Curriculum Statement - Science

“Genius is 1% talent and 99% hard work.” – Thomas Edison

Powerful Knowledge in Science

As a science department, we have designed our curriculum to support students in their mastery of our subject. Aspects of the curriculum which are fundamental to the understanding of future concepts are referred to as threshold concepts as outlined below. Our curriculum aims to teach and imbed these carefully chosen threshold concepts within key stage three so that these can be revisited, build upon and mastered as students continue on to key stage four and five.




Manipulation of equations
To include changing the subject and conversion of units.

To include force arrows and so motion and Newton’s laws.

Voltage and current.
To include models and application in electricity

To include the definitions of waves, wavelength, frequency and amplitude)

Conservation of energy
To include the links to stores, transfers and formula.

Atomic Structure
To include the location, charge and relative mass of sub-atomic particles.

Particle model
To include how particles behave in solids, liquids and gases. How particles behave in chemical and physical changes leading to collision theory


Atoms, Compounds, Mixtures
To include the difference between these and common examples.

General Equations
To include conservation of mass, balancing equations, Neutralisation, combustion, oxidation, displacement (KS4)

Atomic Structure
To include the location, charge and relative mass of sub-atomic particles in addition to links to the periodic table.

Periodic Table
To include the use of symbols and formula and the varying properties

Energy in chemical reactions
To include the concepts of exo/endothermic reactions
Opposites attract
Referring to ions

Cells and the cell cycle
To include the differences between animal, plant and bacterial cells and examples of specialised cells.
To include enzymes in digestion and defence.


To include the structure of DNA and the importance of mutation in variation.

Particle model
To include how particles move across membranes via osmosis, diffusion and active transport.

Photosynthesis and Respiration
To include word and balanced symbol equations and ideal conditions


Curriculum Features

At Hazel Grove High School, we teach science with the view for students to develop a core understanding of threshold concepts from Year 7 to Year 13 as outlined in the table above. In addition to these vital stepping stones in students’ understanding of further concepts, our curriculum features a wealth of information that can be referred to as powerful knowledge. These are aspects of our curriculum that would not be acquired through everyday experience and observation. Such information helps to widen the experiences of our students and allow them to look more critically at the world around them. Our focused approach to teaching and learning allows us to cover the content outlined in the national curriculum but devotes more time to the mastery of threshold concepts and powerful knowledge.

It is important to our department that pupil engagement is prioritised. It is a long term priority for our department to increase the uptake at GCSE and KS5. The format of our lessons and variety of enrichment activities reflect this. In line with this focus, practical and maths skills are interleaved throughout our curriculum.

The teaching staff within the science department are extremely varied in both experience and specialism (biology, chemistry and physics). To reflect the quality and diversity of teaching staff, students can be expected to be taught by either a singular teacher for all three disciplines or one specialist teacher for each different subject throughout their time at Hazel Grove High School. This decision is made on a yearly basis to ensure the best outcomes for pupils, based on the needs of the group/year group in question.


Co Curriculum Enrichment

We provide a variety of enrichment for a number of reasons;

  • To promote a love of the subject.
  • Increase at uptake at KS4, 5 and beyond.
  • Narrow attainment gaps.
  • Promoting STEM Careers.
  • Stretch / Challenge / Aspirations.
  • Promote oracy / rhetoric.

During key stage three students develop an understanding of the fundamentals of physics, chemistry and biology.

During year seven students study

Physics Chemistry Biology
Forces The Particle model Cells
Energy Atoms, Elements & the Periodic Table Reproduction
Electricity Compounds & Mixtures Plants & the Environment
Magnetism Acids & Bases Variation
Sound and Light Equations Food & Digestion
Space Chemical reactions  


In year eight this work is built upon through the topics of

Physics Chemistry Biology
Motion Fundamentals Respiration
Electricity & static Electricity Purity & Separating Mixtures Exchange in Organisms
Energy Metals Photosynthesis
Thermal Energy Rates of Reaction Pathogens & Disease
Light   Environment & Feeding Relationships
Gravitational Forces    


In year nine the curriculum progresses to

Physics Chemistry Biology
Nuclear Physics Fundamentals Human Biology
Simple Machines Energy in Reactions Genes, Evolution & Technology
Newton’s Laws of Motion Chemical Reactions Enzymes
Electromagnetism Atoms & the Periodic Table Ecology
Electromagnetic Waves Ions  
Cosmology Separating Techniques  

Students also develop their practical skills throughout the key stage.


Students study the Pearson GCSE specification. Students can opt to study GCSE separate sciences gaining GCSE qualifications in physics, chemistry & biology.

Further detail is available on the exam board website below