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Science Curriculum 2020-2021

 Head of Department: Mr. M. Davis
Email address:

We are proud to offer students enhanced facilities and resources including specialist science teachers, a science technician and four state of the art laboratories. We aim to stimulate students' interest in science with a mix of practical experiences blended with technology, theoretical teaching, experimentation and discussion in lessons.

Students are given the opportunity to discuss and evaluate science-based issues, and learn how scientific ideas contribute to technological change and develop scientific ideas.

In Years 5 & 6 students receive two lessons per week in their classroom and the science laboratories.

In Years 7 & 8 students receive three lab-based Science lessons per week.

Key Stage 2 Science Autumn Term 2020-2021

Across Upper Key Stage 2, and building upon what was learned in Lower Key Stage 2, students learn a breadth of knowledge, outlined in the allocated topics below. In addition, students develop their ‘working scientifically’ skills.

Skills developed across Upper Key Stage 2:

  • Evaluate risks
  • Research using technology skills
  • Plan a simple investigation to answer a question
  • Use scientific diagrams and labels
  • Identify and control variables
  • Use fair tests in investigations
  • Use test results to make predictions
  • Use classification keys
  • Create and analyse tables
  • Create and analyse scatter graphs and line graphs
  • Present findings
  • Take measurements using a range of equipment
  • Develop accuracy and precision in measuring.

Knowledge developed across Upper Key Stage 2:

Year 5

Forces; Scientists and Inventors

The effects of forces: Feeling the effects of gravity and air resistance

Pushes: Identify the effects of air resistance, water resistance and friction, that act between moving surfaces

Pulls: Explain that unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object

Twists: Recognise that some mechanisms, including levers, pulleys and gears, allow a smaller force to have a greater effect.

Measuring forces: Demonstrate how to use a force meter.

Scientists and Inventors

An introduction to the science laboratories: Identify where and why they are used.

Working safely in science: Remembering the laboratory rules and procedures, identifying hazards and conducting risk assessments; developing skills in experiments in the laboratory; identifying and using a variety of scientific equipment, including Bunsen burners.

 How scientists investigate: Review the work of leading Scientists including David Attenborough, Eva Crane, Stephanie Kwolek and Leonardo DaVinci. The importance of CSI.

Famous historical Scientific events: Researching the Missions to the Moon and Stonehenge Astronomy.

Year 6

Dissolving and Chemistry; Adaptation and Habitats

Solutions: State that a solution is formed when a solute dissolves into a solvent (such as water)

Mixtures: Separate mixtures using a range of techniques, including filtering, sieving, evaporation and magnetism.

Reversible changes:  To know that dissolving and changes of state, including the water cycle, are reversible.

Rates of change: To understand how rates of change can be increased or decreased, for example the effects of heating and cooling, insulating and stirring.

Non-reversible reactions: To explore how non-reversible reactions, such as burning, cooking and chemical reactions.

Adaptation and Habitats

Adaptation of plants: To understand ways plants are adapted to their habitat e.g. cactus and the desert.

Adaptation of animals: To understand ways animals are adapted to their habitat e.g. polar bear and the Arctic.

Survival: To explore ways in which animals are adept in survival.

Different habitats: To identify comparisons and contrasts in two or more habitats, such as arable farmland and hill farms.

 Daily and seasonal changes in habitats: To investigate how habitats can change daily, such as tides and light changes, and seasonally such as summer and winter.

Nature reserves: To investigate how nature reserves, such as estuaries, can provide vital resources for wild plants and animals.

Conservation: To investigate and develop simple ways to conserve habitats.

Classification Keys: To understand what a simple classification key is and use this to identify plants and/or animals.

Key Stage 3 Science Autumn Term 2020-2021

Across Key Stage 3, and building upon what was learned in Key Stage 2, students learn a breadth of knowledge, outlined in the allocated topics below. In addition, students develop their ‘working scientifically’ skills.

Skills developed across Key Stage 3:

  • Evaluate risks
  • Understand how Scientific methods and theories develop over time
  • Be objective and demonstrate accuracy, precision, repeatability and reproducibility
  • Ask questions and develop a line of enquiry based on observations of the real world
  • Make predictions using scientific knowledge and understanding
  • Identifying independent, dependent and control variables
  • Use appropriate techniques, apparatus, and materials paying attention to health and safety
  • Make and record observations and measurements using a range of methods
  • Apply sampling techniques
  • Apply mathematical concepts and calculate results
  • Present observations and data using appropriate methods, including tables and graphs
  • Identifying patterns and using observations, measurements and data
  • Draw conclusions
  • Explaining data in relation to predictions and hypotheses
  • Evaluate data, potential sources of random and systematic error
  • Understand and use SI unit nomenclature
  • Use and derive simple equations and carry out appropriate calculations
  • Undertake basic data analysis including simple statistical techniques.

Knowledge developed across Key Stage 3:

Year 7

Acids and Alkalis; Simple Chemical reactions with Irreversible reactions

Safety using chemicals:  List and demonstrate ways of using acids and alkalis safely

History of acids and alkalis: Explain where the words for acids and alkali originate and their similarities and differences

Indicators: Compare indicators, such as litmus paper, universal indicator paper, universal indicator liquid and red cabbage.

pH Scale: Be able to read and interpret pH using a pH chart.

Neutralization: Successfully neutralise an acid and an alkali; be familiar with the term antacid.

Acid Salt formation: Be familiar that an acid plus an alkali makes a salt plus water.

Fire-fighting: Draw the fire triangle and describe simply how it works; describe the correct techniques for extinguishing four types of fire; explain the impacts of adding the wrong type of fire extinguisher to a fire

History of fireworks: State where fireworks originate from (China).

Corrosion: To investigate what accelerates corrosion of metals.

Hydrogen gas: To know the element symbol for Hydrogen, and understand the squeaky pop test.  Investigate the uses of hydrogen in industry.

Non-reversible reaction: State that a chemical reaction is non-reversible.

Language of chemical reactions: Explain a chemical reaction in terms of reactants and products.

Properties of gases: Identify the properties of gases, such as being lightweight and transparent, and describe air as a mixture of gases (nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapour).

Word equations: Devise word equations for the reaction between magnesium and hydrochloric acid e.g. magnesium plus hydrochloric acid forms magnesium chloride (an acid salt) plus hydrogen gas.

Water formation: Describe the chemical reaction of hydrogen plus oxygen and name the product as water.

Oxygen gas: To know the element symbol for Oxygen, and understand the re-lit splint test.  Investigate the uses of oxygen in nature. Investigate the relationship between volume of oxygen and length of time to combust (burn). Calculate through experimentation the proportion (fraction) of oxygen present in air as approximately 21%.

Carbon dioxide gas: To investigate how to put out an electrical fire with carbon dioxide and model this by building a fire extinguisher. Describe the correct techniques for creating and collecting carbon dioxide in the lab (downward delivery).

Rates of reaction: To understand how rates of reactions can be sped up by for example changing the concentration of the solution, the surface area of the reactants or the temperature of the reaction.

Irreversible reaction: To understand how products made in an irreversible reaction, such as iron + sulphur forms iron sulphide cannot be reversed. The properties of both elements are changed.

Useful properties of metals: How metals can compare and contrast in use, such as hard or soft, shiny or dull, good conductors of heat / electricity versus bad conductors etc. 

Year 8

Elements and the Periodic Table; Compounds and Mixtures; Particles.

Element: A group of similar atoms chemically combined. Know the first 20 element names and symbols in the periodic table.

Element properties: Know that different elements are at different states of matter at room temperature.

Atomic structure: Know that an atom is made up of negatively charged electrons that circumnavigate the nucleus; the nucleus has neutrally charged neutrons and positively charged protons.

Atomic Number: Know that the atomic mass is equivalent to the number of electrons circumnavigating the nucleus.

Mass Number: Know that the mass number is the total of protons and neutrons in a nucleus.

Periodic Table of Elements: Classify each element as a solid, non-metal or semi-metal; describe how the reactivity varies within each group e.g. group 1 more reactive as go down the group.

Periodic Table of elements history: To know that Mendeleev used the card game of Patience to arrange the periodic table; examine how Mendeleev built upon the ideas of scientists Doberiner and Newlands.

Electron shell diagrams: To calculate the number of outer shell electrons based on the atomic number and draw an electron shell diagram for an element e.g. sodium and a compound e.g. sodium chloride.

Alloys: State what and alloy is for example stainless steel formed by the addition of chromium element to carbon and steel.

Mixtures: Describe how mixtures can be two or more elements not chemically combined; these can be separated using sieving, filtering, magnets, chromatography etc.

Fractional distillation: Examine how fractional distillation can be used to separate – by differing boiling points - two or more liquids in a solution. E.g. ethanol and water.

Boiling point: The temperature where substances change from liquid to gas.

Condensation point: The temperature where substances change from gas to liquid.

Freezing point: The temperature where substances change from liquid to solid.

Melting point: The temperature where substances change from solid to liquid.

Compound: Describe how a compound is two or more elements chemically combined e.g. zinc chloride. Explore how compounds can add strength e.g. bone (calcium phosphate).

Increasing mass: React magnesium and oxygen to form magnesium oxide and observe an increase in mass caused by adding oxygen atoms to magnesium.

Word Equation: Demonstrate reactions as a simple word equation e.g. zinc + hydrochloric acid forms zinc chloride + hydrogen gas.

Reversible change: A mixture that can be separated or reversed; for example, the dehydration (blue to white) and the hydration processes (white to blue) of copper sulphate crystals.

Bunsen burner: Know how it works and use it safely and appropriately (for accelerating reactions).

Properties: Describe the properties of solids, liquids and gases e.g. does it flow, pour, have a regular shape etc.

Particle arrangement: Explore patters in solids (regular pattern), liquids (touch and flow pattern) and gases (rapid and random pattern) with examples.

Density: Explore how particles can be packed tightly together (high density) or packed loosely together (low-density) with examples.

Calculating density in regular shapes: Use a mathematical calculation density equals mass divided by volume; measure volume using height x width x length.

Calculating density in irregular shapes: Use a mathematical calculation density equals mass divided by volume; measure volume using displacement can.

Sinking and floating: Explain in detail how the particle arrangements differ in two materials and how this effects their ability to sink or float.

Force diagrams: Use force diagrams to show a magnitude and direction.

Particle air pressure: Explore how air pressure can affect the shape of an object; compression.

Vacuum: Explore how a ‘vacuum’ can exist by removing air particles inside but retaining a powerful force on the outside e.g. Magdeburg hemispheres.

Diffusion: The movement of particles from a high concentration to a low concentration; e.g. tea is hot water; aerosols.

History of diffusion: Explore how Robert Brown (Brownian motion) and Albert Einstein (Theory of Relativity) contributed to existing diffusion theories.