not allowed to be taught for religious reasons. In some places, the health and physical education class are combined into one class or are offered in alternate semesters. In some private schools, such as Catholic schools, theology is required before a student graduates. Two years of physical education (usually referred to as "gym," "PE" or "phys ed" by students) is commonly required, although some states and school districts require that all students take Physical Education every semester.[15]

Electives

Public high schools offer a wide variety of elective courses, although the availability of such courses depends upon each particular school's financial situation. Some schools and states require students to earn a few credits of classes considered electives, most commonly foreign language and physical education.

Common types of electives include:

Visual arts (drawing, sculpture, painting, photography, film studies, and art history)
Performing arts (choir, drama, band, orchestra, dance, guitar)
Vocational education (woodworking, metalworking, computer-aided drafting, automobile repair, agriculture, cosmetology, FFA)
Computer science/information technology (word processing, computer programming, graphic design, computer club, web design and web programming, video game design, music production, film production)
Journalism/publishing (school newspaper, yearbook, television production)
Foreign languages (French, German, Italian, and Spanish are common; Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Greek, Latin, Korean, Dutch, and Portuguese are less common, though the former two are gaining popularity.)
Business Education (Accounting, Data Processing, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Business, Information and Communication Technology, Management, Marketing, and Secretarial)
Family and consumer science/health (nutrition, nursing, culinary, child development, and additional physical education and weight training classes)
Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (In some schools, JROTC may replace a credit of health or P.E.) and gun clubs and shooting teams
Some American high schools offer drivers' education. At some schools, a student can take it during school as a regular course for a credit. At some schools, drivers education courses are only available after school.

Levels of education

Middle school / Junior high school

Middle schools, or junior high schools, are schools that span grades 7, 8 and sometimes grades 5, 6 & 9 which straddle primary and secondary education. Upon arrival in middle school or junior high school, students begin to enroll in class schedules where they take classes from several teachers in a given day. The classes are usually a set of four or five (if foreign language is included in the curriculum) core academic classes (English or "language arts," science, mathematics, history or "social studies," and in some schools, foreign language) with two to four other classes, either electives, supplementary, or remedial academic classes.[citation needed]
Some students also start taking a foreign language or advanced math and science classes in middle school. Typically schools will offer Spanish and French; and, often German; and, sometimes Latin; Chinese, Japanese, and/or Greek. In addition to Pre-Algebra and other high school mathematics prep courses, Algebra I and Geometry are both commonly taught. Schools also offer Earth Science, Life Science, or Physical Science classes. Physical education classes (also called "PE", "phys ed", Kinesiology, or "gym") are usually mandatory for various periods. For social studies, some schools offer U.S. History, Geography, and World History classes.[citation needed]
Most also have "honors" classes for motivated and gifted students, where the quality of education is higher and much more is expected from the enrolled student.
Successful completion of middle school or junior high school leads to entry into high school.
 

High school

The main variables in a science experiment are the independent variable, the dependent variable and the control variables.
High school comprises grades 9 or 10 through 12. Most American high schools are comprehensive high schools and accept all students from their local area, regardless of ability or vocational/college track. Students have significant control of their education, and may choose even their core classes, although the control given to students varies from state to state and school to school. The schools are managed by local school districts rather than by the central government.
Some states and cities offer special high schools with examinations to admit only the highest performing students, such as Boston Latin School or Alexandria, Virginia's Thomas Jefferson High School. Other high schools cater to the arts. Some schools have been set up for students who do not succeed with normal academic standards; while others, like Harvey Milk High School, have even been created for special social groups such as LGBT students.
Most states operate special residential schools for the blind and deaf, although a substantial number of such students are mainstreamed into standard schools. Several operate residential high schools for highly gifted students in specialized areas such as science, mathematics, or the arts. A smaller number of high schools are operated by the Department of Defense on military bases for children of military personnel.
Most high schools have classes known as "honors" classes for motivated and gifted students, where the quality of education is higher and much more is expected from the enrolled student. Some high schools offer Regular Honors (H) (sometimes called Advanced), Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, which are special forms of honors classes. International schools offering programs of study in line with foreign systems of Education, such as those of Britain and France, are also available. Some schools also offer dual-enrollment programs, in which select classes at a university may be taken for both university and high school credit.
Graduation from high school leads to the awarding of the high school diploma. After this secondary education is considered complete and students may pursue tertiary level study.


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