Curriculum Rationale in: Science

KS3 Curriculum Overview:

Our key stage 3 programme of study is a two year programme starting in year 7. Our aim is to help the students to gain a deeper understanding of the four basic components taught at key stage 2; which are, forces, electricity, materials and living things.

The topics covered are related to Science at work in order to put the Science learnt into a real context. This will allow the students to make the connection between what is learnt in a Science lab to Science in the real world.

For example students learn about the importance of having a healthy life style and the impact poor health choices can have on organs such as the heart and lungs.

They learn about density and how the idea of density can determine whether something will float or sink in water.


Y9 Curriculum Overview:

In year 9 Science is divided into Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students will spend approximately a term studying one of the 3 areas of Science.

Currently the year 9 programme of study is the first step along the preparation for their GCSEs at the end of year 11.

The topics selected in year 9 have been chosen to help bridge the gap and aid the transition between key stage 3 and key stage 4.

Most of the topics covered here follow a similar theme to the topics that have been developed at key stage 3.

For example in year 9 students will study cell biology and organisation, these topics revolve around the theme of living things study at key stage 3.

Atomic structure is a topic taught in year 9, this revolves around the theme, materials taught at key stage 3.

KS4 Curriculum Overview:

Combined science: At the end of this course the students will have gained 2 GCSEs in Science.

The students will have an average of four and a half hours of science a week in order to cover the content required for two GCSE.

This course follows along similar themes to that of key stage 3, but the depth to which each topic is studied is much deeper.

For example, forces is now split into forces and motion as well as forces and energy.

New topics are also introduced at key stage 4. For example students will now look at radiation and how it is used to our benefit, but they will also look at the hazards associated with it. They will relate what they learn in the Science lab to real life situations such as the Chernobyl nuclear radiation accident that took place in 1986.

Students who obtain two grade 5s for GCSEs Combined Science can go on to take Applied Science at key stage 5.

The examination board is: AQA


Separate Science: At the end of this course the students will have gained 3 GCSEs in Science.

GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physics.

The students will have on average 7 hours of science a week in order to cover the content required for each GCSE.

This is an in-depth course, aimed at bridging the gap between GCSE and the first year of A level Sciences.

The topics covered are similar to those covered in Combined Science, but this course involves a more detailed analysis of certain themes. For example all students within Science will be expected to explain how the eye allows us to observe images. However the students who have taken the Separate Science route, will be expected to know the different parts of the eye, and the role each part takes in forming an image.

This is the recommend course to take if a student wishes to go on to take A level Sciences at key stage 5.

The examination board is: AQA


KS5 Curriculum Overview:

At key stage 5 students have 4 possible choices available to them.

  • Single BTEC Applied Science
  • Double BTEC Applied Science
  • Biology A level
  • Chemistry A level

Applied Science

Single Applied equivalent to 1 A level) and Double Applied (equivalent to 2 A levels)

These are vocational courses, which allow students to develop their practical and analytical skills within science.

The courses are designed to assess students through external (written exams) and internal assessments ( coursework).

These qualifications can lead on to careers within the medical and health professions, as well as both academic and vocational science related careers.


Biology A level

This is an academic course which covers both plant and animal biology; this course is a stepping stone to future study at degree level. Biology A level is closely matched to the GCSE Biology taken in key stage 4, as it is assessed by the same examination board, AQA. Part of the year 12 POS builds upon knowledge developed at key stage 4.

Following this course allows the students to develop their practical skills, as well as their analytical and evaluation techniques. Students are expected to answer extended response questions that involve providing essay style responses, incorporating knowledge developed from year 12 and year 13.


Chemistry A level

During year 12, students build upon the foundations laid during the study of Chemistry at GCSE level.

A level Chemistry is the stepping stone to further study and supports the students in developing skills that universities and employers want to see. Taking A level chemistry will enable students to pursuit careers within medicine, pharmacy, optometry, dentistry and nursing to name but a few.

This course will provide the students with the necessary skills to analyse data in the forms of graphs and tables, It also develops and matures their mathematical skills.

It enhances their opportunities to carry out research in order to plan practical procedures, and to corroborate their own results.

What underpins all the content delivery at each key stage within Science

To support the understanding of the key ideas within each key stage, content checks are regularly given, this measures how much information the students have retained each week.

The students are also given a 15minute diagnostic test every four to six lessons. This allows them to demonstrate their application of skills, such as interpretation of information provided, analysis and evaluations of data. Skills that will be developed further at the next key stage.

Each diagnostic test helps the subject teacher to identify any areas of concern within the topic covered so far for each individual student. The subject teacher will then provide further support in dealing with that particular area of concern, before the end of the whole topic.

Click the below links to download our content delivery overview for Science:

Content Delivery Overview for Science