Welcome to the Science Department


Our Aims

In the science department, we aim to find the potential in all our students and bring it to life in our science labs. Science is not only fascinating to study - understanding the key ideas in biology, chemistry and physics allows you to appreciate how the world, and everything in it, works and interacts. We work to grow and nourish aspiration in our students, and encourage a logical and scientific approach to thinking that applies both in and out of the lab.



Department Staffing

Iain Mackenzie – Faculty Director

Emma Waller - Deputy Faculty Director

Ellie Jacobs – Vice Principal and Chemistry AST

Rebecca Wildman – Lead Practitioner for Science

Farzana Karim – Teacher of Science

Jackson Chilvers - Teacher of Science

Kevin Taylor - Teacher of Science

Emily Willett - Teacher of Science

Vicki Yaxley - Teacher of Science

Liza Palmer – Teacher of Science

Science Web-links

Access to Pearson Active Learn for KS4 learners: This website contains hundreds of activities that reinforce and extend KS4 topics, giving students the opportunity to improve their knowledge and practice extended writing questions. Included are full digital versions of our GCSE textbooks.

Access to kerboodle for our KS3 and KS5 learners: KS3 students can access online homework exercises, whilst KS5 students of biology and physics can access online homework, digital textbooks and additional information and revision exercises.

Science Key Stage 3 

Key Stage 3 – Science

Key stage 3 science at NOA aims to provide an engaging and comprehensive introduction to key scientific topics and ideas, encompassing both traditional subjects and cutting-edge research and applications.

We follow a three-year model for KS3, using the new ‘Activate’ curriculum. This is tailored to the recent 2014 curriculum changes and is engaging for students whilst providing a strong foundation for their future GCSE studies. Lessons include a variety of learning activities incorporating practical experiments, individual and group work, literacy support and extended writing practice.

Key Stage 3 Programme of Study (Timeline)



Biology: Cells; Structure and function of body systems; Reproduction

In biology you will discover what plants and animals are made of. You will also meet some tiny organisms that can only be seen under a microscope. You will explore how different structures work together to keep an organism alive. Finally, you will discover how new plants and animals are created through the process of reproduction.


Chemistry: Particles and their behaviour; Elements, atoms and compounds; Reactions; Acids and alkalis

In chemistry you will learn about the atoms that make up everything on Earth. You will explore how chemical reactions make vital materials, and transfer energy for almost everything we do.


Physics: Forces; Sound; Light; Space

In physics you will learn about how you see, and how light and sound waves behave. You will learn about the place of the Earth in the Universe. You will also learn about the forces that keep you from falling through the floor and allow astronauts to stand on the Moon.




Biology: Health and lifestyle; Ecosystem processes; Adaptation and inheritance

In Biology you will compare the effects of healthy and unhealthy lifestyles on your body. You will look at why organisms need energy to function effectively. Finally, you will investigate the differences that exist between organisms, and why this is important for their survival.


Chemistry: The periodic table; Separation techniques; Metals and acids; The Earth

In Chemistry you will learn about the structure of the Earth, and the rocks of its crust. You will discover how we separate mixtures, and use chemical reactions, to obtain the materials we need from the Earth and its atmosphere. You will also explore patterns in chemical reactions. You will identify patterns in the properties of elements, and learn how to use the Periodic Table to predict properties.


Physics: Electricity and magnetism; Energy; Motion and pressure

In physics you will discover how circuits work and how the electricity in your house is generated. You will learn why it is important to insulate a house and what you pay for when you pay your electricity bill. You will also find out how to use graphs to tell a story, and how forces explain gas and air pressure.




Biology: New technology; Turning points in biology; Detection

In this unit, you will begin by looking at genetics. This includes genetically inherited disorders and how plant and animal genes can be changed to alter an organism’s characteristics. You will also study how you can protect yourself from disease through immunisation and treat conditions using antibiotics. Finally, you will find out how forensic scientists help to solve crimes through the analysis of evidence found at the scene of a crime.


Chemistry: New technology; Turning points in chemistry; Detection

In this unit you will learn about nanoparticles. Nanoparticles make exciting new materials, with properties that make them perfect for strengthening sports equipment, protecting electronic devices and treating disease. You will also learn about vital turning points in chemistry. How did scientists find out what’s in an atom, and what fossils tell us about the history of life on Earth?


Physics: New technology; Turning points in physics; Detection

In this unit you will learn about how technology, from mobile phones to hospitals, has changed the way that we live our lives. You will learn how our ideas about the Universe have changed, and how people discovered electromagnetism and radioactivity. You will also learn about how scientists look for aliens, new particles, and how GPS works.


Home Learning

All parents are encouraged to support their children by checking Show My Homework; staff within the faculty set home learning regularly for students using this resource.

The department sets one piece of home learning per week, although the format will vary depending on the purpose of the activity. Typical activities could include worksheets to support or extend learning from lessons, research, and summary or extended writing to develop scientific literacy, or revision for end of chapter assessments. Home learning is assessed in line with the department and school policies, OGSI grades are returned to students and results are used to plan future teaching activities in lessons.

Science Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4- Science

GCSE Science provides the foundations for understanding the material world. Scientific understanding is changing our lives, and is vital to the world’s future prosperity. Learning the essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science helps students to appreciate how the complex and varied phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a small number of key ideas.

Science education is important in terms of skills that can be used outside of the classroom; ‘thinking scientifically’ involves problem solving, prediction, accurate observation and common sense – all skills that are highly transferrable. We aim to teach science in a way that is both effective and highly engaging for students; our team of passionate teachers are fascinated by the topics we teach, and enjoy planning active and diverse learning activities.

In KS4 NOA science, we follow the Edexcel GCSE curriculum. Most learners will study both Core and Additional Science, which will result in GCSE qualifications in Science and Additional Science. Students can also choose the option of studying Extended Science, which awards a third GCSE in Extended Science.

Key Stage 4 Programme of study (Timeline)

All KS4 students will study for both Science and Additional Science GCSEs. Year 10 students will study the topics covered in the Science GCSE, with year 11 students moving on to study Additional Science topics. All examinations are sat at the end of year 11, with a biology, chemistry and physics exam for each GCSE (6 exams in total). Each examination is 60 minutes long, and worth 25% of a GCSE.

Controlled assessments (assessed practical’s and lab reports) are also completed throughout the programme of study, with one for each GCSE. Students will complete several practice controlled assessments to help prepare them for the assessed work, which is worth 25% of a GCSE – the same weighting as each exam.

Students choosing the triple science option at the end of year 9 will follow an accelerated programme of study in years 10 and 11, allowing them to cover all Science and Additional Science topics, along with the Extension Science units. They will sit 9 exams in total and submit 3 pieces of controlled assessment.

Home Learning

All parents are encouraged to support their child by checking Show My Homework and staff within the faculty set homework regularly for students using this resource.

The department sets one piece of home learning per week, although the format will vary depending on the purpose of the activity. Typical activities could include worksheets to support or extend learning from lessons, research, summary or extended writing to develop scientific literacy, or revision for end of chapter assessments. Home learning is assessed in line with the department and school policies, OGSI grades are returned to students and results are used to plan future teaching activities in lessons.

Past Papers & Mark Schemes



GCSE Topics





GCSE Science

B1- Influences on Life

Classification, variation and inheritance.

Responses to a changing environment.

Problems of and solutions to a changing environment.

C1- Chemistry in our World

The Earth’s sea and atmosphere.

Materials from the Earth.


Obtaining and using metals.


P1- Universal Physics

Visible light and the Solar system.

The electromagnetic spectrum.

Waves and the Universe.

Waves and the Earth.

Generation and transmission of electricity.

Energy and the future.

GCSE Additional Science

B2- The Components of Life

The building blocks of life.

Organisms and energy.

Common systems.

C2- Discovering Chemistry

Atomic structure and the periodic table.

Ionic compounds and analysis.

Covalent compounds and separation techniques.

Groups in the periodic table.

Chemical reactions.

Quantitative chemistry.

P2- Physics for your future

Static and current electricity.

Controlling and using electric currents.

Motions and forces.

Momentum, energy, work and power.

Nuclear fission and nuclear fusion.

Benefits and drawbacks of using radioactive materials.

GCSE Extended Science

B3- Using Biology

Control systems.



C3- Chemistry in Action

Qualitative analysis.

Quantitative analysis.

Electrolytic processes.

Gases, equilibria and ammonia.

Organic chemistry.

P3- Physics Applications

Radiation in treatment and medicine.

X-Rays and ECGs.

Production, uses and risks of ionizing radiation from radioactive sources.

Motion of particles.

Kinetic theory and gases.


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