Department Aims

The science department is committed to delivering a thorough and varied curriculum that prepares all students to be scientifically competent citizens of tomorrow.  We aspire for as many of our students as possible to share our love of science and to want to carry on with their science education when they leave Hall Green School.

We are a well-equipped department of 10 fully qualified science teachers, supported by 3 science technicians.  This allows us to deliver high quality practical and theory lessons to our students, which builds the key knowledge and skills required to create the next generation of scientists.


Key Stage 3 Years 7-8

Year 7 and 8 have 6 lessons a fortnight and will be taught in their main teaching groups.  Students will study a range of topics, equally spread across Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  Student’s learning is regularly assessed, approximately once every 6 weeks.  Key scientific ideas are taught, as well as important practical and analysing skills that will allow the students the best possible chance to succeed at key stage 4 and beyond.


The topics that are taught in year 7 are:

Assessment cycle Biology topic Chemistry topic Physics topic
1 Cells Particles Energy transfer
2 Reproduction Atoms Forces
3 Environment & Adaptations Acids & Alkalis Electricity
4 Variation Pure and Impure substances Energy resources
5 Photosynthesis Chemical Reactions Magnetism
6 Food & Digestion Compounds Motion


The topics taught in year 8 are:

Assessment cycle Biology topic Chemistry topic Physics topic
1 Lungs Periodic Table Static Electricity
2 Respiration Extracting Metals Waves
3 Muscles & Bones Acid Reactions Light
4 Inheritance & Evolution Describing Reactions Applications of Forces
5 Drugs & Health Earth & Atmosphere Heat Transfer
6 Microbes Innovative Materials Space

At the end of year 8, students will sit a comprehensive examination that will form an important part of deciding which GCSE course they will study from the start of year 9.

Once this has been completed, we run a Science Fair for all of year 8 where students are given the opportunity to showcase their experimental as well as theoretical knowledge of something that interests them.   Previous winning groups have investigated how to trick the brain, the fluorescence of different drinks and how to build the perfect catapult.


Key Stage 4 Years 9-11

Year 9 have 6 lessons a fortnight.  Years 10 and 11 have 10 lessons a fortnight.  Students will be set into groups based predominantly on their ability within science, as well as any other timetabling constraints.  One set will study Edexcel Biology, Chemistry and Physics as 3 GCSEs whilst the remaining sets will study Edexcel Combined Science, either foundation or higher tier, which counts as a double GCSE.  The number of sets studying either tier changes each year, depending on the intake.  The new science GCSEs are graded 9-1.  The separate science grades are 9-4 and the Combined Science Higher tier grades run from 9-9 to 4-3 and the Foundation tier grades go from 5-5 to 1-1.

Students are formally assessed at the end of each unit of work, as well as mock examinations at the end of year 9 and 10, and in December of year 11.  Continuous monitoring of student performance allows us to place students on the correct course for them.  We are proud that our results have consistently been significantly higher than both Local and National averages, making us one of the best performing science departments in the city.


The topics studied across all 3 year groups for combined science are:

Year 9

Biology Units Chemistry Units Physics Units
Topic 1 – Key concepts in Biology Topic 1 – Key concepts in Chemistry Topic 1 – Key concepts in Physics
Topic 2 – Cells and control   Topic 2 – Motion and forces
    Topic 3 – Conservation of energy

Year 10

Biology Units Chemistry Units Physics Units
Topic 3 – Genetics Topic 2 – States of matter and mixtures Topic 4 – Waves
Topic 4 – Natural selection and genetic modification Topic 3 – Chemical changes Topic 5 – Light and the electromagnetic spectrum
Topic 5 – Health, disease and the development of medicines Topic 4 – Extracting metals and equilibria Topic 6 – Radioactivity
Topic 6 – Plant structures and their functions   Topic 8 – Energy – forces doing work
    Topic 9 – Forces and their effects


Year 11

Biology Units Chemistry Units Physics Units
Topic 7 – Animal coordination, control and homeostasis Topic 6 – Groups in the periodic table Topic 10 – Electricity and circuits
Topic 8 – Exchange and transport in animals Topic 7 – Rates of reaction and energy changes Topic 11 – Static electricity
Topic 9 – Ecosystems and material cycles Topic 8 – Fuels and Earth science Topic 12 – Magnetism and the motor effect
    Topic 13 – Electromagnetic induction
    Topic 14 – Particle model
    Topic 15 – Forces and matter


Separate science groups will study the same programme in year 9, with all chemistry topics being studied in year 10, ready to sit their Chemistry GCSE at the end of year 10.  All remaining Biology and Physics topics are studied in the rest of year 10 and into year 11.

Further information, specific details and past papers can be found through the Edexcel science web page –

Additionally, Hall Green School pays for student access to the online service Active Learn.  Usernames and passwords are given out at the start of the year but can be requested from science teachers at any time.  Active Learn can be accessed through

GCSE Science at Home


Physics Paper 2 Higher Questions

Physics Paper 2 Foundation Questions

Biology Paper 1 Higher Tier

Chemistry Paper 1 Higher Tier