CURRICULUM

SCIENCE

SCIENCE Curriculum Intent

Science provides students with knowledge about, and a secure understanding of, life and the world around them.  Through the separate disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, they discover how science has, and continues to, shape the world in which we live. Students are taught to predict, analyse, explain and evaluate, as well as key mathematical and practical techniques, enabling them to take responsibility for the world of tomorrow.​

Key Aims (KS3)

Scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding

The curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific

disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics

The curriculum for science aims to ensure that all are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future

Uses and implications of science

Nature, processes and methods of science

The curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them

Key Aims (KS4)

Working Scientifically

Our curriculum encourages the development of knowledge and understanding in science through opportunities for working scientifically. Working scientifically is the sum of all the activities that scientists do.

  • Development of scientific thinking
  • Experimental skills and strategies
  • Analysis and evaluation

Scientific vocabulary, quantities, units, symbols and nomenclature

Throughout the Science curriculum students will be required to demonstrate the following mathematics skills:

  • Arithmetic and numerical computation
  • Handling data
  • Algebra
  • Graphs

Geometry and Trigonometry

Mathematical Skills

Practical Assessment (Use of Apparatus and Techniques)

Practical work is at the heart of science, so we have placed it at the heart of our curriculum. There are three interconnected, but separate reasons for doing practical work in schools. They are:

  • To support and consolidate scientific concepts (knowledge and understanding).
  • This is done by applying and developing what is known and understood of abstract ideas and models. Through practical work we are able to make sense of new information and observations, and provide insights into the development of scientific thinking.
  • To develop investigative skills. These transferable skills include:
  • devising and investigating testable questions
  • identifying and controlling variables
  • analysing, interpreting and evaluating data.
  • To build and master practical skills such as:
  • using specialist equipment to take measurements
  • handling and manipulating equipment with confidence and fluency

recognising hazards and planning how to minimise risk.

Curriculum Structure

Mixed. Students follow a spiral curriculum in years 7-9, before shifting to a more interleaved model for GCSE in year 10 and 11.

Biology

Year 7

The Fundamentals of Biology
Content -
Students will learn about what living organisms are made from. They will have the opportunity to observe real life cells using microscopes and extract DNA. Students will also investigate the fundamental concept of diffusion and its importance in living organisms.
Skills -
• Interpreting diagrams and images of cells and DNA.

• Making observations of cells using microscopes

• Evaluating light vs electron microscopes

• Substituting numbers into equations to complete calculations

• Ask questions and make observations

• Select, plan and carry out appropriate investigations

TOPIC 1
Passing on your Genes
Content
Students will learn about how living organisms reproduce; this includes both plants and animals. They will look at how they inherit their characteristics and what makes them unique. During this topic, students will also cover the key concepts of puberty and the menstrual cycle.
Skills
• Drawing variation graphs (bar charts and scatter graphs)

• Completing inheritance problems

• Make observations

• Predict the outcome of genetic crosses

Topic 2

Year 8

Gas Exchange Systems and Health
Content -
Students will look at the structure and function of the gas exchange system in humans and how gas exchange takes place in the lungs. They will investigate the capacity of their lungs before moving on to learn about lifestyle factors that can affect their lungs such as drugs, alcohol and smoking.
Skills -
• Identify the main structures of the gas exchange system from a diagram/image

• Recognise the consequences of poor diet, exercise, drugs and smoking on the body’s function.

• Identify patterns in observations

• Develop a line of enquiry

TOPIC 1
Photosynthesis and Respiration
Content
In this topic students will look at how plants play a vital role in our world. They will begin to look at the process of photosynthesis and test to see if plants have carried out photosynthesis. Students will also begin to look at the importance of respiration and how this links to exercise.
Skills
• Investigate the rate of photosynthesis by making and recording measurements.

• Investigate the effect of exercise on the body.

• Suggest improvements to practical methods used.

• Present observations in a suitable format

Topic 2
Ecosystems
Content
Students start by looking at how all living organisms rely on each other for survival. They then move on to constructing food chains and webs to show the feeding relationships between organisms. Students will learn what organisms compete for and how they are adapted for competition.
Skills
• Construct a food chain.

• Interpret food webs

• Construct a predator-prey cycle graph

• Interpret predator-prey cycles

Topic 3

Year 9

Reproduction, Inheritance and Evolution
Content -
Students will build on their knowledge from Y7 looking at DNA in more detail. They will learn about the role of chromosomes and genes in an organism and how they play an important role in inheritance. Students will move on to look at how species have evolved over time by studying the work of Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution through natural selection.
Skills -
• Construct and interpret genetic diagrams to predict the probability of inheriting certain characteristics

• Evaluate the different theories of evolution and the evidence to support each theory

• Present observations in a suitable format

TOPIC 1
Extending the Fundamentals
Content
This is where students bring all their knowledge that they have learnt at KS3 together. Here they start to prepare for the start of GCSE by revisiting the fundamental concepts within Biology.
Skills
• Interpreting diagrams and images of cells and DNA.

• Making observations of cells using microscopes

• Evaluating light vs electron microscopes

• Substituting numbers into equations to complete calculations

Topic 2
Cell Structure and Function
Content
Starting their GCSE at this point, students build on their knowledge of cells. Here students will use microscopes to make observations of cells and prepare their own specimens to view under the microscope. Students learn the importance concepts such diffusion, osmosis and active transport, testing each concept through practical work.
Skills
• Comparing eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells

• Practically test key concepts within Biology such as diffusion and osmosis

• Writing methods and suggesting improvements to practicals

• Drawing graphs

• Evaluating the social and ethical issues

surrounding the use of STEM cells and therapeutic cloning

Topic 3

Year 10

Organisation
Content -
Building on their knowledge from KS3 students look at how living organisms are organised. They start by looking at how the human body is organised where they will study the circulatory, digestive and respiratory system in more detail. There are some nice dissections that they can take part in! Students will also look at how plants are organised.
Skills -
• Develop an understanding of the size and scale in relation to cells, tissues, organs and organ systems

• Be able to identify in the human body the main organs of the circulatory system, respiratory system and digestive system

• Practically test foods to determined what they contain

• Practically test to see how temperature and pH effect the rate of enzyme activity

• Evaluate the use of different treatments for CHD and cancer

TOPIC 1
Infection and Response
Content
Students start the topic by looking at the different types of pathogens that cause disease. Students will study different types of disease, how they are transmitted, symptoms and how to prevent and treat disease. We then look at how the body responds to infections and how drugs and vaccines have developed to allow us to effectively treat and prevent disease.
Skills
• Interpret data on different diseases

• Use data to back up statements made

• Evaluate the use of different treatments for diseases

Topic 2
Bioenergetics
Content
In this topic students will look at how plants play a vital role in our world. They build on their knowledge of photosynthesis and test to see if plants have done photosynthesis. They will also learn about how plants use the glucose they produce in photosynthesis. Students will also learn the importance of respiration and how this links to exercise and industry.
Skills
• Practically test to see if plants have photosynthesised

• Using data on the limiting factors of photosynthesis to evaluate the cost effectiveness of adding heat, light and carbon dioxide to green houses

• Investigate the effect that exercise can have on the body

Topic 3

Year 11

Homeostasis
Content -
Students learn that cells in the body can only survive within narrow physical and chemical limits. They look at how the body maintains conditions by studying the nervous and endocrine system. Students will also learn how understanding of these systems has allowed developments in Science such as fertility drugs and contraception.
Skills -
• Practically test the reaction times and look at the factors that can affect reaction time

• Extract and interpret information from graphs on diabetes, obesity and the menstrual cycle

• Evaluate the use of different forms of contraception

• Understand the social and ethical issuing that are associated with IVF treatments

TOPIC 1
Reproduction, Inheritance, Evolution
Content
In this topic students discover how the number of chromosomes are halved during meiosis and then combined with new genes from the sexual partner to produce unique offspring. Students will learn how mutations occur and can produce unique characteristics in living organisms. This understanding is key, as student will then move on to look at the processes of natural selection, selective breeding and genetic engineering.
Skills
• Interpret data on different diseases

• Use data to back up statements made

• Evaluate the use of different treatments for diseases

Topic 2
Ecology
Content
Students learn about how the ecosystem is organised and how species rely on each other for survival. We look at how animals and plants are adapted for survival. The final topic of this module looks at the impact that humans are having on the world in terms of global warming, land use and deforestation.
Skills
• Evaluate the impact of human activity on the world such as deforestation, waste management and global warming

• Interpret data from graphs and charts and be able to use to support answers

• Interpret diagrams on the carbon and water cycle

Topic 3

Chemistry

Year 7

Fundamentals of Chemistry
Content -
Students will learn about the core concepts which underpin chemistry. They will learn that everything is made from particles and further their understanding of types of particles through study of the periodic table. They will have an opportunity to develop their practical skills through extraction of ‘instant coffee’ from coffee beans using a variety of separation techniques.
Skills -
• Develop an understanding of the use of model to represent particles.

• Use scientific language to describe scenarios.

• Collect data from practicals, record data and plot this as a graph.

• Use appropriate practical techniques and apparatus.

• Develop scientific ideas.

TOPIC 1
Introduction to Chemical Reactions
Content
Students will develop their understanding of particles, applying them to chemical reactions. They will perform chemical reactions, developing their scientific skills. From this they will be able to describe observations of chemical reactions and write word equations describing these.
Skills
• Use scientific language to describe scenarios.

• Use appropriate practical techniques and apparatus.

• Write scientific methods to describe the practicals conducted.

• Record observations during practicals.

Topic 2
Reactivity
Content
Students will extend their knowledge of chemical reactions and the reactivity of elements on the periodic table. They will conduct in-depth practicals, collecting and analysing data. This topic has links to real-life scenarios in industry.
Skills
• Use appropriate practical techniques and apparatus.

• Write scientific methods to describe the practicals conducted.

• Collect data from practicals, record data and plot this as a graph.

• Record observations during practicals.

Topic 3

Year 8

The Periodic Table
Content -
Students will learn about the structure and format of the periodic table, looking trends in reactivity, boiling point, colour and density, using their knowledge of trends to predict unknown elements.
Skills -
• Develop an understanding of the use of model to represent particles.

• Use appropriate practical techniques and apparatus.

• Analysis of trends using data tables and graphs and making predictions from these.

TOPIC 1
Chemical Reactions
Content
Students will extend their knowledge of chemical reactions and the reactivity of elements on the periodic table. They will perform chemical reactions, developing their scientific skills. From this they will be able to describe observations of chemical reactions and write word equations describing these.
Skills
• Use appropriate practical techniques and apparatus.

• Write scientific methods to describe the practicals conducted.

• Collect data from practicals, record data and plot this as a graph.

• Record observations during practicals.

Topic 2
Energetics
Content
Students will extend their knowledge of chemical reactions further and conduct in-depth practicals, collecting and analysing data. They will learn about the energy requirements from chemical reactions to occur and how this can cause temperature changes to occur. This topic has links to real-life scenarios in sports and industry.
Skills
• Use appropriate practical techniques and apparatus.

• Write scientific methods to describe the practicals conducted.

• Collect data from practicals, record data and plot this as a graph.

• Record observations during practicals.

Topic 3

Year 9

Investigating Reactions
Content -
In this topic, students will consolidate their understanding of the fundamentals of Chemistry through investigating reactions. They will retrieve their knowledge of atoms, elements and compounds whilst completing a range of practical activities. Students will then go on to revisit the concept of conservation of mass, before investigating uncertainty.
Skills -
• Writing word equations

• Balancing equations

• Safely using equipment and chemicals

• Use models to solve problems

• Make estimations of uncertainty

TOPIC 1
Atomic structure and the periodic table
Content
Students will learn that the periodic table provides chemists with a structured organisation of the known chemical elements from which they can make sense of their physical and chemical properties. The historical development of the periodic table and models of atomic structure provide good examples of how scientific ideas and explanations develop over time as new evidence emerges. The arrangement of elements in the modern periodic table can be explained in terms of atomic structure which provides evidence for the model of a nuclear atom with electrons in energy levels.
Skills
• Use the periodic table to name elements and compounds and complete chemical equations.

• Use the periodic table to calculate numerous scientific quantities.

• Use scientific vocabulary correctly.

• Use appropriate practical techniques and apparatus.

• Write scientific methods to describe the practicals conducted.

• Collect data from practicals, record data and plot this as a graph.

• Record observations during practicals.

Topic 2
Structure and bonding
Content
Students will learn that chemists use theories of structure and bonding to explain the physical and chemical properties of materials. Analysis of structures shows that atoms can be arranged in a variety of ways, some of which are molecular while others are giant structures. Theories of bonding explain how atoms are held together in these structures. Scientists use this knowledge of structure and bonding to engineer new materials with desirable properties. The properties of these materials may offer new applications in a range of different technologies.
Skills
• Use diagrams to represent and describe chemical bonding.

• Use the periodic table to determine electron number.

• Describe properties of chemicals based on their bonding.

Topic 3

Year 10

Energy changes
Content -
Students will learn that energy changes are an important part of chemical reaction and that the interaction of particles often involves transfers of energy due to the breaking and formation of bonds. These interactions between particles can produce heating or cooling effects that are used in a range of everyday applications.
Skills -
• Use scientific vocabulary correctly.

• Use appropriate practical techniques and apparatus.

• Write scientific methods to describe the practicals conducted.

• Collect data from practicals, record data and plot this as a graph.

• Record observations during practicals.

TOPIC 1
Chemical changes
Content
Students will learn that chemical changes began when people began experimenting with chemical reactions in a systematic way and organizing their results logically. Knowing about these different chemical changes meant that scientists could begin to predict exactly what new substances would be formed and use this knowledge to develop a wide range of different materials and processes.
Skills
• Use scientific vocabulary correctly.

• Use appropriate practical techniques and apparatus.

• Write scientific methods to describe the practicals conducted.

• Collect data from practicals, record data and plot this as a graph.

• Record observations during practicals.

Topic 2
Quantitative chemistry
Content
Students will learn how to use quantitative analysis to determine the formulae of compounds and the equations for reactions. Given this information, students can then use quantitative methods to determine the masses and concentrations of elements and compounds in a variety of reactions.
Skills
• Use the periodic to determine mathematic quantities relating to compound and chemical reactions.
Topic 3
Chemical analysis
Content
Students will learn that analysts have developed a range of qualitative tests to detect specific chemicals. The tests are based on reactions that produce a gas with distinctive properties, or a colour change or an insoluble solid that appears as a precipitate.
Skills
• Use observations from chemical reactions/analytic methods to determine the products.

• Analyse chromatograms.

• Use scientific language to describe the results of a chromatogram.

Topic 3

Year 11

Organic chemistry
Content -
Students will learn about a great variety of carbon compounds and how these are possible because carbon atoms can form chains and rings linked by C-C bonds. This branch of chemistry gets its name from the fact that the main sources of organic compounds are living, or once-living materials from plants and animals. These sources include fossil fuels which are a major source of feedstock for the petrochemical industry.
Skills -
• Determine properties of hydrocarbons from their length.

• Use scientific literacy to describe scenarios.

TOPIC 1
Using resources
Content
Students will learn that chemical changes began when people began experimenting with chemical reactions in a systematic way and organizing their results logically. Knowing about these different chemical changes meant that scientists could begin to predict exactly what new substances would be formed and use this knowledge to develop a wide range of different materials and processes.
Skills
• Use scientific vocabulary correctly.

• Use appropriate practical techniques and apparatus.

• Write scientific methods to describe the practicals conducted.

• Collect data from practicals, record data and plot this as a graph.

• Record observations during practicals.

Topic 2
Rate of reaction
Content
Students will learn that chemical reactions can occur at vastly different rates, how the rate can be altered, and may also be reversible and therefore the effect of different variables needs to be established in order to identify how to maximise the yield of desired product. Understanding energy changes that accompany chemical reactions is important for this process.
Skills
• Use scientific vocabulary correctly. • Use appropriate practical techniques and apparatus. • Write scientific methods to describe the practicals conducted. • Collect data from practicals, record data and plot this as a graph. • Record observations during practicals.
Topic 3

Physics

Year 7

Fundamentals of Physics
Content -
Students look at the different stores of energy and examples of each. They will learn how energy is transferred from one store to another using pathways. They look at examples such as conduction, convection and radiation. They move on to look at how insulation plays a vital role in informing everyday life choices.
Skills -
• Make predictions and observations

• Select suitable practical equipment and techniques

• Calculate efficiencies and work done

TOPIC 1
Forces
Content
Students will look at what a force is and how objects interact with each other. This can cause changes in motion and direction. The main forces that students will investigate in this topic include friction and air resistance.
Skills
• Make and record observations

• Apply mathematical concepts to new scenarios

• Evaluate practical techniques

Topic 2
Electricity
Content
Students learn about the different components that make up a circuit and their function within the circuit. Students will get to build and test series and parallel circuits. They get to investigate current, potential difference and resistance. Students move on to look at magnets and how magnetic forces can be used in everyday examples. Students get to investigate how changing the strength of the electromagnets changes its properties.
Skills
• Construct circuit diagrams

• Make predictions and record observations

• Draw graphs

Topic 3

Year 8

Electricity and magnetism
Content -
Students learn about the different components that make up a circuit and their function within the circuit. Students will get to build and test series and parallel circuits. They get to investigate current, potential difference and resistance. Students move on to look at magnets and how magnetic forces can be used in everyday examples. Students get to investigate how changing the strength of the electromagnets changes its properties.
Skills -
• Use and derive simple equations

• Construct circuit diagrams

• Ask questions and develop a line of enquiry

• Record observations

• Suggest improvements to practical techniques

TOPIC 1
Application of Forces
Content
Students build on their knowledge of forces from Y7 by looking at concepts such as air resistance, friction and upthrust. Students will look at how everyday objects have been designed to be streamlined and why this is important.
Skills
• Make and record observations

• Apply mathematical concepts to new scenarios Evaluate practical techniques

• Use and derive simple equations

Topic 2
Waves
Content
Students will learn about the different types of wave and their applications within technology. For example, ultrasound, cleaning jewellery and credit cards.
Skills
• Record observations

• Suggest improvements to practical techniques

• Draw graphs

Topic 3

Year 9

Light waves
Content -
Students look at how light waves behave. They will study how light can reflect and refract. Students will also learn about the eye and how the eye adjusts to the light around us to form a clear image that we can then see.
Skills -
• Understand size and scale

• Make observations

• Understand how theories have developed over time

TOPIC 1
Space Physics
Content
Students delve deep into the solar system where they study the different planets, the sun and the moon. They will learn about how days, months and seasons take place.
Skills
• Understand size and scale

• Make observations

• Understand how theories have developed over time

Topic 2
Matter
Content
Building on their knowledge from KS3 students learn the properties of solids, liquids and gas. They then go on to investigate energy transfer through matter.
Skills
• Apply mathematical concepts and calculate results

• Present observations in formats including tables and graphs

• Select the most appropriate practical equipment for an investigation

Topic 3

Year 10

Energy
Content -
In this topic students will learn about the different stores of energy and how then can be transferred from one form into another. Students will complete a range of calculations in this topic. Limits to the use of fossil fuels and global warming are critical problems for this century. Physicists and engineers are working hard to identify ways to reduce our energy usage.
Skills -
• Use scientific theories and explanations to develop hypotheses.

• Apply a knowledge of a range of techniques, instruments, apparatus, and materials to select those appropriate to the experiment.

• Evaluate methods and suggest possible improvements and further investigations.

TOPIC 1
Electricity
Content
Students build on their knowledge from KS3 by looking at how the structure of different conductors, semiconductors and insulators make it possible to design components and build circuits. Students learn about the national grid and how the power stations that make up the national grid covert between energy stores. Power stations have a limited lifetime and we need to look at how we can create a more sustainable future. Students will look at different forms of renewable energy and evaluate their uses for the future.
Skills
• Plan experiments or devise procedures to make observations, produce or characterise a substance, test hypotheses, check data or explore phenomena.

• make and record observations and measurements using a range of apparatus and methods.

• Carry out and represent mathematical and statistical analysis.

Topic 2
Atomic Structure
Content
In this topic, students will investigate how the model of the atom has changed over time and what the currently accepted model is. They will complete nuclear equations to show the effects of different types of radiation and will analyse half life graphs. They will also discover the dangers of radioactive contamination.
Skills
• Use scientific theories and explanations to develop hypotheses.

• Understand that theories have developed over time

• Use models to explain abstract concepts

Topic 3

Year 11

Forces
Content -
Students build on their knowledge of forces from KS3. They look at Newton’s 3 laws of motion and applying them to everyday examples. Students learn about the different forces and their interactions. For example, when a resultant force acts on an object this causes a change in the motion or shape of the object. This topic covers a range of the Physics calculations and so it is essential that all students come equipped with calculators!
Skills -
• Apply a knowledge of a range of techniques, instruments, apparatus, and materials to select those appropriate to the experiment.

• Present observations and other data using appropriate methods.

• Carry out experiments appropriately having due regard for the correct manipulation of apparatus, the accuracy of measurements and health and safety considerations.

TOPIC 1
Waves
Content
Students build on their knowledge of forces from KS3. They will discover that wave behaviour is common in both natural and man-made systems. Waves carry energy from one place to another and can also carry information. Students will investigate the difference between transverse and longitudinal waves, before looking at the electromagnetic spectrum.
Skills
• Make observations of waves in fluids and solids to identify the suitability of apparatus to measure speed, frequency and wavelength.

• Make and record observations and measurements using a range of apparatus and methods.

• Use SI units (eg kg, g, mg; km, m, mm; kJ, J) and IUPAC chemical nomenclature unless inappropriate.

Topic 2
Magnetism and Electromagnetism
Content
In this topic, students will build on their understanding of magnets from KS3. They will investigate the poles of a magnet and observe magnetic fields. Students will also study electromagnets and Fleming’s left-hand rule and motors (Higher Tier).
Skills
• Communicate the scientific rationale for investigations, methods used, findings and reasoned conclusions through written and electronic reports and presentations using verbal, diagrammatic, graphical, numerical and symbolic forms.

• Recognise the importance of scientific quantities and understand how they are determined.

• Construct and interpret frequency tables and diagrams, bar charts and histograms

Topic 3
Space Physics (Separates Only)
Content
In this Separates only module, students will consider the key ideas about where we are, and where we came from. They will begin their line of enquiry by studying our solar system, before moving on to look at satellites and red shift.
Skills
• Understand that theories have developed over time

• Ask questions and develop a line of enquiry

Topic 4