Key Stage 3: Years 7, 8 and 9

The Science department at The King's School aims to make learning about science interesting and exciting for students. We actively encourage students to develop their scientific skills and use them to understand the developing world around them.


At KS3, the students follow the Activate scheme of work which is a course designed to support every student develop the necessary skills and knowledge required for the new Key Stage 4 GCSE Programme of Study.  Each scheme of work, from year 7-9, is split into biology, chemistry and physics with each topic area containing differentiated lessons and resources to stretch and challenge each individual student.  Practical work is a key part of the curriculum and students are encouraged to develop their investigative skills through scientific enquiry.     

Students are assessed at the end of each topic and formal, whole school assessments are completed half termly.  The students are required to complete a written paper based on their scientific knowledge and practical skills. 

A small percentage of the marks on each assessment are awarded for literacy. 

Each assessment paper focuses on the content that has been taught and requires the students to use skills ranging from recall to explain and justify.  In the physics assessment, students are required to recall number of equations as these are no longer provided in the new GCSE examination. 

At Key Stage 3, students have three 50 minute lessons of science per week.

Key Stage 4: Years 10 and 11

AQA GCSE Science Triology

Following the recent reform of the Key Stage 4 Science curriculum, the changes to the course structure are substantial.  Exams have returned to a more traditional format and are LINEAR not modular and there is NO CONTROLLED ASSESSMENT.  The new Science specification requires students to have an in-depth subject knowledge and to be able to apply this to a range of open and closed questions. 

In Year 10, students will be taught:

  • Biology topics 1–4: Cell Biology; Organisation; Infection and response; and Bioenergetics.
  • Chemistry topics 8–12: Atomic structure and the periodic table; Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter; Quantitative chemistry; Chemical changes and Energy changes.
  • Physics topics:  Energy; Electricity; Particle model of matter; Atomic structure

In Year 11, student will be taught:

  • Biology topics 5–7: Homeostasis and response; Inheritance, variation and evolution and Ecology.
  • Chemistry topics 13–17: The rate and extent of chemical change; Organic chemistry; Chemical analysis; Chemistry of the atmosphere and using resources.
  • Physics topics: Forces; Waves; Magnetism and electromagnetism.

Working scientifically is a key aspect of the new Science curriculum. Scientific skills are woven into the programme of study and support students in deepening their understanding as well as developing literacy and numeracy skills to analyse and interpret data.  

Practical work forms an essential element of the course and is built into the programme of study. All practical work is assessed through the GCSE examinations. 

In year 10 students have five 50 minute lessons a week of Science.

In year 11 students have four 50 minute lessons a week of Science.

At the end of year 11 students will sit 6 exam papers (one from each topic taught in year 10 and year 11) each lasting 1 hour 15 minutes. There is no opportunity to sit exams early.

Triple Science Route

The Triple Science route follows the same structure as above. However, the assessment aspect of the course differs:

There are six assessment papers: 2 biology, 2 chemistry and 2 physics each one lasting 1 hour and 45 minutes.

{slider Key Stage 5: Years 12 and 13}

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary diploma in Applied Science

BTEC Applied Science offers the student to opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge and apply them to the challenges faced within the Scientific world.

BTEC Level 3 Certificate in Applied Science (Year 12, equivalent to AS Level)

During BTEC Level 3 the student will study a number of individual assignments which are graded as Pass, Merit or Distinction. On completion of all 3 units students will be awarded an overall grade (Pass, Merit or Distinction). Students may choose to ‘cash in’ these points to achieve their BTEC Level 3 Certificate. Alternatively students may choose to continue onto BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma.

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Applied Science (Year 13, equivalent to A2 level)

The BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma year follows a similar structure to the BTEC Level 3 Certificate. Students complete individual assignments which are graded as Pass, Merit or Distinction. At the end of the 3 units pupils are awarded an overall graded (Pass, Merit or Distinction) for their BTEC Subsidiary Diploma.

There are no examinations for this course.

What units will be covered?

During the BTEC Level 3 Certification student will cover 3 core units: Fundamentals in Science; Working in the Science Industry and Scientific Practical Skills.

During the BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma students will cover a further 3 topics: Physiology of Human Body Systems, Physiology of Human Regulation and Reproduction, Biochemistry and Biochemcial techniques.


The Science department encourages students to get involved with extra-curricular events and enrichment activities. The Science department is keen to engage students with ‘real world’ science and runs trips to the local universities, Michelin tyre factory, Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)

Useful Links

Students may sometimes need to access the internet links below as part of their homework, revision or independent learning.