Department Ethos

The Department has a dedicated and supportive ethos. We are committed to teaching and learning and aim to promote innovative practice, both in terms of our teaching and our use of practical activities to enhance learning. We develop our pupils into independent and resilient problem solvers and scientists.

Science is important because the act of doing science is a creative process. All creative processes are important, be they art, music, storytelling or anything else. After love, creativity is the most important human quality. Not only is science creative, it enables creation.

Science is important because it provides us with mysteries to wonder about and beauty to wonder at.

Science is important because it is part of the honourable quest that is the search for truth and knowledge.

Science is important because it reveals our ignorance and humbles us, even the most intelligent and the most powerful.

Science is important because when adults do science we recreate within ourselves the sense of awe and mystery we had when we were children.

Science is important because it encourages us to question authority and provides a means for doing so.

Science is important because it requires free exchange of ideas and information – it is incompatible with tyranny and so reduces tyranny.

Science is important because it grounds us in reality – it can challenge us and force us to change our minds.

Science is important because it helps us understand our place in the world, but more importantly it helps us actualize that place, both as human beings and as individuals.

Martin Budden

Learn more about science at KS3

Key Stage 3 Science is taught over two years at Cams Hill School. In Year 7 pupils are taught in their tutor groups, before being divided into slightly smaller mixed ability classes in Year 8, with class sizes of approximately 25.

The key aim of the Key Stage 3 Science Curriculum is to give pupils the opportunity to develop their investigative skills as well as advancing their understanding of the four key ideas in Science, Cells, Particles, Energy and Forces. Pupils are also challenged to apply their knowledge in different contexts to demonstrate their understanding. In doing this it is our aim that when pupils move on to study Science at GCSE they are equipped with the skills and confidence needed to succeed. Pupils are provided with exercise books but are expected to bring lab coats to their Science lessons so that they can undertake practical work safely.

Programme of Study for KS3

In Year 7 pupils begin their Secondary Science career by completing the topic ‘Learning to be a Scientist’, before introducing the four key ideas ‘Cells’, ‘Particles’, ‘Energy’ and ‘Forces’. In term two, pupils build on the key ideas by introducing topics including but not limited to ‘Heating and Cooling’, ‘Atoms, Elements, Compounds and Mixtures’, ‘Solar System’ and ‘Magnets and Electromagnets’, before looking at ‘Reproduction’, ‘Acids and ‘Alkalis’ and ‘Sound and Light in the Summer term.

In Year 8, Pupils start the year by recapping the 4 key ideas, before completing ‘Inheritance and Selection’, ‘Respiration’ and ‘Reactions of Metals’. In the Spring term, topics include, ‘Waves’, ‘Speed’, ‘Stretching and Compressing’, ‘Food and Digestion’ and ‘Current Electricity’. Finally, in the Summer term, Year 8 look at ‘Microbes and Disease’, ‘Energy Costs’, ‘Ecological Relationships’, ‘Pressure and Moments’, ‘Patterns or Reactivity’ and ‘Plants and Photosynthesis’.

Learn more about science at KS4

KS4 starts in Year 9 for Science. All classes will be taught Biology, Chemistry and Physics by separate teachers. This enables more time for the individual Science qualifications to be completed and also allows the pupils to receive as much specialist teaching as possible.

Initially, all pupils will study individual Sciences with the potential to complete three separate GCSEs. Based on assessments during  Years 9 and 10, the decision will be made as to whether your child will continue on the triple route. This will be done on an individual basis. If your child is selected, they will have the opportunity to sit the triple qualification.

If it is in your child’s best interest to complete the double course and not the triple, they will have extra time in Year 11 to finish and re-cap the double course, perfect examination technique and complete targeted intervention, all of which will put them in the best stead possible to successfully complete their exams at the end of Year 11.

Pupils are stetted groups which are have approximately 25 pupils per class. As in KS3 pupils are provided with exercise books but are expected to bring lab coats to their Science lessons so that they can undertake practical work safely.

GCSE details

The GCSE Science specification is based on a series of topics related to the living world and relevant to students. It is designed to help them understand how Science can be used to explain the world in which they live and the impact humans have.

The specification integrates the principles of ‘How Science Works’ throughout the units. The course helps put Science in the context of students’ everyday lives with topics ranging from ‘Keeping healthy’ to ‘Humans and their environment’.

Teachers develop students’ practical skills with hands-on work which helps engage and enthuse them along with completing required practical work. Students can see how Science is used to solve problems ranging from infectious diseases to creating biofuels.

The courses cover various topics.


  • Cell biology
  • sation
  • 3. Infection and response
  • 4. 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


  • Energy
  • Electricity
  • Particle model of matter
  • Atomic structure
  • Forces
  • Waves
  • Magnetism and electromagnetism
  • Space physics (triple only)

Extra-curricular opportunities

GCSE triple Scientists attend the Science Live event in Year 10.

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