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Great Torrington


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Subject Lead - Miss Tara Neve-Scott, 01805 623531 Ext. 251 or

Teachers - Mr David Nicholls, Mr David Rawle, Mrs Elizabeth Holman, Miss Hannah Ridley, Ms Jacqui Royse, Mrs Jacqui Scott, Mrs Rebecca Cuthbertson, Mr Alex Nicholson and Mrs Matilda Lyle

Technicians - Mr Will Dorrell and Mr Sam Wines

Meet the team


We are a team of enthusiastic scientists who are passionate and proud of our subject area. Our aim is to deliver lessons that are varied, interesting, challenging and geared to suit all learners so that everyone has opportunity to achieve their full potential in an environment that is safe and embraces scientific methodology. 


What we’d like for our pupils


“The ability of people to understand the world in which they live and work increasingly depends on their understanding of scientific ideas and associated technologies and social questions. For most people such understanding will come mainly through education." - Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society


We want our pupils to:


  • Be scientists
  • Develop skills as well as knowledge
  • Nurture a love of science
  • Be curious
  • Be resilient
  • Be challenged
  • Be scientifically literate
  • Make better than 'expected' progress



Our intent is to support and prepare pupils for their next steps by:


  • Inspiring curiosity and fostering an interest in world of science
  • Observing scientific phenomena and developing a conceptual understanding of scientific ideas and the world around them
  • Building and developing skills and knowledge through carefully designed practical opportunities and sequenced lessons so that pupils can take advantage of opportunities, become scientifically literate and recognise chances for responsibility within their learning
  • Encouraging and modelling a culture of lifelong learning through a love of and interest in the natural world


Our Expectations:


  • For pupils to come to Science lessons prepared with R2L equipment, ready to learn and open to being enthused by the wonderful world of Science. 
  • Pupils will make excellent progress through interest, enjoyment, commitment, and hard work. 
  • Pupils will reflect on their learning using DIRT opportunities to respond to feedback. 
  • Parents/guardians feel able to engage in their child’s learning in Science and encourage them to make the best progress. 


Curriculum and Qualifications


The Science team offers


  • Biology, Chemistry and Physics lessons, taught by specialists. 
  • Access to a range of resources including Kerboodle which gives pupils access to online textbook and resources.
  • A key stage 3 curriculum which is a bespoke programme designed to mirror the National Curriculum giving opportunity to revisit material to deepen and strengthen understanding whilst embedding the skills and level of challenge needed in preparation for Key stage 4.
  • In KS3 pupils will learn the following content. In Year 7, a few pupils follow a slightly different curriculum to ensure they have the key scientific building blocks to succeed when they progress to follow the core curriculum in year 8.





Cells and organ systems (cell structure, plant and animal cells, specialised cells, digestion, breathing and reproduction)

Particles (solids, liquids, gases, state changes, elements, compounds, mixtures, separating mixtures, the periodic table)

Forces (speed and speed calculations, gravity, contact forces, pressure)

Variation and evolution (DNA, inheritance, selective breeding, natural selection)

Reactions (acids and alkalis, properties of metals, displacement, reactivity series, combustion, thermal decomposition, endothermic and exothermic reaction)

Electricity (current, current calculations, voltage, voltage calculation, resistance, resistance calculation, magnetism and electromagnets)

Biological reactions (respiration, photosynthesis)

Earth sciences (rock formation and type, tectonic plates, climate, atmosphere, global warming, gas testing, resources, metal extraction, electrolysis, materials including ceramics and polymers)

Energy (energy stores and types, energy costs and cost calculation, energy transfers, work done and work calculations, heating and cooling)

Ecology (feeding relationships, biodiversity, interdependence)


Waves (light, colour, sound, properties and effects)


This will be taught in rotation due to constraints with practical equipment and lab space. For more information, please contact science teachers who can advise:


  • A year 9 program of study which acts as a bridging year where pupils get more of a flavour of GCSE style lessons and begin to explore the content at greater depth ready to formally begin their GCSE studies.


Pupils will learn:





Cell biology (plant and animal cells, microscopy, prokaryotes and eukaryotes, differentiation, chromosomes and the cell cycle, moving substances in and out of cells)

Atomic structure (Atoms, elements and compounds, mixtures, scientific models of the atom, the periodic table and it’s development, metals and non-metals, group 1, group 0, group 7, transition metals  and their properties.

Energy (Energy stores and systems, energy changes and transfers in systems, thermal insulation (triple only), work done, power, efficiency, national and global energy resources)

Organisation (hierarchy, enzymes, food tests, digestion, heart and circulatory system, lifestyle and health, non-communicable disease, cancer)

Bonding (Chemical bonds including ionic, covalent and metallic, states of matter and state symbols, properties of ionic compounds, properties of small molecules, polymers, giant covalent structures including diamond, graphite, graphene and fullerenes, properties of metals and alloys, sizes of particles and their properties, uses of nanoparticles

Electricity (circuits, electrical charge, current, resistance and potential difference, mains electricity, energy transfers in everyday appliances, the national grid, energy changes in systems, static electricity and electrical fields)

Infection and response (bacteria, virus, fungi, protists, defence systems, vaccination, antibiotics and pain killers, drug development)




  • 3 Possible pathways for qualifications in Key Stage 4 (detailed below)


GCSE Triple Sciences (3 separate GCSEs)


Some pupils will study to gain three separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. This involves more Science teaching than the combined Science pathway. Learning will therefore be more demanding and at a faster pace to reflect this. Pupils will follow the AQA syllabus resulting in 6 x 1hour 45-minute exams; two Biology, two Chemistry and two Physics. Each of the papers will assess knowledge and understanding from distinct topic areas. All practical work will be examined via the final exam papers, of which there are twenty-eight compulsory practical's (across the disciplines) that will be taught to pupils, any of which will appear in the final exam papers. Students will be invited to study this pathway by the Head of Science.


You can find the AQA specifications here:


GCSE Combined Science (2 GCSEs)



The course consists of each of the threes Science disciplines, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, each of which are examined at the end of year 11. Pupils follow the AQA syllabus resulting in 6 x 1 hour 15-minute exams; two biology, two chemistry and two physics. Each of the papers will assess knowledge and understanding from distinct topic areas. There is no longer any coursework in the new Science GCSEs, all practical work will be examined via the final exam papers, of which there are twenty-one compulsory practical's that will be taught to pupils, any of which will appear in the final exam papers. Most students will follow this pathway.




You can find the AQA specification here:


We also offer AQA Entry Level Science (level 1 or 2) in conjunction with Unit award scheme for students who are on an alternative pathway, which will lay the foundation for further study and progression to GCSE, NVQ or level 1 BTEC qualifications at college.


  • During key stage 4, pupils on GCSE based pathways will learn the following with some adjustment according to tier of entry:





Year 10 Organisation (Plant organ systems and function, plant diseases and plant defence (triple only))

Year 10  Chemical changes (Metal oxides, the reactivity series, extraction of metals and reduction, reactions of acids with metals, neutralisation of acids, soluble salts, the pH scale, titrations, strong and weak acids, electrolysis, representation of reactions at electrodes as half equations)

Year 10  Particle model of matter (Density of materials, changes of state, specific heat capacity, specific latent heat, particle motion in gases, pressure in gases (triple only), increasing the pressure of a gas (triple only)


Year 10  Bioenergetics (photosynthesis, plant hormones (triple only), germination (triple only), aerobic and anaerobic respiration, response to exercise, metabolism)

Year 10  Rate and extent of chemical change (Calculating rates of reaction, factors which affect the rate of chemical reactions, collision theory and activation energy, catalysts, reversible reactions and energy changes, equilibrium, the effect of changing conditions on equilibrium, the Haber process (triple only), production of uses of NPK fertilizers (triple only))

Year 10  Atomic structure ((The structure of an atom, isotopes. development of the model of the atom, radioactive decay and nuclear radiation, nuclear equations, half-lives of radioactive isotopes (triple only) uses of nuclear radiation (triple only) nuclear fission (triple only), nuclear fusion (triple only)

Year 10  Homeostasis (nervous system, reaction times, the brain (triple only), the eye (triple only) control of body temperature (triple only), hormones and the endocrine system, diabetes, water and nitrogen balance (triple only))

Year 10  Energy changes (Energy transfer during exothermic and endothermic reactions, reaction profiles, the energy change reactions, cells and batteries (triple only))

Year 10  Forces (Scalar and vector quantities, contact and non-contact forces, resultant forces, work done and energy transfer, elasticity, moments, levers and gears (triple only)

Pressure in fluids, atmospheric pressure, describing motion, distance and displacement, speed, velocity,

Acceleration, Newton's Laws of motion, braking and stopping distance, reaction time, momentum

Year 10  Ecology (sampling and field studies, abiotic and biotic, adaptation, interdependence, biodiversity, material cycling, decomposition, decay (triple only), land use, global warming)

Year 10  Chemistry of the atmosphere and using resources (Gases in the atmosphere. the earth’s early atmosphere, greenhouse gases, global climate change, carbon footprints, atmospheric pollutants from fuels, effects of atmospheric pollutants, using the Earth's resources and sustainable development, potable water and

Waste water treatment, alternative methods of extracting metals, life cycle assessment, ways of reducing the use of resources)


Using resource’s part 2 (triple only) Corrosion and its prevention, alloys as useful materials

Year 11 Waves (Transverse and longitudinal waves, properties of waves, reflection (triple only) sound waves (triple only), use of waves (triple only),

Types, properties, and uses of electromagnetic waves, lenses (triple only), visible light (triple only),

emission and absorption of infrared radiation (triple only), perfect black bodies and radiation (triple only),

Year 11  Inheritance (human reproduction and hormonal control, contraception, infertility treatments, asexual reproduction, meiosis, DNA, inheritance and inherited disorders.

Year 11  Chemical analysis (Pure substances. Formulations, chromatography, Gas tests,  flame tests (triple only), metal hydroxides (triple only), carbonates (triple only), halides (triple only), sulfates (triple only), instrumental methods (triple only)

Year 11  Magnetism and electromagnetism (Magnets and magnetic fields, electromagnetism,

Fleming's left-hand rule,

Electric motors, loudspeakers (triple only), induced potential (triple only), uses of the generator effect (triple only), microphones (triple only), transformers (triple only))

Year 11  Variation and Evolution (selective breeding, genetic engineering, cloning (triple only), theory of evolution (triple only) speciation (triple only) evidence for evolution, extinction, classifications)

Year 11 Organic chemistry (Crude oil, hydrocarbons and alkanes

Fractional distillation and petrochemicals, cracking and alkenes, Structure, formula and reactions of alkenes (triple only),

Alcohols (triple only), carboxylic acids (triple only), additional polymerization (triple only), condensation polymerization (triple only), ceramics, polymers and composites (triple only),

amino acids (triple only),

DNA and other naturally occurring polymers (triple only))

Year 11  Space (Triple only) (Our solar system, life cycle of stars, orbital motion, natural and artificial satellites, red shift)


Year 11  Quantitative chemistry (Conservation of mass and balanced chemical equations, relative formula mass

Mass changes when a reactant or product is a gas, chemical measurements, moles and using moles to balance equations, amounts of substances in equations, limiting reactants, concentration of solutions, percentage yield (triple only), atom economy (triple only))



  • We offer additional opportunities to experience science and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) beyond the realms of the national curriculum, including trips, ambassador roles and fundraising. Recent notable examples include Big Bang Live at the NEC, Science Live in Bristol, visits to Rosemoor, Salter Chemistry Festival competitions, opportunity to apply to be a STEM ambassador and work collaboratively within the STEM subject areas, chance to get involved with science week including science bake off and competitions.

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