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Science GCSE

Subject: Science

At Paddington, our science curriculum is designed to enable students to make sense of the changing world around them. We develop students’ scientific understanding so they can be scientifically informed and, if they wish, pursue careers in science, or in careers that require some scientific understanding. To be scientifically informed requires a broad knowledge of scientific ideas, an appreciation of how experimentation and observation develop this knowledge, and an ability to think rationally and analytically when applying this knowledge to new contexts.

Why is Science important?

  • Science enables students to analyse the world around them as individuals.
  • Science is interesting, stimulating, life relevant, useful, enjoyable, and empowering for people to receive a science education.  
  • Provides problem solving and confidence, with challenging concepts growing in breadth of content and skills.
  • Science is achievable for all to understand complex theories.

What will students learn?

After building secure science knowledge and skills at KS3, students will study science at KS4 on either a Combined Science or Triple Science course.

In year 10, biology content involves cells, transport of substances, organisation of organisms, communicable and non-communicable disease, and bioenergetics. This all links to the KS3 units taught such as Plants in year 9, Digestion in Year 8, and Cells in year 7.

Chemistry knowledge is built on in year 10, by developing knowledge of atomic structure and the periodic table, along with introducing bonding and quantitative chemistry. Reactivity and Energetics from year 9 is built on in Energy Changes and Chemical changes.

In Physics, Energy builds on energy stores from year 7, and Electricity builds on year 8 electricity knowledge. Matter is revisited in more depth and adding in new parts such as specific heat capacity of materials. Radioactivity is taught which requires knowledge of atomic structure from chemistry.

In year 11, Homeostasis, Inheritance and Ecology is taught, which builds on biological processes knowledge from year 9, and ecology from year 8. In chemistry, reactivity from year 9 is built on in Rates of Reaction, and Chemical Analysis is built on from particles in year 7. Organic Chemistry is taught as a new unit, but requires knowledge from year 10 Bonding.

The units Using Resources and Chemistry of the Atmosphere are linked to year 8 Materials of the Earth unit. Forces, Waves and Magnetism all build on year 7 Forces and year 9 Sound Waves units. Throughout KS3 and KS4, working scientifically skills and mathematics skills are revisited and developed.

In KS4 students will study

  • Biology topics 1-7 – Cells, Organisation, Infection, Bioenergetics, Homeostasis, Inheritance, Ecology
  • Chemistry topics 1-10 – Atoms and the Periodic Table, Bonding, Quantitative Chemistry, Chemical Changes, Energy Changes, Rates of Reaction, Organic Chemistry, Chemical Analysis, Chemistry of the Atmosphere, Using Resources
  • Physics topics 1-7 – Energy, Electricity, Matter, Radioactivity, Forces, Waves, Magnetism

How will students receive feedback?

At Paddington, all students will receive regular feedback from formative assessment tasks. Within the curriculum, specific tasks are allocated for feedback. This ensures all students gain regular feedback. Teachers will mark student work and provide targeted feedback that enables students to improve their work and make progress. To support student understanding, teachers plan high-quality re-teach time to prepare students for their feedback. Across each term, students will receive feedback from multiple tasks.

What examinations / assessments do students have at the end of KS4?

Exam board: AQA Trilogy

Combined Science

6 x papers

Biology Paper 1 + Biology Paper 2

Chemistry Paper 1 + Chemistry Paper 2

Physics Paper 1 + Physics Paper 2

All 1 hour 15 minutes

Triple Science

6 x papers

Biology Paper 1 + Biology Paper 2

Chemistry Paper 1 + Chemistry Paper 2

Physics Paper 1 + Physics Paper 2

All 1 hour 45 minutes

What resources can be used to support learning?

  • There are curriculum books for year 10 and year 11. These books contain all the knowledge that will be covered in lessons.
  • Students in KS4 have a carefully selected revision guide that covers the content of the course and provides a set of exam questions.
  • The 100% books contain the knowledge organisers with core knowledge for each cycle. Students can use this to revise key information through self-quizzing.
  • BBC Bitesize has revision resources that support the GCSE Science course.


KS4 Combined Science Overview


KS4 Triple Science Overview


Triple Science GCSE Option Video



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