Science


Click on the links below for our current maps of learning.

Science Separate – Map of Learning 2019-20
Science Combined – Map of Learning 2019-20


Key Stage 3

Science is a diverse, exciting field of study and is a core subject for Key Stage 3. It helps pupils to explore the world around them and understand so many things that have such relevance to daily life. Pupils must, therefore, have the best possible support for learning science at school and strengthening standards in the early years of their secondary education.

In Key Stage 3 the department follows the syllabus published by AQA. This has been designed by the exam board to offer the grounding necessary for a seamless transition to KS4.

The teaching and learning of Key Stage 3 science involves such topics as:

  • Organisms
  • Genes
  • Ecosystems
  • Matter
  • Reactions
  • Earth
  • Waves
  • Forces
  • Electromagnets
  • Energy

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 students study either AQA Combined Science (Trilogy) or the separate sciences – AQA Biology, AQA Chemistry and AQA Biology. The combined science course is worth two GCSEs. For both routes students have separate lessons for each of the three disciplines. 

The separate sciences route is only offered to the top set. Students are selected for this based on their prior attainment and engagement with the subject. 

For both routes, students are required to take two examinations in each of the disciplines. 

Biology

In the first year of the course (Year 9), students learn about the fundamentals of biology including cell structure, organisation and transport. Students then use this knowledge and apply it in various ways such as infection and response. During this year students sit one set of annual examinations as well as end of topic class assessments.

Topics covered (Year 9): Cell Structure (Unit 1) Organisation (Unit 2), Infection and Response (Unit 3) and Respiration (Unit 4a).

The second year of the course (Year 10) looks at photosynthesis, genetics, ecology and the nervous system. It allows students the opportunity to discover the wide range of concepts studied in biology. By this point, students will have completed a significant proportion of the required practical aspect of the course. During this year students sit one set of annual examinations as well as end of topic class assessments.

Topics covered (Year 10): Photosynthesis (Unit 4b), Genetics and Evolution (Unit 6) Ecology (Unit 7) and The Nervous System (Unit 5a).

The final year of the course (Year 11) starts with students learning about homeostasis and hormones responses in the body. Lessons are then devoted to revision and preparation for GCSE Examinations. During this year students sit one set of rehearsal examinations as well as end of topic class assessments.

Topics covered (Year 11): Homeostasis and Hormones (Unit 5b)

Assessment for this course comes from purely 100% examinations, taken in the examination period (May/June) of Year 11. For students studying Separate Science they will complete two examinations (1hr 45mins), each being worth 50% of the student final grade. For students studying Combined Science they will complete two examinations (1hr 15mins), each being worth 50% of the student final grade. Students are graded on 9-1 scale. Students taking the Higher Tier are graded between 9-4 while those on the Foundation Tier are graded between 5-1.

Specification Link

Separate Science: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/biology-8461

Combined Science: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/combined-science-trilogy-8464

Chemistry

In the first year of the course (Year 9), students learn about the fundamentals of chemistry including atomic structure, the periodic table, types of bonding and basics of quantitative chemistry. Students then use these areas to contextualise their learning looking at the chemistry of the Earth’s resources. During this year students sit one set of annual examinations as well as mid-topic and end of topic class assessments.

Topics covered (Year 9): Atomic Structure & the Periodic Table (Topic 1), Bonding, Structure & the Properties of Matter (Topic 2), Quantitative Chemistry – Part 1 (Topic 3), Using Resources (Unit 10)

The second year of the course (Year 10) looks at chemical reactions in depth and the role of energy in these reactions. Students also engage in greater amounts of practical work, particularly looking at factors affecting the rates of reactions. Students finish the year looking at the role of carbon in chemistry and how this affects life. During this year students sit one set of annual examinations as well as mid-topic and end of topic class assessments.

Topics covered (Year 10): Chemical Changes (Unit 4), Energy Changes (Unit 5), The Rate and Extent of Chemical Change (Topic 6), Organic Chemistry (Unit 7)

The final year of the course (Year 11) starts with students learning about techniques to analyse chemicals before exploring the chemistry of the Earth’s atmosphere. Student then revisit quantitative chemistry at a more advanced level. During this year students sit two sets of rehearsal examinations as well as mid-topic and end of topic class assessments.

Topics covered (Year 11): Chemical Analysis (Topic 8), Chemistry of the Atmosphere (Topic 9), Quantitative Chemistry – Part 2 (Topic 3)

Assessment for this course comes from purely 100% examinations, taken in the examination period (May/June) of Year 11. Two examinations (1hr 45mins) are taken, each being worth 50% of the student final grade. Students are graded on 9-1 scale, with students nearly exclusively sitting higher tiered examination papers.

Specification Link: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/chemistry-8462

Physics

All students will study seven different topics over the course:

  • Energy
  • Electricity
  • Particle model of matter
  • Atomic Structure
  • Forces
  • Waves
  • Magnetism and Electromagnetism

Students taking the separate sciences route will also study Space. 

Key Stage 5

At Key Stage 5 students can study the following A Level courses:

  • AQA Biology: At KS5 the Academy follows the AQA specification in order to follow on from where pupils left off in GCSE.  Year 12 covers topics such as cell biology, exchange and transport systems and biological molecules.  In Year 13 this progresses to Bioenergetics, inheritance and genetics and ecology. Students will complete three exams, one of which has a synoptic essay component. As part of the A Level course students are also expected to participate in a number of required practical activities in order to achieve their CPAC qualification, which forms part of their final A Level assessment.
  • OCR A, Chemistry: Studying atoms, bonding, reactions, polymers and chemical analysis techniques.
  • AQA Physics: Students in year 1 study Particles and Radiation, Electromagnetic Radiation and Quantum Phenomena, Waves, Mechanics, Materials and Electricity. In year 2 you will study Further Mechanics, Thermal Physics, Gravitational and Electric Fields, Capacitors, Magnetic Fields, Nuclear Physics and an option, which is usually Engineering Physics or Astrophysics. Throughout the course you will also complete a number of required practicals.