Newcastle Academy, Gallowstree Lane, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire, ST5 2QS
Part of Windsor Academy Trust
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Curriculum Overview 


The science curriculum is designed to build on knowledge gained at key stage 2, developing skills within biology, chemistry and physics whilst being assessed as a whole science topic in KS3. Students are expected to progress through content using 4 key skill sets throughout their 5 years in science.

After key stage 3 students continue studying science at key stage 4 in Combined Science Trilogy (worth 2 GCSEs) or by choosing triple science students can study GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physics separately (students have to study all 3 science subjects to fulfil the National Curriculum).

Students are taught Biology, Chemistry and Physics by specialist science teachers and will be assessed using guidance and exams from AQA. We have ensured that the biology, chemistry and physics content is presented clearly, in a logical teaching order, with opportunities for skills development throughout the course. The subject content and required practical’s in all our science qualifications provide opportunities for progression.

Both Combined Science and Triple Science (GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics) give students the opportunity to progress to A-levels in science and other STEM subjects. The key to progression to A-level Sciences is to achieve high grades at GCSE in either Combined Science or Triple Sciences.



Science is compulsory core topic at KS3 and is delivered using specialist science teachers in 7 x 1hr lessons delivered fortnightly. 

Topics covered in KS3 are.

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These topics are designed to facilitate a smooth transition to KS4 content in year 10. During year 7 and 8 students are assessed using formative and summative methods that will assess student’s knowledge and understanding as well as key skills of working scientifically, developing resilient learners as they progress into KS4.

In year 9, students transition through into GCSE Sciences with a more developed format that represents learning and assessment closer aligned to expectations for work at GCSE. In this year the curriculum spirals to build upon core understanding for biology, chemistry and physics.

Engagement in science is developed by extracurricular activities in forensic science, CREST awards and space topics as well as an online STEM club.


Current year 11 and year 10 are following AQA Combined Science (9-1) GCSE. This is worth 2 GCSEs and student receive a double grade. They are taught in subject specialism for 9 x 1hr lessons per fortnight.

Subject content covered in Year 10 and 11


  1. Disease and bioenergetics
  2. Biological responses
  3. Genetics and reproduction
  4. Ecology


  1. Chemical reactions and energy reactions
  2. Rates, equilibrium and organic chemistry
  3. Analysis and the Earth’s resources


  1. Particles at work
  2. Radioactivity
  3. Forces in action
  4. Waves, electromagnetism and space

The courses are linear qualifications and are assessed as follows:

Combined science:

6 x 70 minute examinations (Biology 1 & 2, Chemistry 1&2, Physics 1&2)

Separate Science: (if chosen to start in year 10 in September2021)

Biology 2 x 105-minute examinations

Chemistry 2 x 105-minute examinations

Physics 2 x 105-minute examinations

Students will develop skills for GCSE Science from year 7 with greater emphasis in in Year 9 on practical work required by the GCSE syllabus. They will also be given examination skills through Walking Talking Mock Exams and PPEs in year 10 to enable the pupils to transfer their knowledge into examination practice. Year 11 will be focused on completing the topics by Christmas and ensuring that the knowledge gained during key stage 4 is secure, through active revision, examination techniques and assessment practice.

Teaching and learning will be focused on delivering the Academy Quality First Teaching Principles, ensuring that knowledge and understanding is secure and revisited and that pupils are able to perform long term recall of topics


The impact of teaching and learning will be assessed using formative and summative methods. The departmental aim is to develop the engagement in science to increase the number of pupils studying science post key stage 4 and to increase the attainment and progress of students whilst studying at the academy.


How grades are decided for input; what are the grades based upon?

Assessments will take a variety of forms, but will primarily focus on developing the practice required to recall knowledge and demonstrate understanding linked to the examination. summative assessments will take the form of written examination questions/papers, whilst formative assessment will be delivered in forms such as online, Q&A, revision tests.
Assessments will be graded according to the AQA grade boundaries as appropriate with a wide range of assessments used to validate the data. Each topic will be given a grade to assist with the profiling of pupils to improve performance.
Assessment maps will also be used to enable profiling of pupils to identify areas of development.