Curriculum Leader: Mr S Bailey

The Science department consists of a team of 10 full time teachers, 4 part time teachers and 4 technicians.  Where possible, staff teach predominantly according to their specialism at GCSE and A Level.  They teach all three sciences in Years 7-9.

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 24 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 7-9 students have 3 hours of teaching, ideally with one teacher.   About half of our students follow a two year Key Stage 3 and commence working on GCSE Triple Science in Year 9.

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 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, ecostystems.
  • Chemistry: solutions, elements, compounds, rock cycle.
  • Physics: magnetism, light, energy, sound.

Year 9

  • 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 Triple Science (3 groups) but students also opt to take 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 each week.

Summary of Curriculum Content

Below is a list of the key topics covered for each of the courses.  Students studying ‘Core Science’ take Unit 1 papers in the May or June of year 10 and students taking ‘Additional Science’ take Unit 2 papers in the June of year 11.  Students taking separate Science take Units 1,2 and 3 in the June of year 11.

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:

Unit 1

      • Biology: Keeping Healthy, Nerves and hormones, Use and abuse of drugs, Interdependence and adaptation, Energy and Biomass in food chains, Waste materials from plants and animals, Genetic variation and its control, Evolution
      • Chemistry: Fundamental ideas in chemistry, Rock and building materials, Metals, Fuels from oil, Plastics and Polymers, Plant Oils, Earth and Atmosphere,
      • Physics: Heat, Energy and Efficiency, Electrical Energy, Generating Electricity, Waves, Red Shift.

Unit 2

      • Biology: Cells and simple transport, Tissues, organs and organ systems, Photosynthesis, Organisms and their environment, Proteins – their functions and uses, Aerobic and anaerobic respiration, Cell division and inheritance, Speciation.
      • Chemistry: Structure, bonding and properties, Analysis and quantitative, Rates, Energy, Acids and alkalis, Electrolysis.
      • Physics: Forces and Motion, Forces and energy, Static electricity, Electrical circuits, Household electricity, Atomic structure & radiation, Nuclear fission & fusion.

Unit 3

      • Biology: Movement of molecules in and out of cells, Transport systems in plants and animals, Homeostasis, Humans and their environment.
      • Chemistry: Periodic Table, Water, Energy, Further analysis, Ammonia, Organic.
      • Physics: Medical Applications of Physics, Lenses and Light, Making Things Work, Keeping Things Moving.

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 2 Groups A2 Physics 2 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 organise and lead the competitions.

This weeks career –  ‘Astrophysicist’