Our Curriculum


Subject Leaders: Mrs A Williams

Key Stage 4

GCSE Gateway Combined Science A

Exam Board: OCR
Level: 2

Course Overview

J250 OCR Gateway Combined Science A results in two GCSE qualifications being awarded.  This course is studied over two years, with Year 9 as a bridging year between both key stages. Over  the course of two years, students will study discrete modules of biology, chemistry and physics.

The biology topics are B3: Organism-Level Systems; B5: Genes, Inheritance and Selection; B6: Global Changes. The chemistry topics are C3: Chemical Reactions; C5: Monitoring and Controlling Chemical Reactions; C6: Global Challenges. The physics topics are P3: Electricity, Magnetism and Magnetic Fields; P4: Waves and Radiation; P5: Energy; P6: Global Challenges . Students will study practical skills as an integral part of each module. At the end of Year 11 students will sit 6 science examinations in total; two biology, two chemistry and two physics. Paper one in each science discipline will test modules 1, 2 and 3 with paper 2 assessing student understanding of modules 4, 5 and 6. Each paper lasts 70 minutes and being equally weighted, each will account for 16.7% of the final grade. Practical skills and scientific literacy will be assessed throughout each paper.

Assessment: 100% examination.

There are six examination papers. The table below shows how the topics examined across the six papers.

Paper 1 - B1,B2,B3

B1: Cell Level Systems, B2: Scaling Up, B3: Organism Level Systems

Paper 2 - C1,C2,C3

C1: Particles, C2: Elements, Compounds and Mixtures, C3: Chemical Reactions

Paper 3 - P1,P2,P3

P1: Matter, P2: Forces, P3: Electricity and Magnetism

Paper 4 - B4,B5,B6

B4: Community Level Systems, B5: Genetics and Evolution, B6: Global Challenges

Paper 5 - C4,C5,C6

C4: Predicting and Identifying Reactions and Products, C5: Monitoring and Controlling Chemical Reactions, C6: Global Challenges

Paper 6 - P4,P5,P6

P4: Waves and Radiation, P5: Energy, P6: Global Challenges



Key Stage 5

BTEC Level 3 National Certificate in Applied Science

Exam Board: Edexcel
Level: 3

Course Overview

Students will study separate biological, chemical and physical concepts. In unit 2, Students will develop their abilities to independently construct academic reports which relate the theory of taught concepts in unit 1 to vocational scenarios. 

Mandatory Units

  • Unit 1: Principles and Applications of Science

  • Unit 2: Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques

  • Unit 3: Science Investigation Skills

Assessment of Mandatory Units: 
Unit 1: Principles and Applications of Science is assessed externally in a 1.5 hour (90 mark) examination paper marked by Edexcel. All students will sit this examination in year 12.
Unit 2: Internal assessment of externally set practical activities and research based on vocational settings.
Unit 3: Is assessed via a practical examination. All students will sit this examination in year 13.

Internally assessed additional unit:
Unit 8: Physiology of Human Body Systems

Assessment: Externally assessed units 1 and 3 contribute 25% and 33% respectively towards the final grade with the internally assessed unit 2 and the optional unit contributing 25% and 17% respectively. It is expected that students attend an externally delivered field studies course to compliment the development of a field practical skills and analysis techniques.

Advanced (AS and A2) Level Biology B

Exam Board: Edexcel
Level: 3

Course Overview

Students will study a large range of biology topics that build upon their experiences at GCSE. This course gives learners the opportunity to study biologically important molecules such as carbohydrates, proteins, water and nucleic acids. It serves as an introduction to ecology, emphasising practical techniques and an appreciation of the need to maintain biodiversity. Learners will also gain an understanding of a variety of organisms through microscopy to study the cell structures, investigating responses to stimuli and function, and appreciating interdependence throughout the history of the Earth.

AS Content:

Topic 1- Biological Molecules
Topic 2 - Cells, Viruses and Reproduction of Living Things
Topic 3 - Classification and Biodiversity
Topic 4 - Exchange and Transport

A Level Content

In addition to AS content

Topic 5 - Energy for Biological Processes
Topic 6 - Microbiology and Pathogens
Topic 7 - Modern Genetics
Topic 8 - Origins of Genetic Variation
Topic 9 - Control Systems
Topic 10 - Ecosystems

There are 2 examinations for the AS qualification (Core Cellular Biology and Microbiology, Core Physiology and Ecology), each of the examinations are worth 50% of the AS course.

There are 3 examinations for the A2 qualification (Advanced Biochemistry, Microbiology and Genetics; Advanced Physiology, Evolution and Ecology; and General and Practical Principles in Biology), each of the first two examinations are worth 30% of the course whereas General and Practical Principles in Biology is worth 40% of the course.

Assessment: 100% examination, although students will have to demonstrate their practical abilities and attain a practical skill endorsement.

Key Stage 3-4 Curriculum Content

During Years 7 and 8 pupils follow a modified Activate course, incorporating all areas of the Key Stage 3 National Science Curriculum.  This provides them with a fresh, engaging and complete suite of resources designed to bring Key Stage 3 Science to life.  The Year 9 curriculum bridges the gap between the Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 curriculum.  The course maximises students’ potential and prepares them for their studies and examinations at Key Stage 4. Pupils are assessed several times throughout the topic, commencing with a pretest, extended writing opportunities and at the end of each topic, a formal summative written assessment. Homework and classwork are closely linked to the topics studied, providing the students with Assessment For Learning opportunities, which is closely monitored to provide an accurate record of pupil progress.

Year 7

Term 1

  • Introduction to Science and Safety in the Laboratory

  • Working Scientifically 

  • The Particle Model

Term 2

  • Atoms, Elements and Compounds

  • Cells

Term 3

  • Forces and Motion

Term 4

  • Waves

Term 5

  • Chemical Reactions

Term 6

  • Reproduction and Genetics

  • Ecosystems

Year 8

Term 1

  • Working Scientifically 

  • The Periodic Table

Term 2

  • Energy

  • Structure and Function

Term 3

  • Separation Techniques

Term 4

  • Electricity and Magnetism

  • Living Processes

Term 5

  • Living Processes

  • Earth and Atmosphere

Term 6

  • Evolution

  • Space

Year 9

In year 9 students begin to bridge the gap between Key Stage 3 and 4, developing further and deeper knowledge of the key fundamental scientific concepts studied in Year 7 and Year 8.  

Term 1

  • Cell Level Systems

  • Particles 

Term 2

  • Matter

  • Elements, Compounds and Mixtures

Term 3

  • Forces

Term 4

  • Scaling Up

Term 5

  • Community Level Systems

Term 6

  • Predicting and Identifying Reactions and Products

  • Scientific Investigation Skills

Year 10

Term 1

  • B3: Organism Level Systems

  • C3: Chemical Reactions

  • P3: Electricity and Magnetism


Term 2

  • B5: Genetics and Evolution

Term 3

  • P4: Waves and Radiation

  • C5: Monitoring and Controlling Chemical Reactions

Term 4

  • P5: Energy

Term 5

  • Revision: Units 1-3

  • Revision: Units 4-5

Term 6

  • Revision: Units 1 – 3

  • Revision: Units 4 – 5

  • Begin Year 11 Topics

Year 11

Term 1

  • B6: Global Challenges

  • C6: Global Challenges

Term 2

  • Revision for Biology Chemistry and Physics (1/2/3)


  • P6: Global Challenges

Term 3

  • Revision B1, B2, B3,

  • Revision C1, C2, C3

Term 4

  • Revision of P1, P2, P3

  • Revision of B4

  • Revision of C4

  • Revision of P4

Term 5

  • Examination Preparation and Revision of B5 and B6

  • Examination Preparation and Revision of C5 and C6

  • Examination Preparation and Revision of P5 and P6

Term 6

  • Revision of topics prior to GCSE examinations.


Key Stage 5 Curriculum Content

Year 12

Term 1 and 2

  • Unit 1: Principles and Applications of Science I

Term 3, 4 and 5

  • Unit 3: Science Investigation Skills

Term 6

  • Unit 2: Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques

Year 13

Term 1, 2 and 3

  • Unit 2: Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques

Term 4 and 5

  • Unit 8: Physiology of Human Body Systems

Term 6

  • Revision for re-sit of Unit 1 and Unit 3 examinations


Useful Information

Out of School Learning (OSL) and Extra-Curricular Activities

OSL for Year 11 is held on Tuesday after school (3pm-4pm).

Suggested Revision Guides and Books

For Year 7 and 8, the following guide is recommended:

CGP KS3 Science Complete Study & Practice – Available from ParentPay for £3

For Years 9-11, the following revision guides and workbooks are recommended:

CGP GCSE Combined Science For OCR Gateway (Grade 9-1) Revision Guide: Foundation/Higher – Available from ParentPay for £6

CGP GCSE Combined Science For OCR Gateway (Grade 9-1) Exam Practice Workbook: Foundation/Higher – Available from ParentPay for £6