Our primary aim is to instil a genuine love of the sciences and the confidence to question our understanding of the natural and physical world. The programme of study aims to develop inquisitive minds into critical thinkers through acquiring theoretical knowledge, practical skills and scientific literacy. Students will understand how science continuously builds upon previous advancements and understanding; linking the topics studied with real-world application ensures that our pupils develop key investigative, analytical and evaluative skills to prepare for their life ahead.
In years 7 and 8, our bespoke curriculum embeds the key foundations of biology, chemistry and physics whilst allowing students’ natural enthusiasm and curiosity to flourish. From year 9 onwards, the three science strands are taught separately through challenging and enriching lessons which build students’ resilience. Additional opportunities beyond the classroom at all key stages further strengthen the curriculum and reinforce the key role science and its applications have in understanding contemporary issues, future developments and the challenges of the modern world.
Science Programme of Study for Years 7 and 8
Please click on the links below to find out more about each Science strand and Engineering enrichment.
Biology is the study of the living world and how organisms interact with their environment to create diverse ecosystems that sustain life. The GCSE and A Level courses allows students to investigate the complex processes that take place within living things from a cellular to a whole organism level and what happens when things go wrong as well as developing key analytical and evaluative skills to prepare student their future ahead.
Biology Programme of Study
Students begin studying the fundamental concepts of the GCSE course in year 9 covering the topics of cell structure, cell differentiation and division, transport in cells, enzymes and digestion, microbiology and some aspects of ecology. There is a strong focus on practical investigation to develop the required skills needed to be a successful scientist. In year 10 students begin to deepen their knowledge in topics covered during KS3 including gas exchange and transport, plant biology, respiration, photosynthesis, immunology and ecology. Finally, during year 11 students will learn how the body ensures internal conditions remain constant through homeostasis by studying the structure and function of the kidney and pancreas and the function of various hormones as well as how characteristics are inherited through genes and the implications this has had on evolution and its modern day applications.
A Level Biology is a popular subject at A-Level due to the diverse nature of topics covered. We have many students who decide to study the subject further at University in a range of biological sciences degrees alongside supporting applications for those wanting to study medicine, dentistry and veterinary.
During year 12, students study a wide range of topics including cell structure and diversity, biological membranes and molecules, enzymes, exchange and transport in plants and animals, immunology, classification and evolution. In year 13, the course builds on prior knowledge on topics including excretion, homeostasis, neuronal and hormonal control, photosynthesis and respiration, inheritance and ecology as well as introducing cellular control, manipulating genomes and biotechnology.
During the A-Level course students will complete a range of associated practicals to develop key skills that must be recorded in a laboratory book. If students can demonstrate proficiency in a wide range of skills they will be awarded the practical endorsement. These skills are further assessed within the exams.
GCSE - AQA
A Level - OCR
- British Biology Olympiad (Yr 13)
- Intermediate Biology Challenge (Yr 12)
- Opportunity in Bristol University labs (yr 12)
- Support with university applications - personal statement support, mock interviews
- Science Club (all year groups)
Chemistry is the basis of everything around us and the GCSE course enables students to develop an understanding of the fundamentals of this fascinating subject. The students will cover a variety of topics from the structure of an atom, chemical reactions and how to measure and control them, to analysis and the environmental impacts to our society.
The A level course builds on these key concepts and allows students to further develop analytical, problem solving and practical skills that are widely valued by universities and employers.
Chemistry Programme of Study
Our students begin the GCSE course in Year 9 and cover the fundamental concepts including the periodic table, atomic structure, bonding and properties, and rates of reaction. In Year 10, the students study the reactivity series, electrolysis, quantitative chemistry, acids and energy in reactions. In Year 11, organic chemistry, reversible reactions and equilibria, chemical analysis and Earth’s resources complete the course. Students will have numerous opportunities to consolidate their learning through practical activities and will develop strong practical and problem solving skills.
Chemistry A Level is highly regarded amongst universities and employers and students are able to demonstrate many transferable skills to further study and employment. The specification covers the key organic, inorganic, physical and analytical concepts which are introduced in the first year and then studied at a deeper level in the second.
In Year 12, introductory topics provide layers of understanding to explain the core chemical concepts, reaction kinetics, mechanisms and instrumental techniques for analysis. Year 13 introduces more challenging topics; aromatic chemistry and organic synthesis, enthalpy, entropy, buffer solutions, transition metals and further analytic techniques.
Throughout the course, practical skills are fully integrated and the students keep a laboratory book to document and analyse all their practical tasks. Successful completion will lead to the award of a practical endorsement to the A Level qualification. Practical skills are further assessed in the written examination papers.
GCSE - AQA
A Level - OCR (A)
- RSC Top of the Bench competition (Yr9,10,11)
- Cambridge Chemistry Challenge (Y12)
- RSC Analytical Competition (Y12)
- RSC Olympiad (Y13)
- Spectroscopy in a Suitcase (Y12,13)
- Chemistry In Action (Y12,13)
- Support with university applications - personal statement advice, mock interviews & entrance exam clinics
Physics is the study of the universe, from the smallest sub-atomic particles to the largest galaxies. The GCSE course provides a foundation in the fundamentals of Physics and opportunities for pupils to develop their investigative and analytical skills. The A Level course builds on these concepts and allows students to gain the problem-solving skills valued by university admissions tutors and employers.
Physics Programme of Study
Our students are following the new AQA 9-1 GCSE syllabus. The GCSE course begins in Year Nine and covers the key concepts necessary for study at GCSE level, including Waves, Forces and Motion and Energy. In Year Ten, pupils study Heating, Electricity, Pressure and Nuclear Physics. The key concepts are reinforced with practical work where relevant, and students can expect to develop strong practical and mathematical skills. The Year Eleven curriculum includes Electromagnetism, Newton’s Laws, Momentum, Space, Light and Sound.
Physics A Level is an excellent preparation for further study of Physics, other Scientific disciplines, Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science. It also supports applications for apprenticeships in finance and engineering and allows students to demonstrate important transferable skills to employers.
The first year of the course covers Investigative Skills, Electricity, Waves and Mechanics, extending students’ GCSE knowledge and understanding and developing their analytical skills. The second year introduces more challenging topics, including Electric, Magnetic and Gravitational Fields, Thermal Physics, Oscillations, Cosmology and Medical Physics.
Throughout the course, students will keep a laboratory book for their practical work and will receive a Practical Endorsement subject to the successful completion of the required practical tasks. Practical skills will also be assessed in the examination papers.
GCSE - AQA
A Level - OCR
- British Physics Olympiad Y10 Challenge
- British Physics Olympiad GCSE Challenge
- British Physics Olympiad AS Challenge
- British Physics Olympiad Y13 Competition
- Support with university applications, including personal statement advice and entrance exam clinics.
- Physics Olympiad Practical Challenge (Y12)
- GirlsGetSET project with GE Aviation (Y12)
- Attendance at summer schools is encouraged, eg. Isaac Physics bootcamp, Headstart, Smallpeice
- GirlsGetSET project with GE Aviation (Y7, 8 and 12)
- Raytheon Junior Cyber Day (Y7)
- Flying Start Challenge (Y8)
- Tomorrow’s Engineers Robotics Challenge (Lower School)
Find out more about our Engineering Enrichment programme