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Enrichment Opportunities in Science

The Science department is a supporter of the “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Net-work” (STEM-net). We work closely with the Mathematics and Technology Departments, to provide relevant and cross-curricular enrichment in the form of an extracurricular STEM club. We also have a Lego Robotics club where students take part in building and coding a robot to complete various challenges and take part in regional competitions. 

The Science department also runs a variety of trips for students in years 7, 8 and 9 including visits to “We the Curious” formerly @Bristol, “Sleeping with Sharks” at Plymouth Aquarium, Longleat and British Aerospace.

At KS4, we offer visits to “GCSE Science Live events” and “Education in Action” events hosted by the University of Warwick.
We are very lucky to have a good relationship with The University of Bath Chemistry Departments. We incorporate many of their outreach activities into the curriculum at KS5 including “Spectroscopy in a suitcase” for our A level Chemists. Students have had the opportunity to attend lectures and work in the laboratories at both Bath and Bristol University thereby gaining an insight into study at university level.

The Science department supports KS4/5 students after school every week in order to help them prepare for their key assessments.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Course content

Key stage three science at John of Gaunt covers a broad range of topics in line with the national curriculum. There is a large emphasis on practicals and investigations throughout, with students beginning year 7 with a topic on lab skills. Each year students will study a mix of biology, chemistry and physics topics
Assessments are in the form of short written tests, covering the most recent content. These occur on average twice a term.




  • Cell biology
  • The body
  • Variation and evolution
  • Ecology
  • Plant and animal reproduction
  • Photosynthesis and respiration
  • Lab skills
  • Particles and matter
  • Atoms, elements and the periodic table
  • Chemical reactions
  • Acids and Alkalis
  • The Earth and atmosphere
  • Forces and motion
  • Space
  • Waves, sound and light
  • Energy
  • Electricity and magnetism

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

Course content

Students will study either AQA Combined science Trilogy (“double science) or opt to study AQA Separate science (“triple science”).
AQA Combined science is worth two GCSEs. It covers aspects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

For those students who choose AQA Separate sciences, they will be awarded 3 GCSEs - one in Biology, one in Chemistry and one in Physics.

The topics covered in both courses are broadly the same but the Separate science students will go into more detail.




  • Cell biology
  • Organisation
  • Infection and response
  • Bioenergetics
  • Homeostasis and response
  • Inheritance, variation and evolution
  • Ecology
  • Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • Bonding, structure and the properties of matter
  • Quantitative chemistry
  • Chemical changes
  • Energy changes
  • The rate and extent of chemical change
  • Organic chemistry
  • Chemical analysis
  • Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • Using resources
  • Energy
  • Electricity
  • Particle model of matter
  • Atomic structure
  • Forces
  • Waves
  • Magnetism and electromagnetism
  • Space science (Separate sciences only)

How is this course assessed?

  • Written examinations. All combined science students will sit 6 exam papers of 1hr 15mins each. Biology 1 and 2, Chemistry 1 and 2 and Physics 1 and 2. Separate science students will also sit 6 examinations, but they will be 1hr 45 minutes in length.
  • Students must also provide evidence for the completion of a number of required practical activities which will feature within the final written examinations.

GCSE Astronomy

The Astronomy GCSE is an option students can choose in year 9 to develop curiosity and enthusiasm for space; encourage an informed interest in current astronomical investigations and discoveries and space exploration. 

Course content:

  1. Naked eye astronomy including planetary motion and Solar System and Celestial observations. 
  2. Telescoping Astronomy including aided observation will be carried out using the school telescope or the full size, John Moores University's 'Liverpool Telescope', which is situated on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands which we will use to study stellar evolution, our place in the Galaxy and Cosmology. 

How will this course be assessed?

The course is assessed with 2 written examinations. Paper 1 includes Naked eye Astronomy and is 50% of the course and paper 2 includes Telescopic astronomic and is also 50% of the course. 

Routes to post 16

Students who achieve a grade 6 or higher in the relevant Separate Science or 6-6 Combined science can gain access to A level Biology, Chemistry and/or Physics.

Post 16 Curriculum

We offer a full range of science courses delivered by subject specialists.
This results in high standards of teaching and attainment by students.

Subjects offered include:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Applied Science