Science graphic & quote pic

Curriculum Intent Statement

Science education provides the foundations for understanding the world. Science changes our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity. Through science education, students learn to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

Our curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Our schemes of work aim to give students an understanding of the key big ideas in science: the links between structure and function in living organisms, the particle model as the key to understanding the properties and interactions of matter in all its forms, and the resources and means of transfer of energy as key determinants of all of these interactions.
  • Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them. Students are taught about Working Scientifically through a range of practical investigations that are always clearly related to the science content in the programme of study. Students develop key practical skills such as use of microscopes, safe handling of chemicals and basic equipment to carry out chemical reactions and measurements of time, distance and forces in different contexts.
  • Are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. In particular, we teach students to be critical about information and to evaluate strategies and behaviours that could have an impact on the environment. We take opportunities to incorporate topical issues into our teaching; our teaching of sustainability and the environment links directly to our ethos as a Rights Respecting School. We encourage students to have high aspirations and introduce them to the huge range of careers in STEM.

Meet the Team

Science Staff

Science Oct21 Staff Teaching Team
Science Oct21 Staff Teaching Team2

Curriculum Plans


KS3 Science Curriculum Intent

At KS3 we aim to provide students with an understanding of a range of scientific ideas in the subject disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics with a strong focus on developing “Working Scientifically” skills. These skills are always taught through and clearly related to science content relating to the big ideas in science. Examples of these big ideas are the links between structure and function in living organisms, the particulate model as the key to understanding the properties and interactions of matter in all its forms, and the resources and means of transfer of energy as key determinants of all of these interactions.

Pupils are encouraged to relate scientific explanations to phenomena in the world around them and start to use modelling and abstract ideas to develop and evaluate explanations.

Pupils should understand that science is about working objectively, modifying explanations to take account of new evidence and ideas and subjecting results to peer review. Pupils should decide on the appropriate type of scientific enquiry to undertake to answer their own questions and develop a deeper understanding of factors to be taken into account when collecting, recording and processing data. They should evaluate their results and identify further questions arising from them.

‘Working scientifically’ is described separately at the beginning of the programme of study, but must always be taught through and clearly related to substantive science content in the programme of study. Teachers should feel free to choose examples that serve a variety of purposes, from showing how scientific ideas have developed historically to reflecting modern developments in science.

Pupils should develop their use of scientific vocabulary, including the use of scientific nomenclature and units and mathematical representations.

Long Term Plan Science Year 7

Long Term Plan Science Year 8

Long Term Plan Science Year 9


Students will study Edexcel GCSE Combined Science over the course of Years 10 and 11, unless they have chosen to do Separate Sciences. Combined Science is a mixture of Biology, Chemistry and Physics and will provide students with two GCSE grades. We have already started teaching these materials to students in Year 9. The examinations are all terminal and as such will be taken at the end of Year 11, either at foundation or higher tier. There is no coursework element and the final grades will be based only on the six examination results.

Content for Combined Science

KS4 Combined Science course content

Combined Science – Assessment Schedule

Biology: Paper 1
1 hour 10 mins60 marks16.67%
Chemistry: Paper 1
1 hour 10 mins60 marks16.67%
Physics: Paper 1
1 hour 10 mins60 marks16.67%
Biology: Paper 2
1 hour 10 mins60 marks16.67%
Chemistry: Paper 2
1 hour 10 mins60 marks16.67%
Physics: Paper 2
1 hour 10 mins60 marks16.67%

Also called “Triple Science”. This path would suit students who are seriously considering the study of one or more sciences at Post 16.

This course will allow students to gain three separate GCSE grades, one each in Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Each subject will be taught separately by a specialist teacher and the grades obtained will reflect attainment in that subject area. The separate sciences course offers the best route to advanced level study in science as it takes students up to AS level over the two years. Each grade will be obtained by terminal examination only at the end of Year 11. We have already started teaching some of the combined science cross-over content for this in January Year 9.

Content for Separate Sciences

KS4 Separate Science course content
Separate Sciences – Assessment Schedule

CSE Biology GCSE Chemistry GCSE Physics
Paper 1:
1hr 45mins100 marks50%
Paper 2:
1hr 45mins100 marks50%
Paper 1:
1hr 45mins100 marks50%
Paper 2:
1hr 45mins100 marks50%
Paper 1:
1hr 45mins100 marks50%
Paper 2:
1hr 45mins100 marks50%

BTec Applied Science 

Is this course for me?

Yes, if you are interested in the application of scientific ideas and how Science can be used to solve practical problems in the real world.

What qualifications do I need?

BTEC Level 2 Applied Science at Merit Standard or four GCSE grades (including English and Maths) at grade A*-C / 9-4.

What does the course involve?

Year 12: BTEC Level 3 Certificate

Unit 1:Principles and Applications of Science

Unit 2: Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques

Year 13: BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate

Unit 3: Science Investigation Skills.

Plus ONE optional unit, chosen by the teachers, from:Physiology of Human Body Systems, Human Regulation and Reproduction, Biological Molecules and Metabolic Pathways, Genetics and Genetic Engineering, Diseases and Infections, Applications of Inorganic Chemistry, Applications of Organic Chemistry, Electrical Circuits and their Application.

How will my work be assessed?

All work is graded as pass, merit or distinction which correspond to A Level grades E, C and A respectively.

Year 12

Unit 1 is externally assessed by an examination which will include multiple-choice, calculations, short-answer, and extended open-response questions. This will count towards just over half of the marks. You must achieve at least a pass in this exam in order to complete the course. Unit 2 is internally assessed via assignments (projects, reports, posters, presentations to the group).

Year 13

Unit 3 is externally assessed by a task-based assessment in which you will demonstrate your skills of carrying out a scientific practical investigation to collect and record data. The optional unit is internally assessed via assignments.

What can I do afterwards?

BTEC HNC or HND, Foundation Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, NVQ or Science based employment such as laboratory technician.



Is this course for me?

Yes, if you:

• Like a challenge

• Are prepared to meet deadlines

• Have a genuine interest in Biology

• Are motivated to study in your own time

What qualifications do I need?

You need to have a GCSE grade 6 in Core and Additional Science, or a grade 6 in Biology GCSE. As well as grade 6 minimum in Maths and grade 5 in English.

What does the course involve?

Year 12

Module 1: Foundations in Biology Cell structure, cell division, cell diversity and organisation. Biological molecules.

Module 2: Exchange and Transport Exchange surfaces, transport in plants and animals.

Module 3: Biodiversity, Evolution and Disease Classification, evolution and biodiversity. Diseases and the immune system.

Year 13

Module 4: Communication, Homeostasis and Energy Nerves and hormones, excretion, photosynthesis and respiration.

Module 5: Genetics, Evolution and Ecosystems Cells, variation and meiosis; biotechnology and the science of cloning and genomics; ecosystems and sustainability.

How will my work be assessed?

There will be three final examinations at the end of Year 13.

What can I do afterwards?

This course can lead on to further studies in Biological Sciences, Nursing, Physiotherapy and Medicine. It will give a good grounding for any further work in Science.





You need to have a GCSE grade 6 in Combined Science, or a grade 6 in Chemistry GCSE as well as grade 5 minimum in Maths and English.


The course consists of six modules combined with a Practical Endorsement.

Module 1: Development of Practical Skills

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


The topics studied are widely inter-linked and the developing patterns are a distinguishing feature of this subject. Practical work is used throughout the course to illustrate concepts and to develop technical and investigative skills.





There will be three written papers at the end of Year 13:

  • Paper 1 assesses the content from Modules 1, 2, 3 and 5
  • Paper 2 assesses the content from Modules 1, 2, 4 and 6
  • Paper 3 assesses the content from Modules 1 to 6.


Studying chemistry opens up many career opportunities: chemistry, biology, physics, medicine, engineering, dentistry, forestry, veterinary science, agricultural science, biochemistry, biotechnology, food science, pathology. If you want any science-based career, then Chemistry keeps your options open.  Potential employers value the analytical and conceptual skills developed during the study of Chemistry. Such skills, coupled with the ability to work in a meticulous and accurate manner, enable Chemistry students to pursue careers within, or outside, the vast area of Science.

Is this course for me?

Yes if you tick all of these boxes:

• like problem solving

• have good mathematical skills

• enjoy finding out why things are the way they are

• are willing to work hard and complete all class-based and home-based tasks

• are self-motivated

• enjoy STEM (Science, Technology, Maths, Engineering)

• like a challenge

What qualifications do I need?

• Level 6 in GCSE Core and Additional Science


• Level 6 in Physics GCSE/iGCSE/Certificate


• Level 6 in GCSE Maths

• Level 6 in GCSE English

What does the course involve?

The Y12 course is very interesting, covering many of the basics about the rules of our universe. The Y13 topics are even more rewarding, covering some even more ‘glamorous’ areas of Physics and introducing more of the applications of Physics.

In Year 12 you will study:

• Measurements and their errors

• Particles and radiation

• Waves

• Mechanics and materials

• Electricity

In Year 13 you will study:

• Further mechanics and thermal physics

• Fields and their consequences

• Nuclear physics

Plus one of the following optional topics to be decided by teachers and students:

• Astrophysics

• Medical physics

• Engineering physics

• Turning points in physics

• Electronics

How will my work be assessed?

You will be given weekly homework that uses questions related to the work you have done in lessons. These are sometimes extended, or repeated practice, or past-paper exam questions. You will also keep a logbook of the six ‘Required Practicals’. These will be tested in Paper 2 (though there is no official ‘coursework’, 15-30% of this paper will relate to the Required Practicals) Examinations Full A level 3 x 2 hour papers, no coursework tasks or controlled assessments.

What can I do afterwards?

Physics is the route to so many careers, from predicting climate change to designing computer games. Just a few of the possible career paths include Pyrotechnician, Particle Physicist, Astrophysicist, Surgeon, Aeronautical Engineer, Sound Engineer, Clinical Scientist, Solar Energy Physicist, Accountancy and Teaching, in fact any role that requires a high degree of numeracy and/or a deeper understanding of the laws of Physics. More career ideas at


Teaching, Learning & Assessment

Our curriculum aims to give our students a broad experience of the Sciences in Years 7 to 9 and then build on this in Years 10 and 11 before specialising in Years 12 and 13.

In Science, we are committed to:

Variety in teaching and learning strategies. Science lessons take many forms, from the formal and didactic, to pupil centred investigation, and we aim to enrich the learning experience by using as wide a range as possible.

Science - physics lesson 3 Science - physics lesson 2

Participative learning. Practical work is at the heart of science teaching and we are working to further expand our use of ICT. Research and library work is included both in lessons and as homework.

Science - bunsen burners 2 Science - bunsen burners

Differentiation. Matching work to pupil’s ability is an essential part of teaching and has always taken place through the response of teachers to individuals. It is also a central part of lesson planning. The new KS3 scheme of work has differentiated outcomes and allows all students to make progress. Teachers will work within this as appropriate for the students in each class.  Students are encouraged to keep track of their progress through target setting and regular feedback from assessment tasks.

Science - plants practical Science - physics lesson


The Science curriculum is complemented with a range of clubs, learning events, trips and visits.

Usually, our enrichment activities include:

Year 7 – throughout the year, Science Club runs at lunchtime.

Year 8 – each year Clyst Vale is invited to host STEM events, where students are challenged to draw on both knowledge and ingenuity to undertake a practical scientific project – for example, building wind turbines.

Year 9 – In the summer term, students have the opportunity to visit Exeter University’s Big Bang Fair.

Year 10 – students benefit from our links with both Exeter and Plymouth University to access Exeter Medical School events and Plymouth’s Outreach Roadshow.

Year 12/13 – in previous years, we have been very excited to take Physics A-level students to experience the world of cutting-edge scientific research, and consider life’s ‘big questions’ at CERN in Switzerland.  This is a visit we definitely hope to repeat in the future!


Plasma image