St. Joseph's Catholic College



All students at St. Joseph's are able to study science from year 7 to year 11. Through these lessons, we aim to enthuse, engage and inspire all our students and harness and develop their intrinsic love of science. Our aim is to ensure that all students leave their time here at SJCC as caring and competent scientists irrespective of their future paths, with at the very least a basic core knowledge of the sciences. We follow the KS3 National Curriculum in years 7 and 8 and in the first half of year 9. From January in year 9 and through year 10 and year 11 students follow one of our two pathways studying for GCSEs in sciences.  In the sixth form we offer A levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Details of our KS5 courses can be found in the sixth form area of the website.


Course Outlines

Key Stage 3

The main objectives of the three years in Key Stage 3 are to:

  • Promote an interest in and enjoyment of Science

  • Promote knowledge and understanding of key scientific concepts and facts and an appreciation of  their significance

  • Promote awareness and appreciation of the contribution science makes to society through How Science Works activities

  • Promote respect and  responsible attitudes towards safety, including respect for living organisms and the physical environment


The science course is based on the Programme of Study for Key Stage 3 of the National Curriculum. Students in Years 7, 8 and 9 (up until January) will follow an accelerated course which is linked to the AQA Science syllabus using the Kerboodle Activate online textbook and resources.

The topics that the students study are:

7B1 Living things
7C1 Building blocks
7P1 Universe
7B2 New Life
7C1 Elements, atoms and compounds
7P2 Light and Sound
8C1 Things that go bang
8P1 Energy and Magnetism
8B1 Fit and Healthy
8B2 Ecosystems
8C2 Acids and Alkalis
8P2 Motion and Pressure
9B1 Adaptation and inheritance
9C1 The Earth, Metals and Acids


The students are assessed using diagnostic assessments at the end of each topic in order to support and monitor progress.


Key Stage 4

From September 2016 we are delivering the new AQA GCSEs in Science. Students will be following one of two pathways, studying either the ‘Combined Science’ course which will result in two GCSEs in Science, or they will follow the ‘Triple Science’ courses which will result in three GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.


Combined Science

This qualification is linear meaning that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course, in Y11. There are six papers: two biology, two chemistry and two physics. Each of the papers will assess knowledge and understanding from distinct topic areas. There is no controlled assessment as in previous years and so 100% of the marks will come from these six examinations. Because there is no longer any assessed practical work that counts towards a student’s grade, there are 21 required practical tasks that students will carry out over the course, questions relating to these practical tasks will be assessed on the written papers.


Subject content covered is listed below:



1. Cell biology

2. Organisation

3. Infection and response

4. Bioenergetics

5. Homeostasis and response

6. Inheritance, variation and evolution

7. Ecology



8. Atomic structure and the periodic table

9. Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter

10. Quantitative chemistry

11. Chemical changes

12. Energy changes

13. The rate and extent of chemical change

14. Organic chemistry

15. Chemical analysis

16. Chemistry of the atmosphere

17. Using resources



18. Energy

19. Electricity

20. Particle model of matter

21. Atomic structure

22. Forces

23. Waves

24. Magnetism and electromagnetism


GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physics (Triple Science)

These courses are suitable for the students who enjoy and excel in science. It is hoped that many of the students who study this course will continue to study science at a higher level in our Sixth Form. We also follow the AQA GCSE Specifications for these courses. The content in these courses is similar to the content covered in the GCSE Combined Science qualification, but lessons will go into more depth in these areas. Students will also only sit a total of six papers, however the papers will be longer than those sat by the Combined Science students. There will also be required practical tasks that students will complete over the two year courses.