The Department

The Science Department at Penwortham Priory encourages pupils to think independently and critically about the world around them. We aim to provide pupils with an extensive scientific knowledge base and a thorough understanding of scientific concepts. They will be taught how to appreciate different points of view, to develop their self confidence orally and using written communication, to understand the meaning of bias and how this can be used to influence actions or decisions in the scientific world. More importantly we aim to make the study of Science interesting and stimulating and hope to make pupils become young adults who are well balanced and perceptive individuals.


Extra-Curricular Activities

  • Pupils in Years 7 – 9 can participate in Science club activities, held weekly.
  • We have opportunities to participate in enrichment activities as they arise.
  • We provide the opportunity for pupils to study the EDEXCEL Astronomy GCSE course as the need arises.


Key Stage 3

All pupils follow a structured curriculum at Key Stage 3 in three periods per week during Year 7 and Year 8. Pupils have the opportunity to work individually, in pairs and in groups during the following topics.


Year 7

In Year 7, units studied are:

  • Working Scientifically
  • Cells and Movement
  • Ecosystems, Interdependence and Plant Reproduction
  • Variation and Human Reproduction
  • Acids and Alkalis, Metals and Non-metals
  • Particles and Separating Mixtures
  • Earth Structure and Universe
  • Forces, Speed and Gravity
  • Sound and Light
  • Energy Costs and Transfers
  • Electricity

Year 8

In Year 8, units studied are:

  • Magnetism and Electromagnets
  • Heating and Cooling
  • Wave Effects and Properties
  • Forces and Pressure
  • Breathing and Digestion
  • Natural Selection and Genetics
  • Respiration and Photosynthesis
  • Elements and The Periodic Table
  • Chemical Reactions
  • Earth Climate and Resources

Key Stage 4

Key stage 4 begins in Year 9 where all pupils study the first two topics from each of the lists below taught through 3 lessons per week. In Year 10 and Year 11 all pupils study either AQA Combined Science (Trilogy) or Separate Sciences taught through 6 lessons per week.

All GCSE science pupils will study:

Biology topics:

  • Cell biology – incorporating bioenergetics
  • Organisation
  • Plant biology
  • Infection and Response
  • Homeostasis and response
  • Inheritance, variation and evolution
  • Ecology

Chemistry topics:

  • Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • Bonding, structure and the properties of matter
  • Quantitative Chemistry
  • Energy changes
  • The rate and extent of chemical change
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • Using resources

Physics topics:

  • Energy
  • Electricity
  • Particle model of matter
  • Atomic structure
  • Forces
  • Waves
  • Magnetism and electromagnetism

For students following the Separate Science course these topics have more content, studied in greater depth. Students following Separate Sciences also have an extra physics module, Space Physics.

Both courses offer entry at Higher and Foundation level, but our expectation is that the majority of pupils will be entered for Higher tier papers.

At the end of Year 11, all pupils will sit 6 exams (2x Biology, 2 x Chemistry and 2 x Physics)

Papers for Separate sciences are all 1 hour, 45 minutes; those for Combined Science are 1hour 15 minutes.

Successful completion of the Separate Science course will result in pupils gaining 3 GCSEs. Each paper is worth 50% of each award.

Successful completion of the Combined Science (Trilogy) course will result in pupils gaining 2 GCSEs. Each paper is worth 16.7% of the marks for this award.

Qualifications awarded by the examining body will be graded on a 17-point scale: 1–1 to 9–9 – where 9–9 is the best grade.

Students taking Higher Tier assessments will be awarded a grade within the range of 4–4 to 9–9. A student taking Foundation Tier assessments will be awarded a grade within the range of 1–1 to 5–5.