Vision statement

Science education is an essential part of the powerful knowledge students will gain in order to contribute well to society, independent of their upbringing and background. Our current world is facing a number of scientific challenges; an understanding and appreciation of science plays a key role in ensuring our young people leave school to lead informed, purposeful lives. Science is necessary for students leaving our schools, so they can form opinions and draw their own conclusions around developments presented to them through the media and within the workplace. The study of science should develop analytical skills that make students valuable members of society, willing to ask challenging questions of the systems around them. Students will learn scientific theory in a variety of contexts, as well as investigating science through challenging lab work.

Science curriculum intent

Through building on key foundational knowledge and concepts, students will be encouraged to make links to wider contexts and apply knowledge in a variety of situations. They will develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They will begin to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, analyse causes and problem solve.

The aim of the science curriculum at ELA is to generate intrinsic motivation to want to discover more about science and provide them with the best possible grounding from which to pursue sciences beyond GCSE to A level and into future careers.

Our provision in science focuses on developing high levels of student independence and ensuring students are able to retrieve core scientific knowledge fluently. Empowered by this, students are able to progress at GCSE, acquiring and applying broader and deeper knowledge.

We emphasise procedural knowledge across curriculum and therefore prioritise the development of scientific skills, such as problem solving, scientific reasoning and experimentation. Students retain knowledge well when they test their knowledge during practical experiments or apply their knowledge to varying contexts.

Students will experience a practical approach to science, exposing them to use of a wide range of science equipment and ideas. They will have the opportunity to become confident and competent to independently use such apparatus in scientific work and question other people’s ideas. This will help develop fine motor skills, sequencing and planning skills, foster time management skills and raise awareness of the need for rules, routines and method to keep individuals and the environment safe at all times.

Students are encouraged to use and enhance their numeracy and literacy skills in a science-based context and reciprocal reading is encouraged. Our curriculum also provides opportunities to form opinions on the social, moral, spiritual and cultural aspects of science and wherever possible science content is linked to British values.

We believe that the knowledge learnt in science will help give students confidence to form opinions and engage more successfully in their community, both in real life and online, and will enable them to make better informed life choices in the future. This approach to learning also helps students to see the value of scientific knowledge as they see its use in the real world and is aligned with the emphasis on knowledge application within the science curriculum.

Overall our curriculum enables students to become scientifically literate as they gain deep expertise in the methods of science and gain a concrete understanding of key scientific ideas.

Curriculum overview

Key stage 3

The science faculty offers students in years 7, 8 and 9 a range of interesting and practical-based lessons covering all three areas of science – biology, physics and chemistry.

The key stage 3 course is based on schemes of work which are written in-house by experienced teachers in accordance with the APP (assessing pupil progress) guidelines.

Key stage 4

Triple Science – biology, chemistry and physics

The AQA triple science GCSE has been designed to meet ‘world class qualification principles’. It allows students to experience a wide breadth of science and explore chemical systems in a working scientific context.

The assessment consists of two externally-examined papers per subject (six in total) available at either foundation tier or higher tier. Students must complete all assessments in the same tier, during May/June in any single year.

Students choosing this option should do so for positive reasons:

  • they really enjoy science as there will be a lot of it, and be prepared to do large extended homework; and
  • they intend to take at least two sciences at AS level and probably aim for medicine, dentistry, veterinary science or other sciences degrees at university.
    (Students need to be aware that all A Level and higher education options are still available by following the double science route).

Topics covered:

Topics 1-4: cell biology; organisation; infection and response; and bioenergetics
Topics 5-7: homeostasis and response; inheritance, variation and evolution; and ecology

Topics 1-5: atomic structure and the periodic table; bonding, structure, and the properties of matter; quantitative chemistry, chemical changes and energy changes
Topics 6-10: the rate and extent of chemical change; organic chemistry; chemical analysis, chemistry of the atmosphere and using resources

Topics 1-4: energy, electricity, particle model of matter, and atomic structure
Topics 5-8: forces, waves, magnetism and electromagnetism, and space physics

Exams contribute to 100% of the GCSE, however practical skills will be assessed throughout and exam questions will also assess these.

Combined science

The AQA Combined Science GCSE has been designed to meet ‘world class qualification principles’. It allows students to experience a wide breadth of biology, chemistry and physics and explore practical science in a working scientifically context.

The assessment consists of six externally-examined papers in two in each of the three sciences: biology, chemistry and physics, available at either foundation tier or higher tier. Students must complete all assessments in the same tier, during May/June in any single year. This will lead to two science GCSE qualifications.

Method of assessment:
There is a paper 1 and paper 2 for each science subject – biology, chemistry and physics

Topic areas covered

Biology: cell biology, organisation, infection and response, bioenergetics, homeostasis and response, inheritance,
variation and evolution, and ecology.

Chemistry: atomic structure and the periodic table, bonding, structure, and the properties of matter, quantitative chemistry, chemical changes, energy changes, the rate and extent of chemical change, organic chemistry, chemistry of the atmosphere, and using resources.

Physics: forces, energy, waves, electricity, magnetism and electromagnetism, particle model of matter, and atomic structure


Exam board: AQA


Combined science – 8464
Biology – 8461
Chemistry – 8462
Physics – 8463

Contact: Mr P Collins, Miss K Nandha M Williams

How will I be assessed?

Examinations for separate sciences

  • Biology: 2 x 1hr 45min exams
  • Chemistry: 2 x 1hr 45min exams
  • Physics: 2 x 1hr 45min exams

Examinations for combined science

  • Biology: 2 x 1hr 15min exams
  • Chemistry: 2 x 1hr 15min exams
  • Physics: 2 x 1hr 15min exams