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Science Department

We cannot escape the fact that Science is a necessary part of our everyday lives. It studies the things that are happening around and within us and looks for evidence to explain ideas. Advances in technology and science are transforming our world at an incredible pace from the food that we eat, the medicines we take and the clothes that we wear.

For detailed information on specifications refer to the Key Stage 4 or Key Stage 5 prospectus.

The practicals conducted develop our students’ investigative skills and confidence in handling chemicals, performing dissections and the utilisation of equipment such as spectroscopes. Students are encouraged to take ownership over their learning by teachers promoting independence, thus allowing them to branch out in their own direction once the core content is understood. We are proud of our involvement within the community though our student Science Ambassadors and our links within industry and higher education enables opportunities beyond the curriculum. We are fortunate that our school is situated within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which enables us to study the diversity of life in the natural setting.

We aim to stimulate our students’ innate curiosity through our bespoke curriculum at all key stages emphasising a practical and stimulating curriculum which makes clear links to modern contexts.

  • Key stage 4 Science Ambassadors who represent the academy within the local primary schools
  • Biology, Chemistry and Physics in action events at Warwick University
  • Participation in the Biology and Chemistry Olympiad
  • Operating theatre live – dissection based surgical experience
  • STEM links with the University of Northampton
  • Biology dissection evening to inspire a love of Biology
  • Run Adam Whitaker Astronomy event
  • Participation in ‘Super Physics 2018: supported by the IOP and the Ogden Trust’

Science Intent

In studying Science we facilitate the development of both powerful and procedural knowledge in order to develop learners that are able to  problem solve and make informed decisions in many areas of life; how to analyse, to debate using educated opinions, to interpret, evaluate and to nurture an enquiring mind through practical endeavours. It is essential to develop an understanding of the world around us, assembled by appreciation of previous theories and how they have led to modern scientific discoveries. Our goal is to raise analytical, innovative thinkers that are able to enhance the way we live, not only producing the scientists of the future but to also empower students to make informed choices in their lives and enable them to take part in key debates and challenges confronting society today.

The Curriculum

Key Stage 3

Science is delivered across Key Stage 3 in a carousel fashion, due to the implications of practical aspects to each of the distinct subjects. Regardless of the carousel students follow, the sequence of units within each subject remains constant.

Year 7

Biology Chemistry Physics
Basic Biological concepts starting with subcellular structures and building up to a complete organism. Develops an understanding of the structure of animals and plants, essential for KS4. Uses lab based skills that have been introduced during the lab skills topic in order to embed and develop practical skills. Develops an understanding of science in context e.g. toothpaste, indigestion tablets etc and why science is important.  Relates directly to work at KS2.  There are plenty of applications of forces to everyday life so students are first challenged with concepts they are familiar with. 
Following on from how organ systems become a whole organism, this builds on interactions between different  species. This will recap knowledge learnt in KS2 Ecology and introduce new key terms that will be essential in their GCSE Biology. Basic building blocks of chemistry. Interleaves with the skills module where students are briefly introduced to atoms, elements and compounds.  Picks up on ideas on light and sound from KS2.  Introduces idea of waves which is more complex and uses models the students with which students are less familiar.  
Recapping how cells become tissues from their first topic, this builds on how our bodies develop and create movement. This recaps the Human Body section of KS2 and leads nicely into the Food and Nutrition topic. Revisiting states of matter which is first introduced during KS2. Particle theory is another key building block of both chemistry and physics. Introduction of a fundamental Physics concept.  The idea that energy can be stored and transferred.  
Moving from how movement is physically created from the body, this topic extends scientific understanding to explain the chemical stores that aid our survival. The digestive system is recapped from KS2 but develops their knowledge for key concepts in GCSE. Interleaves with atoms, elements and molecules. Students must understand the difference before they can predict whether certain substances can be separated. This module also continues to build up their practical skills. This unit links together ideas from Chemistry on particles with applications, emphasising the properties of different states of matter.  The topic links together the microscopic (particles) with the macroscopic (objects floating, drag etc)


Year 8

Biology Chemistry Physics
Chosen to be placed after looking at organs systems to recap knowledge from the start of the year. In addition, this links to CPD lessons on puberty, to look at science behind sexual reproduction. This builds upon KS2 reproduction work and leads to B3 Meiosis and inheritance. Building on atoms, elements and molecules and enhances their knowledge of metals and how they react. This module continues to build practical skills and is a good introduction to the periodic table, which is the first module in year 8. Interleaves with what students have covered in KS2 - physical and chemical properties of different materials.  This continues KS2 work, but at a significantly higher level, therefore we cover it in year 8.  Concepts of reflection and refraction are modelled as waves using ray boxes. There are clear links with biology as we dissect the eye to understand how lenses work. Finally, we look at colour and learn why it is that a red object appears red. 
Following on from how animals reproduce, this builds on the life cycle of a plant as well as the two methods of reproduction. Embedding the importance of plants for survival of all organisms.  This will recap knowledge learnt in KS2 Ecology and introduce new key terms that will be essential in their GCSE Biology, in particular the two types of reproduction. Fundamental chemistry that students need to know. Students have already studied atoms, elements and metals, so are now building up their knowledge from previous topics. Building on work from Year 7, this topic focuses on transfers, emphasising that some energy is "wasted" in all changes.  The need for high efficiency to maximise use of resources is introduced.  
Recapping on MRS GREN as well as nutrition in year 7, this develops the students in the concept of an organ system and it's function in detail. Building on prior knowledge from KS2 of breathing and furthering student understanding of the process of respiration. Aerobic and anaerobic respiration is covered in more depth in GCSE paper 2. Introducing students to pollution and global as well as combustion reactions. This module builds up on their knowledge of chemical reactions from the metals module and the periodic table module and It introduces students to another set of chemical reactions. Following on from work at KS2, students learn how we study space and the importance of observations.  
Recapping eukaryotic cells from year 7 for interleaving and introducing prokaryotes, in order to develop an understanding of the structure of single celled organisms as well as their roles in disease and composting, both being essential to GCSE content. Builds on knowledge from KS2 - links to states of matter and builds on the knowledge of chemical reactions when students are introduced to chemical weathering such as acid rain. It gives the students a real-life scenario to apply their scientific knowledge to. Introduction to one of the trickiest concepts in Physics.  Plenty of practical work underpins the ideas of voltage, current, power and resistance.  

Year 9

Biology Chemistry Physics
Builds on ecosystems from KS2 and 3 as well as recapping cell structure. Students investigate DNA in more detail and gain further understanding in the difference between inherited and environmental variation. This then introduces evolution and it's importance in our understanding of species adaptations. The students will revisit this in GCSE topic 4. Interleaves KS2 knowledge of materials and their properties. Students are also introduced to polymers for the first time and links into the previous topic of rocks when talking about pollution and weathering. Students are also introduced to recycling which is another everyday example to relate their chemical knowledge to.  Continuing from Year 7, this unit reinforces fundamental concepts on forces and then leads into how forces affect the motion of objects.  Students are beginning to link concepts together.
Recaps aerobic respiration from year 8 and plant cell structure from year 7, interspacing knowledge of key concepts. Students will further their understanding of the role of chloroplasts in photosynthesis, a key process that is crucial to GCSE content in topic 6. In addition students learn about ways in which plants are adapted for survival, this builds on prior knowledge from year 7 ecosystems and will be explored further in GCSE.  Students investigate chemical reactions in more detail, building on knowledge from previous modules. Chemical reactions become more advanced in this topic and students are encouraged to start thinking about their own practical investigations and how they can be planned.  The fundamental Physics concept of Fields is introduced via Magnetism.  Work from KS2 is extended to the idea of non-contact forces acting on magnetic materials.  Students study simple electromagnets and are introduced to the wide variety of applications in modern life.  
Basic Biological principles that are needed as a basis. Covered in KS3 'Cells, Tissues and Organs' and 'Unicellular Organisms' so recaps eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells and extended with new content. Ending at bacterial cells to lead into Health and Disease. Builds on knowledge from KS3 - Students have already met states of matter and have been introduced to different separation techniques in year 7. Students then move onto covering distillation, which is a more advanced separation technique.  Builds on KS3 ideas of motion to introduce vectors and scalar quantities.  Displaying motion in the form of graphs is done via displacement/time and velocity/time graphs.  The nature of the gradients of each graph and the area under a velocity/time graph are covered.
As the last topic ends on bacteria, this leads nicely into pathogens, disease and health. Developing content from KS3 'Food and Nutrition'. Embedding prokaryotic cells and the impact they can have.  Builds on knowledge from KS3, where students are first introduced to The Periodic table and the differences between atoms, elements and molecules. This forms the basic building units of chemistry and builds on the previous module which is looking at substances at a molecular level. This topic looks at substances at a sub-atomic level.  Building on work from KS3, Sankey diagrams show the proportion of energy transferred as useful energy with calculations of efficiency adding to the depth required.  The comparison of renewable and non-renewable sources is covered in depth.  
Revisits eukaryotic cells therefore interspacing and embedding key biological concepts. Develops knowledge to explain that cells taught in B1 are stem cells and how these differentiate into specialised cells. Continuing into how cells grow and how our body responds to stimuli. Students must know about the structure of the atom, from the previous module, before they can learn about ionic and covalent bonding which both involve subatomic particles.  The wide variety of waves are modelled using slinky springs and a ripple tank.  Wave terminology is introduced together with calculations using the wave equation.  This involves manipulation of formulae and use of standard form.  
Recaps knowledge learnt in KS3 'Genetics and Evolution' on types of variation and DNA, as well as 'Sexual Reproduction'. Developing content learnt in last module from mitosis into meiosis and furthering KS3 content to discuss the structure of DNA and how mutations cause genetic variation. Leading into Natural Selection and Genetic Modification   The electromagnetic spectrum is introduced with particular emphasis given to the wide variety of applications of the waves to everyday life.  The dangers of high exposure to the different wavelengths are studied, with students required to relate energy of waves to their potential danger.

Key Stage 4

Year 10

Biology Chemistry Physics
Natural Selection and Genetic Modification
Recaps content learnt in 'Genetics and Evolution' from KS3. Develops knowledge from natural selection and evolution into genetic modification, leads nicely from B3 and also revises B1a and B5 for genetic engineering.  
Calculations involving masses
Builds on knowledge from The Periodic Table as students are required to calculate relative formula masses. Students are introduced to conservation of mass which is a key principle of chemical reactions that students have studied in both KS3 and KS4. 
Unit begins with interleaving ideas from CC3-4 on subatomic particles before an in depth discussion of Rutherford and Bohr's models of the atom.  The 3 types of natural radioactivity are covered in depth with nuclear equations for each. 
Key concepts in Biology - Part 2 - Enzymes and Transporting Substances
Recaps KS3 'Food and Nutrition' and growth in B2. Further develops the importance of enzymes and how they are affected by pH and temperature. Students then recap how substances are transported by diffusion, osmosis and active transport. This leads into B6, transport of water and mineral ions in a root hair cell, transpiration and translocation in plants. 
Fuels, Earth and atmospheric science
Builds on combustion and pollution which are topics that have first been introduced at KS3. Students also need to know about distillation which is covered in CC1-2 and how this can be related to a real-life scenario. 
Forces and Motion
This unit builds on ideas from CP1 into considering how the resultant force acting on an object affects its motion.  Newton's 3 laws of motion are covered in depth before a mathematical treatment of momentum and its conservation.  Real life situations of car crashes, crumple zones and the use of seat belts and air bags are related to force and change of momentum.
Plant Structure and their Functions
Recaps KS3 'Plants and their Reproduction and Plant Growth' as well as B1a specialised cells. This topic leads well from B1b with transporting substances and further embeds enzymes and temperature with rate of photosynthesis.
Groups in the period table, Rates of Reaction and Heat Energy Changes in Chemical Reactions
Building on knowledge from the periodic table and focussing on specific groups of elements and their physical properties, chemical properties and their reactions.

This unit encourages students to link together ideas of forces and energy to explain mathematically the power of machines.  Scale diagrams are used to combine several forces into one, and also to resolve a force into 2 mutually perpendicular components.  
Ecosystems and Material Cycles
Recaps KS3 'Ecosystems' and further embeds how plants are producers that start the food chain by photosynthesis leading on nicely from B6. Developing knowledge by explaining the importance of biodiversity conservation and the carbon, water and nitrogen cycles for life. 
Electrolytic processes, Obtaining and Using Metals, Reversible Reactions and Equilibria Energy, Forces and their effects
Building on work from KS3, this unit begins with the  simple concept of current, before moving on to explaining how energy is used to explain voltage (potential difference).  Calculations of resistance introduce the concept of resistance, where it is explained via the motion of electrons.  Safety measures in homes are covered in a practical end to the unit.  
Animal Coordination, Control and Homeostasis
Recaps KS3 'Sexual Reproduction' and develops understanding of the hormones involved in the menstraul cycle. This topic also moves on from B2 the nervous system into the endocrine system and the importance of homeostasis. As well as revisiting B1b enzymes to further understand how glucose is taken into the blood, it leads well from how glucose levels are controlled into the use of glucose for respiration in the next topic.
Acids and alkalis
Students have already been introduced to acids and alkalis in KS3 and it builds on the previous topics that introduce ions. A very practical heavy module which builds up their scientific skill set. Students must be able to analyse data from the periodic table in order to form equations. 
Magnetism and The Motor Effect
This unit picks up on work from KS3 and extends it into explaining in more detail what a force field is.  Fields are plotted using iron filings and a plotting compass.  The shapes of magnetic fields caused by electric currents are covered with students challenged to explain why the strength of the field is different at different points.  Students are introduced to electromagnetic induction and how this applies to transformers and the transmission of power across the country in a way which minimises energy loss.  

Year 11

Biology Chemistry Physics
Exchange and Transport in Animals
Recaps KS3 'Breathing and Respiration, and Muscles and Blood' and B7, furthering understanding of how oxygen and glucose travel to the requiring cells for respiration and the structure and function of the heart and blood vessels. Embedding the processes aerobic and anaerobic respiration. 
  Particle Model, Forces and Matter
This units links to KS2 and KS3 in both Chemistry and Physics in that it starts with how the particle model can be used to explain a variety of concepts.  Thermal energy is then reconsidered as it applies to changes of state with mathematical treatment of specific heat capacity and specific latent heat.   The unit concludes with studying the forces acting on springs and the energy stored in them.

Key Stage 5













CTEC Applied Science




The Team

Tara McCormick

Head of Science and Biology

Angeline Annable

Senior Assistant Principal / Teacher of Science

Daniel Hawksley

Teacher of Science, Deputy and Biology Lead

Jinny Bell

Teacher of Science, Physics Lead

Louise Hegarty

Teacher of Science, Chemistry Lead

Louise Hull

Teacher of Science and Chemistry Lead

Sarah Kemp

Teacher of Science

Joshua Pape

Teacher of Science

Maliha Sheikh

Teacher of Science

Danielle Budgen

Teacher of Science



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