Curriculum Leader: Mr S. Bailey

The Science department consists of a team of 9 full time teachers, 4 part time teachers and 5 technicians.  Where possible, staff teach predominantly according to their specialism at GCSE and A Level.  They teach all three sciences in Years 7-8.

The department has 13 laboratories, including 3 new Chemistry/ Physics labs and 5 preparation rooms.  Each laboratory has a networked computer and an interactive smartboard. In addition one laboratory has 20 networked computers together with a large collection of data logging equipment.

The department currently follows its own scheme of learning which makes extensive use of the ‘Exploring Science – How Science Works’ materials.  This integrates the development of scientific skills alongside subject content throughout our teaching schemes.

In Year 7 students are broadly grouped according to their Key Stage 2 results.  Throughout years 7 & 8 students have 3 hours of teaching, ideally with one teacher.   About half of our students commence studying Separate Science at the start of year 9 with the other half carrying out a foundation GCSE year which includes the first GCSE Dual Science topics.

Summary of Curriculum Content

Below is a list of the key topics covered for each year group.  Further details such as summary sheets, key word lists and practice questions for each topic can be found on the appropriate section of the school VLE.  In addition to this an electronic version of the text book utilized in our schemes at KS3 and 4 is available on the VLE.

Year 7

  • Biology: tissues, reproduction, ecology, genetics.
  • Chemistry: acids and alkalis, particles, chemical reactions.
  • Physics: energy, electricity, forces, solar system.

Year 8

  • Biology: food and digestion, respiration, movement, ecosystems.
  • Chemistry: solutions, elements, compounds, rock cycle.
  • Physics: magnetism, light, energy, sound.

Year 9 (prior to DUAL GCSE)

  • Biology:  genetics, photosynthesis and plant reproduction.
  • Chemistry: acids, bases and salts, reactivity series, environmental chemistry.
  • Physics: forces and speed, pressure and moments, space and satellites.

At Key Stage 4 pupils can follow a variety of paths.  As mentioned above, many students study AQA Separate Sciences (3 groups) whilst other take Dual Science (5 groups).  Our current year 11s also study Additional Science (5 groups) and BTEC Science (1 group).  The number of groups for each course varies from year to year based on uptake. All the groups following the three paths have 5 hours science teaching in each week.

Summary of Curriculum Content

Below is a list of the key topics covered for each of the courses.  Terminal assessment via exams takes place at the end of year 11.

Biology: cell biology; organisation; infection and response; bioenergetics; homeostasis and response; inheritance, variation and evolution; ecology

Chemistry: Atomic structure and the periodic table; bonding, structure, and the properties of matter; quantitative chemistry; chemical changes; energy changes; the rate and extent of chemical; organic chemistry; chemical analysis; chemistry of the atmosphere; using resources.

Physics: Energy; electricity; particle model of matter; atomic structure; forces; waves; magnetism and electromagnetism; space

Further details such as summary sheets, self-assessment sheets, past papers and relevant syllabi can be found for each topic on the appropriate section of the school VLE.  In addition to this an electronic version of the text book utilized in our schemes is available on the VLE.

Relevant subject links are:

Please note, BTEC courses cover the material taught in Unit 2 but with a greater emphasis on ongoing assessment.

Science courses are popular at A Level and this is reflected in the high number of students taking all 3 subjects.  We currently have the following groups:

AS Biology 2 Groups A2 Biology 2 Groups
AS Chemistry 2 Groups A2 Chemistry 2 Groups
AS Physics 1 Groups A2 Physics 1 Groups

All three subjects follow AQA specifications at present.  At both AS and A2 the groups receive 9 hours teaching time each fortnight.  We also run a popular KS5 level 3 BTEC course in Applied Science in both years 12 and 13 (with one group in each year).

Summary of Curriculum Content

Links to the relevant syllabi and past papers are found at:

The Science department runs a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and maths) club.   This is a practically orientated club with students carrying out scientifically themed challenges to win points towards the house STEM cup.  We have a number of international partner schools that also participate as part of an international STEM challenge which we run.

STEM ambassadors from KS4 & 5 help to organize and lead the competitions.

This weeks career –  ‘Astrophysicist’