Science

All KS3 students receive 6 lessons per fortnight.

In Year 7, each class stays with their designated teachers throughout the year and are set using the results of a baseline test which is sat upon entry to the school.

In Years 8 and 9, the classes are rotated between 3 teachers to allow the majority of classes to be taught by a subject specialist. The students are set using the end of year exam and summative tests taken throughout the year.

At KS4, students currently receive 11 lessons per fortnight. There are 4 classes in both Year 10 and Year 11, which are set using data from end of year exams and topic tests taken throughout the year. Each class is taught by 3 specialist subject specialists where possible.

KS3 curriculum

In Years 7 and 8, students are currently following the Pearsons new Exploring Science scheme of work.

In Year 9 students will follow sections of the old Exploring Science SOW as well as covering a range of practice control assessments (use previously published controlled assessments by Edexcel).

Science Department Handbook 2016-17


The principal focus of science teaching in key stage 3 is to develop a deeper understanding of a range of scientific ideas in the subject disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Students should begin to see the connections between these subject areas and become aware of some of the big ideas underpinning scientific knowledge and understanding. Examples of these big ideas are the links between structure and function in living organisms, the particulate model as the key to understanding the properties and interactions of matter in all its forms, and the resources and means of transfer of energy as key determinants of all of these interactions. They should be encouraged to relate scientific explanations to phenomena in the world around them and start to use modelling and abstract ideas to develop and evaluate explanations.

Students should develop their use of scientific vocabulary, including the use of scientific nomenclature and units and mathematical representations.

Year 7

In Year 7 the students are taught Biology, Chemistry and Physics via the following topics:

  • Cells

  • Reproduction

  • Environment and feeding relationships

  • Variation and classification

  • Acids and alkalis

  • Simple chemical reactions

  • The particle model

  • Solutions

  • Energy

  • Electrical circuits

  • Forces and their effects

  • The solar system and beyond

Year 8

In Year 8 the students are taught Biology, Chemistry and Physics via the following topics:

  • Food and digestion

  • Respiration

  • Microbes and disease

  • Ecological relationships

  • Elements and atoms

  • Compounds and mixtures

  • Rocks and weathering

  • The rock cycle

  • Heating and cooling

  • Magnets and electromagnets

  • Light

  • Sound and hearing

KS4: current Year 10

The science department follows the new linear Pearsons Edexcel syllabus. At the end of Year 10, students in all sets 1-3 will sit GCSE core science followed by GCSE additional science in Year 11. Year 11 set 1 will also sit GCSE further additional science. Each GCSE is comprised of 3 external exams, worth 25% each, on biology, chemistry and physics. The other 25% is a controlled assessment. Every effort should be made to ensure that a student achieves a controlled assessment grade that is in line with their ‘better than expected’ grade.

KS4: current Year 11

Students in set 1 have completed GCSE physics and are currently working towards GCSE chemistry and biology. Sets 2 and 3 are working towards GCSE additional science having completed GCSE core science in Year 10. Set 4 will complete GCSE core science over 2 years.

All students in KS4 are required to complete all 3 controlled assessments in biology, chemistry and physics for both GCSE core and additional science.