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At Abbeyfield school we have an ambitious curriculum for all our students. Science encompasses everything that we are and allows us to make sense of the world around us. The students’ high-quality science education will develop students’ curiosity and scientific knowledge to question the world in which we live, enable critical thinking, and encourage students to become socially aware global citizens. As students’ progress through their scientific education, they should be able apply their scientific thinking and vocabulary to explain a wide range of phenomena, develop their experimental skills through a variety of scientific investigations and use their observations to justify the conclusions they have made, whilst using their analytical and evaluative skills to critically analyse information they are presented with. 

Key stage 3 

All students study all sciences at key stage 3.  

In year 7 students will:  

Biology: Year 7 begins picking up on the life processes from KS2, with ideas from the movement of humans and the composition of cells forming the basis of an understanding about life. This is developed with an understanding of how organisms depend on each other in ecosystems, including the role for plant reproduction, which requires a fertilisation linking back to cells. Students understanding of human reproduction is then developed, which allow deeper conversations around variation. 

Chemistry: Year 7 student develop their KS2 understanding of chemistry by beginning with the particle model, this allows them to understand the purity of substances that can be used when teaching separating mixtures. A knowledge of materials is then developed, linking back to the particle model by teaching metals and non-metals, acids and alkalis. Materials are then developed further when discussing Earth science, the structure of the earth, including rocks, and planets. This links to learning on our place in the universe. 

Physics: Students pick up on their knowledge of electricity from KS2 by developing their knowledge on energy, its stores and transfers. The is developed through an understanding of how energy can be transferred in waves such as light and sound. Students’ knowledge of forces is then picked up and deepened through linking how it leads to a change in speed, including the role of gravity. 

In year 8 students will:  

Biology: Students begin Year 8 using their knowledge of the processes of life and the human body to gain an understanding of how we breath and digest food. This allows further developed into how energy is release from food, using oxygen, via the process of respiration. This is when compared to the process of creating glucose in plants, photosynthesis. Year 8 ends with an understanding how organisations are best suited to their environment to allow survival, linking together the work over the last two tears through the lens of evolution and inheritance. 

Chemistry: Climate and Resources deepens pupils understanding of Earth science from Year 7, discussing in detail the climate on Earth, and the gases within the air. The periodic table and elements pick up on students’ knowledge of the particle model and metals and non-metals from Year 7, as well as pure substances and mixtures. From understanding elements compounds and mixtures, students can then understand chemical energy and the different types of reaction. 

Physics: Knowledge of Forces is then developed through discussing contact forces and how this leads to the idea of pressure. Electrical circuits are then introduced and linked to forces through knowledge of magnetism and electromagnetism. Students then return to energy, discussing work, heating and cooling, and the effects and properties of waves, that transfer energy. 

In year 9 students will: 

Biology: In Year 9 students revisit their understanding on cells, developing it further after deepening their understanding of ideas around diffusion (beyond gas exchange in the lungs) and active transport. This is liked to ideas around adaptation from year 8. DNA within a cell is also discussed, linking to natural selection, inheritance and variation from previous years. Ideas around cells are developed further as it is discussed how they come together to make circulatory system. Links are also made to health and disease, including how infections take place as well as a maintaining a healthy diet. 

Chemistry: Students deepen their knowledge of chemical changes and extracting important resources. This is then followed by linking the particle model to the periodic table and an introduction to the core concepts of the atom. Students then gain knowledge on how atoms combined to make structures through the process of bonding at a molecular level. 

Physics: Students ‘knowledge of energy and work done is then linked to ideas such as the conservation of energy and discussing kinetic energy stores. This then links to the generation of electricity and natural energy resources. This then links to atomic structure, and an understanding of the atom, linking to this being taught in chemistry before return to heat energy through idea such as temperature being related to the particle model. 

Key stage 4 / GCSE 

All students will need to take Combined science (sometimes known as double science). Some students may make triple science. 

For combined science students will get a double grade e.g., 66, 76, 77 etc. which is an average of their biology, chemistry and physics marks. 

For triple science, students will get three separate grades for biology, chemistry, and physics. Their grade in one science subject has no bearing on the grades of the other.  

The exam board at GCSE is AQA.  

In year 10: 

Biology: Students’ knowledge is cells is developed through understanding light and electron microscopes, and well as understanding exchange at boundaries. Students link this to cell processes such as mitosis and miosis. Students understanding of cells, and their knowledge of health and disease from Year 9 leads to students being taught about infection, and responses to infection, including vaccinations, drugs and antibiotics. Knowledge on cells and digestions is developed further by teaching on enzymes, and the optimal conditions needed for them. This leads to a discussion of the transport system in plants, and the optimal conditions required for that to occur. Breathing is discussed, developing on students understanding of respiration from previous years, as well as gas exchange from earlier in the year. This leads to students deepening their understanding of respiration. This leads to pupils linking this information together in the topics of ecology and photosynthesis. 

Chemistry: ideas from extraction in year 9 are developed further through knowledge of electrolysis. Energy changes, rate and equilibrium develop students understanding of chemical reactions, including how fast they happen and the energy they release. Students understanding of chemical reactions is deepened through discussing a range of qualitative tests as part of chemical analysis 

Physics: Practical ideas around energy and electricity are developed before developing into a deeper understanding by using year 9 understanding of the atom. This then leads to atomic structure been taught, through ideas such as nuclear physics.  Students then link return to forces, pressure, and motion, building on ideas from year 8. Energy is covered to lead into Y11. 

In year 11 

Biology: through understanding cells, how the body works, and the role of enzymes, students are now ready to link this together in the topic of homeostasis. Previous years understanding of cell division, variation and evolution allow students to understand how this links with inheritance, specifically around mutations and genetic modification. 

Chemistry: students link their knowledge on the structure of the earth and its atmosphere, and the extraction of substance from previous years to understand how chemists use the natural resources from earth and the atmosphere to create useful products. 

Physics: Waves and their ability to transferred energy is developed from understanding in Year 8 and 10, linking into idea around fields with Electromagnetism, which also develops understanding of electricity from Y10. Triple Scientists then cover Space, which requires knowledge from forces, energy, radioactivity, and waves. 


Key Stage 5 / A-level and BTEC  

The exam board for A-levels is OCR. For BTEC, the exam board is Edexcel.  


Biology A-level enable students to develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to one another. They also gain an appreciation of scientific methods, as well as practical, mathematical, and problem-solving skills. 

Students will study six modules: 

Module 1: Development of practical skills in biology 

Module 2: Foundations in biology 

Module 3: Exchange and transport 

Module 4: Biodiversity, evolution and disease 

Module 5: Communication, homeostasis and energy 

Module 6: Genetics, evolution and ecosystems 


There are four components that students must complete: 

  • Biological processes (01) – 2-hour 15-minute paper modules 1, 2, 3 and 5 

  • Biological diversity (02) – 2-hour 15-minute paper modules 1, 2, 4 and 6 

  • Unified biology (03) – 1 hour 30-minute paper all modules  

  • Practical endorsement in biology (04) – a non-exam assessment 



The content is in six modules: 

Module 1 – Development of practical skills in chemistry 

Module 2 – Foundations in chemistry 

Module 3 – Periodic table and energy 

Module 4 – Core organic chemistry 

Module 5 – Physical chemistry and transition elements 

Module 6 – Organic chemistry and analysis 


There are four components that students must complete: 

  • Periodic table, elements and physical chemistry (01) –2-hour 15-minute paper modules 1, 2, 3 and 5 

  • Synthesis and analytical techniques (02) – 2-hour 15-minute paper modules 1, 2, 4 and 6 

  • Unified chemistry (03) – 1 hour 30-minute paper all modules  

  • Practical endorsement in chemistry (04) – a non-exam assessment 



The content is in six modules: 

Module 1: Development of practical skills 

Module 2: Foundations of physics 

Module 3: Forces and motion 

Module 4: Electrons, waves, and photons 

Module 5: Newtonian world and astrophysics 

Module 6: Particles and medical physics 

There are four components that students must complete: 

• Modelling physics (01) – 2-hour 15 minute paper modules 1,2, 3 and 5 

• Exploring physics (02) – 2-hour 15-minute paper modules 1, 2, 4 and 6 

• Unified physics (03) – 1 hour 30-minute paper all modules  

• Practical endorsement in physics (04) – a non-exam assessment