At Prenton High School we are proud to have a forward thinking and ambitious Science department.  Our teaching encourages students to understand theoretical concepts while developing practical Science skills from Year 7 through to Year 11.  We believe that science has something to offer every student. Our curriculum is designed to allow our young scientists of all abilities and all aspirations to explain phenomena and solve problems using evidence.  From the very beginning of year 7, all lessons are fully ‘hands-on’ and based on practical activities where possible.  In Year 9 all students start their GCSE learning scheme with the new GCSE Science Curriculum. This early start also allows a Triple Science GCSE to be delivered.

The Science Learning Journey provides a general overview of what students will cover in this subject.

View the Science Learning Journey.

Key Stage 3

The aim of KS3 Science at Prenton is to provide the foundations for understanding the world through the disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Our lessons are designed to build up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave and analyse causes.

Our new Year 7 curriculum has been developed in response to the increasing demand of GCSE. Instead of the GCSE exam being largely a knowledge recall test, 60% of the marks are now for transferable understanding (called AO2) and higher level thinking (AO3). We believe our KS3 curriculum provides a preparation for GCSE assessment objectives AO2 and AO3. It links KS3 to GCSE, helping our students to practice thinking processes, enquiry and maths skills though the application of science. It also supports them to develop a deep understanding of key concepts and the ability to apply them.

From the beginning of secondary science, the KS3 programme covers all of the key concepts and enquiry skills needed to give our students the best possible start and set them up for success in the new, more demanding GCSEs.

Table of Topics

Topics cover five key areas:

  • Forces
  • Energy
  • Matter
  • Organisms
  • Genes


Big Idea Year 7  Year 8 Year 9
Forces predict motion Forces on materials

Balanced & unbalanced forces





Motion graphs

See Key Stage 4
Fields produce forces Gravity


Gravitational force

Solar system

Energy is conserved Energy transfers

Heat & Temperature


Wasted Energy

Electricity transfers energy Electric circuits

Electric Current


Electrical energy

Electric charge


Radiation transfers energy Light




Big Idea Year 7  Year 8  Year 9 
Structure determines properties Substances & particles

Particle Model



Pure substances

Elements & Compounds 8KC-Simple & Giant

See Key Stage 4
Reactions rearrange matter Changing substances

Chemical & Physical

pH Scale


Reactants & products

Acid reactions

Oxidation & reduction

Earth systems interact Earth systems

Earth Processes

Potable Water


Big Idea Year 7  Year 8  Year 9 
Cells are alive Cells

Cell Structure

Specialised Cells


Cellular Energy

Aerobic & Anaerobic

See Key Stage 4
Bodies are systems Tissues & organs

Cell Organisation

Digestive System

Gas Exchange

Organisms are interdependent Interdependence

Feeding Relationships


Abiotic & Biotic

Characteristics are Inherited Reproduction

Sexual & Asexual

Menstrual Cycle

Embryo Development

Species show variation Life diversity


Selective Breeding

Natural Selection

Key Stage 4

Table of topics

Topics at KS4 continue to cover five key areas:

  • Forces
  • Energy
  • Matter
  • Organisms
  • Genes


Big Idea Year 9 Year 10  

Year 11


Forces predict motion   Force & direction

Force vectors

Equilibrium & interactions



Newton’s laws


Newton’s laws



11U - Space

Fields produce forces    



Magnetic field

Motor effect

Energy is conserved Energy conservation

Kinetic & potential


Energy resources



Thermal transfer

Specific & latent



Electricity transfers energy

  Home electricity


Ohm’s law

 Radiation transfers energy Sound & waves

Wave model

Longitudinal & transverse

Electromagnetic spectrum

E.M. Radiation

Wave behaviour



Radioactive decay

Half – life



Big Idea Year 9 Year 10  

Year 11


Structure determines properties Periodic table

Subatomic particles

Periodic patterns

Structure & bonding

Ionic, covalent, metallic


Carbon chemistry



Reactions rearrange matter Matter & energy

Atom conservation

Reaction energy

Making substances

Making salts

Amount of substance


Controlling reactions

Reaction rate


Earth systems interact   Atmosphere

Earth’s atmosphere

Global warming

Product lifecycle



Big Idea Year 9 Year 10  

Year 11


Cells are alive Growth & differentiation

Cell transport

Cell division



Plant transport



Bodies are systems Organ systems

Circulatory system

Digestive system


Feedback & control

Nervous system

Endocrine system

Organisms are interdependent   Human interaction


Communicable disease

System damage

Immune system


Characteristics are inherited



Monohybrid inheritance

Controlling reproduction

Reproductive hormones

Genetic engineering

Species show variation Evolution

Evolutionary theory


GCSE Triple Award (Separate sciences)

Examination board: AQA Biology (8461); Chemistry (8462); Physics (8463)

This qualification is linear meaning that students will sit all examinations at the end of the course. For each GCSE, there are two papers (two Biology, two Chemistry and two Physics). Each of the papers will assess knowledge and understanding from distinct topic areas.

Each of the papers is a written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes (100 marks) worth 50% of each GCSE. Each paper consists of multiple-choice, structured, closed short answer and open response questions. Foundation and Higher Tier. Graded 9-1.

GCSE Science Combined (Trilogy)

Examination board: AQA Trilogy (8464)

This qualification is assessed through examinations at the end of the course. There are six papers; two Biology, two Chemistry and two Physics. Each of the papers will assess knowledge and understanding from distinct topic areas.

Each of the 6 papers is a written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes (70 marks) worth 16.7% of GCSE. Each paper consists of multiple-choice, structured, closed short answer and open response questions. Foundation and Higher Tier. Graded 9-1.

Entry Level Science

Examination board: AQA Entry Level Certificate Science (5960)

Like the GCSE course, this qualification is linear. Linear means that students submit all components that form the assessment at the end of the course. The assessments set are ‘on demand’. This means our students can complete set assignments when they are ready, helping to keep them motivated. The language used in the tests allow students to focus on the science and achieve the results they deserve.

There are two different types of assessment.

  1. Externally set assignments (ESAs) consist of a short written test. (57%)
  2. Teacher devised assignments (TDAs) consist of a short piece of practical work. (43%)

Our Science department has consistently pushed the boundaries for our students to succeed in Science and Engineering. We have been named UK RoboCup Champions eight times, going on to compete on the world stage in the USA, China, Austria, Singapore, Turkey, Mexico, Holland and Japan. Prenton High School led a combined Science and Art initiative with other local secondary schools that gained a place in the finals of the Rolls Royce Science competition. We are proud that our  Science Department has been recognised as “ground breaking” by the University of Oxford, Imperial College London and Rolls Royce Engineering.


Mr P Hignett | Subject Leader for Science
Mrs R Bowles-Palmer | Teacher
Ms C Craven | Teacher
Mr C Morrish | Teacher
Miss A Brazil | Teacher
Miss J Bullock | Teacher
Mr I McParlin | Teacher
Miss K Taylor | Teacher
Mrs J Cromwell | Science Technician
Mrs L Sharp | Science Technician

GCSE Science video