Science in Years 7 – 8

The Key Stage 3 Science course is based on the AQA KS3 science syllabus, supported by Dynamic Learning. There are 10 units in each of Years 7 and 8, split into topics as shown below.

Each unit initially focuses on key knowledge from KS2 and develops this into KS3. The topic is then extended to look at applications and context. Practical work and investigations are key to developing practical skills as well as the scientific skills of prediction, planning, collecting of data, analysis, conclusion and evaluation and this is developed through each topic via an enquiry task.. Each lesson provides an opportunity for the student to assess progress in knowledge, understanding and skills.

Each unit (or pair of units) at KS3 is assessed by an end of unit written test. A unit will typically take 4 weeks of class study time. Feedback is given through mixture of Assessment Grades and formative comments on students’ work.

Year 7

  • Biology:
    • Ecosystems, Interdependence and Plant reproduction
    • Genes, Variation and Human Reproduction;
    • Organisms, Movement and Cells
  • Chemistry:
    • Acids and Alkalis
    • Chemical reactions – metals and non-metals
    • Earth Structure and Universe
    • Particle Model
    • Separating Mixtures
  • Physics:
    • Energy
    • Gravity
    • Light
    • Sound
    • Speed
    • Voltage, Current and Resistance

Year 8

  • Biology:
    • Digestion, Breathing and Respiration
    • Evolution and Inheritance
    • Plants and Ecology
    • Photosynthesis
  • Chemistry:
    • Periodic Table and Elements
    • Types and Energy in Chemical Reactions
    • Climate and Earths Resources
  • Physics:
    • Heat Transfers
    • Forces – Pressure and Work
    • Waves – Effects and Properties
    • Magnetism and Electromagnets

Science in Years 9 – 11

Currently GCSE courses are commenced in Year 9 with all students studying the same topics during the year.

The Department offers the following courses for KS4 students:

GCSE Combined Science (Trilogy) – (AQA)
The Combined Science course consists of 2 Units each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The course leads to 2 GCSE grades at 1-9. This course is suitable for preparing students for A Level science qualifications at Key Stage 5 (current minimum entry requirements grade 5-5 )

Separate Sciences – GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics (AQA)
Biology gives students the opportunity to gain a good understanding of human biology, organisms, evolution and the environment.

Chemistry gives students a good understanding of the nature of substances and how they react together, how chemistry is used in business and industry and how our use of fuels affect the local and global environment.

Physics gives students a good understanding of the use and transfer of energy, as well as an insight into the nature of waves, radiation and space. They also learn about the application of physics in the real world they live in.

For more information on these courses, visit the following pages of the exam board website

A Level Biology

Subject content

  • Biological molecules
  • Cells
  • Organisms exchange substances with their environment
  • Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
  • Energy transfers in and between organisms (A-level only)
  • Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments (A-level only)
  • Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems (A-level only)
  • The control of gene expression (A-level only)

There are 12 required practicals for A Level.
A Level students will get a Practical Competency Certificate if they complete these to a high enough standard.

A Level Assessment
Paper 1: Summer of Year 13
Any content from topics 1–4, including relevant practical skills
Written exam: 2 hours
35% of A-level

Paper 2: Summer of Year 13
Any content from topics 5–8, including relevant practical skills
Written exam: 2 hours
35% of A-level

Paper 3: Summer of Year 13
Any content from topics 1–8, including relevant practical skills and an essay
Written exam: 2 hours
30% of A-level

For both qualifications 10% of the marks in examinations are for maths skills.

A Level Chemistry

The course is designed to encourage students to:

  • gain hands-on practical skills and data analysis skills
  • appreciate how science works and its relevance beyond the laboratory
  • develop an enthusiasm for Chemistry
  • demonstrate a synoptic understanding
  • study Chemistry in a contemporary context.

Year 12
Students are given a solid grounding in foundation Chemistry. The course introduces the chemical reactivity of atoms and molecules and provides an understanding of their structures. The development and use of the periodic table is explained. Students are credited for work done in routine class practicals by working towards a Certificate in Practical Competency. Practical skills are assessed by written questions in both papers 1 and 2.

A2 Level
Students develop the concepts of physical chemistry introduced at AS. Students study kinetics, equilibria, organic chemistry and spectroscopic techniques to determine the molecular formulae and structures of organic compounds. Students will continue to gain credit for work done in routine class practicals.

  • Paper 1: Physical and Inorganic Chemistry
  • Paper 2: Physical and Organic Chemistry
  • Paper 3: Any content and any practical skills

These qualifications are linear. Linear means that students will sit all the AS exams at the end of their AS course and all the A-level exams at the end of their A-level course.

A Level Physics

We follow the AQA Specification, teaching the following units:

Unit 1: Particles, Quantum Phenomena and Electricity

This unit involves two contrasting topics in physics: particle physics and electricity. Through the study of these topics, students should gain an awareness of the on-going development of new ideas in physics and of the application of in-depth knowledge of well-established topics such as electricity. Particle physics introduces students to the fundamental properties and nature of matter, radiation and quantum phenomena. In contrast, the study of electricity in this module builds on and develops previous GCSE studies and provides opportunities for practical work and looks into important applications.

Unit 2: Mechanics, Materials and Waves

This Year 12 unit is about the principles and applications of mechanics, materials and waves. The first section introduces vectors and then develops knowledge and understanding of forces and energy from GCSE Additional Science. In the second section, materials are studied in terms of their bulk properties and tensile strength. The final section extends GCSE studies on waves by developing in-depth knowledge of the characteristics, properties and applications of waves, including refraction, diffraction, superposition and

Unit 4 Fields and Further Mechanics

This is the first A Level module, building on the key ideas and knowledge covered in Year 12 physics. The first section advances the study of momentum and introduces circular and oscillatory motion and covers gravitation. Electric and magnetic fields are covered, together with basic electromagnetic induction. Electric fields lead into capacitors and how quickly they charge.

Unit 5 Nuclear Physics, Thermal Physics and an Optional Topic

This module consists of two sections. The first part of Section A ‘Nuclear and Thermal Physics’ looks at the characteristics of the nucleus, the properties of unstable nuclei and how energy is obtained from the nucleus. In the second part of section A, the thermal properties of materials and the properties and nature of gases are studied in depth. Section B offers an opportunity to study an optional topic to gain deeper understanding and awareness of a selected branch of physics, most likely to be ‘Turning Points in Physics’.

AQA Level 3 Extended Certificate in Applied General Science

This qualification will provide learners with a broad understanding of vocationally-related sciences to support progress to higher education. It is suitable for studying alongside substantial academic science qualifications, such as A-level sciences or other Level 3 vocational qualifications. This qualification can also prepare learners to take up employment in the applied science sector, either directly after achieving the qualification or via higher education.

Studying this qualification will enable learners to develop their knowledge and understanding of scientific principles, as well as those scientific practical skills recognised by higher education institutions and employers to be most important. The qualification also offers learners an opportunity to develop transferable skills such as problem-solving, research and communication as part of their applied learning.

Topics Studied:

Year 12:

  • Key Concepts in Science – external exam based on Biology, Chemistry and Physics theory
  • Applied Experimental Techniques – 6 Portfolio internally assessed projects
  • Science in The Modern World – externally assessed examination

Year 13:

  • The human Body – externally assessed examination
  • Investigating Science – externally assessed portfolio

Optional Unit:

  • Microbiology
  • Medical Physics
  • Organic chemistry