Skip to content ↓



Learning Journey & Sequencing Rationale

Science is a set of ideas about the material world. We have included all the parts of what good science is : whether it be investigating, observing, experimenting or testing out ideas and thinking about them. The way scientific ideas flow through the curriculum will support you in building a deep understanding of science. We know this will involve talking about, reading and writing about science plus the actual doing, as well as representing science in its many forms both mathematically and visually through models.

In year 9 pupils study the AQA Combined Science Trilogy series. Our programme of study follows the National Curriculum guidelines that stretches and challenges students in addition to assisting their enquiring minds about how science works. We start our pupils on the GCSE specification at this time to expose the students to the content as early as possible. This gives students more time to familiarise themselves with the specific language and terminology required to get the marks in exams. This also encourages our students to pick up the practical skills quicker, and be more confident in the laboratories. As we start the course in year 9, this also provides an opportunity to complete the specification earlier in year 11, allowing ample revision time just before they sit their exams. 

Pupils start with the foundations of science 1B - Cell Biology, 1P - Energy, and 1C - Atomic structure and the periodic table. These topics build on the subject knowledge acquired in KS3 and goes into more depth about scientific principles and understanding. Throughout KS4 pupils complete end of topic tests, created by AQA themselves. As the GCSE science syllabus is 20% numeracy assessed, we have built into our programme of study, a wide range of numeracy focused skills such as plotting and interpreting graphs, calculating averages and percentages, and analysing data. Students also engage in a numeracy week; lessons focusing on the core AQA numeracy skills.We also have a huge literacy focus with 6 mark questions, and have created our own literacy booklet centred on the key areas of the science curriculum, that assist pupils with their understanding of the topic, and provide pupils with teacher based feedback to help them improve. 

In year 10 they continue to study the rest of the combined trilogy series and delve deeper into biology, chemistry and physics. Students are selected for Triple science and study some extra content based on the syllabus. There is a greater emphasis on practical work in year 10 with the 28 required practicals. Pupils are encouraged to think scientifically and we reinforce practical knowledge and understanding with the 6 mark literacy booklets. Pupils are tested at the end of each unit and are encouraged to use the revision guides suggested by the department. We have also created end of unit revision packs, with past paper questions for each unit, to further expose pupils to the specific terminology and language required in the exams. This familiarisation builds confidence in our students and also provides opportunities for pupils to discuss any misconceptions about the topic. 

In year 11 they continue with the programme of study at a more advanced level to provide some knowledge to advance students to KS5 sciences. We reinforce interleaving at year 11 by recapping content from the last two previous years with the year 9 literacy booklet, and our period 7 intervention once a week, focuses on this too. As we started the curriculum in year 9, our programme of study permits the half term before the GCSE examination period commences, to be used purely for revision. We feel this gives our students a solid foundation to succeed in their exams. 



Unit overview - Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table

Overview – 1 Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table. Kerboodle chapters 1and 2 


  • MS 1d Make estimates of the results of simple calculations.
  • WS 2.2 Plan experiments or devise procedures to make observations, produce or characterise a substance, test hypotheses, check data or explore phenomena.
  • WS 2.3 Apply a knowledge of a range of techniques, instruments, apparatus and materials to select those appropriate to the experiment.
  • AT4 Safe use of a range of equipment to purify and/or separate chemical mixtures including evaporation, filtration, crystallisation.


  • A simple model of the atom, symbols, relative atomic mass, electronic charge and isotopes
  • The periodic table


Atomic structure and The Periodic Table

The periodic table provides chemists with a structured organisation of the known chemical elements from which they can make sense of their physical and chemical properties. The historical development of the periodic table and models of atomic structure provide good examples of how scientific ideas and explanations develop over time as new evidence emerges. The arrangement of elements in the modern periodic table can be explained in terms of atomic structure which provides evidence for the model of a nuclear atom with electrons in energy levels.

Unit overview - Energy

Overview – 1 Energy Kerboodle chapters 1,2 & 3


  • Use of various equations, students need to memorise, manipulate equations to solve problems.
  • Required practical activity 14: an investigation to determine the specific heat capacity of one or more materials. The investigation will involve linking the decrease of one energy store (or work done) to the increase in temperature and subsequent increase in thermal energy stored.
  • AT1 Use of appropriate apparatus to make and record a range of measurements accurately, including length, area, mass, time, volume and temperature. Use of such measurements to determine densities of solid and liquid objects.
  • AT5 Safe use of appropriate apparatus in a range of contexts to measure energy changes/transfers and associated values such as work done.


  • Energy changes in a system, and the ways energy is stored before and after such changes.
  • Conservation and dissipation of energy.
  • National and global energy resources



The concept of energy emerged in the 19th century. The idea was used to explain the work output of steam engines and then generalised to understand other heat engines. It also became a key tool for understanding chemical reactions and biological systems. Limits to the use of fossil fuels and global warming are critical problems for this century. Physicists and engineers are working hard to identify ways to reduce our energy usage.

Unit overview - Cell Biology

Overview – 1 Cell Biology. Kerboodle chapters 1and 2 


  • Required practical activity 1: use a light microscope to observe, draw and label a selection of plant and animal cells. A magnification scale must be included. AT skills covered by this practical activity: AT 1 and 7.
  • Required practical activity 2: investigate the effect of antiseptics or antibiotics on bacterial growth using agar plates and measuring zones of inhibition. AT skills covered by this practical activity: AT 1, 3, 4 and 8.
  • Required practical activity 3: investigate the effect of a range of concentrations of salt or sugar solutions on the mass of plant tissue. AT skills covered by this practical activity: AT 1, 3 and 5.


  • Cell structure
  • Cell division
  • Transport in cells
  • Active transport


Cells are the basic unit of all forms of life. In this section we explore how structural differences between types of cells enables them to perform specific functions within the organism. These differences in cells are controlled by genes in the nucleus. For an organism to grow, cells must divide by mitosis producing two new identical cells. If cells are isolated at an early stage of growth before they have become too specialised, they can retain their ability to grow into a range of different types of cells. This phenomenon has led to the development of stem cell technology. This is a new branch of medicine that allows doctors to repair damaged organs by growing new tissue from stem cells.

Unit overview - Organisation

Overview – 2 Organisation. Kerboodle chapters 3 and 4 


  • Required practical activity 4: use qualitative reagents to test for a range of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins. To include: Benedict’s test for sugars; iodine test for starch; and Biuret reagent for protein. AT skills covered by this practical activity: AT 2 and 8. This practical activity also provides opportunities to develop WS and MS.
  • Required practical activity 5: investigate the effect of pH on the rate of reaction of amylase enzyme. Students should use a continuous sampling technique to determine the time taken to completely digest a starch solution at a range of pH values. Iodine reagent is to be used to test for starch every 30 seconds. Temperature must be controlled by use of a water bath or electric heater. AT skills covered by this practical activity: AT 1, 2, 5 and 8.
  • AT1 Use of appropriate apparatus to make and record a range of measurements accurately, including length, area, mass, time, temperature, volume of liquids and gases, and pH.
  • AT2Safe use of appropriate heating devices and techniques including use of a  Bunsen burner and a water bath or electric heater.
  • AT5 Measurement of rates of reaction by a variety of methods including production of gas, uptake of water and colour change of indicator.
  • AT8 (Biology only)Use of appropriate techniques and qualitative reagents to identify biological molecules and processes in more complex and problem-solving contexts including continuous sampling in an investigation


  • Principles of organisation
  • Animal tissues, organs and organ systems
  • Plant tissues, organs and systems


In this section we will learn about the human digestive system which provides the body with

nutrients and the respiratory system that provides it with oxygen and removes carbon dioxide. In each case they provide dissolved materials that need to be moved quickly around the body in the blood by the circulatory system. Damage to any of these systems can be debilitating if not fatal. Although there has been huge progress in surgical techniques, especially with regard to coronary heart disease, many interventions would not be necessary if individuals reduced their risks through improved diet and lifestyle. We will also learn how the plant’s transport system is dependent on environmental conditions to ensure that leaf cells are provided with the water and carbon dioxide that they need for photosynthesis.

Unit overview - Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter

Overview – 2 Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter. Kerboodle chapter 3 


  • Recognise substances as small molecules, polymers or giant structures from diagrams showing their bonding
  • WS 1.2 Use a variety of models such as representational, spatial, descriptive, computational and mathematical to solve problems, make predictions and to develop scientific explanations and understanding of familiar and unfamiliar facts
  • MS 4a Translate information between graphical and numeric form.
  • MS 1a Recognise and use expressions in decimal form.
  • MS 1c Use ratios, fractions and percentage


  • Chemical bonds, ionic, covalent and metallic
  • How bonding and structure are related to the properties of substances
  • Structure and bonding of carbon


Bonding, structure and the properties of matter

Chemists use theories of structure and bonding to explain the physical and chemical properties of materials. Analysis of structures shows that atoms can be arranged in a variety of ways, some of which are molecular while others are giant structures. Theories of bonding explain how atoms are held together in these structures. Scientists use this knowledge of structure and bonding to engineer new materials with desirable properties. The properties of these materials may offer new applications in a range of different technologies.

Unit overview - Electricity

Overview – 1 Electricity Kerboodle chapters 4&5


  • Use of various equations, students need to memorise, manipulate equations to solve problems.
  • Required practical activity 3: Use circuit diagrams to set up and check appropriate circuits to investigate the factors affecting the resistance of electrical circuits. This should include: the length of a wire at constant temperature combinations of resistors in series and parallel. AT skills covered by this practical activity: AT 1, 6 and 7.
  • AT1 Use of appropriate apparatus to make and record a range of measurements accurately, including length, area, mass, time, volume and temperature.
  • AT6 Use of appropriate apparatus to measure current, potential difference (voltage) and resistance, and to explore the characteristics of a variety of circuit elements
  • AT7 Use of circuit diagrams to construct and check series and parallel circuits including a variety of common circuit elements.


  • Current, potential difference and resistance
  • Series and parallel circuits
  • Domestic uses and safety
  • Energy transfers
  • Static electricity (physics only)



Electric charge is a fundamental property of matter everywhere. Understanding the difference in the microstructure of conductors, semiconductors and insulators makes it possible to design

components and build electric circuits. Many circuits are powered with mains electricity, but portable electrical devices must use batteries of some kind. Electrical power fills the modern world with artificial light and sound, information and entertainment, remote sensing and control. The fundamentals of electromagnetism were worked out by scientists of the 19th century. However, power stations, like all machines, have a limited lifetime. If we all continue to demand more electricity this means building new power stations in every generation – but what mix of power stations can promise a sustainable future?

knowledge Organiser

A knowledge organiser is an important document that lists the important facts that learners should know by the end of a unit of work. It is important that learners can recall these facts easily, so that when they are answering challenging questions in their assessments and GCSE and A-Level exams, they are not wasting precious time in exams focusing on remembering simple facts, but making complex arguments, and calculations.

We encourage all pupils to use them by doing the following:

  • Quiz themselves at home, using the read, write, cover, check method.
  • Practice spelling key vocabulary
  • Further researching people, events and processes most relevant to the unit.