Science Curriculum Intent

Science provides us with the ability to make sense of all that surrounds us, preparing us for life beyond the classroom. Studying science allows us to develop our thinking skills, improves our ability to solve problems and can opens doors to many other disciplines. At Hebburn Comprehensive, our science curriculum covers the three fundamental discipline – Biology, Chemistry and Physics, giving our pupils the skills and knowledge to understand the world around them.

Key Stage 3 

At KS3 we follow the National Curriculum, drawing on the experience of our department and resources from the wider teaching community to develop a bespoke Scheme of Learning tailored to meet the needs of our young scientists. The course is designed to ignite enthusiasm, create awe and wonder, and build solid foundations to allow a seamless transition into the GCSE course.

Key Stage 4 

Promoting enthusiasm and engagement regardless of the route post 16, is a priority for us in science. We want to encourage our future doctors and engineers are much as we want to instil a lifelong interest in the world around for our pupils who chose a different path when they leave us.  

At KS4 we follow the Edexcel specifications Edexcel GCSE Sciences (2016) | Pearson qualifications 

Set 1 & 2 study GCSE double award (higher tier) with the opportunity for many of them to move on to the GCSE triple award (GCSE Biology – 1BI0, GCSE Chemistry – 1CH0 and GCSE Physics – 1PH0) in the summer of year 10. 

Set 3 – 7 study GCSE double award (GCSE Combined Science – 1SC0) with some pupils in set 7 following the Entry Level Certificate (NSC0) alongside the GCSE.  

Both the double and the single award routes allow pupils to develop their scientific understanding within each specialism, focusing on working scientifically, developing their maths skills and provides many opportunities to work practically.  

Year 7

(Modules, Topics)

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Teacher 1 Teacher 2 Teacher 1 Teacher 2 Teacher 1 Teacher 2

Introduction to Science

In this unit, pupils will build the foundations for working scientifically all set within the real-life context of working as CSI officers. They will be introduced to a range of scientific equipment, learning how to use these safely and how to draw them. Pupils look at each aspect of planning and carrying out a scientific investigation with plenty of opportunities to practise these new skills. Pupils will analyse the data they collect and draw conclusions from their results. Finally securing their Bunsen burner licence as evidence they can carry out practical work in science but safely and effectively.

 

Forces

In this unit we learn what types of forces are out there in the world, such as weight and air resistance. We learn how to measure forces through carrying out experiments. We learn how to represent forces using arrows and diagrams.

 

Space

Space the final frontier…these are the voyages through lessons where we learn about gravity, mass and weight. Our brave mission to seek out knowledge about the Sun and other stars. We explore ideas about our solar system to seek out new understanding. We boldly go forward beyond our galaxy into the universe where no student has been before…

 

Density & pressure

In this unit we consider how solids, liquids and gases are all made from particles, and how the arrangement of those particles affects their properties and how they behave. We carry out experiments to calculate the density of regular and irregular shaped objects…Eureka!! We also consider the concept of pressure in solids and gases and the factors affecting it.

 

Complete separating techniques

Is pure orange juice really pure? In this unit, we look at how we can separate mixtures depending upon their composition. We use a range of practical skills including filtration, crystallisation, distillation, and chromatography to find out if a substance is pure or if it is a mixture. We apply our knowledge to explain real-life applications of these techniques, ranging from how the food standards agency tested burgers to see if they really are beef to how Bear Grylls managed to have fresh water to drink when he was isolated on a remote island.

 

Complete Movement & transport

Why do we need a skeleton? How do we move? How do we move things around our body?  This unit is all about answering those questions.  Students will study the skeleton, our joints, and our muscles, learning about how they work together to allow us to move the way we do.  Students then move on to looking at the circulatory system, the heart, blood vessels and blood.  A really enjoyable unit that students can relate to easily.

 

 

Particles

What ‘stuff’ is made of? and do tiny bits of matter really make up everything in the universe? In this unit, we look at how particles behave and how this affects the properties that materials have. Because the particles are so small, we are introduced to the idea of modelling in this unit and how scientists use models to explain phenomena too small to observe. We also look at how particles move by diffusion and how the particles in gases can exert pressure.

 

Cells

Cells are the building blocks of life.  In this unit, we look at what defines a living thing.

Students start by being able to classify living organisms before moving on to what makes up a cell.  Students then develop their practical skills by learning how to use a microscope and make their own slides to view cells. A look at specialised cells and unicellular organisms finally leads to a look at the make-up of multicellular organisms.

Separating techniques

Is pure orange juice really pure? In this unit, we look at how we can separate mixtures depending upon their composition. We use a range of practical skills including filtration, crystallisation, distillation, and chromatography to find out if a substance is pure or if it is a mixture. We apply our knowledge to explain real-life applications of these techniques, ranging from how the food standards agency tested burgers to see if they really are beef, to how Bear Grylls managed to have fresh water to drink when he was isolated on a remote island.

 

 

Movement & transport

Why do we need a skeleton? How do we move? How do we move things around our body?  This unit is all about answering those questions.  Students will study the skeleton, our joints, and our muscles, learning about how they work together to allow us to move the way we do.  Students then move on to looking at the circulatory system, the heart, blood vessels and blood.  A really enjoyable unit that students can relate to easily.

Reproduction

Starting with life cycles, students will look at how we develop from children to adults in this unit.

Students consider why we need to reproduce, as well as how we are adapted to do so.  Lessons on puberty allow students to see how their body will develop, including the development of reproductive organs and the menstrual cycle.  The unit concludes with lessons pregnancy and birth.

Light & Sound

Light and sound affect our lives in so many ways. In this unit, we take the time to consider what light and sound are and how we represent them. The similarities they share, and the differences between them, investigated through the help of demonstrations and experiments.

 

British Red Cross First Aid

Pupils follow the course linked below to gain a first aid certificate:

British Red Cross teaching resources: first aid teaching

 

British Red Cross First Aid

Pupils follow the course linked below to gain a first aid certificate:

British Red Cross teaching resources: first aid teaching

 

Scientific literacy

Pupils’ complete activities to promote mastery of the new vocabulary introduced in year 7 and the vocabulary they used in Key Stage 2. This will support them as they progress through Key Stage Three and beyond.

Year 8

(Modules, Topics)

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

Introduction to Science

In this unit, pupils will build the foundations for working scientifically all set within the real-life context of working as CSI officers. They will be introduced to a range of scientific equipment, learning how to use these safely and how to draw them. Pupils look at each aspect of planning and carrying out a scientific investigation with plenty of opportunities to practise these new skills. Pupils will analyse the data they collect and draw conclusions from their results. Finally securing their Bunsen burner licence as evidence they can carry out practical work in science but safely and effectively.

 

 

 

 

Simple circuits

What would modern life be like without electricity? In this unit we delve deeper into our understanding of electricity to explore more about current and voltage. How current and voltage behave in series and parallel circuits is explored through experimentation where we discover how to measure them. Learning is fun. Resistance is futile…

 

Acids & alkalis

Acids are dangerous! Or are they? and what about alkalis? In this unit, we test everyday acids and alkalis to answer these questions. We look at the hazards associated with different types of acids and alkalis and practise using them safely to carry out neutralisation reactions, writing word and symbols equations. We look at how neutralisation is used in farming and to treat the effects of acid rain.

 

 

 

Heating & cooling

Is it hot in here, or is it just me? In this unit we discuss what heat is and how it travels in solids, liquids and gases by conduction, convection and radiation. We consider kinetic theory to expand our understanding of these concepts on a particle level using some great demonstrations. As usual, these concepts are related to everyday occurrences of heat transfer so students can relate this new knowledge to what they already know about the world.

 

Atoms, elements and compound

In this unit, pupils will look at how the atomic model was developed and how this model and simple particle models can be used to represent elements, mixtures and compounds. Pupils will begin to use the periodic table and understand why chemical symbols and formula are so important for scientists when communicating internationally. Pupils will carry out practical work to make their own compounds and start to write word and symbol equations for a range of reactions focusing on how scientists correctly name compounds. Pupils will look at how chemists use these same techniques when developing formulations in any new chemicals including medications, cosmetics, fuels, dyes and paints, even the latest trendy pop!

 

Light & sound

Light and sound affect our lives in so many ways. In this unit, we take the time to consider what light and sound are and how we represent them. The similarities they share, and the differences between them, investigated through the help of demonstrations and experiments.

 

Movement & transport

Why do we need a skeleton? How do we move? How do we move things around our body?  This unit is all about answering those questions.  Students will study the skeleton, our joints, and our muscles, learning about how they work together to allow us to move the way we do.  Students then move on to looking at the circulatory system, the heart, blood vessels and blood.  A really enjoyable unit that students can relate to easily.

 

Gas exchange and respiration

Breathe in… and breathe out. How do we do this and why do we do this?

In this unit students will look at the differences between aerobic and anaerobic respiration, what happens when we don’t get enough oxygen and how we can use anaerobic respiration to our advantage, with fermentation.

Students then move on to look at our respiratory system, the organs involved and how our lungs are adapted to gas exchange, including the composition of our air.

The unit ends with a look at breathing problems before culminating in an assessment drawing all of this information together.

Earth’s structure and rocks

Every wondered what is going on under your feet? What is it really like at the centre of the Earth? In this unit, pupils will look at the layers that make up the Earth that we live on, and we review the idea of states of matter and be surprised by the arrangement of particles in the Earth’s core.  We will move on to look at weathering and erosion and how the different types of rock change over time – the rock cycle…cue the song! We Will Rock You (Rock Cycle) – YouTube

Density & pressure

In this unit we consider how solids, liquids and gases are all made from particles, and how the arrangement of those particles affects their properties and how they behave. We carry out experiments to calculate the density of regular and irregular shaped objects…Eureka!! We also consider the concept of pressure in solids and gases and the factors affecting it.

 

Year 9

(Modules, Topics)

Term 1 Term 2

Term 3

Health & disease

Understanding health and disease has never been more important than it is now.  This unit allows students to study the causes of disease and how they can be treated.  Students start off by looking at different types of pathogens, the types of diseases they can cause and how we can treat them.  Students then use this knowledge to help solve a health emergency… ‘What has caused the mystery illness?’

 

 

Digestion & enzymes

What would happen if we only ate chicken nuggets and nothing else? Do we really need to eat fruit and vegetables?  This unit always leads to fantastic discussion.

Students start off by learning about a balanced diet, and why we need a variety of nutrients in our body.  We then look at what happens if we have too little or too much of a particular nutrient.

Students then move on to the organs involved in the digestive system, how they work and more interestingly… how we make poo!

After studying enzymes and how we absorb our food, students look at their role in food production and washing powders, ending a fascinating unit.

 

The atmosphere & climate change

One of the biggest issues society faces is climate change! In this topic we will look at our atmosphere and how the activities carried out by humans is causing irreversible damage. We will look at data from around the world and determine the types of activities creating the most negative impact. Can the young scientists of Hebburn be the ones who bring about the changes needed to save humanity? I know we will certainly try!

 

 

Acids & alkalis

Acids are dangerous! Or are they? and what about alkalis? In this unit, we test everyday acids and alkalis to answer these questions. We look at the hazards associated with different types of acids and alkalis and practise using them safely to carry out neutralisation reactions, writing word and symbols equations. We look at how neutralisation is used in farming and to treat the effects of acid rain.

 

Types of reaction

Billions of chemical reactions happen every day, some even inside our own bodies! In this topic, we will revise some of the reactions we have observed in previous topics and introduce some new ones – some that are even explosive! We develop further our skills in writing word and symbols equations and think about why the mass of reactants at the start of a reaction are always the same as the mass at the end – as long as nothing can escape!

 

Chemical energy & energy stores/transfer

In this unit we will focus firstly on chemical energy and how this energy transfers during chemical reactions. We then cover the different types of energy that exist, the devices we use to convert energy from one type to another, and the power of a device. This leads on to understanding how the power of a device affects the cost of domestic fuels bills, and the types of fuels and energy resources we use in our homes and power stations.

 

Moving by force

Everybody is in a big rush these days. Well, you’ll certainly be able to calculate the speed, velocity and acceleration of those around you by the time you’ve finished learning this unit, where we cover all of the above. It’s the students themselves who are in a hurry, to learn, when they collect their own data though experiments in the yard so they can plot their own distance-time graphs, bringing all these physics concepts to life.

 

Magnets & electromagnets

Students are attracted by the learning to be had in this unit where north and south poles are explained and understood. Learning becomes electric when the concept of electromagnetism and its uses are explored for themselves through experiments that surely won’t repel them away. We’ll be using compasses to find our way through this part of the syllabus.

 

Ecology

Climate change and what we can do to help our planet is everyone’s responsibility.  This unit will help educate students on the importance of looking after our environment.

The unit starts by looking at plants and photosynthesis, identifying the products and reactants, as well as the limiting factors.

Students then take a closer look at the leaves of these plants, seeing where this all takes place, before moving on to seeing how these plants reproduce.

The unit then looks at the interdependence of organisms in an ecosystem, including food webs and insect pollinated crops, the importance of plant reproduction through insect pollination and their importance in human food security.

The unit culminates with how organisms affect, and are affected by, their environment, including the accumulation of toxic materials.

Genetics & evolution

Why do we look like our parents?  Why are we not exactly the same as our siblings? Are we really related to monkeys?

This fascinating unit looks at answering these questions by starting to look at variation before moving on to look at genetic material and how this information is passed on.

Once students have an understanding of inheritance, we then move on to how animals have evolved, taking a trip on HMS Beagle to the Galapagos Islands looking at the finches there.

Students finish off by looking at the importance of the use of gene banks in maintaining biodiversity.

 

Year 10

(Modules, Topics) 

Term 1

Edexcel GCSE Combined Science

10He/Br/Ag/Cu/Fe/Pb/Na:

Biology: 

SB1 Key concepts in Biology 

Chemistry: 

SC1 States 

SC2 Mixtures 

SC5-7 Bonding  

Physics: 

SP1 Motion 

SP2 Motion and forces 

SP4 Waves (partial) 

ENTRY ASSESSMENT 

Term 2

Edexcel GCSE Combined Science

10He/Br/Ag/Cu/Fe/Pb/Na:

Biology: 

SB2 Cells and control 

SB3 Genetics 

Chemistry: 

SC8 Acids and alkalis 

SC9 Maths 

SC10 Electrolysis 

Physics: 

SP4 Waves (partial) 

SP5 Light and the Electromagnetic Spectrum 

SP6 Radioactivity 

Term 3

Edexcel GCSE Combined Science

10He/Br/Ag/Cu/Fe/Pb/Na: 

Biology: 

SB4 Natural selection and genetic modification  

SB5 Health, disease and the development of medicine 

Chemistry: 

SC11 Reactivity 

SC12 Equilibrium 

SC13 Transition metals and alloys   

Physics: 

SP8 Energy – Forces doing work 

SP9 Forces and their effects 

SP10 Electricity and circuits 

 

PAPER 1 MOCK 

Year 11
(Modules, Topics)

Term 1

Edexcel GCSE Triple award 11He: 

Biology: 

All paper 1 content from Edexcel missed whilst working on AQA spec. 

SB3 Genetics 

SB4 Natural selection and genetic modification 

Chemistry: 

All paper 1 content from Edexcel missed whilst working on AQA spec. 

SC1/SC2 states and mixtures  

SC8d neutralisation 

SC8g solubility  

SC14d titration 

SC11d LCA / recycling 

SC13b corrosion 

SC13d alloys 

SC12a equilibrium  

Physics: 

Revise SP1-SP6 

SP6 Radioactivity (Triple content) 

PAPER 1 MOCKS 

Term 2

Edexcel GCSE Triple award 11He: 

Biology: 

SB8 Exchange and transport in animals 

SB9 Ecosystems and material cycles 

Chemistry: 

SC18 rates 

SC23/24 alcohol / carboxylic acids / polymers 

SC25/26 chemical analysis / bulk surface properties 

Revision  

Physics: 

SP7 Astronomy (Triple content) 

SP11 Static Electricity 

SP12 Magnetism and the motor effect 

Triple content from various units 

Revision  

PAPER 2 MOCKS  

Term 3

Edexcel GCSE Triple award 11He: 

Biology: 

Revision  

Chemistry: 

Revision  

Physics: 

Revision 

Triple content from various units 

FINAL EXAMS   

Term 1

Edexcel GCSE Combined Science 

11Br/Ag/Cu/Fe/Pb/Na  

Biology: 

All paper 1 content from Edexcel missed whilst working on AQA spec. 

SB3 Genetics 

SB4 Natural selection and genetic modification 

Chemistry: 

All paper 1 content from Edexcel missed whilst working on AQA spec. 

SC1/SC2 states and mixtures  

SC8d neutralisation 

SC8g solubility  

SC11d LCA / recycling 

SC13b corrosion 

SC13d alloys 

SC12a equilibrium  

Physics: 

Revise SP1-SP6 

PAPER 1 MOCKS  

Term 2

Edexcel GCSE Combined Science

11Br/Ag/Cu/Fe/Pb/Na 

Biology: 

SB8 Exchange and transport in animals 

SB9 Ecosystems and material cycles 

Chemistry: 

SC18 rates  

Revision 

Physics: 

SP7 Astronomy (Triple content) 

SP11 Static Electricity 

SP12 Magnetism and the motor effect 

Revision  

PAPER 2 MOCKS  

Term 3

Edexcel GCSE Combined Science

11Br/Ag/Cu/Fe/Pb/Na 

Biology: 

Revision 

Chemistry: 

Revision  

Physics: 

Revision  

FINAL EXAMS   

We have developed our assessment model to ensure we can address gaps in learning and identify misconceptions in a timely fashion. Each unit of work has formative assessment built into every lesson allowing pupils to reflect on their learning and to develop their understanding. A levelled written task and a summative end of topic test is used to inform future planning and to tailor a programme of ‘feedforward’ allowing pupils to address areas of weakness.  

Key Stage 3

In Y7 pupils arrive with varying background experiences in science. Therefore, we issue all pupils with a baseline data assessment within the first two weeks. The data from this allows us to plan our curriculum to ensure that by the end of Y7, all pupils have the skills and the knowledge to progress.  

Each term our pupils in key stage 3 will complete a summative assessment in each topic they study (3 or 4 each term). At the end of the academic year, pupils sit a formal assessment as a review of the entire year. 

Key Stage 4

As pupils move through the GCSE course, they complete at least 1 summative assessment in each topic they study, these topics vary in length so pupils may be assessed several times in a larger topic.  

At the end of year 10, pupils will sit a mock exam to assess progress across paper 1. This graded in line with the national agreed boundaries from Edexcel. 

In year 11, pupils will sit a further paper 1 mock exam in November and a paper 2 mock exam in February. These are again graded in line with the nationally agreed boundaries from Edexcel. 

Biology  

Biologists are scientists who study living organisms. With degree-level or equivalent qualifications, biologists can work in many fields, including the biotechnology industry, food technology, medical research, education, agriculture, and conservation. There are also openings for laboratory assistants and technicians. 

Biologists can work in the pharmaceutical industry developing and testing new drugs. Biologists investigate the effects of a disease on the body and how the body responds.  

Breweries, dairies, large food-processing and retailing firms all recruit biologists at both technician and graduate level. Food processing has become more and more complex, and new techniques are being developed all the time. Biologists can work in agrochemical and fertiliser industry finding ways to protect crops from pests and disease, and to improve yields. Government-funded research establishments employ biologists at all levels. For example, Defra (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), the Food Standards Agency, Forensic Science Service and Forest Research, part of the Forestry Commission.
 

Environmental consultancy offers graduates of biological sciences the opportunity to work for clients on issues such as water pollution, waste management, ecological management, land contamination and emission monitoring 

The NHS offer many opportunities for biologists include working in a hospital medical laboratory in an area such as: 

  • immunology – studying the defence mechanisms of the body 
  • histopathology – the study of tissue samples 
  • haematology – the study of blood. 

A biological scientist needs: 

  • a high standard of numeracy and problem-solving skills 
  • good powers of observation 
  • a careful approach to practical work and accuracy when recording/reading results 
  • patience and persistence 
  • curiosity and an interest in living things! 

Chemistry 

Chemistry is about what substances are made of, how they interact and how they affect our lives. Chemists can work in many areas – industry, the community, medicine, or education. Most opportunities require degree-level qualifications, but it is possible to enter some career areas with lower-level qualifications. 

The results of work done by chemists are all around us. Detergents, plastics, packaging, the materials our clothes are made of, petrol, paints… these are just a few examples of the everyday products we use without giving much thought for the chemists involved in their development. Chemists also work on environmental issues and are at the forefront of creating new medicines. As scientific knowledge is constantly changing, chemists must keep up to date through continuing professional development.

Chemistry is a challenging and exciting career for those who: 

  • can work in a team 
  • can communicate well with people from a range of professional backgrounds 
  • think logically 
  • are creative 
  • have analytical skills 
  • are persistent and can pay attention to detail. 

Physics  

An understanding of physics helps us to work out how and why things behave as they do and is vital to developments in the modern world. Most opportunities require study to degree level, or beyond, but there are some technician-level jobs for those with qualifications at a lower level. 

From space science to nanophysics, from medical treatments to mobile phones, physics makes an impact on virtually every area of our lives. Studying physics offers a challenging but rewarding route to understanding the universe.

When looking at problems or new developments, physicists normally work closely with scientists from other disciplines, and with engineers. Physicists may work for very small companies or for large multi-national organisations.

A physicist’s work may involve: 

  • developing theories 
  • devising models and simulations 
  • organising and conducting tests and experiments 
  • writing up observations and findings in reports or scientific papers 
  • presenting findings at meetings and conferences.