Science Curriculum Intent

Our intent at Carterton Community College is to plan and teach an inspiring and memorable science curriculum that inducts students into “powerful knowledge”: the knowledge and skills that allow access to humanity’s most rewarding endeavours. We seek to implement this by delivering great lessons informed by cognitive science: great explanations, core knowledge and hinterland illustrations, frequent low-stakes tests and dual coding, as well as explicitly teaching students how to revise independently, and providing them with the resources and accountability to engage in regular and effective revision as home learning.

Curriculum Aims – the purpose of our science curriculum is to:

  • systematically increase the amount of knowledge and understanding that students have of natural phenomena.
  • have explanatory power in relation to a large number of objects, events and phenomena that are encountered by students in their lives during and after their school years.
  • provide a basis for understanding issues involved in making decisions that affect their own and others’ health and wellbeing, the environment and their use of energy.
  • provide enjoyment and satisfaction in being able to answer or find answers to the kinds of questions that people ask about themselves and the natural world.
  • have cultural significance – for instance in affecting views of the human condition – reflecting achievements in the history of science, the inspiration from the study of nature and the impacts of human activity on the environment.
  • be able to communicate their understanding of science effectively.
  • become strong readers in science, so they can access texts outside of the curriculum.
  • Have the choice of studying science beyond GCSE and Level 3 qualifications.

Curriculum Overview 

Key Stage 3

Students in key stage 3 science study a range of topics covering Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students begin year 7 by studying topics that introduce them to key concepts in each area of science, which they then revisit throughout all key stages, enabling them to build and strengthen schemas based on prior knowledge and create links within topics and between topics. Science topics in each year of study are sequenced in a way that allows each new topic to use the knowledge previously taught in other topics and/or Key Stage, to be applied in new contexts and to new concepts. Students are also taught a range of practical skills throughout each topic, which build in complexity as students move through each Key Stage.

Key Stage 4

The curriculum at Key Stage 4 continues to build on the knowledge and skills students have gained throughout their Key stage 3 learning. The science curriculum is spiralled so that topics are covered again in greater depth and complexity, making synoptic links with more opportunity to apply concepts to new areas and scientific ideas. 

AQA GCSE Combined Science

AQA GCSE Separate Sciences, Biology, Chemistry and Physics

At Key Stage 4 all students study Biology, Chemistry and Physics specific topics on all routes at GCSE. Students following the separate science GCSE route will cover additional extension content in each topic.

Topics covered in each term in each year

  Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
Yr7 Science Skills

Cells tissues and organs


Particles, atoms, elements and compounds


Mixtures and Separation Electricity



Ecosystems  Forces and Motion

Acids and Alkalis 

Yr8 Chemical Reactions Breathing, respiration,  muscles and bones


Waves Energy Food and Nutrition Forces

Earth, Atmosphere and Space

Yr9 Forces and Motion

Genetic and Evolution


Making Materials

Forces and Motion


Force fields and electromagnets 

Plant Growth

KS3 review and intervention programme

End of KS3 Assessments

GCSE transition programme GCSE combined science or separate science routes       


Yr10 Combined States of MatterCells in animals and Plants Atomic Structure


Systems in the human body

Radiation and Risk

Preventing, Curing and treating disease

Lifestyle and Health Inheritance, Variation and Evolution Review of Ecosystems and Earth’s atmosphere term 6 year 9 topics

Review year 10 content and mocks

Yr10 separate Cell Biology

Particle model of matter

Atomic Structure and the periodic table


Atomic structure and radioactivity

Bonding, Structure and Properties

Infection and response


Quantitative Chemistry

Infection and response


Chemical Changes


Magnetism and Electromagnetism

Energy changes

Homeostasis and response

Magnetism and Electromagnetism

Chemical analysis

Yr11 Forces and energy changes

Periodic table

Chemical quantities

Structure and Bonding

Forces and Motion

Acid and Alkalis

Atoms and Ions

Electricity and Magnetism

Rate and extent of chemical change

Carbon Chemistry

Resources and Materials of the Earth

Revision and Exams Exams

Meeting Individual Needs

Considerable efforts are made to enable the meeting of individual educational needs. In particular, through the use of:

  • text books 
  • differentiated worksheets and activities
  • use of chrome books
  • use of a range of teaching and learning strategies

Developing students’ literacy

Scientific vocabulary for each topic is taught explicitly. Students are encouraged to use the words in spoken communication and use them in their written work. 

Developing students’ numeracy 

Maths skills for science are extremely important and are taught at every opportunity throughout all key stages and science specialisms.

Numeracy skills are developed throughout all topics at all Key Stages. This includes the use of units, conversion of units, equation use and practice and the use of standard form. Students are also taught graph drawing and interpretation skills in addition to how to use data and statistics in science.

Curriculum Resources

The science curriculum is fully resourced at all Key Stages, with challenging and comprehensive schemes of work, PowerPoints, work sheets, practical activities, online resources and each year group has access to good quality text books to support in class learning. 

Quality assurance 

The curriculum and resources available for the delivery of the curriculum are reviewed and improved continuously by the science team to ensure the quality of content delivered is of the highest standard and meets the needs of all students. 


The Science Faculty recognises the importance of quality assessment, record keeping and reporting for the following reasons:

  • To inform students about their progress – and how they can develop their knowledge, skills and understanding still further
  • For future planning of the classroom teacher and the subject as a whole
  • To inform parents and guardians of the progress and achievements of their children

Key Tests and Exams

Key Stage 3

  • Formal exams at the end of Years 7, 8 and 9
  • Interim tests at the end of topics

Key Stage 4

  • End of unit tests
  • Past Paper Questions
  • Year 10 Mock Exam
  • Year 11 Mock Exams
  • Final GCSE Exams

Recording of Test Results 

  • Test and exam results (% KS3 and grade KS4 & 5) are centrally recorded by each member of the Faculty staff for Years 7-13 on Integris and central electronic mark book.
  • Individual teachers are encouraged to keep other assessment records for students in their mark books. This could be from regular quizzing and homework.

Standardisation and Moderation of Tests and Exams

  • Examples of each test and exam will be kept at a range of different levels of performance.
  • Tests will be moderated and can be used as a reference tool by teachers when marking papers.
  • Time will be allocated in subject team meetings for moderation across the teaching team following each key set of tests and exams.
  • All tests and exams are marked using a common mark scheme and graded according to a set of grade boundaries.
  • The Year 7-13 internal tests and exams will be based on questions covered in topics throughout the year
  • PPE will use exam board assessments from previous academic years.

School Values 


Students are encouraged to experience and understand life in its fullness to gain a deeper understanding of how the world works from a scientific viewpoint; to experience science through enriching visits to universities, museums, and industry. Students explore the learnings of famous scientists such as Watson and Crick, J.J Thompson, Dimitri Mendeleev, Charles Darwin, and Robert Hooke who all showed perseverance and ambition to achieve in their life work. Career’s education is explicitly referred to throughout the curriculum enhancing student’s knowledge of potential job prospects in their future.


Students are encouraged to understand the world in which they live, in pursuit of learning and make a positive difference for the future. Students are encouraged to strive to do the best they can do in science through independent and collaborative learning. Students take responsibility for their own and other people’s safety during practical work. Students are helped to understand that science has a major effect on the quality of our lives and to consider the benefits of scientific developments and the social responsibility involved in developments in the scientific community.


Students work collectively as a team during practical work; they discuss and debate ideas- focussing on moral and ethical issues surrounding the problems we encounter in the curriculum. Students consider issues faced around the world and how our actions can help collectively to improve the world we live in.


We encourage students to display helpful polite behaviour and good manners to everyone in school by speaking calmly and politely to others. We ask students to listen carefully to and thinking about what others are saying in lessons. Students are taught to articulate their thoughts clearly, in order to enhance their communication skills. Students are taught how to complete practical work safely in the school laboratory; taking care with equipment and helping each other. We teach students to accept personal responsibility for their actions in school and their community and the world we live in and to care for and respect the world we live in.


We encourage students to build independent learning skills in both written and practical work. Students learn it is OK to get answers wrong, and how to improve their answers. Students learn how to formulate correct responses when responding to questions and make improvements to their own work. Homework is an integral to improving independence and all students are set regular homework to support their in school learning.


Students are encouraged to look for solutions, not stopping at the first hurdle, they are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them in all science lessons. This fosters confidence and builds self-esteem and encourages students to take risks and become lifelong learners. These skills can be taken forward into all aspects of life.  


British Values in Science  

Science is a multi-discipline subject incorporating biology; chemistry and physics. This allows plenty of opportunity to address British Values in a diverse range of challenging and stimulating environment. Pupils are continually encouraged to show the British values of mutual respect, individual liberty, rule of Law and democracy within certain topics/units. 

More generally, British values are incorporated into every lesson through activities and learning experiences: 

  • Group work encourages students to work as part of a team and helps them understand how different people solve problems in various ways. Working together promotes the British values of mutual respect and support for one another.  
  • Students are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them in all science lessons. This fosters confidence and builds self-esteem and encourages students to take risks and become lifelong learners. These skills can be taken forward into all aspects of life.  
  • Tolerance and resilience are promoted as students are encouraged to persevere, take risks, improve their work and use self and peer assessment extensively.  

Topics incorporating British Values  



Particle Theory; Reproduction and Genetics; Health & Lifestyle; Adaptation & Inheritance; Periodic Table; materials; Climate change; Periodic table.


Preventing and treating disease; Non-communicable Diseases; Radioactivity; Variation & Evolution; Genetics & Inheritance; biodiversity & ecosystems 

Rule of Law: 


Reproduction and genetics; Conservation of mass; Forces; Health & Lifestyle; Climate change; Energy resources; Speed; Energy & Energy resources.


Preventing and treating disease; Non-communicable Diseases; Hormonal Co-ordination; Radioactivity; Forces & Motion; The Earth’s Resources; Variation & evolution; Biodiversity and ecosystems 

Individual Liberty: 


Reproduction and genetics; Chemical reactions; Health & Lifestyle; Adaptation & Inheritance; materials; Energy resources; speed; Energy; 


Preventing and treating disease; Non-communicable Diseases; Hormonal Co-ordination; Radioactivity; Force & Motion; The Earth’s resources; Crude oil; Variation and evolution; biodiversity and ecosystems 

Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs: 


Reproduction and Genetics; Health & Lifestyle; Adaptation & Inheritance; Man-made materials; Climate change; Energy resources; Cell structure and transport.


Preventing and treating disease; Non-communicable Diseases; Hormonal Coordination; Radioactivity; Genetics & evolution; Biodiversity and ecosystems 

Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural in Science 

Spiritual: Topics include – Variation, Genetics & Evolution, Cell division. Darwin’s theory allows the discussion of science v religion; and the national debate Darwin caused on the publication of his works. The stem cell debate and the ability of scientists to ‘play god’ allows pupils to reflect on the conflict between science advances and spiritual beliefs. Pupils are expected to show a willingness to reflect on their experiences through discussion and debate. 

Moral: Topics include Organ transplants; Artificial hearts; and Pollution of the Environment. Who should be given organ transplants; who should donate their organs; who’s responsibility is the environment and at what expanse are we willing to allow the environment to be polluted?  Many lessons outside of these topics will require students to appreciate the views of others and give their own reasoned views through debating, exam style questions.

Social: Topics include – communication; antibiotics. How has society changed through the development of modern materials and technology such as mobile phones and the allotropes of carbon. Are mobile phones safe? What problems are associated with mobile phone use? What was the influence on society of antibiotics? How can antibiotic resistance be a problem in the future?  Social skills are encouraged through group work, strategic seating plans, discussion and debate and effective use of peer assessment. Character can also be demonstrated through the promotion of social skills. 

Cultural: Topics include – Communication; Diseases, Energy resources and stores. How has modern communication changed modern Britain? The British health system is discussed indirectly through the treatment of communicable and non-communicable diseases. How as a culture have we become dependent upon fossil fuels and the associated environmental problems? The Science curriculum at Carterton Community College is diverse and closely linked to British values and SMSC. As such, students will develop their understanding of British culture and the culture of others throughout all Key Stages. In lessons, students are expected to demonstrate: 

  • Acceptance and respect for diversity 
  • Appreciation of British culture and the culture of others 
  • An interest in exploring, improving, showing understanding of different faiths and diversity.   
  • Positive attitudes to local, national & global events. 

Cultural Capital 

The science curriculum inherently encourages cultural capital through every topic covered through year 7 to 13. Students learn so much about the world they live in, learning about; their own body systems, the fuels we consume, alternative fuels, recycling, biodiversity, global warming, potable water, reproduction, health and lifestyle, important chemicals in everyday life, forces and their effects on the world around us, to name just some of the broad topics covered. Through teaching, students are encouraged to relate the content they are learning to their own life experiences and are given new experiences to build their knowledge. Hinterland explanations and stories are used to model examples and explain concepts in more depth.

To increase cultural capital, we encourage the following through our curriculum in school, homework, and enrichment opportunities:

  1. Scientific literacy: a young person’s knowledge and understanding about science and how science works. This also includes their confidence in feeling that they know about science.
  2. Science-related attitudes, values, and dispositions: by encouraging students to see science as relevant to everyday life (for instance, the view that science is ‘everywhere’).
  3. Knowledge about the transferability of science: understanding the utility and broad application of science qualifications, knowledge and skills used in science (e.g. that these can lead to a wide range of jobs beyond, not just in, science fields).
  4. Science media consumption: watching science-related television, read science related books, magazines and engages with science-related internet content
  5. Participation in out-of-school science learning contexts: participating in informal science learning contexts, such as science museums, science clubs, fairs, etc.
  6. Family science skills, knowledge, and qualifications: talking about a student’s family and how they have science-related skills, qualifications, jobs and interests.
  7. Knowing people in science-related roles: encouraging students to know how their family, and community circles work in science-related roles.
  8. Talking about science in everyday life: encouraging students to talk about science in school and out of school, with key people in their lives (e.g., friends, siblings, parents, neighbours, community members).