Head of Department

Mr Williams

Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 Overview:

Science is taught in Key Stage 3 as combined Science over a two-year accelerated course (Years 7 and 8), using a bespoke scheme of work to prepare students for Key Stage 4. The curriculum at KS3 includes the skills, vocabulary and scientific knowledge student will need to be successful at KS4. There is a focus on practical work and on the language of Science to equip students in KS3 with the tools they will need in KS4.

Year 7:

Students begin Year 7 with lab safety, earning a Bunsen burner license. They will then undergo a two term induction to each of the three sciences, equipping them with the language and basic understanding they need to transition from primary to secondary school. In rotation, classes will then study reproduction, sound, speed, light and acids and alkali’s before ending the year with two projects, one in Physics and one in Biology. Throughout the year, we aim to ensure students enjoy Science and have the chance to be hands on in experiments where ever possible.

Year 8:

Year 8 sees students study a wide variety of topics across all three science subjects including plants, magnetism, radiation, the human body and generating electricity. The aim of Year 8 is to cover, in a simplified form, the topics that occur in Years 10 and 11 at GCSE level. By covering these topics early and becoming familiar with the key words, processes and ideas at GCSE are much easier to understand and retain the information required in the crucial GCSE years.

Year 9:

In Year 9, students will study a bridging curriculum. The aim will be to review key concepts from Key Stage 3 and add more detail to the processes involved and upgrade the key words and language to a Key Stage 4 level. The year will put units into a real world context and focus upon investigation or data analysis as these are key parts of the GCSE specification. All three sciences will be taught in rotation, the focus being on the skills required at key stage 4 such as graphing, data analysis and investigation planning and evaluation.

Assessment at Key Stage 3:

At the beginning of Year 7, a KS2 transition test will be carried out to clarify the knowledge gaps and ability of the students as they transition from primary to secondary education. An end of topic test will be carried out at the end of each unit of work (approximately 4 weeks), which will be graded and inform a running average grade from the year. An end of year exam will also take place to give an over view of the year. Year 8 will follow the same modal without the transition test. In Year 9, each project unit will be assessed slightly differently to assess the specific skills delivered in that unit. The year will end with a KS3 transition test issued by AQA.

Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4 Overview

AQA Science – Trilogy – AQA Trilogy replaces Core and Additional Science. AQA Trilogy is worth two Science GCSE’s and is graded 9-1. Students study a combination of Biology, Chemistry and Physics over years 10 and 11. They will then sit two exams in each discipline of science to give a total of 6 exams, all worth 16.7% each. A summary of this course can be found here.

Triple Science – Students will study separate sciences, AQA Biology, Chemistry and Physics in years 9, 10 and 11. At the end of year 11 students will sit two exams in each subject area, each paper counting for 50% of that qualification. Students will receive a separate GCSE grade, graded 9-1, for each science giving 3 GCSEs in total.

Links to the summaries for each of the courses are:

Years 10 and 11:

These two years combined, cover the whole of the AQA Science Trilogy specification. Students will have a specialist teacher for each of the three science disciplines to maximise their learning experience. The focus is knowledge retention. Biology requires a large volume of facts and processes to be memorised. Chemistry requires the student to apply fundamentals to different contexts, reactions and uses of materials. Physics requires students to memorise 23 equations across 7 units, as the exam board no longer includes the majority of required equations on a separate equation sheet.

Revision is key and the years are set up to review the curriculum in its entirety in the last 4 months of Year 11, that being said the detail needs to be learnt and kept fresh from Year 10 all the way to June of Year 11. All students complete a minimum of combined Science worth two GCSEs. While a small cohort will sit triple science this cohort is selected at the start of Year 11 based upon progress to that point by the Science department.

Year 10

In year 10 students study the content required for paper 1 of the Biology, Chemistry and Physics GCSE. All students study the combined science curriculum. Here units B1-4, C1-5 and P1-4 are studied. At the end of each unit, a test is conducted in class time. This may be a higher or foundation tier depending on the students ability, this is decided by the class teacher and overseen by the head of KS4. These results are averaged out and form the basis for the working at grade (WAG) that is reported home during the academic year. Towards the end of year 10 a mock exam is sat as an end of year exam. This is a past GCSE paper and examines the paper 1 content studied through the year. After this mock students begin work on the paper 2 content and study B5, C6 and P5 before the start of the Summer break.

Year 11

Students are placed into sets based upon a mixture of mock and end of unit test performance. Set 1 on both A and B side provisionally begin to study Triple science which culminates in 3 individual GCSE grades rather than a combined 2 grades. Candidates are finalised in January. P6 and 7, C7-10 and B6 and 7 are studied in year 11 and assessed with end of unit tests conducted in class. In December mock exams are sat of the previous years paper 1, to re assess the students knowledge of the year 10 content. Some time in lesson in the weeks leading to these mocks is given to revision but is set as homework for the most part. Study of units concludes in March, from here revision begins in the build up to the exams and paper 2 mocks are sat by the students to give an experience of what to expect and feedback on the gaps in knowledge. Exams are sat; paper 1 in May and paper 2 in June in all 3 Sciences usually.

Assessment at Key Stage 4 (summary):

Mock exams at various points in Years 10 and 11, along with AQA issued end of unit tests from the in house assessment of Key Stage 4 and along with teacher judgement forms, the most likely outcome and current level of progress grades for students. The GCSE itself is formed of 6 papers, two each for Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The exams cover half of the curriculum each and there is no coursework element, 100% of the qualification is examination based. For triple science there are extra units which “upgrade” the qualification from combined science worth two GCSE’s to individual sciences where three separate grades are awarded.

Key Stage 5


Examining Body:


Overview of the course:

OCR Chemistry – The course looks at three main areas; Physical, Organic and Inorganic Chemistry. Physical Chemistry looks at the structure of atoms, bonding and factors effecting reaction rates including mathematical calculations. Inorganic chemistry focuses on specific groups of the periodic table and their properties. Organic chemistry looks at the different groups of chemicals including, alkanes, alcohols, alkenes, carboxylic acids and ketones. Amino acids and DNA is also studied in year 2 of the course allowing links with A-level Biology.

What Will You Study:

Year 12

Module 1 – Development of practical skills in chemistry

Practical skills will be assessed in written examinations. During all aspects of the course practical work will be completed and a portfolio of work collated. These experiments will be examined in the terminal exams.

Module 2 – Foundations in chemistry

Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations.

Amount of substance and acid-base and redox reactions.

Electrons, bonding and structure.

Module 3 – Periodic table and energy 

The periodic table and periodicity

Group 2 and halogens

Qualitative analysis and enthalpy changes

Reaction rates and equilibrium (quantitative)

Module 4 – Core organic chemistry

Basic concepts

Hydrocarbons, alcohols and haloalkanes

Organic synthesis and analytical techniques (IR and MS)

Year 13:

Module 5 – Physical chemistry and transition elements:

Rates equilibrium and pH


Transition elements

Module 6 – Organic chemistry and analysis:

Aromatic compounds, carbonyls and acids

Nitrogen compounds, polymers and synthesis



AS Assessment: Two written papers

Paper 1 – Breadth in Chemistry (70 marks)

Paper 2 – Depth in Chemistry (70 marks)

Each 1hour and 30 minutes long and is worth 50% of the AS

A2 Assessment: Three written papers

Periodic table, elements and physical chemistry (01) – 100 marks (2 hours 15 minutes)

Synthesis and analytical techniques (02) – 100 marks (2 hours 15 minutes)

Unified chemistry (03) – 70 marks (1 hour 30 minutes)

Component 01 assesses content from modules 1, 2, 3 and 5 and is worth 37% of the A level.

Component 02 assesses content from modules 1, 2, 4 and 6 and is worth 37% of the A level.

Component 03 assesses content from all modules 1 to 6 and is worth 26% of the A level.

Possible Career Paths:  

Students will require this A-level for course such as medicine and dentistry. It is also fundamental for biomedical science and other science degrees. The skills obtained are extremely favourable to employers if students wish to pursue employment following A levels.


Examining Body:


Overview of the course:

AQA Biology AS/A Level – The course takes students into the molecular detail of biological substances and processes such as Photosynthesis, how your body turns DNA code into proteins like enzymes and how these enzymes work. The course also takes a wider view of processes such as ecological development and speciation. A full course summary can be found at

What Will You Study:

What will I study in Year 12?

Unit 1 – Biological Molecules

Carbohydrate, lipid and protein structure.

DNA structure.                                                                                                

The role of water and ions.

Unit 2 – Cells    

Cell structure and function.                                                                            


Immune recognition and response.

Unit 3 – Organisms and Exchange                                               

Gas exchange.                                                                                       

Digestion and absorption.                                                                          

Mass transport.

Unit 4 – Genes and Variation                                                           

DNA, genes and chromosomes.                                                                    

Protein synthesis.                                                                                          

Biodiversity and adaptations.

What will I study in Year 13?

Unit 5 – Energy Transfers of Organisms                                     

Photosynthesis and Respiration.                                                       

Nutrient Cycles.

Unit 6 – Response to the Environment                                         

Nervous Control.                                                                                


Unit 7– Genetics and Evolution                                                               

Inheritance and evolution.                                                               

Speciation and Ecosystems.

Unit 8—Control of Gene Expression                                             

Mutations, Cancer and Gene Therapy


AS Assessment: Two written papers

Paper 1 – Any content from units 1-4 (75 marks)

Paper 2 – Any content from units 1-4 (75 marks)

Each 1hour and 30 minutes long and is worth 50% of the AS

A2 Assessment: Three written papers                                      

Paper 1—Content from Units 1-4 (91 marks) 35% of A level

Paper 2—Content from units 5-8 (91 marks) 35% of A level

Paper 3—Content from units 1-8 (78 marks) 30% of A level  

Possible Career Paths:  

Students will require this A-level for courses such as medicine and veterinary. It is also fundamental for biomedical science, forensics or pharmaceutical science. The skills obtained are extremely favourable to employers if students wish to pursue employment following A levels across a wide range of industries including animal care.