Learning Together For The Future

Science KS3

Contact: Mr M. Ford

Course Aims

The Science course is split into 4 key areas: Working Scientifically, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

We aim to teach all students the essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, students should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

Course Content

The teaching in Years 7 and 8 is broken into 7 Blocks. Each Block contains one Biology, Chemistry and Physics Topic. Students are taught in mixed ability forms in Years 7 and 8 with a single teacher covering the entire science curriculum. They have three science lessons a week.

Year 7 Blocks Overview Year 8 Blocks Overview
Block 1 Biology – Cells
Chemistry – Particle Model
Physics - Forces
Block 5 Biology - Health
Chemistry - Periodic Table
Physics - Electricity and Magnetism
Block 2 Biology - Body Systems
Chemistry - Elements
Physics - Sound
Block 6 Biology - Ecosystems
Chemistry - Separation
Physics - Energy
Block 3 Biology - Reproduction
Chemistry - Reactions
Physics - Light
Block 7 Biology - Adaptation
Chemistry - Metals and Acids
Chemistry - The Earth
Physics - Motion and Pressure
Block 4 Chemistry - Acids and Alkalis
Physics - Space

Course Assessment

When each student arrives in Year 7 they are given a KS3 science tracking folder, which they use to plot their progress in the subject against their target grade. There are several key assessment points during Years 7 and 8.

Year 7

  • Baseline Assessment – Carried out in the first two weeks of Year 7
  • Block 1 Test
  • Block 2 Test
  • Block 3 Test
  • End of Year 7 Test – This test examines content covered in the entirety of the Year 7 course

Year 8

  • Block 5 Test
  • Block 6 Test
  • Block 7 Test
  • End of Year 8 Test

The End of Year 8 Test data is used to stream students into classes in Year 9.

Year 9 Teaching

  • Students in Year 9 are taught in sets. They have three teachers: one for Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
  • They have three individual science lessons each week
  • Students cover the entirety of the KS3 science course in Years 7 and 8 due to the accelerated nature of the Activate course
  • Therefore, for the first term students revise the key concepts covered in the first two years of their secondary curriculum
  • Before Christmas they are examined in three Papers under official exam conditions
  • This determines an overall final KS3 level. Information from this is used during the Options process to recommend the appropriate GCSE choice

Biology ¦ Chemistry ¦ Physics

Grade Assessment Detail
9 Students can interpret population and food production statistics to evaluate food security; explain the process of genetic engineering including use of enzymes, plasmids and living vectors; evaluate the effect of mutations on proteins; evaluate the use of gibberellins and ethene on plant and fruit production; raise social and ethical concerns about the use of IVF; describe and explain the hormonal control of the menstrual cycle and evaluate the artificial use of hormones as a method of contraception; recall all required working scientifically formula and apply them at ease to given scenarios
8 Students can describe and explain how a change to the DNA sequence can cause a change to the protein produced by a gene; construct a genetic cross using a Punnett square and use it to predictions using the theory of probability; build a model of DNA to show that the bases A always pair with T and G always pair with C; interpret information about genetic engineering techniques and to make informed judgements about issues concerning cloning and genetic engineering, including GM crops; explain how waste, deforestation and global warming have an impact on biodiversity; interpret evolutionary trees and be able to describe the information they provide; confidently use maths skills to manipulate learned formulae.
7 Students can explain how the spread of diseases can be reduced or prevented; describe the ways in which the human body can attack pathogens; evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using monoclonal antibodies; interpret graphs and data of limiting factors of photosynthesis; write out the balanced symbol equations for aerobic and anaerobic respiration; evaluate the benefits and risks of carrying out procedures on the brain and nervous system; recall all Working Scientifically equations and apply them to given examples, confidently rearranging formula where required to work out rates of reaction etc.
6 Students can understand the terms eukaryotic and prokaryotic and compare and contrast the similarities and differences between them; use the magnification equation to work out sizes of cells and cell structures; build models and use analogies to describe and explain mitosis and meiosis; compare the different ways in which substances can move into and out of cells, giving specific examples; describe how enzymes function and understand how they can become denatured; describe the journey of blood through the heart and be able to label the vessels of the heart; evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different treatments for cardiovascular disease; recall most Biology and Working Scientifically equations and apply them to given examples, rearranging formula where required.
5 Students can identify and explain how the structure of organs and organ systems allows for their efficient function; recognise, predict and explain changes in biological systems eg the effect of increased carbon dioxide concentration on the growth of greenhouse crops, the consequences of smoking for organ systems; explain how characteristics can be inherited and apply this to selective breeding models, evaluating evidence from the offspring; predict short-term and long-term effects of environmental change onto ecosystems; give scientific reasons for predictions to justify them; recall most Biology formula and use the to solve single step problems.
4 Students can give a balanced symbol equation for photosynthesis and respiration; explain how cells are specialised to perform their function; investigate genetic and environmental variation between organisms of the same species; interpret food webs and pyramids of numbers to show feeding relationships; explain how feeding relationships can affect the population size of organisms; recall and use some Biology formula
3 Students can describe and explain the 7 life processes: describe and explain what respiration and photosynthesis are; distinguish between fertilisation and pollination; describe simple cell structure and identify differences between animal and plant cells; describe the causes of variation between living things in terms of genetics and the environment; explain how the abundance and distribution of organisms can be affected by specific environmental factors; use given Biology formula to solve problems.
2 Students can describe the main functions of organs in the human body (eg heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, skin, intestines stomach); describe the function of the different organs of a plant (roots, stem, leaves and flowers); explain the importance of these organs in keeping organism alive; describe the main stages in life cycle of humans and flowering plants, identifying similarities; explain the need for classification systems; describe the habitats of different organisms and explain how the environments are different in terms of availability of water, light, nutrients and food; fill numbers into formula statements to complete worked calculations.
1 Students can name and locate major organs in the body, identify the organs of plants; use a key to identify and group living organisms using observable features; describe feeding relationships using a food chain, identifying predators and prey; State the features of a living organism.
Grade Assessment Detail
9 Students can apply Nuclear Decay equations to radioactive decays; interpret radioactive half-life and its applications; consider our solar system the stability of its orbital motions and uses of satellites; describe the life cycle of a star; explore red shift and its applications; recall all physics equations related to solving problems and use them confidently with little guidance
8 Students develop an understanding of the particle model of matter; explore properties of materials and utilise equations to calculate material properties; investigate the structure of the atom and its discovery; analyse nuclear radiation, its implications and applications; make links between the nature of radioactivity and safety precautions; recall all physics equations related to problem solving and use them in multi-step scenarios.
7 Students develop an understanding of waves and how they behave in air, fluids and solids; explain and justify the importance of Electromagnetic waves and contrast their benefits and drawbacks; establish the fundamentals of electricity and relate to different circuit types and everyday uses; develop on the fundamentals of magnetism and electromagnetism including induced and permanent magnetism; consider applications of electricity including electric motors and loudspeakers; recall all physics equations and apply them to given examples, confidently rearranging formula where required.
6 Students show an extensive knowledge of forces and their interactions e.g. scalars and vectors, contact and non-contact forces; explain the concepts of work done and energy transfer and consider real life applications including momentum and stopping distances; relate Energy transfer to power and efficiency and be able to perform efficiency calculations; interpret Newton’s laws of motion and apply these to common examples and be able to represent graphically; consider national and global energy resources and the long term implications; recall most physics equations and apply them to given examples, rearranging formula where required.
5 Students show extensive knowledge and understanding related to energy, forces and space, e.g. the passage of sound waves through a medium; use and apply key terminology effectively in their descriptions and explanations, identifying links between topics; interpret, evaluate and synthesise data from a range of sources and in a range of contexts; understand the relationship between evidence and scientific ideas, and why scientific ideas may need to be changed e.g. the developing understanding of the structure of the solar system; explain the importance of a wide range of applications and implications of science, e.g. relating the dissipation of energy during energy transfer to the need to conserve limited energy resources; recall most physics formula and use the to solve single step problems.
4 Students can illustrate a wide range of processes and phenomena related to energy, forces and space, using abstract ideas and appropriate terminology and sequencing a number of points, e.g. how energy is transferred by radiation or by conduction; make links between different areas of science in their explanations, e.g. between electricity and magnetism; explain the appearance of objects in different colours of light; relate how evidence supports accepted scientific ideas e.g. the role of gravitational attraction in determining the motion of bodies in the solar system; explain, using abstract ideas where appropriate, the importance of some applications and implications of science, such as the uses of electromagnets; recall and use some physics formula.
3 Students can describe abstract processes using appropriate terminology e.g. the transfer of energy around and electric circuit; explain processes and phenomena taking into account a number of factors e.g. the relative brightness of stars and planets; use abstract ideas or models e.g. showing the refraction of light; describe evidence from experiments and state relationships observed e.g. reflection of light; explain the application of some key ideas, e.g. reflections in mirrors; use given physics formula to solve problems.
2 Students can describe many processes and phenomena related to energy, forces and space, using abstract ideas e.g. balanced forces; explain key physics concepts in more than one step or by using a model e.g. length of a day or a year; describe how we see objects, e.g. drawing the path of light from a source, to the object and then into the eye; describe applications and implications of science, e.g.the ways sound can be produced and controlled with musical instruments; fill numbers into formula statements to complete worked calculations.
1 Students can describe some processes and phenomena related to energy, forces and space, e.g. the observed position of the sun in the sky over the course of a day; recognise the importance of evidence in supporting or refuting scientific ideas, e.g. sounds being heard through a variety of materials; recognise some applications and implications of science, e.g. the use of electrical components to make electrical devices.

If you have any questions or queries relating to the Science curriculum please email for more information.