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Woodbrook Vale School

Woodbrook Vale School

Woodbrook Vale School


The Science curriculum at Woodbrook Vale School is both ambitious and challenging in order to develop critical thinkers and to equip our students with the skills and confidence to investigate, make predictions and explain phenomena. Students will gain an understanding of how the world works and the ethical issue's science can present. Through lessons and extra-curricular activities, students are encouraged to make links between STEM subjects and draw upon their cross-curricular skills in these different areas to support their science studies.

Key stage 3 science

Our curriculum at Key stage 3 is delivered in sequenced units of learning that comprise of ten Core ideas. These Core ideas are organised around the most important scientific concepts, which predict and explain the largest number of phenomena. These core ideas are revisited in growing complexity throughout the KS3 course to prepare our students for GCSE, but also to ensure a breadth in Science knowledge and to allow students to explore and experience many fields of Science.

The 10 Core ideas:

  1. Matter
  2. Reactions
  3. Earth Science
  4. Environmental systems
  5. Genetics
  6. Organisms
  7. Electricity
  8. Waves
  9. Forces
  10. Energy

Students learn about scientific enquiry through working scientifically lessons. Students learn about The development of Scientific thinking, Experimental skills and strategies, and Scientific language and quantities.

Learning is sequenced to provide students with the opportunity to apply these skills to the ten Core ideas in many different contexts, developing their practical skills ready for GCSE.

Key Stage 4 Science

The Science team work closely with students and their parents to ensure that every student is following the correct course at GCSE. Students can follow the AQA Combined science Trilogy, or AQA Separate science route at GCSE. Separate science does cover additional content; however, both pathways allow mastery of the ten core concepts across Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Combined Science GCSE

The combined science course comprises two GCSEs, which is assessed across six GCSE exam papers. Two papers in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Students learn combined Science through a mixture of theory and practical lessons. The combined Science course has a substantial practical element, and students complete 21 required practical activities. The practical element is assessed across each exam paper.

Seperate Science GCSES

The Separate science course comprises three GCSEs. Students following this course receive a GCSE grade in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Combined and separate science courses do cover the same units; however, the Separate science course does cover most units in a lot more depth, with more mathematical content required for full understanding of these units. Physics GCSE also has an extra unit, which covers Space.

Each GCSE is assessed using two exam papers.  These papers are longer in length than the Combined Science papers to include the extra Science content covered.

The Separate science course is also taught through a mixture of theory and practical lessons, and has a greater required practical element. Students complete 28 required practical activities. The practical element is assessed across each exam paper in the same way that it is for Combined Science.

Science Learning at GCSE

Core ideas in Organisms, Genetics and Environmental systems are built upon through the study of the following Biology units:

  • Cell biology
  • Organisation
  • Infection and response
  • Bioenergetics
  • Homeostasis and response
  • Inheritance, variation and evolution
  • Ecology

Core ideas in Matter, Reactions and Earth Science are developed further through the study of Chemistry units in:

  • Atomic structure and the Periodic table
  • Bonding, structures and properties of matter
  • Quantitative Chemistry
  • Chemical changes
  • Energy changes
  • Rates and energetics
  • Chemical analysis
  • Organic chemistry
  • Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • Using resources

Core ideas in Electricity, Waves, Forces and Energy are revisited in more detail through the study of the following Physics units:

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

*Space (Separate science only)

Beyond GCSE

GCSE science is an entry requirement for many further educational courses. If you want to do A-level science you will need at least a grade 6 in GCSE combined science, or Separate Science GCSEs.

Please speak to your science teacher if you have any questions.

Whether you have a longing for a career in Science, or just have questions about the world around you, we hope to enthuse you with a lifelong passion for Science.