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Reading Girls' School

Reading Girls' School


“Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity,

and is the torch which illuminates the world’’. Louis Pasteur

Head of department/faculty: Mr Alex Smith

Introduction to Course

Students will follow the Science National Curriculum at both KS3 and KS4. This course will enable students to cover all aspects of the science curriculum and gain a greater understanding in how Science works in everyday situations.

Students are taught using different methods to give the students the opportunities to learn in a variety of methods. These include practical investigations, class discussions, independent research and presentations. Students can access resources and revision materials set by their teachers, via Google classroom.  All classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards.

The development of students’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural awareness is at the core of our curriculum: such as: During scientific investigations students experiencing a sense of wonder and mystery. Students also get the opportunities to reflect on life’s fundamental questions and a search for meaning and purpose. Staffs within the department are encouraged to make links where possible with how the lesson content contributes to SMSC development.

Subject content KS3

KS3 science course lays a foundation for KS4. The students complete KS3 course by the end of Y8 and Start KS4 in year 9. Students are assessed throughout the year with a variety of assignments, end of topic assessment and an end of year assessment.

Biology topics studied include

  • Cells, tissues, organs and system
  • Reproduction in in animals
  • Muscles and bones
  • Ecosystem
  • Food and digestion
  • Plants and their reproduction
  • Breathing and respiration
  • Unicellular organisms

Chemistry topics

  • Learn how to handle equipment safely
  • The principles of scientific inquiry –including planning, basic methods and recording of observations.
  • Mixtures and separation
  • Acids and alkali
  • The particle model
  • Atoms, elements and molecules
  • Combustion
  • The periodic table
  • Metals and their uses
  • Rocks

Physics topics

  • Energy
  • Current electricity
  • Forces
  • Sound
  • Fluids
  • Light
  • and Energy transfers
  • Earth and space

Subject content KS4

At KS4 the AQA GCSE course, students will either complete a Double Science GCSE (Combined GCSE- Trilogy), where they receive two grades or a Triple Science GCSE, where they receive individual grades for Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The GCSE course is a linear course and pupils sit their examinations at the end of year 11. There is no controlled assessment unit in this course, and so final results are based solely on examinations. Trilogy the students will sit six papers (two papers for each subject and the length of each paper is 1hour 15 minutes. Separate sciences will sit six papers (two papers for each subject and the length of each paper is 1hour 45 minutes. All students will need to complete a set number of required practical tasks throughout their study. For these students will have to research and plan a variety of practical tasks and will independently collect and analyse results. Their investigative and practical skills will be assessed and they will be asked question on these in their final examinations. Students are required to keep an up-to-date laboratory book detailed each of the required practical tasks.

Biology topics include the following:

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

Chemistry topics

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

Physics topics

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

Exam board KS4: AQA

Typical lesson activities

Staffs use a variety of teaching as appropriate, experimental investigations, group and individual work, PowerPoint presentations. The students are encouraged to use ICT whenever appropriate.  

Past examination questions are used, Google classroom and relevant online resources are available

(Kerboodle, Doddle and MyGCSE Science). Emphasis is placed on encouraging the students to become independent learners.

Contact details for any questions: