Course Description 

Science explains how you hear your alarm clock in the morning, to the workings of the lightbulb you turn off before bed at night, and then of course there is everything in between! Science is everyday life and something which can both inspire, challenge and fascinate. Science teaching focuses on student-centered learning which encourages the development of scientifically literate students equipped to succeed in the new technological age.

Through the exploration and study of science, students will:

  • Develop their interest in and enthusiasm for Science.
  • Develop a critical approach to scientific evidence and methods.
  • Acquire and apply skills, knowledge and understanding of how science works and its essential role in society and necessity for progression of further learning.

The courses cover all the main components of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and How Science Works, as stipulated by the National Curriculum.

Particular emphasis is placed on developing an appreciation of the methods of scientific enquiry. Students will be asked to make predictions, form hypotheses, plan and carry out investigations as well as evaluate and interpret their work, relating to scientific ideas. The Science courses at Gaynes School will enable students to explore science in greater depth, give them a deeper understanding and equip them with skills that will take them forward in the wider world.

Our expectations

  • You will be held to a high academic standard.
  • You will come to all lessons ready to learn, listen to your teachers, follow all instructions and remain focused on the learning, whilst always trying your best. This will provide the foundation for a positive learning environment.
  • You will be able to work independently and with others, participate in class and demonstrate a sense of responsibility for your own learning and success.
  • You will complete all required practical investigations.
  • You will complete all homework as required, which includes revising for all tests/exams/assessments, as well as always catching up on any missed work.
  • You will be willing to push yourself, going above and beyond (for example independent learning), in order to achieve and succeed.

KS3 Course of Study

Students in Year 7 and 8 follow a challenging and accelerated two-year Key Stage 3 Activate course, which aims to prepare and ignite a passion for science. Students are taught all three areas of Science with elements of how science works and practical skills embedded. Students are continuously assessed both summatively and formatively to help aid their progress from KS2. The emphasis of the programme is to prepare students for the rigour of KS4 as well as to develop a number of key skills.

Topics followed by students at KS3:

Year 7:


  1. Organisms (Cells and Movement)
  2. Ecosystems ( Interdependence and Plant reproduction)
  3. Genes (Variation and Human Reproduction)


  1. Matter (Particle model and separating mixtures)
  2. Reactions (Metals and non-metals and Acids and Alkalis)
  3. Earth (Earth Structure and The Universe)


  1. Forces (Speed and Gravity)
  2. Electromagnets (Voltage and Current)
  3. Energy (Energy costs and Energy Transfer)
  4. Waves (Sound and Light)

Year 8:


  1. Health & Lifestyle
  2. Ecosystem processes
  3. Adaptation and inheritance


  1. The Periodic Table
  2. Separation Techniques
  3. Metals and acids
  4. The Earth


  1. Electricity and magnetism
  2. Energy

Motion and Pressure

Course Overview

KS4 Course of Study

The Key Stage 4 curriculum starts with our Year 9 cohort. At GCSE students can study the AQA Combined Trilogy Science course (with two grades awarded at the end of Year 11) or the AQA Separate Sciences - Biology, Chemistry and Physics (with 3 grades awarded at the end of Year 11). Both options enable students to progress to post-16 studies in Science.

Topics followed by students at KS4:

Single Biology and Combined Science Trilogy

1. Cell biology  
2. Organisation  
3. Infection and response

4. Bioenergetics

5. Homeostasis and response  
6. Inheritance, variation and evolution  
7. Ecology


Single Chemistry and Combined Science Trilogy

1. Atomic structure and the periodic table
2. Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter
3. Quantitative chemistry
4. Chemical changes
5. Energy changes

6. The rate and extent of chemical change

7. Organic Chemistry

8. Chemical analysis

9. Chemistry of the atmosphere

10. Using resources


Single Physics and Combined Science Trilogy

1. Energy
2. Electricity
3. Particle model of matter

4. Atomic structure

5. Forces
6. Waves
7. Magnetism and electromagnetism

8. Space (Single Physics only)

Assessment Components

All students will be following the Linear GCSE Science course which they will complete at the end of Year 11.

Combined Science students will be tested with six exam papers which will include two biology, two chemistry and two physics papers. Each examination will be 1 hour and 15 minutes long and will be equally weighted (16.7% each). Students will be completing either the Higher or Foundation tier papers.

Triple science students will also be tested with six exam papers which will include two biology, two chemistry and two physics papers. For each separate science, both examinations will be 1 hour and 45 minutes long and will be equally weighted (50% each).

Exam papers will consist of multiple choice, structured, closed and open response questions.


Description of Activities

There is no coursework or controlled assessment. Students will be completing 21 (24 for Triple science) required practicals and will be tested on their understanding of practical skills and techniques in the final examination.

Students can obtain lab books from the department to create a log of all practical work. They can also buy CGP revision guides and workbooks from the department.


Why you should consider this subject for GCSE

Science is a core subject - all students study science up to the age of 16. It is recognised by the Government and employers alike to be very important. It encourages a disciplined and logical approach to problem solving as well as skills such as accuracy in observation and measurement, effective communication, data analysis and literature searches.

We live in an increasingly scientific world, from detecting life on other planets to finding cures for diseases. Science is increasingly relevant in modern day society.

This course will enable students to explore science in greater depth, give them a deeper understanding and equip them with skills that will take them forward in the wider world. Students will study the three areas of Science: Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The course is fast paced, exciting and full of modern scientific issues.


Future Careers

Science is a required qualification for entry into a number of professions including: Engineering, Sports Science, Medicine (human and animal), any laboratory work and many more.

Congratulations to the Year 11 students on achieving:

Combined Science – 75.4% 9-4

Biology - 100% 9-4

Chemistry - 100% 9-4

Physics - 100% 9-4

Congratulations to the Year 11 students on achieving:

Combined Science - 61.1% 9-4

Biology - 96.3% 9-4

Chemistry - 92.6% 9-4

Phyisics - 96.3% 9-4