Science

Dr D Mercone
Head of Department
Mr L Jones
2nd in Science
Mrs C Burke
Subject Leader of Biology
Mr E Hunt
Subject Leader of Physics
Mrs C Ferguson
Teacher of Science/SLE
Mrs V Barclay
KS3 Science Coordinator
Miss N Airs
Teacher of Science
Mr A Bamford
Teacher of Science
Mrs D Bridglalsingh
Teacher of Science
Mrs S Chapman
Teacher of Science
Miss A Cozens
Teacher of Science
Mrs K Kandola
Teacher of Science
Mr A Odeneal
Teacher of Science
Mr M Tunmore
Teacher of Science

Our goal is to nurture a passion for Science in all students, by sharing our enthusiasm and love of the subject.

Key Stage 3 Science

Students study Science for 6 x 50-minute lessons per fortnight during Key Stage3. Science is a valuable subject to study as it gives an insight into the world around us and develops a number of key skills including investigative and analytical skills.

In each year, students study three sciences:

  • Biology – including elements of human and plant biology
  • Chemistry – including acids and alkalis, reactivity and types of chemical reaction.
  • Physics – including electricity, forces and motion

In Year 7 we introduce all of the fundamental scientific disciplines. In Years 8 and 9, we explore these topics in more depth and detail, expanding their knowledge and understanding in readiness for either the Combined Science or Triple (Separate) Science courses at GCSE. Most lessons are a mixture of theory and practical work enabling students to develop as rounded scientists.

There is a well attended Science club run for students in Year 7 with students from other Year groups in Key Stage three welcome to attend as assistants.

Key Stage 4 Science: GCSE

Science is a core subject at GCSE and most employers and further education institutions prefer students to hold at least a 5-5 grade as an indicator of their readiness for further study or work. Over two years, students learn about scientific method, data analysis and problem-solving while acquiring scientific skills and knowledge and exploring scientific ethics.

Students study Science for 12 x 50-minute lessons per fortnight during Key Stage 4 for both the Combined Science and Triple Science courses.

Combined Science

The Combined science qualification is worth two GCSEs.

Students will study all three sciences during the course.

  • Biology (key concepts in biology, cells and control, genetics, natural selection and genetic modification, health and disease, plant structures and functions, animal coordination, control and homeostasis, exchange and transport in animals, and ecosystems and material cycles).
  • Chemistry (key concepts in chemistry, quantitative chemistry, states of matter, chemical change, electrolysis, equilibria, rates of reactions and energy changes, Earth and atmospheric science, atomic structure and the Periodic table, and structure and bonding).
  • Physics (key concepts in Physics, motion and forces, conservation of energy, waves, light and the electromagnetic spectrum, radioactivity, forces and their effects, electricity and circuits, magnetism and electromagnetic induction, forces and matter and the particle model).

Teaching includes a combination of theoretical and practical approaches throughout the two years of study.

Assessment is via 6 externally examined papers (two Biology, two Chemistry and two Physics, each 1 hour and 10 minutes long), which are available at foundation and higher tier.  

The qualification is graded on a 17-point scale: 1–1 to 9–9 – where 9–9 is the best grade. A student taking Foundation Tier assessments will be awarded a grade within the range of 1–1 to 5–5. Students taking Higher Tier assessments will be awarded a grade within the range of 4–4 to 9–9. A student sitting the Higher Tier who just fails to achieve grade 4–4 will be awarded an allowed grade 4–3.

Throughout the course, students carry out 18 mandatory core practicals, and they will use their knowledge and understanding of these practical skills and techniques in the written assessments. We follow the Edexcel Combined Science specification. 

Triple (Separate) Sciences

The Triple Science pathway is worth three GCSEs and students are awarded qualifications in each of the separate sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics).

In addition to the Combined Science curriculum, students take will either study topics in more depth and/or take additional units:

  • Biology (protein synthesis, inheritance of sex-linked genetic disorders, advantages and disadvantages of genetic engineering and modification, life cycle of viruses, production and use of monoclonal anitbodies, thermoregulation and osmoregulation, and indicator species).
  • Chemistry (Separate chemistry 1 –  transition metals, alloys and corrosion, further quantitative chemistry and analysis, further dynamic equilibria, chemical and fuel cells; Separate chemistry 2 – qualitative tests for ions, hydrocarbons, alcohols, carboxylic acids and polymers, and nanoparticles).
  • Physics (astronomy and static electricity).

Assessment is via 6 externally examined papers (two Biology, two Chemistry and two Physics, each 1 hour and 45 minutes long), which are available at foundation and higher tier.  

The qualification is graded on a 9-point scale: 1 to 9 – where 9 is the best grade. A student taking Foundation Tier assessments will be awarded a grade within the range of 1 to 5. Students taking Higher Tier assessments will be awarded a grade within the range of 4 to 9. A student sitting the Higher Tier who just fails to achieve grade 4 will be awarded an allowed grade 3.

Throughout the course, students carry out 24 mandatory core practicals, and they will use their knowledge and understanding of these practical skills and techniques in the written assessments. We follow the Edexcel Biology, Chemistry and Physics specifications.

Revision sessions for GCSE Science students are run in the lead up to exams to ensure students have access to the help they need at this important time. We organise a trip to the Science Live event for Year 11 students. This is a full day of revision led by prominent scientists including Professor Sir Robert Winston, Professor Jim Al-Khalili and Professor Richard Dawkins.

For more information about both GCSE options, see the current GCSE Options Booklet.

Progression opportunities

Studying Science leads directly to A Levels in Biology, Chemistry or Physics. Students who wish to progress to medicine, veterinary science, dentistry and engineering degrees should take triple science. You can find out more on our Sixth Form College pages.