Science Subjects Overviews

"The young people in our classroom are infinitely more significant than the subjects we teach." ~ Meladee Mcarty

Key Stage 3


Science is the study of the nature of the universe. KS3 Science lessons at Insights School are taught following the QCA scheme of work (www.qca.org.uk). Biology, Chemistry and Physics are taught together.

KS3 Science is delivered across eight terms from September in Year 7 to mid-March in Year 9. Setting of students takes place early in Year 9, and all students are monitored and tracked to ensure progression and preparation for Key Stage 4 is secured. The range and content of the course is delivered as units.

During the course some units focus primarily on one science discipline (i.e. Chemistry, Biology or Physics) whereas other units will draw on all three science disciplines as a combined approach. In order to deepen and broaden knowledge, skills and understanding a number of key concepts are addressed through the range and content.

Key Stage 4

Science Core


KS4 Science is delivered across seven terms from mid-March in Year 9 to May in Year 11. The Science GCSE course available to be studied over this key stage is Core Science (Single Science).

All Science GCSEs are held together by an underlying emphasis on ‘How Science Works’ in different contexts.

There are a number of opportunities provided by this course such as encouraging students to develop a critical approach to scientific evidence and exploring the implications of science for society. The aim is to develop the scientific literacy needed for adult life to enable all students to engage with an increasingly scientific and technological society. The exam board followed at KS4 is Edexcel.

Below is a quick link to the subject content and assessment for the GCSE Science Specification:

Examination Board

Edexcel – GCSE Science Core


Subject content and Assessment



Assessment Components Brief

The GCSE Science qualification consists of:

  • Unit B1: Influences on life – forming 25%
  • Unit C1: Chemistry in our world – 25%
  • Unit P1: Universal physics – 25%
  • Unit SCA: Science controlled assessment (SCA) – 25%

Key Stage 5 Physics


Is time continuous, or does it end? Does it pass at the same rate for you as for everyone else? Is it possible to age more slowly? What’s on the other side of a black hole? Does every decision you make affect everything else in the Universe? Are time machines a reality? Where did we come from?

These are just some of the questions which have troubled our greatest minds for thousands of years. But now, through physics, we are starting to find the answers we have been looking for.

If students have ever wondered about questions like these, then physics will help to satisfy their curiosity. The reality of physics is complex, unthinkable and can be downright weird. But mankind thrives on finding answers to questions and it is physics which is at the forefront of finding these answers.

Students will follow the Edexcel AS Physics and A2 specification.  In both AS and A2, students will sit two modular examinations, along with a “Practical Skills in Physics” controlled assessment unit.

At AS level, students first study the Core Physics I and II.  Core Physics I covers such topics as Working as a Physicist, Mechanics and Electric Circuits. This forms 50% of the AS Physics qualification. Core Physics II covers Working as a Physicist, Materials, Waves and Particle Nature of Light. This also forms 50% of the AS Physics qualification. These units are examined in June.

The A2 Physics course builds on the skills and understanding gained at AS level.  Course structure is identical to the AS level course. Advanced Physics I (which forms 30% of the total qualification) deals with such topics as Working as a Physicist, Mechanics, Electric Circuits, Further Mechanics, Electric and Magnetic Fields, Nuclear and Particle Physics. This unit is examined in June.  The advanced Physics II (also 30%) deals with topics such as Working as a Physicist, Materials, Waves and Particle Nature of Light, Thermodynamics, Space, Nuclear Radiation, Gravitational Fields and Oscillations. This unit is examined in June. The General and Practical Principles in Physics unit is completed in class throughout the year and is internally assessed and moderated by Pearsons externally. This makes up 40% of the total qualifications.


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