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The Barlow RC High School


Subject: Science
Faculty Leader: Mr Sirett
Deputy Faculty Leader: Ms Keegan, Mrs Rablen
Additional Staff: Mrs Hainsworth, Mrs Hardy, Mrs Steers, Miss Waters, Miss Scott, Mrs Lynch

Combined Science Learning Journey

Triple Science Learning Journey

Inspirational Quote

“In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”
Charles Darwin

Darwin’s words remind us of the importance of working together, and adapting our working, in order to face the challenges of the 21st Century.

Curriculum Intent

At The Barlow our high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

The Science curriculum at the Barlow aims to ensure that all pupils develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics; develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them; are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Pupils begin their journey through the spiralling science curriculum by learning about the core knowledge at the heart of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. In Biology it is Cells, the very things that make all living organisms. In Chemistry it is matter, the physical substances, in their many forms, that result in the world we interact with. Finally, Physics; here we learn about energy, how it is transferred, and how everything in the universe relies on this.

Once these core principles are established, we then build the knowledge on to of this. In living things, we look at Organisms, their structure, their Health, and they reproduce. We then look at how organisms interact in Ecosystems, and how they survive. In Physics we explore how and why things move, behave, and act as they do. We then explore the manner in which energy can be transferred via waves, and how we’ve used this to communicate, and understand the universe.

Finally in Chemistry, once we know what things are made of we look at how we separate compounds, and why we need to do this. We explore the consequences of Chemical reactions, and how we’ve become utterly dependent upon them.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

Science is a set of ideas about the material world. At The Barlow we have included all the parts of what good science is at GCSE level: whether it be investigating, observing, experimenting or testing out ideas and thinking about them. The way scientific ideas flow through our curriculum will support in building a deep understanding of science within our pupils. We know this will involve talking about, reading and writing about science plus the actual doing, as well as representing science in its many forms both mathematically and visually through models.

This curriculum encourages the development of knowledge and understanding in science through opportunities for working scientifically. Working scientifically is the sum of all the activities that scientists do.

As in Key Stage 3, the pupils begin their journey learning about the core knowledge (cells, matter, energy) and building on their strong understanding from Key Stage 3. From here, in Biology, the pupils explore how and why organisms are structured in the way that they are, and how this structure helps them survive, and thrive, within their environments. The pupils will explore how and why species change over time, and how this all starts with subtle mutations and simple change in genetic code.

In Chemistry the pupils will explore the material world by looking at the behaviour of elements, and why specific groups act in the manner that they do. They will explore the consequences of this, and how we have harnessed this for combustion, a reaction which drove humanity through the 20th century. The pupils will wrap up their exploration by looking at the consequences of our over use of certain resources, and arrive at the conclusion that this cannot continue.

Finally, in Physics the pupils build on energy transfers by exploring how we’ve utilised these energy stores to our advantage. Whether it is via electromagnetism to aid machinery, or radioactivity to power cities. The pupils will explore how the consequences of kinetic energy transfers result in movement, and how we’ve harnessed the resultant forces around us to power the modern world. All of this of course being achieved in a 21st century in which it’s possible to communicate in the blink of an eye across the globe, harnessing the energy transfer capabilities of waves.

The Key Stage 4 curriculum provides the platform pupils need to understand the world around them, and prepare them for a future in Science.

Assessment Information

Combined Science

  • Pupils sit 6 terminal exams at the end of year 11. Two papers are sat from each strand of the Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • Each paper is worth 70 marks, and result in a total score being generated out of 420 points.
  • Grade boundaries at the Foundation tier are up to grade 55. Pupils sitting Higher can achieve a maximum 99 and a minimum 43. Please note pupils who fail to meet the boundary for the 43 will result in a U.

Triple Science

  • Pupils sit 2 exams for each of the Separate Science GCSE.
  • Each paper is worth 100 marks, and result in a total score being generated out of 200 points.
  • The highest grade available is a grade 9. Pupils leave with 3 separate GCSE’s.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum Support Materials

At Key Stage 4 our pupil’s study either Combined Science Triology (AQA), or the Separate Sciences, Biology, Chemistry, Physics (AQA) all at GCSE level. The links below will take you straight to the homepage for each strand of the courses on the BBC Bitesize website for the appropriate GCSE specification.

Combined Science (Foundation and Higher tier)


KS3 Biology


KS3 Chemistry


KS3 Physics

Separate Sciences (Triple Science)

GCSE BiologyGCSE Biology

GCSE Chemistry

GCSE Chemistry

GCSE Physics GCSE Chemistry

The following sites are also useful for revision purposes:

Tassomai – The schools online homework platform

Primrose Kitten – A revision site

Free science lessons - Youtube

Quizlet – Online revision quizzes

In addition to the above we also have the schools ‘Science Hub’. This available via the pupils section on the website and contains access to a wealth of resources that are password protected due to licensing rules.


Never has it been more important to encourage pupils to careers within the STEM subjects. An ageing population, faced with risks of future pandemics are going to need a greater awareness of medicine. Roles include:-

  • Doctors, Nurses, Radiographers, Physiotherapists, Surgeons, Midwives

The global change away from fossil fuels is going to result in a shift to renewable energies. As such pupils should explore careers like:-

  • Chemical engineer, Aeronautical engineers, Mechanical engineer, Theoretical physicists, Statisticians, Material scientist

As our planet adapts to the ever changing impact of humanity, it is scientists who explore, and look to help repair whatever damage we have caused. Jobs include:-

  • Ecologist, Field researcher, Climate scientist, Meteorologist, Environmental surveyor, Conservationist, Zoologist