If you have ever wondered why the sky is blue, or what the universe expanding into if it is surrounded by nothing or why don’t a penguin’s feet freeze, then you will understand why teaching and learning about this subject is so amazing.

The Swanmore Science department aims to nurture the enquiring minds of our students in a challenging and fun manner. This enables all students to “operate as scientists”; because once they leave Swanmore College, Science will infiltrate their lives in so many ways on a daily basis.

During KS3 we aim to inspire future scientists by using an enquiry based approach and in KS4 link the more complex ideas of Science to the questions asked at KS3. We teach enquiry and content through themes which we hope will captivate pupils and relate science to their everyday world.


Key Stage 3

Course Content

Year 7 & 8 science starts with a series of induction lessons, focusing on laboratory safety, practical and Scientific Skills. These are designed to allow the students to use scientific equipment safely and efficiently in a science lab and how scientists plan their experiments

Year 7 Year 8
Autumn Particles, Atoms, Compounds and Elements Organisation – The Human Body
Forces The Periodic Table
Cell Biology More Forces
Spring Acids and Alkalis Infection and Response
Energy Chemical Reactions
Light and Sound
Summer Inheritance, Variation and Evolution Bioenergetics
Ecology Earth and Atmosphere
Space Electricity and Magnetism



At the start of Year 7, there will be a baseline test, based on a KS2 Science SAT. This allows us to know what Science level our students are working at when they arrive at Swanmore.

After this, Key Stage 3 Science is assessed throughout the year, using a combination of in-lesson assessments, end of topic assessments and year group examinations. These assessments are designed to show pupils’ progress in both Scientific Knowledge and Scientific Technique.


What can parents do to support their child’s science?

  • Help them read through their exercise books and talk about what they have learned in class.
  • Encourage them to revise using a web site e.g. BBC Bitesize Science KS3 or SAM Learning
  • Encourage them to buy and read a KS3 Science revision guide available from the Science Department after October Half Term. These can be used as a course companion as well as a revision guide. Regular reading about topics studied in class will help to familiarise scientific vocabulary and concepts.
  • Support with homework projects, including research and home experiments
  • Discussion of Science topics in the media
  • Support when revising for tests and exams.
  • Students often lose marks because they don’t use specific scientific terms even though they show a good understanding of principles. Highlighting new terms in their exercise books, reading them aloud, learning to spell them and putting them into new sentences will help establish recall and use in students’ work.
  • Encourage your child to ask for help from their teacher if they feel unsure of anything they have been taught.


Key Stage 4

The national curriculum is changing for pupils currently at school in the UK. This means that we are currently teaching two different specifications of Science to pupils in different year groups.

Year 9

Pupils in Year 9 will be the first year to complete the new specification. Elements of this course are still to be finalized by our examining body, AQA, however we have made a robust program of study to ensure pupils receive the best Science education possible.

All pupils complete a specialized scheme of work originally from the AQA to prepare them with the skills required for their GCSEs in Science before starting the subject content presented in the draft combined science: trilogy specification.

When pupils progress into Year 10 and accurate assessment has been made, some pupils will be selected to complete the sciences separately and achieve three GCSEs in Science.

For pupils in Year 9, assessment is made up of in-lesson assessment, end of topic tests, and whole year examinations.

All exams take place at the end of Year 11, and there are no longer any Controlled Assessments required in Science.

Year 10 & 11

Pupils in Years 10 and 11 are following the current specification for examinations up to 2017:

For pupils in Years 10 and 11, assessment is made up of on-lesson assessments, end of topic tests where applicable, and Mock Exams.

All exams take place at the end of Year 11, and Controlled Assessments (worth 25% of each GCSE) are completed in lessons.