Acland Burghley School


Science and everyday life cannot, and should not, be separated.

Rosalind Franklin

Scientific ideas give young people powerful ways of seeing the world. Through understanding the relationship between the scientific concepts and the nature of how they became established, students gain an appreciation of science as a discipline of inquiry. Engaging with their inquisitive nature about the world, students start to question things, and it is through questioning that we solve problems and advance our understanding of the world around us.

Delving into the big ideas in science stimulates students’ curiosity and helps them to make connections between concepts, disciplines, and the macroscopic and microscopic. Students are supported to acquire knowledge about scientific concepts, a necessary part of learning about science, as well as how to recognise, describe, and apply the acquired knowledge to explain abstract phenomena. Throughout this process, students learn how to work collaboratively, be persistent and stick with difficulty, and become disciplined to develop expertise in the subject. This allows students to experience positive emotions of success and wonder that learning scientific ideas brings.

Head of Faculty

Rebecca Green |

Second in charge

Robert Stainsby |

 Subject Leads

Y7 and Y8:
Sundus Mohamoud

Y9 and Y10:
Sundus Jibril |

KS5 and Lead Practitioner:
Elizabeth Sheridan |


Hiruthiga Arunagiri

Juliana Elusade 

James MacDonald

Sean McHugh 

Chiranjib Ray | 

Jessica Rozman | 

Aaron Shufflebotham  






The science curriculum is built around the big ideas of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. In Y7 and Y8 students study each big idea to construct their answer to a powerful question. Their answers become more sophisticated and meaningful as they develop their scientific understanding. In Y9 students study the foundations of the GCSE course in detail, ready to build upon at KS4.


Autumn term:

How do we make theories about things we cannot see? (How science works and the particle model of matter)

Why don’t bacteria have lungs? (Cells to systems)
Spring term:              

In space, can anyone hear you scream? (Waves)

Why are offspring similar but not identical to their parents? (Reproduction)

Summer term:          

What happens to the wax when you burn a candle? (Chemical reactions)

How did planets form? (Forces and Space)


Autumn term:

Have the carbon atoms in the air once been part of plants and animals? (Digestion and energy transfers through ecosystem)

Are cars and organisms made from similar or different stuff? (Periodic table and separation techniques)
Spring term:

Why is it important to conserve energy resources if energy can’t be destroyed? (Energy, forces and motion)

How did giraffes get their long necks? (Genetics and evolution by natural selection)
Summer term:

Why don’t birds resting on powerlines get electrocuted? (Electricity)

How are we changing our planet? (Earth and atmosphere)


Autumn term:
Cell structure, division and transport
Atomic structure and the periodic table
Spring term:
Energy stores, transfers, and calculations
Digestive system and enzymes
Summer term:
Particle model of matter
Reactions of acids and metals


Suggested reading

New Scientist magazine and website


Things to see and do

The Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, and the Crick Institute.

Extra-curricular activities and clubs

Science club: dates to be confirmed

Science homework club: date to be confirmed



Students follow one of two pathways in Y10 and Y11.

  • Combined Science GCSE (AQA): students study Biology, Chemistry and Physics and are awarded two grades (9-1).
  • Separate Science GCSE (AQA): students study Biology, Chemistry and Physics, with a subject specialist teacher for each discipline, and are awarded three grades (9-1).

Both pathways involve a set of required practical activities which are assessed in the examinations at the end of Y11. In these examinations, students are assessed on how well then can demonstrate and apply their knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, enquiry and techniques and procedures, as well as how they analyse information and ideas to: interpret and evaluate; make judgements and draw conclusions; develop and improve experimental procedures.


Autumn term:          
  • Bonding, structure and properties of matter

  • Atomic structure and radioactivity

  • Circulatory system, disease, and defence

  • Electricity

Spring term:

  • Bioenergetics – respiration and photosynthesis
  • Energy changes and organic chemistry

Summer term:

  • Waves
  • Earth’s atmosphere and using the Earth’s resources


Autumn term:

  • Homeostasis and inheritance, variation and evolution
  • Electrolysis and quantitative chemistry

Spring term:

  • Forces and motion
  • Rates of reaction
  • Magnetism and electromagnetism

Summer term:
Exam preparation

Y11 Revision Materials


Combined Science past papers

Show list Show Grid

Separate Sciences past papers

Suggested reading

For Combined Science GCSE:

Grade 9-1 GCSE Combined Science: AQA Revision Guide (Higher or Foundation Tier) – contact the department to discuss which tier is most suitable.

For Separate Science GCSE:

  • Grade 9-1 GCSE Biology: AQA Revision Guide - Higher
  • Grade 9-1 GCSE Chemistry: AQA Revision Guide - Higher
  • Grade 9-1 GCSE Physics: AQA Revision Guide - Higher

For all students:

AQA Exam Practice Workbooks – choose Combined Science or Separate Science as appropriate.



Things to see and do

The Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, and the Crick Institute.

Extra-curricular activities and clubs

Y11 revision dates to be confirmed.