St Catherine's Catholic School


Head of Department (HOD): Mr B. Fisher

2nd in Charge (2ic): Mr R. Lenihan Mrs S. Peters

Teacher names: Mr A. Taylor, Miss K. Monin, Miss M. Nadeem, Miss E. Zalanyi, Miss H. Brown & Miss. C. Kluth

Science is a process that is continually refining and expanding as our knowledge of the universe increases. It allows us to question and attempt to solve some of humanities most challenging problems. It is a way of discovering what's in the universe and how those things work today, how they worked in the past, and how they are likely to work in the future.

Science is a wide-ranging and complex field and as students embark on their learning journey within our department we like to encourage understanding and deep thinking. To enable us to do this we have interlinked our KS3 and KS4 curriculum into ten big ideas. This allows us to ensure that rather than covering fragmented content students will develop confidence to apply their scientific knowledge in unfamiliar contexts.

The big ideas that run throughout our curriculum are:

  • Forces
  • Electromagnetism
  • Energy
  • Waves
  • Matter
  • Reactions
  • Earth
  • Organisms
  • Ecosystems
  • Genes



In KS3 students will cover all ten big ideas at least twice, developing both their scientific understanding and ability to synthesise and evaluate new information. The topics we cover include:

The topics in Year 7 include:

  • Speed & Gravity
  • Voltage, Resistance & Current
  • Energy Costs & Transfer
  • Sound & Light
  • Particle Model & Separating Mixtures
  • Metals, Acids & Alkalis
  • Earth Structure & Universe
  • Movement & Cells
  • Interdependence & Plant Reproduction
  • Variation & Human Reproduction

The topics in Year 8 include:

  • Contact Forces & Pressure
  • Electromagnets & Magnetism
  • Work, Heating & Cooling
  • Wave Effects & Properties
  • Periodic Table and the Elements
  • Chemical Energy & Types of Reactions
  • Climate & Earth Resources
  • Breathing & Digestion
  • Respiration & Photosynthesis
  • Evolution & Inheritance

Main skills developed in Years 7, 8 and 9:

Studying the topics above will lead to the students learning to see the world analytically, being able to explain phenomena and make predictions – all skills they will need for their next stage of scientific learning.


Exam board and full GCSE course name:

AQA Combined Science

AQA Separate Science – Biology, Chemistry & Physics

Brief breakdown of the course:

The units taught in Year 9 include:

  • Energy & Efficiency
  • Atomic Model & Radiation
  • Elements & The Periodic Table
  • Cell Biology
  • Digestion & Exercise
  • Botany & Plant Systems

The units taught in Year 10 include:

  • Forces
  • IVR
  • Particles
  • Wave properties and Electromagnetic waves
  • Chemical Bonding
  • Chemical Analysis
  • The Atmosphere and Pollution
  • Disease
  • Ecology & Biodiversity
  • Genetics

The units taught in Year 11 include:

  • Motion
  • Electromagnetism
  • Rate of Change
  • Organic Chemistry & Sustainability
  • Control
  • Evolution & Biotechnology

The units for separate science include all of the above units but also increase the depth and level of understanding.

The final exam/practical/coursework components broken down by paper and brief content.

The course consists of six externally examined assessments which contain a mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice, structured, closed short answer and open response


Cell biology; Organisation; Infection and response; and Bioenergetics.

Homeostasis and response; Inheritance, variation and evolution; and Ecology.


Atomic structure and the periodic table; Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter; Quantitative chemistry, Chemical changes; and Energy changes.

The rate and extent of chemical change; Organic chemistry; Chemical analysis, Chemistry of the atmosphere; and Using resources.


Energy; Electricity; Particle model of matter; and Atomic structure.

Forces; Waves; Magnetism and electromagnetism.

Careers Information:

GCSE’s in Science are essential for all Science-based careers, a wide range of paths from pharmacy and paramedic work, to sustainable energy industries and engineering.

As an academic course it will provide the basis for future study of the Sciences at degree level and extensive employment opportunities both within and outside of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) based careers.

How to Support your daughter in this Subject:

There are a range of ways you can support your daughter in Science:

  • Educake (  – We use an online platform called Educake, which allows your daughter to set herself numerous questions which self-mark. It also analyses the topics she is performing well on and those she needs to spend extra time on. We would encourage you to ensure your daughter is maximising her time on this website.
  • Knowledge Builders ( –Online you can find our knowledge builder booklets. These are booklets containing many questions which students need to know the answers to. This will help ensure they have the breadth of scientific knowledge required to perform in the examinations. They also have the answers in so students can use them to quiz themselves or someone else can quiz her.
  • BBC Bitesize ( – There are lots of great review pages of topics to get more detail about key topics
  • Online resources – Seneca Learn, FreeScienceLessons, KayScience, PrimroseKitten etc are really useful for a whole topic overview, there are videos going over the topics and many have questions. There are plenty of free resources as part of these sites.
  • ( – We also run our own revision website, there are lots of past paper questions, if you go to the tab “Classroom” and the password is “science” then you can download many questions, sorted by topics, they also have all of the answers on the pages.

Useful Weblinks: