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Science Department Website


Mr G Gursoy Head of Science/Extended Leadership team
Mr A Britto Whole School STEM/Extended Leadership team
Mrs C Gilligan Head of Chemistry
Mrs H Davey Science Teacher
Mrs T Constable Science Teacher
Mrs R Akhtar Science Teacher
Mrs L Evans Science Teacher
  • The vision

The vision for Science at St Edward’s is that all pupils make exceptional progress at both KS3 and KS4 and the majority will study at least one A level Science in our sixth form. They appreciate science and can relate it to their everyday lives and understand how new developments in science and technology are continuously shaping the world we live in. We want pupils to be able to understand the social and ethical issues that these new developments can raise.

  • KS3 Curriculum

In Science, at year 7 and 8 pupils will study units in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. There will be an emphasis on the skills the pupils need in numeracy, literacy, analysing data and being able to correctly plan a scientific investigation in the curriculum. Year 7 and 8 students will follow the Collins scheme of work, which will equip them for the more challenging new style linear GCSEs.

The units covered in year 7 and year 8 are outlined below:

Year 7 Year 8
Cells Getting the Energy your body needs
Eating, Drinking and Breathing Looking at Plants and Ecosystems
Mixing, dissolving and Separating Explaining Physical Changes
Elements, Compounds and Reactions Explaining Chemical Changes
Forces and their effects Exploring Contact and Non-Contact Forces
Energy transfers and Sound Magnetism and Electricity


  • GCSE Curriculum

Pupils have two pathways in Science, they can either study combined Science or the Separate Sciences in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Combined Science

We follow the new 9-1 AQA trilogy linear Specification. This is worth two GCSE’s. Students will complete six exams at the end of year 11.

Each exam is worth 16.7% towards their final grade. Pupils will take two exams for biology, chemistry and Physics, these will be 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Below is a link to the Combined Science specification:


Pupils studying Separate Sciences will take two exams each for Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Each exam is worth 50% of the total grade. Each exam is 1hr and 45 minutes long.

Links to each specification can be found below:

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/biology-8461 – Biology

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/chemistry-8462- Chemistry

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/physics-8463- Physics

The combined Science and Separate Science cover the same units, however the Separate Sciences cover additional content not present in the combined science curriculum.

We introduce topics in year 9 for all pupils and consolidate them in year 10 along with new content in year 10 and 11.

The following topics will be taught in year 9 and 10:


Biology Chemistry Physics
Cell Biology Atomic Structure and the periodic Table Energy
Organisation Bonding, Structure and the properties of Matter Electricity
Bioenergetics Chemical Changes Particle model of matter
Infection and Response Energy Changes Atomic Structure
Homeostasis and Response The Rate and Extent of Chemical Change Forces
Organic Chemistry

The following topics will be taught in year 11:


Biology Chemistry Physics
Inheritance, Variation and Evolution Quantitative Chemistry Waves
Ecology Chemical Analysis Magnetism and Electromagnetism
Chemistry of the Atmosphere
Using Resources

KS5 Curriculum

In our sixth form we offer Science in A level in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

A Level Biology

Examining board AQA

Link to specification



Course Entry Requirements

To study Biology at A Level without another science, you must have at least a Grade 6 in Biology (triple science students) and combined/double science students need at least a Grade 6-6. You also need a grade 5 in Maths and English.

Why study Biology?

This is the right course for those who enjoy applying practical skills alongside understanding of concepts and principles of the study of living things.

Biology is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the world around us, how we exist, how we respond to stimuli and how we survive.

There are any opportunities to attend lectures, research projects and various trips to help further your knowledge beyond the classroom.

Course Content

The A Level specification has 8 units of content:

Year 12

1 Biological molecules

2 Cells

3 Organisms exchange substances with their environment

4 Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

Year 13

5 Energy transfers in and between organisms

6 Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments

7 Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems

8 The control of gene expression



Paper 1 Paper 2 Paper 3
What’s assessed?


Any content from topics 1-4, including relevant practical skills.

What’s assessed?

Any content from topics 5-8, including relevant practical skills.

What’s assessed?

Any content from topics 1-8, including relevant practical skills


Written exam:2 hours

91 marks

35% of A level

Written exam: 2 hours

91 marks

35% of A level

Written exam: 2 hours

78 marks

30% of A level



76 marks: a mixture of short and long answer questions


15 marks: extended response questions


76 marks: a mixture of short and long answer questions

15 marks: comprehension question



38 marks: Structured questions, including practical techniques


15 marks: critical analysis of given experimental data


25 marks: One essay from a choice of two titles


Where could this course lead to?

Biology students have gone on to study:

  • Medicine
  • Biomedical Science
  • Physiotherapy and Sports science
  • Veterinary sciences
  • Dentistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Nursing
  • Genetics

A Level Chemistry

Examining board AQA (AS: 7404, A-Level 7405)

For a more detailed description of the chemistry course please visit the AQA website: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/chemistry-7404-7405

Course Entry Requirements

To study Chemistry at A Level you must have at least a Grade 6 in Chemistry (triple science students) and combined/double science students need at least a Grade 6-6. You also need a grade 6 in Maths.

Why study Chemistry?

From the moment you are born, and throughout your life, you are surrounded by chemistry – the air you breathe, the food you eat and the clothes you wear – they’re all chemistry. Chemistry is the study of substances; what they are made of, how they interact with each other and the role they play in living things. Whether you want to care for penguin colonies in Antarctica or work in a dynamic business environment, chemistry can help you achieve your goals. From research in space, to the depths of the oceans, chemistry helps you understand the world around you and opens up lots of career opportunities. A chemistry qualification can take you almost anywhere.

As a Chemist you could:

  • Make medicines to fight cancer
  • Develop exciting new ice cream flavours
  • Create new make-up and hair products
  • Design marketing campaigns
  • Make new materials for faster computers and more complex mobile phones
  • Protect the environment

There are lots of interesting and rewarding science-based jobs in the lab, outdoors and in other areas you might not have thought of, such as science journalism, patent law and publishing. The skills you develop while studying chemistry mean that you can do a whole range of other jobs as well, such as management, sales and marketing, ICT and finance.

Course Content

Chemistry is split into three areas; Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry. You will have two teachers for chemistry who, between them, will teach you every aspect of the course.

The A-Level course allows you to gain an endorsement for the practical tasks you carry out.

The following courses are covered in each of the three areas:

  • Physical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Atomic structure
  • Amount of substance
  • Bonding
  • Energetics
  • Kinetics
  • Chemical equilibria, Le Chatelier’s principle and Kc
  • Oxidation, reduction and redox equations
  • Thermodynamics (A-level only)
  • Rate equations (A-level only)
  • Equilibrium constant Kp for homogeneous systems (A-level only)
  • Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells (A-level only)
  • Acids and bases (A-level only)
  • Group 2, the alkaline earth metals
  • Group 7(17), the halogens
  • Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides (A-level only)
  • Transition metals (A-level only)
  • Reactions of ions in aqueous solution (A-level only)
  • Introduction to organic chemistry
  • Alkanes
  • Halogenoalkanes
  • Alkenes
  • Alcohols
  • Organic analysis
  • Optical isomerism (A-level only)
  • Aldehydes and ketones (A-level only)
  • Carboxylic acids and derivatives (A-level only)
  • Aromatic chemistry (A-level only)
  • Amines (A-level only)
  • Polymers (A-level only)
  • Amino acids, proteins and DNA (A-level only)
  • Organic synthesis (A-level only)
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (A-level only)
  • Chromatography (A-level only)

Where could this course lead to?

When combined with other Science subjects and Mathematics, Chemistry leads to a number of different careers, including: Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Pharmacy, Medicine, Forensic science, Food science, Research and Development for Consumer goods companies, Patent attorney, Science writing, Environmental consultancy, Engineering and PhD research.

Chemistry is highly in demand by universities and employers as it exhibits high levels of logic and analytical skills, hence many people go into the city for banking or finance with their Chemistry qualifications.

Suggested reading and resources

GCSE – A-Level transition

We recommend that you use this to bridge that gap from GCSE to A-Level

ISBN: 978 1 78294 280 1

Maths preparation

  • For any A-Level sciences you take you will need a strong maths foundation.
  • To help, over the summer you need to work through these maths resources
  • http://www.aqa.org.uk/resources/science/as-and-a-level/teach/maths-skills-briefings