Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 Co-ordinator – Mrs A Cameron

Year 7 and 8

Course Content

Pupils in years 7 and 8 follow the Exploring Science scheme of learning, which covers a range of twelve interesting and relevant topics in biology, chemistry and physics. Pupils in year 7 are taught as a mixed ability form group, whilst those in years 8 are taught in ability sets. In both years, pupils have 3 hours of teaching a week.


Course assessment and reporting

The course is structured into 4 blocks with each block comprising of a unit in biology, a unit in chemistry and a unit in physics. At the end of each block (lasting approximately 9 weeks) pupils sit a test. After the test is marked each pupil receives a National Curriculum level. Pupils then, with assistance from the teacher, assess whether or not they are meeting the target level given to them at the beginning of the year. If a pupil has achieved above their target level they will be sent a postcard home. If we feel pupils have underachieved, then a letter of concern is sent to parents.  The level pupils are working at (based on block tests and skills) is reported to parents every six weeks through whole school data collections.

Pupils are currently being assessed against national curriculum levels, a scale of 1-7 where 1 is lowest and 7 is highest.  Each level is divided into 3 sub-levels, where “b” represents secure achievement at that level, “c” shows skills and understanding at the bottom of the level and “a” represents a pupil at the top of the level, almost ready to move up to the next level.



Pupils in year 7 will be tracking their skill progressing through the skills workbook.  These books will be kept in school but parents will have the opportunity to view them at parents evening.  The workbook is designed to provide an evidence log of the development of pupil skills from Y7 up to Y11.  



All pupils in year 7, 8 & 9 will be set one homework per week in line with the whole school homework timetable.  Homework in science can take a variety of formats, including but not limited to research, written tasks, design, application of knowledge, learning/revision, skill development, numeracy.


Year 9

At the end of year 8, pupils choose their GCSE options (more information about our GCSE courses can be found in the Key Stage 4 section of the Science department’s website).
Pupils electing to take separate science at GCSE (typically 100 per cohort) will commence KS4 immediately in year 9.

Most other pupils will follow a transition curriculum with some KS3 and KS4 content.  These pupils will be assessed against GCSE grades through level-assessed tasks and summative tests.

A few year pupils will have the opportunity to complete an applied science pathway in year 9 in which they consolidate their KS3 learning by applying it to real life scenarios.

Homework in year 9 is set on a weekly basis.



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