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Ofsted Outstanding School 2012 | 2013
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Curriculum Intent

To ensure all students make good or better progress. To deliver lessons that meet the breadth and depth of the national curriculum. To embed an understanding of the importance of science within the context of life outside of education.

Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3 we follow the National Curriculum for Science.

at Key Stage 3 covers a wide range of different topics that allow students to build a foundation of knowledge that will help develop their skills and allow them to access the more difficult topics that are covered at Key Stage 4. At OVA, we have built a scheme of learning that follows the national curriculum to ensure that students have access to the widest curriculum possible. Our aim is to inspire students to attempt to discover things in the world around them and explain the things that they observe.

Students cover different topics in year 7 and year 8. To ensure that students always have access to enough equipment to carry out practicals, different classes will be doing different topics at different points of the year. You can click here for our overview which shows which topics are likely to covered by each class throughout the year. We are currently in the process of transition our scheme for Key Stage 3, which means that year 7 and year 8 currently have some similarities. This will change at the end of this academic year, with the new year 8 units being ready for September.

The topics covered in Year 7 are:

  • 7A – Cells, Tissues, Organs and Systems
  • 7B – Sexual Reproduction in Animals
  • 7C – Muscles and Bones
  • 7D – Ecosystems
  • 7E – Mixtures and Separation
  • 7F – Acids and Alkalis
  • 7G – The Particle Model
  • 7H – Atoms, Elements and Compounds
  • 7I – Energy
  • 7J – Current Electricity
  • 7K – Forces
  • 7L – Sounds

The topics covered in Year 8 are:

  • B2.1 – Health and Lifestyle
  • B2.2 – Ecosystems and Processes
  • B2.3 – Adaptations and Inheritance
  • C2.1 – The Periodic Table
  • C2.2 – Separating Techniques
  • C2.3 – Metals and Acids
  • C2.4 – The Earth
  • P2.1 – Electricity and Magnetism
  • P2.2 – Energy
  • P2.3 – Motion and Pressure

Key Stage 4

Combined Science (2 GCSEs) – Core

Biology, Chemistry and Physics will be covered equally, with the end award being based on a combination of all three subjects, giving two science GCSEs. A series of exams will be sat in June of Year 11; these exams will determine the final grade. All students will begin to study this qualification at the start of year 9. The lessons will be taught on a rotational basis with each students spending approximately a third of the year studying each of the three sciences with a specialist teacher. At the end of Year 10 students will sit a series of mock exams which will determine their set for Year 11. If a student achieves their target and wishes to study Triple Science, they will be placed in the appropriate set to do so in Year 11.

Triple Science (3 GCSEs) – Optional

In addition to the Combined Science course of study, students will study additional units to complete the Triple Qualification. Students who opt for Triple Science will need to have achieved their target grade in Years 9 and 10, demonstrate a strong and consistent ATL and have the support of their teacher (written recommendation). Successful students will then be entered for the Triple Science qualifications where they will achieve three GCSEs instead of two. Below shows the programme of study for the triple science qualification, with the combined programme of study also including these topics to a lesser degree.


  • Cell biology
  • Transport systems
  • Health, disease and the development of medicines
  • Coordination and control
  • Photosynthesis
  • Ecosystems
  • Inheritance, variation and evolution

Assessment: 2 Exams – Combined Science (1h15m) / Triple Science (1h45m)


  • Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • Structure, bonding and the properties of matter
  • Chemical changes
  • Energy changes in chemistry
  • The rate and extent of chemical change
  • Chemical analysis
  • Chemical and allied industries
  • Earth and atmospheric science

Assessment: 2 Exams – Combined Science (1h15m) / Triple Science (1h45m)


  • Energy
  • Forces
  • Forces and motion
  • Waves in matter
  • Light and electromagnetic waves
  • Electricity
  • Magnetism and electromagnetism
  • Particle model of matter
  • Atomic structure

Assessment: 2 Exams – Combined Science (1h15m) / Triple Science (1h45m)

Key Stage 5

Applied Science Level 3

The Level 3 BTEC National Award in Applied Science (Environmental Science) offers students an alternative route to the traditional AS/A2 level that is currently on offer academically. It is designed with the workplace in mind, but also offers an alternative route into higher education.

All work is assessed by portfolio work. There are 6 units of work to complete.
• Fundamentals of Science
• Working in the Science Industry
• Physiology of Human Body Systems
• Using Science in the Workplace
• Scientific Investigations

BTEC Science – Student Handbook

Biology A Level

Biology A Level covers many topics including Biological molecules; Cells; How organisms exchange substances with their environment; Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms; Energy transfers in and between organisms; How organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments; Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystem; and the control of gene expression.

A-Level Biology – Student Handbook

Chemistry A Level

The course is divided into chemical topics, each containing different key concepts of chemistry.

Physical Chemistry: This includes atomic structure; amount of substance; Bonding;Energetics; Kinetics; Chemical equilibria, Le Chatelier’s principle and Kc; Oxidation, reduction and redox equations; Thermodynamics; Rate equations; Equilibrium constant Kp for homogeneous systems; Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells; and Acids and bases.

Inorganic Chemistry:This includes Periodicity; Group 2, the alkaline earth metals; Group 7(17), the halogens; Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides; Transition metals; and reactions of ions in aqueous solution

Organic Chemistry: This includes introduction to organic chemistry; Alkanes; Halogenoalkanes; Alkenes; Alcohols; Organic analysis; Optical isomerism; Aldehydes and ketones; Carboxylic acids and derivatives; Aromatic chemistry; Amines; and Polymers.

A-Level Chemistry – Student Handbook

Physics A Level

The core content of Physics A level includes measurements and their errors; particles and radiation; waves; mechanics and materials; Electricity; further mechanics and thermal physics; Fields and their consequences; and Nuclear physics. Students also have the option to study Astrophysics; Medical physics; Engineering physics; Turning points in physics; and Electronics.

A-Level Physics – Student Handbook

Progression Mapping

Subject Progression Pathways – Biology

Subject Progression Pathways – Chemistry

Subject Progression Pathways – Physics

Curriculum Overview

Science Curriculum Overview 2021 Autumn Half Term



September Return Arrangements for Students

Posted: 27.08.21

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Online Learning

Posted: 06.01.21

Dear Students, Parents and Carers Please watch the following video where Mrs Ballentine explains what is happening with your online learning

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Coronavirus: back to school

Posted: 27.08.20

The BBC have produced a video guide about returning to school. Please click on the following link and watch the

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