Rationale and Aims KS3

The key stage 3 curriculum is taught over 3 years with students sitting an end of year assessment in February of Year 9. We also monitor progress throughout the year with students formatively assessed at the end of each unit.

“Science is an integral part of modern culture. It stretches the imagination and creativity of young people. Its challenges are quite enormous”  

– Professor Malcolm Longair.

Focus for Year 7 students

  • Biology Units: Cells, Reproduction, Adaptation and Inheritance
  • Chemistry Units: Particles, Elements and Compounds, Acid and Alkalis
  • Physics Units: Electricity and Magnetism, Energy

Focus for Year 8 students

  • Biology Units: Structure and function of body systems, Health and lifestyle
  • Chemistry Units: Periodic table, Reactions, Metals and Acids
  • Physics Units: Light, Sound, Forces, Space

Focus for Year 9 students

  • Biology Units: Ecosystem processes
  • Chemistry Units: Separating techniques, The Earth
  • Physics Units: Motion and Pressure

Additionally, following the year 9 assessment at the end of the spring term, students will be placed into their GCSE sets and will follow a programme of study aimed at preparing them for the challenges of GCSE.


Rationale and Aims KS4

Science has three routes at KS4:

GCSE Science A (Core) gives students a good basic knowledge of Science by studying a single unit from each of the core sciences.

  • route 1 – three separate exams are taken in Biology, Chemistry and Physics together with a controlled assessment

It is suitable for students of all abilities and the course encourages students to understand theoretical concepts alongside developing practical Science skills.

When combined with GCSE Additional Science, it can form the Science component of the English Baccalaureate (Ebacc) if students achieve A* to C grades in both GCSEs.

GCSE Additional Science offers students a broad, coherent course of study that adds to their knowledge and understanding of the living, material and physical worlds. For Key Stage 4 (KS4) learners it is a good follow on from GCSE Science A or B.

The three core Sciences of Biology, Chemistry and Physics are taught separately using Unit 2 modules from the individual subject GCSEs.


GCSE Biology gives students the chance to gain a good understanding of human biology, organisms, evolution and the environment.

The specification integrates the principles of ‘How Science Works’ throughout the units and in the controlled assessment. The course helps put Biology in the context of students’ everyday lives with topics ranging from ‘Keeping healthy’ to ‘Humans and their environment’.

The specification is based on a series of topics related to the living world and relevant to students. It is designed to help them understand how Science can be used to explain the world in which they live and the impact humans have.


GCSE Chemistry gives students the opportunity to gain a good understanding of:

  • the nature of substances and how they react together
  • how Chemistry is used in business and industry
  • how our use of raw materials in fuels and manufacturing can affect the global and local environment.

The specification is designed to help students understand how to formulate a scientific approach to understanding and explaining the world and solving problems. This means that the ‘How Science Works’ approach is integrated throughout the specification.

The specification is structured in a way that starts with the fundamental ideas in Chemistry, putting the building blocks in place. This enables students to develop an understanding of topics such as chemical structures and their properties, chemical reactions and how to analyse substances.

Many of the materials considered are substances that students will come across in their daily lives like drinking water, vegetable oils and metals. This helps engage students by putting their learning in context.


GCSE Physics offers students the chance to gain a good understanding of:

  • the use and transfer of energy
  • waves, radiation and space
  • the application of Physics.

The specification is designed to give students the tools and concepts they need to be able to construct a scientific approach to solving problems. Students will learn to ask and answer questions about the fundamental laws that govern natural phenomena. This is done by integrating the ‘How Science Works’ approach throughout the specification.

Students are likely to be engaged by the aspects of the specification that they can relate to their everyday life such as the efficiency of electrical appliances and braking distances as well as larger concepts like nuclear fission and fusion and evidence of the Big Bang

BTEC First Award in Applied Scienceis designed to reflect the unique nature of science learning – in particular, the fact that content must span three disciplines (physics, chemistry and biology) rather than just one.

To ensure sufficient breadth and depth, instead of a single 120-GLH (guided learning hours) Award, Applied Science has two 120-GLH Awards:

  • Principles of Applied Science Award (120 GLH)
  • Application of Science Award (120 GLH)

Mandatory units

The suite of BTEC Level 2 Firsts delivers a robust, broad-based introduction to science. For the Principles of Science Award, these are units 1-4, covering the Programme of Study. For the Application of Science Award, units 5-8 are also mandatory to ensure a broad base of knowledge across the sciences is taught.

This means that employers and education professionals can be confident that learners achieving a BTEC Level 2 First have gained a solid grounding in the essential knowledge and skills, and can progress into further or higher education, or into employment.

The underpinning knowledge, understanding and practical skills that make up this qualification reflect the needs of employers and higher and further education professionals. This gives full-time learners the opportunity to enter potential employment within a wide range of science sectors, such as process, industrial, medical, or forensic