Science

  • Science matters to every single one of us. The scientific advances of today will shape how our lives change in the future. To this end, the Science Learning Area is dedicated to identifying and nurturing the scientist within. It stimulates curiosity in the world around us, satisfying this with knowledge. Through science, students understand how major scientific ideas contribute to technological change and impact on industry, business and medicine and the quality of life.
  • Collaborative learning underpins all courses, providing a wealth of scientific knowledge and experience while engendering an exciting, risk-taking approach to science. Practical investigations are core within the learning programmes, enabling students to gain confidence in independent learning and enquiry.
  • Here at The Leigh, students follow a 5-year science curriculum from Year 7 through to Year 11 that has been designed to enable students revisit and built upon scientific content and concepts as they progress:
    • In Year 7 & Year 8 students will cover content from the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum, encapsulated within the framework, aims and assessment structure of the IB Middle Years Programme (IB MYP).
    • In Year 9 students continue to cover content from the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum, blended with aspects of the  Key Stage 4 National Curriculum to start developing links to GCSE Sciences in order to prepare students for the next stage of their education. This content continues to be encapsulated within the framework, aims and assessments structure of the IB MYP.
    • In Year 10 and Year 11 students cover content from the Key Stage 4 National Curriculum, following the suite of AQA GCSE Science pathways.
  • Upon completion of our 5-year science curriculum and acquisition of appropriate GCSE grades, our students will be able to continue their science studies with us on the variety of Post-16 science courses we have on  offer.
  • For a more in-depth overview of the content covered at each stage of our 5-year science curriculum and to view our Post-16 Science offering, please navigate to the appropriate area of our website using the icons at the top of this page.

Coming soon…

  • Here at The Leigh, our Key Stage 3 science provision takes the content outlined by the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum and embeds it within the framework of the IB Middle Years Programme (IB MYP).
  • In Year 7 and Year 8, content studied is taken directly from the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum. The IB MYP framework ensures that this content is delivered in such a way that students are not only developing the scientific knowledge that is required for future study, but also the scientific and personal skills needed in order to thrive in our society today.
  • Students will start to experience some Key Stage 4 science content blended into their studies throughout Year 9. This content will match the relevant material covered from the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum to the content covered within the AQA GCSE Combined Science Trilogy specification.
  • For an overview of the content areas covered in each science and the assessment structure for each year group, please use the icons below to toggle to the appropriate section:
Year 7 Topics & Assessments
  • The science IB MYP curriculum, which we follow from Year 7 through to Year 9, is the ideal vehicle for developing thoughtful and enquiring minds. The MYP allows for a rigorous, yet creative, approach to learning that will enable students to ask questions of the world around them, as well as answering them, and to develop into researchers who are aware of the importance of critical analysis of the information around them.
  • In Year 7, students are taught over 3 lessons per week.The following is a summary of Year 7 content and LAT assessment schedule:
Criterion When assessed
Criterion A Knowledge and Understanding End of Module 2

Module 6

Criterion B Inquiring and Designing Module 3

Module 5

Criterion C Processing and Evaluating Module 3

Module 5

Criterion D Reflecting on the Impacts of Science Module 1

Module 4

Year 8 Topics & Assessments
  • The science IB MYP curriculum, which we follow from Year 7 through to Year 9, is the ideal vehicle for developing thoughtful and enquiring minds. The MYP allows for a rigorous, yet creative, approach to learning that will enable students to ask questions of the world around them, as well as answering them, and to develop into researchers who are aware of the importance of critical analysis of the information around them.
  • In Year 8, students are taught over 3 lessons per week.The following is a summary of Year 8 content and LAT assessment schedule:
Criterion When assessed
Criterion A Knowledge and Understanding End of Module 2

Module 5

Criterion B Inquiring and Designing Module 3

Module 6

Criterion C Processing and Evaluating Module 3

Module 6

Criterion D Reflecting on the Impacts of Science Module 1

Module 4

Year 9 Topics & Assessments
  • The science IB MYP curriculum, which we follow from Year 7 through to Year 9, is the ideal vehicle for developing thoughtful and enquiring minds. The MYP allows for a rigorous, yet creative, approach to learning that will enable students to ask questions of the world around them, as well as answering them, and to develop into researchers who are aware of the importance of critical analysis of the information around them.
  • In Year 9, students are taught over 3 lessons per week.The following is a summary of Year 9 content and LAT assessment schedule:
Criterion When assessed
Criterion A Knowledge and Understanding End of each Unit – Covers Biology, Chemistry & Physics
Criterion B Inquiring and Designing Module 2

Module 4

Criterion C Processing and Evaluating Module 2

Module 4

Criterion D Reflecting on the Impacts of Science Module 2

Module 5

  • For further information on the assessment types used for IB MYP, please use the following toggle:
IB MYP Science Assessment Criteria
  • The MYP assesses students on four key abilities:

    – Criterion A – Knowledge and Understanding

    – Criterion B – Inquiring and Designing

    – Criterion C – Processing and Evaluating

    – Criterion D – Reflecting on the Impacts of Science

  • Each strand is formally assessed on a Trust-wide basis at 2 points in the year. At the end of the year, we take the best score from each strand and use this to calculate an MYP grade. This is then carried forward and used to set a target for the end of Year 8 to show progress in learning.
Criterion How it is assessed
Criterion A Knowledge and Understanding Involves the completion of exam-style assessments that are cumulative in nature. In addition to this, students will complete mini ‘End-of-topic’ assessments at the end of each topic.
Criterion B Inquiring and Designing Involves the completion of practical-based activities, where students design their own practical investigations. We assess their ability to think scientifically and apply knowledge of scientific concepts to formulate and test hypotheses. Students will gain experience of this skill throughout the year as they complete mini investigations or carry out observations.
Criterion C Processing and Evaluating This is assessed alongside Strand B and requires students to analyse data, identify trends and formulate conclusions. It develops the ability to critically evaluate their work with regards to the reliability of their data and methods. Students suggest how to improve on their work through changes to their method and consider future questions of interest.
Criterion D Reflecting on the Impacts of Science Requires students to answer a question or solve a real-world scientific problem, such as considering the ethical implications of using embryonic stem cells in research and medicine. Students are required to conduct independent research (with guidance) to find suitable information to inform their work, and come to an overall conclusion.
  • The following resources are required for each science lesson: a scientific calculator, a black pen, a pencil and a ruler.
  • Here at The Leigh we follow the suite of AQA GCSE Science pathways for our Key Stage 4 science provision.
  • Students will start to experience some Key Stage 4 science content blended into their studies throughout Year 9. This content will match the relevant material covered from the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum to the content covered within the AQA GCSE Combined Science Trilogy specification.
  • At the beginning of Year 10, students will be grouped based on the pathway they are most likely to be entered for in Year 11 for their GCSE Science examinations. These pathways include:

    – AQA GCSE Combined Science Higher/Foundation Tier

    – AQA GCSE Separate Sciences Higher/Foundation Tier

  • For an overview of the content areas covered in each science and the examination structure of each pathway, please use the icons below to toggle to the appropriate pathway:
AQA GCSE Combined Science Trilogy
  • AQA GCSE Combined Science Trilogy key details:

    – Students cover content from all three main branches of science: biology, chemistry and physics.

    – This pathway can be assessed at both higher tier (access to grades 9-4) and foundation tier (access to grades 5-1).

    – Content covered on the higher tier pathway is suitable as a starting point for Post-16 science studies (subject to the attainment of appropriate grades – please see our Key Stage 5 page for more details).

    – Students are awarded a dual-grade from the 17-point grading scale (e.g. 1-1, 2-1, 2-2…8-8, 9-8, 9-9). These grades are determined based on the combined raw mark achieved across 6 examinations – two examinations for each science.

    – The specification for this course can be found at the following address: https://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/science/specifications/AQA-8464-SP-2016.PDF

Biology Content
  • 4.1: Cell Biology
  • 4.2: Organisation
  • 4.3: Infection and Response
  • 4.4: Bioenergetics
  • 4.5: Homeostasis and Response
  • 4.6: Inheritance, variation and evolution
  • 4.7: Ecology
Chemistry Content
  • 5.1: Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • 5.2: Bonding, structure and the properties of matter
  • 5.3 Quantitative chemistry
  • 5.4: Chemical changes
  • 5.5: Energy changes
  • 5.6: The rate and extent of chemical change
  • 5.7: Organic chemistry
  • 5.8: Chemical analysis
  • 5.9: Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • 5.10: Using resources
Physics Content
  • 6.1: Energy
  • 6.2: Electricity
  • 6.3 Particle model of matter
  • 6.4: Atomic structure
  • 6.5: Forces
  • 6.6: Waves
  • 6.7: Magnetism and electromagnetism
The structure of each exam
  • Written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Foundation and Higher Tier
  • 70 marks
  • 16.7% of GCSE
Question styles

Multiple choice, structured, closed short answer, and open response.

Content covered on each exam
  • Biology topics 1–4: Cell Biology; Organisation; Infection and response; and Bioenergetics.
  • Biology topics 5–7: Homeostasis and response; Inheritance, variation and evolution; and Ecology
  • Chemistry topics 1–5: Atomic structure and the periodic table; Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter; Quantitative chemistry; Chemical changes; and Energy changes.
  • Chemistry topics 6–10: The rate and extent of chemical change; Organic chemistry; Chemical analysis; Chemistry of the atmosphere and Using resources. Questions in Paper 2 may draw on fundamental concepts and principles from Sections 5.1 to 5.3.
  • Physics topics 1–4: Energy; Electricity; Particle model of matter; and Atomic structure.
  • Physics topics 5–7: Forces; Waves; and Magnetism and electromagnetism.
AQA GCSE Separate Sciences “Triple Science”
  • AQA GCSE Combined Science Trilogy key details:

    – Students cover content from all three main branches of science: biology, chemistry and physics, with additional content across the various topics for each science in comparison with Combined Science.

    – This pathway can be assessed at both higher tier (access to grades 9-4) and foundation tier (access to grades 5-1).

    – Content covered on the higher tier pathway is suitable as a starting point for Post-16 science studies (subject to the attainment of appropriate grades – please see our Key Stage 5 page for more details).

    – Students are awarded a separate grade, from 9-1,for each science. Each grade is determined based on the combined raw mark achieved in the two examinations completed for each specific science.

    – The specification for each course can be found at the following addresses:

    Biology: https://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/biology/specifications/AQA-8461-SP-2016.PDF

    Chemistry: https://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/chemistry/specifications/AQA-8462-SP-2016.PDF

    Physics: https://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/physics/specifications/AQA-8463-SP-2016.PDF

Biology Content
  • 4.1: Cell Biology
  • 4.2: Organisation
  • 4.3: Infection and Response
  • 4.4: Bioenergetics
  • 4.5: Homeostasis and Response
  • 4.6: Inheritance, variation and evolution
  • 4.7: Ecology
Chemistry Content
  • 4.1: Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • 4.2: Bonding, structure and the properties of matter
  • 4.3 Quantitative chemistry
  • 4.4: Chemical changes
  • 4.5: Energy changes
  • 4.6: The rate and extent of chemical change
  • 4.7: Organic chemistry
  • 4.8: Chemical analysis
  • 4.9: Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • 4.10: Using resources
Physics Content
  • 4.1: Energy
  • 4.2: Electricity
  • 4.3 Particle model of matter
  • 4.4: Atomic structure
  • 4.5: Forces
  • 4.6: Waves
  • 4.7: Magnetism and electromagnetism
  • 4.8: Space Physics
The structure of each exam
  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Foundation and Higher Tier
  • 100 marks
  • 50% of GCSE
Question styles

Multiple choice, structured, closed short answer, and open response.

Content covered on each exam
  • Biology topics 1–4: Cell Biology; Organisation; Infection and response; and Bioenergetics.
  • Biology topics 5–7: Homeostasis and response; Inheritance, variation and evolution; and Ecology
  • Chemistry topics 1–5: Atomic structure and the periodic table; Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter; Quantitative chemistry; Chemical changes; and Energy changes.
  • Chemistry topics 6–10: The rate and extent of chemical change; Organic chemistry; Chemical analysis; Chemistry of the atmosphere and Using resources. Questions in Paper 2 may draw on fundamental concepts and principles from Sections 4.1 to 4.3.
  • Physics topics 1–4: Energy; Electricity; Particle model of matter; and Atomic structure.
  • Physics topics 5–7: Forces; Waves; and Magnetism and electromagnetism. Questions in paper 2 may draw on an understanding of energy changes and transfers due to heating, mechanical and electrical work and the concept of energy conservation from Energy.
  • The following resources are required for each of the science pathways available: a scientific calculator, a black pen, a pencil and a ruler.
  • We advise that each student has access to a revision guide for their relevant pathway, as well as flash cards and access to past exam questions.
  • Tassomai: The Leigh Academies Trust has subscribed to Tassomai, and online revision and improvement platform, for students in Y10 and Y11. Students should make use of Tassomai a minimum of 4 times per week benefit from it – of course, the more students use Tassomai, the greater the benefit to them.
  • Here at The Leigh we have two pathways for our Key Stage 5 science provision:

    – Individual IB Diploma Programme (IB DP) courses in Biology, Chemistry and Physics

    – BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science

  • Each of our pathways can be utilised to contribute towards the IB Career-related Programme (IBCP) framework. Please see the general Post-16 section of the academy website for more details.
  • The IB Diploma Programme is a rigorous pre-university course of study designed for students in the 16 to 19 age range. It is a broad-based two-year course that aims to encourage students to be knowledgeable and inquiring, but also caring and compassionate. There is a strong emphasis on encouraging students to develop intercultural understanding, open-mindedness, and the attitudes necessary for them to respect and evaluate a range of points of view.
  • For further details of each of the Post-16 qualifications we offer, please use the toggles below:
IBDP Biology
  • Biologists investigate the living world at all levels using many different approaches and techniques. At one end of the scale is the cell, its molecular construction and complex metabolic reactions. At the other end of the scale biologists investigate the interactions that make whole ecosystems function.Many discoveries remain to be made and great progress is expected in the 21st century.
  • At The Leigh, we offer the IB Biology course at Higher Level (HL). Students are examined across a range of core biology topics, which are further enhanced by the additional higher level material, the study and assessment of an option component, completion of a “Group 4” Project and the completion of an Internal Assessment (IA).

For a more detailed breakdown of the IBDP Biology course, please click the link below to download the Biology course guide:

IBDP Chemistry
  • Chemistry is an experimental science that combines academic study with the acquisition of practical and investigational skills. It is often called the central science as chemical principles underpin both the physical environment in which we live and all biological systems. Apart from being a subject worthy of study in its own right, chemistry is often a prerequisite for many other courses in higher education, such as medicine, biological science and environmental science.
  • At The Leigh, we offer the IB Chemistry course at Higher Level (HL). Students are examined across a range of core chemistry topics, which are further enhanced by the additional higher level material, the study and assessment of an option component, completion of a “Group 4” Project and the completion of an Internal Assessment (IA).
  • For a more detailed breakdown of the IBDP Chemistry course, please click the link below to download the Chemistry course guide:
IBDP Physics
  • Physics is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences, as it seeks to explain the universe itself from the very smallest particles to the vast distances between galaxies. Despite the exciting and extraordinary development of ideas throughout the history of physics, observations remain essential to the very core of the subject. Models are developed to try to understand observations, and these themselves can become theories that attempt to explain the observations.
  • At The Leigh, we offer the IB Physics course at Higher Level (HL). Students are examined across a range of core Physics topics, which are further enhanced by the additional higher level material, the study and assessment of an option component, completion of a “Group 4” Project and the completion of an Internal Assessment (IA).
  • For a more detailed breakdown of the IBDP Physics course, please click the link below to download the Physics course guide:
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science
  • Students cover content from 3 mandatory units and one optional unit. Unit 1 focuses on developing core scientific knowledge, whereas units 2 & 3 are heavily rooted in the realm of practical Science.
  • Students completing their BTEC Nationals in Applied Science will be aiming to go on to employment, often via the stepping stone of higher education. The BTEC National Extended Certificate in Applied Science is a qualification designed in close collaboration with experts from professional bodies, businesses and universities, and with the providers who will be delivering the qualifications. Universities, professional bodies and businesses have endorsed this qualification, confirming that they meet their entry requirements for higher study.
  • The course covers content from all 3 strands of science: biology, chemistry and physics. It is designed with hands-on practical science at its core and is widely regarded as a strong choice of qualification for students looking to pursue a career in practical Sciences.
  • Typically, students have studied Unit 8 “Physiology of Human Body Systems” as their optional unit, however this can be adjusted to suit the needs of the cohort each year.