Science at Key Stage 3

In years 7 and 8 pupils will follow a programme of study which was developed by the Science Department to reflect recent proposed changes to the content of the national curriculum for Science.

A key part of this scheme is that it gives us the ability to deliver all of the content required at KS3 over 2 years, rather than 3 years as with traditional courses and develops ‘How Science Works’ skills in preparation for further study.

The following are a selection of the kinds of questions that pupils can expect to discuss during the course of Science lessons in Years 7 and 8:

  • What can be done if someone’s internal organs start to fail?
  • Why do children tend to look like close family members?
  • Is it only car-wheels that are made from alloys?
  • What happens when acids attack?!
  • Would a cat’s eyes glow in a perfectly dark room?
  • How does playing your iPod too loudly through earphones affect your ears?

Year 7

During year 7 you will cover 10 different topics in Science. Below is a list of the topics and the learning statements you will cover in each topic. To revise each learning statement click on it and it will take you to a website to help you.

Heat transfer

I can name change of state (Step 1)
I can name and select pieces of science equipment (Step 1)
I know the properties of solids, liquids and gases (Step 1)
I understand conduction in solids (Step 2)
I can draw conclusions from data (Step 3)
I can plan valid investigations (Step 3)
I can analyse data involving changes of state (Step 4)
I can analyse data to evaluate experiments (Step 5)

I can describe the cells involved in reproduction (Step 2)
I can describe gas exchange involved in the lungs (Step 3)
I can name parts of the cell and describe functions (Step 4)
I can describe features of specialised cells (Step 4)
I can describe the need for specialised cells (Step 5)
I can explain features of specialised cells (Step 6)

I can name different energy resources (Step 1)
I know when different energy resources are useful (Step 2)
I understand conservation of energy (Step 3)
I know how renewable energy is used to generate electricity (Step 4)
I know what fossil fuels are and the advantages and disadvantages of them (Step 5)
I can describe energy transfers (Step 4)
I know advantages and disadvantages of renewable energy (Step 6)
I can describe and explain complex energy transfers (Step 7)

I know the uses of different metals (Step 1)
I know the properties of different metals (Step 3)
I can name and identify elements and compounds (Step 3)
I can describe reactions of copper (Step 5)
I can use the periodic table to represent elements as chemical formulae (Step 4)
I can represent elements, compounds and mixtures using chemical formulae (Step 6)
I understand electron configuration (Step 7)

Diet and Health
I know sources of nutrients (Step 1)
I know the parts of the digestive system (Step 1)
I know the effects of an unbalanced diet (Step 2)
I know that different people have different nutritional needs (Step 4)
I can describe the requirements of a balanced diet (Step 5)
I know why we need different nutrients (Step 5)
I can describe an experiment investigating deficiency diseases (Step 6)
I know how alcohol affects performance (Step 6)
I can analyse data about whether a diet is balanced (Step 7)

Acids and Alkalis
I can identify liquids when given information about indicators (Step 1)
I can identify hazard labels (Step 2)
I can identify chemicals from given chemical reactions (step 3)
I understand pH (Step 4)
I understand neutralization reactions (Step 5)
I can identify if something is acidic, neutral or alkaline (Step 4)
I know about different strength acids and what acids have in common (Step 6)
I can describe reactions of acids with carbonates (Step 7)

I understand that light travels faster than sound (Step 1)
I understand reflection (Step 3)
I understand that light travels in straight lines (Step 2)
I understand the law of reflection (Step 3)
I can draw light reflecting (Step 4)
I understand simple refraction (Step 4)
I understand complex refraction (Step 5)
I can draw refraction and also understand what happens in a prism (Step 6)
I understand why different objects are different colours and how colour filters make objects appear different colours (Step 7)

Formula and Equations
I can identify which pieces of equipment to use in science (Step 1)
I know the test for carbon dioxide (Step 2)
I know what is needed for combustion to take place (Step 3)
I can carry out valid practicals and plot data (Step 4)
I know the number of atoms in a compound (Step 4)
I understand thermal decomposition (Step 5)
I understand conservation of mass (Step 6)
I can identify compounds made during reactions (Step 6)
I know the reaction of acids and carbonates (Step 7)
I understand complex chemical formula (Step 8)

I can list the planets in order and understand models (Step 2)
I can identify gravity and state that it always pulls towards the centre of an object (Step 3)
I understand how the suns position changes throughout the day (Step 4)
I can compare data for different planets (Step 4)
I understand eclipses (Step 5)
I understand about seasons (Step 6)
I understand the difference between weight and mass (Step 7)
I can look at data to identify patterns and make estimations (Step 7)
I can describe how theories develop taking into account new evidence (Step 8)

I understand predator-prey relationships (Step 3)
I can describe the effects of changing organism numbers in food webs (Step 3)
I understand food chains (Step 3)
I can plan valid investigations (Step 4)
I understand bioaccumulation (Step 5)
I understand pyramids of numbers (Step 5)
I can analyse graphs to look at populations (Step 6)

Year 8

During year 8 you will cover 9 different topics in Science. Below is a list of the topics and the learning statements you will cover in each topic. To revise each learning statement click on it and it will take you to a website to help you.

Electricity and Magnetism
I know circuit symbols (Step 2)
I know the difference between series and parallel (Step 3)
I understand when magnets attract and when they repel (Step 4)
I can investigate conductors and insulators (Step 4)
I can draw parallel circuits and understand what happens when one branch of a circuit is switched off (Step 5)
I know how magnets affect compasses (Step 6)
I understand electromagnets (Step 7)
I can analyse data from a fruit battery (Step 8)

Reactions of Metals
I can analyse data about different metals (Step 3)
I can analyse data about alloys (Step 3)
I understand displacement reactions of copper (Step 4)
I understand how the reactivity series can be used to extract metals (Sep 5)
I understand how smelting is used to extract metals (Step 6)
I can put metals in order of their reactivity based on experimental results (Step 7)
I can work out word equations based on the reactivity series of metals (Step 8)

I know the cells involved in reproduction and where they are made (Step 2)
I know which substances pass through the placenta (Step 2)
I can label the reproductive parts of a plant (Step 3)
I can name parts of the human reproductive system (Step 3)
I know the functions or the reproductive parts of a plant (Step 4)
I know what happens to the embryo/foetus throughout pregnancy (step 5)
I know how plants are adapted for pollination (Step 6)
I know how a mother’s body changes throughout pregnancy (Step 7)

The Earth
I can analyse information about different types of fuel (Step 3)
I understand the effects of weathering (Step 3)
I know the different gases which are in the atmosphere (Step 3)
I can describe different types of rock and know how they are formed (Step 4)
I can classify rocks as igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic (Step 4)
I know where rocks are found in the Earth and can give examples of physical and chemical weathering (Step 6)
I understand the rock cycle and the layers of the Earth (Step 7)

I can use science equipment and understand the terms mass and volume (Step 2)
I can state forces acting on objects (Step 3)
I understand resultant force (Step 4)
I can describe variables in experiments and explain what is needed for an experiment to be valid (Step 5)
I can links forces to speed (Step 5)
I can read information from graphs (Step 6)
I can describe patterns on graphs and label axes correctly (Step 6)
I can calculate speed and I know how to find averages (Step 7)
I can plot data onto a graph correctly (Step 8)

I can classify different animals (Step 1)
I can describe features of different vertebrates (Step 2)
I can use keys (Step 3)
I understand how features can be inherited or caused by the environment (Step 4)
I know what animals with back bones are called and how this can be advantageous (Step 5)
I know how animals are adapted to survive (Step 6)
I understand how genetic information is passed on and why identical twins only have some features which are identical (Step 7)
I understand selective breeding (Step 8)

Separation Techniques
I can define elements, compounds and mixtures (step 2)
I understand distillation (step 3)
I understand chromatography (step 4)
I can describe an experiment to remove impurities from a liquid (Step 6)
I can define the key terms: solute, solution and solvent (Step 5)
I understand evaporation (Step 4)
I understand dissolving (Step 5)
I understand what a mixture is (Step 4)
I understand filtration (Step 6)

Photosynthesis and Respiration
I know what effects plants growth (Step 2)
I know what plants need to grow (Step 2)
I understand methods used by farmers to improve growth of crops (Step 3)
I understand photosynthesis (Step 5)
I understand how plant cells are specialized for photosynthesis (Step 5)
I understand that plants need different minerals and they can get these from fertilisers (Step 5)
I can analyse data from photosynthesis experiments (Step 6)
I know the equation for photosynthesis (Step 6)
I know the equation for respiration (Step 6)
I can compare growth of plants with normal leaves and variegated leaves (Step 7)

Sound and Hearing
I understand how sound travels (Step 2)
I can analyse data for different sounds (step 2)
I understand how the ear works and that different animals hear different frequencies (Step 4)
I understand that sounds are made by vibrations and that different sound show different amplitudes and frequencies (Step 4)
I understand that frequency is linked to pitch and amplitude is linked to loudness of sounds (Step 5)
I understand that sounds are made by vibrations and the energy transfers involved (Step 6)
I understand that the speed of sound changes in different materials (Step 7)
I can use sound waves to calculate distances (Step 8)

Year 9

Year 9 follow a programme of study that covers the start of their Level 2 GCSE courses.
The units involved are outlined below:

Biology 1

Chemistry 1

Physics 1

Centre Assessed Unit

  • Keeping Healthy
  • Nerves and Hormones
  • Effects of Drugs
  • Adaptations
  • Atoms
  • Building Materials
  • Metals and their Uses
  • Crude Oil and Fuels
  • Heating and Cooling
  • Energy and Efficiency
  • Generating Electricity
  • Planning an Investigation
  • Testing Scientific Ideas
  • Collecting Data
  • Interpreting Data


As  pupils are studying Level 2 content in year 9 then we do not set independent learning projects (ILPs) at regular intervals. Instead, Y9 will be set smaller, more regular homework tasks within Science at appropriate points throughout the course.

Students will be placed on an appropriate Science examination course at the start of Year 10, based upon their attitude to learning Science and internal assessments throughout Year 9.
For students that consistently perfom to the highest level in Year 9 there is the opportunity to study individual Science GCSE’s (Triple Science).

We encourage students to develop their independent learning skills by practising exam questions from the AQA website and using other revision materials outside of lessons.

If you wish to discuss the various routes available through KS4 Science at The Polesworth School, please contact either Miss A. Harris (Head of Science) or Miss J Robinson (KS3 Science Coordinator) on 01827 702205, or via email at  or