Biology

Biology forms part of the core curriculum for all pupils in Years 7 to 9. In Years 10 and 11 all pupils follow a GCSE specification, studying either GCSE Biology, or Biology in a reduced form as part of the combined science course option, which is worth two GCSE qualifications. 

Throughout the school, Biology is taught by laboratory based experimentation, field based data collection, theory based investigation and modelling. Our aim is to create an overall course that is interesting, informative and relevant to our increasingly scientific world.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7 to 9)

From Year 7 all pupils are taught by subject specialists; it is a separate subject and not part of a combined science course. The emphasis is on acquiring core knowledge, developing practical skills and enjoying the study of the living world.

In Year 7 pupils are introduced to biology and its fundamental concepts, such as cells and systems. They then move onto microscopy, classification, nutrition and ecology.

In Year 8 pupils gain an understanding of human reproduction, the anatomy and physiology of the respiratory system and microbes and disease.

Year 9 sees pupils exploring the basics of inheritance and variation, cell division, nutrition in plants and continuing with human physiology.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 to 11)

At Key Stage 4, all pupils study GCSE Biology, covering the nature and variety of living organisms, structures and functions in living organisms, reproduction and inheritance, ecology and the environment and the use of biological resources.

The course builds upon the Key Stage 3 work and further develops pupils’ knowledge, practical skills and the skills of data interpretation. Our aim is to provide a strong foundation for those who wish to study Biology at A level.

Chemistry

Some people think that chemistry is all about explosions, brightly coloured liquids in strangely shaped flasks and weird smells. Whilst all of these play their part, chemistry is actually the study of matter. In other words, the substances that surround us and that we are, in fact, made from ourselves. So much of modern life revolves around chemistry: plastics, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics….. the list is endless!

Key Stage 3 (Years 7 to 9)

In Years 7 and 8 pupils work through a series of booklets each focusing on a different area of chemistry. The books aim to minimise the time spent copying things down, therefore enabling them to spend the maximum amount of time actually ‘doing’ real chemistry. The topics covered are:

  • Introduction to chemistry
  • Elements, compounds and mixtures
  • Acids and alkalis
  • Fuels and the air
  • Metals
  • Further chemistry.

In Year 9, pupils begin to explore more advanced topics including atomic structure; chemical bonding (and how it relates to the properties of substances); the periodic table and crude oil.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 to 11)

All pupils study chemistry in Years 10 and 11, either as an independent subject or as part of a combined science course. We follow the Edexcel GCSE specifications, which provide a solid basis for advanced study. The course recaps the work done at Key Stage 3, but goes into more detail, with a greater emphasis on industrial applications.

The course features eight core practicals, including chromatography, neutralisation reactions and electrolysis. However, pupils are rest assured that they will do far more than the minimum in terms of experimental work. Chemistry is a practical subject and the emphasis is for pupils to get as much investigative experience as possible.

Physics

Physics forms part of the core curriculum for all pupils in Years 7 to 9, adn in Years 10 and 11 pupils follow the GCSE course, either as a single subject or as part of a combined science course. Results at GCSE are very strong, with the majority of pupils achieving A* and A, or 9 and 8 grades in recent years.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7 to 9)

From the start of Year 7 all pupils are taught physics by specialist teachers as an individual subject, not part of a combined science course. The core concepts of the science are introduced throughout Key Stage 3, and the subject is taught in a hands-on manner, with regular practical work used as a tool to aid learning and reinforce ideas. Topics covered include:

  • Measurement
  • Materials
  • Astronomy
  • Motion and forces
  • Energy
  • Electricity
  • Heat transfer
  • Electromagnetism
  • Waves.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 to 11)

At GCSE the numerical side of the subject is more prominent with pupils developing skills in logical thinking and problem-solving. Topics covered include:

  • Forces and motion
  • Electricity
  • Waves
  • Energy resources and transfers
  • Solids, liquids and gases
  • Magnetism and electromagnetism
  • Radioactivity
  • Particle physics.

Regular practical work remains embedded within the course and in Year 11 time is dedicated to examination practice and revision. The GCSE course provides a strong basis from which to continue to A Level study.