St Mary's Catholic College, Wallasey

St Mary's Catholic College
A Voluntary Aided Academy


Science Key Stage 3

Year 7

You will find Science in Year 7 really interesting! You will begin by building on the skills which you developed in primary school, but be prepared for some exciting practical experiments this year.

The Key Stage 3 science course focuses on how science works and is taught in Chemistry, Physics and Biology lessons. You will study seven different topics:

  • Staying alive!
  • Why are we different?
  • What are things made of?
  • Be reactive!
  • How things move
  • Using Energy
  • Earth, Space and beyond.

You will be tested at the end of each unit to make sure that you understand everything you have been taught, so it's important to work hard and do all your homework!

Parents can help by encouraging you to understand just how much science there is in the world around you, and making sure that you are up to date with your homework and revision.

Year 8

In Science in Year 8 you are going to continue on your journey to becoming an independent enquirer, developing your scientific skills and learning how science works. You will have lots of opportunities for team work and creative thinking.

This year you will study the following topics:

  • Biology
    • Systems for survival
    • How we stay healthy
    • How do living things interact?
  • Chemistry
    • What's in a reaction?
    • Changing earth
  • Physics
    • Heating and cooling
    • Finding out about light and sound
    • Exploring magnetism

Parents can help by encouraging you to complete your homework and revise thoroughly at the end of each topic.


"The most exciting phrase to hear in Science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'hmm…..that's funny' "
Isaac Asimov, author of I, Robot

About the Course:

GCSE Science can be accessed by a variety of routes all covering the same topics.

Route Choices

The majority of pupils will take the Double Award course with the most able taking the Higher route, accessing A* - C grades.

For those pupils who find the Double Award course too demanding, Single Award Foundation, accessing grades C - G, will be the route to take.

Pupils who enjoy the three Sciences and achieve at least level 6 in their end of year exams have the opportunity to choose Separate Sciences.

Topics Studied

Year 10 introduces students to how Science interacts with the real world. The course involves looking at the wider picture on issues such as global warming, air pollution and genetics. There is a great emphasis on practical and investigational work and pupils will enjoy producing a case study on a Science issue currently in the news.

In Year 11 students look into "How Science Works" with particular emphasis placed on the theory of Science. A full practical investigation is carried out as part of coursework.

How it will be assessed:

Modular examinations in January and June of Years 10 and 11 - 67% of total mark

Coursework - 33% of total mark

What it prepares you for:

Success on this course will provide you with the opportunity to successfully study a range of Level 3 courses in 6th form and open the door to a vast array of employment opportunities in health, leisure, science and industry.

AS / A2 Biology

"They are in you and me….they go by the name of genes, and we are their survival machines"
Richard Dawkins

About the Course:

Biology is an important, demanding and enjoyable subject.  It is a subject that requires a devotion to hard work, an ability to solve problems and a commitment to meeting deadlines.  As a result of this course you will develop valuable knowledge and skills that will aid you in your future studies.

Many people consider Biology to be the  science of the future with Biologists developing strategies to both prolong and improve the quality of human life whilst making sustainable demands on Earth's limited resources.

AS Level

  • Unit 1 - Biology and disease
  • Unit 2 - The variety of living organisms
  • Unit 3 - Investigative and practical skills in AS Biology

A2 Level

  • Unit 4 - Populations and environment
  • Unit 5 - Control in cells and in organisms
  • Unit 6 - Investigative and practical skills in A2 Biology

How it will be assessed:

AS -  Units 1 & 2 examination, Unit 3 practical

A2 -  Units 4 & 5 examination, Unit 6 practical

What it prepares you for:

Biology is a desirable qualification for a wide range of University courses including Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Horticulture and Ecology.  It is also important for paramedical studies such as Nursing, Radiography, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy and Medical laboratory work.

Entry requirements:

A minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade C or above, including grade B or above at separate or additional science level (Biology)

AS / A2 Chemistry

"Its challenging nature makes it rewarding and the practical work really livens up the course"
Kathleen, Year 13

About the Course:

Chemistry is an important science which is essential in our everyday lives and can make for a rewarding career. Because of this, many students choose this challenging, interesting and stimulating subject.

If you are interested in working in the NHS, pharmaceutical or other science-based industries, Chemistry should be seriously considered.

The course aims to develop knowledge and ideas introduced in the additional 20th century science modules enabling students to understand the fundamental concepts of Chemistry.

Students are encouraged to develop their existing skills in new, more challenging situations.

AS Level

  • Unit 1 - Foundation Chemistry
  • Unit 2 - Chemistry in action
  • Unit 3- Investigative and practical skills

A2 Level

  • Unit 4 - Kinetics, Equilibria & Organic Chemistry
  • Unit 5 - Energetics, Redox & Inorganic Chemistry
  • Unit 6 - Investigative and practical skills

How it will be assessed:

A combination of examination and centre-assessed practical work.

What it prepares you for:

A Level Chemistry is obviously essential for anyone wishing to study the subject further at degree level, but it is also a requirement for many courses including Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Forensic Science, Environmental Science and Engineering.

Entry requirements:

A minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade C or above, including grade B or above at separate or additional science level (Chemistry)

AS / A2 Physics

"A subject that takes you all the way from the formation of stars to deep inside the atom"

About the Course:

If you have an enquiring mind, enjoy a challenge and like solving problems, then this is the subject for you! From the smallest part of the human body to the great clusters of galaxies, Physics helps us understand how the world works. The applications, like the careers opportunities, are infinite. Employers today actively seek out people who can prove their ability to think logically, understand complex ideas and apply them to the real world. Whether you want to pursue a career in science, the media, education, business or a host of other fields, Physics can give you the edge.

To reach AS level standard you will need to complete the following three modules:

  • Unit 1  Mechanics
  • Unit 2  Electrons, waves and photons
  • Unit 3  Practical skills in Physics 1

If successful at AS level, you can continue to A2 level by completing the following three modules:

  • Unit 4  The Newtonian world
  • Unit 5  Fields, particles and frontiers of Physics
  • Unit 6  Practical skills in Physics 2

How it will be assessed:

AS -  Units 1 & 2 examination, Unit 3 practical

A2 -  Units 4 & 5 examination, Unit 6 practical

What it prepares you for:

Physics can help you to develop a flexible portfolio of skills that will equip you for a satisfying career. Some of the industries in which a Physics qualification is in demand are Astronomy, Ceramics and Plastics, Computers, Electronics, Engineering, Health and Safety, Health Service, Laser optics, Nuclear Power, Patent work, Seismic Exploration and Technical Journalism.

Entry requirements:

A minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade C or above, including Physics and  Maths grade B
and English grade C.