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Science at The Wren School, Reading, Berks

Aiming High


Curriculum Intent

1. To stimulate and satisfy the natural curiosity of KS3 students, about the world around us.
2. To enable KS4 students to organise large amounts of information in ways that make the information available and useful in a variety of contexts.
3. To foster, in all students, a mature attitude to bias and misinformation.

Curriculum Information

Year 7

This is Me

What makes me unique?   What are cells and how do they multiply? How do we inherit and acquire characteristics? What are reproductive cells? How do reproductive cells get together and how do we prevent them from getting together?

This is Us

Food chains, webs and species; comparing physical aspects of humans vs. animals (ears/sound and eyes/light, skeletons, reproduction)

Genius of the Past

Scientific Developments and Inventions: looking at a key developments such as Electricity and the lightbulb.

Antibiotics and bioengineering. We will look at the historical context and the people who inspired scientific and technological achievement.

Inventions of the Future

We will be looking at the problems of and Solutions to our sustainable energy needs. In addition we will look at combustion, pollution, and global warming before evaluating the potential of Hydrogen and alcohol as a fuels.

Power of Humans

This theme allows us to explore forces, energy transformations and speed as we prepare for lift off of the first Wren School in space.

Power of the Earth

We will look at the tectonic structure of the Earth, volcanoes and earthquakes. We will look at what the Earth provides in terms of minerals and metals and we will see how minerals and metals are extracted from the Earth. Finally we will evaluate the costs and benefits of recycling over new production.

Year 8

My Values

We will look at the needs of our body and how we value it, in terms of what we put into it and the risks of abusing it. We will look at the digestive system, food and nutrition and balancing energy needs. We will also look at the effects of a variety of legal and legal drugs and evaluate their cost to individuals and to society.

Family Values

We will learn about how scientific understanding has changed in the light of increasing evidence. We will look at the way in which evidence has affected prior beliefs and understanding, particularly in terms of our understanding of the solar system and of the microbiological world. We will also look at the way in which prejudice and narrow minded attitudes have affected scientific progress. We will be looking at key individuals in the history of science and the challenges they faced in getting their ideas recognised.

Clashes of Culture

What happens when separated populations with different cultures come into contact? Science will link closely with Humanities in a look at the invasion of the Spanish into South America and the diseases, microbes and epidemics subsequently spread. Students will also compare and contrast the two cultures in terms of politics, agriculture, materials, religion and technology.

Celebration of Culture

In order to establish a sound basis for the study of physics and chemistry we will look at the particle model and its use to describe solids, liquids and gases.

We will use the particle model to help us explain a wide range of common phenomena, such as atmospheric pressure, gas pressure, density, diffusion, melting and boiling, Brownian motion and dilution.

The Power of Our Technology

This topic allows us to establish a sound basis for the study of physics topics by introducing the idea of energy. We will look at energy in food, energy transformations, the steam engine and electricity generation. This will lead us to a practical exploration of electrical energy in electric circuits and to consider efficient and inefficient energy transformations.

The Power of my Voice

A review of sound and hearing. Looking at sound as a wave and experimenting with waves of different kinds. We will also be looking at how animals use low frequency sound waves and how high frequency waves are used in medicine and industry. We will also explore the way scientists interpret seismic waves to get a better understanding of the Earth.

Year 9

Description of KS4 science curriculum
In Year-9 students will begin studying topics required for the GCSE in Combined Science. Having established a sound basis of scientific ideas in the previous two years, students will deepen their understanding of basic concepts, which they experience in the world around them.

These topics will include.

Cells in animals and plants, Systems in the human body, States of matter, Atomic structure, Waves, Plants and photosynthesis, Lifestyle and health, Preventing, treating and curing diseases, Radiation and risk, Earth Science, Ecosystems and biodiversity, carbon chemistry, Forces, Electricity, Energy, Quantitative Chemistry and Resources of materials and energy.

There will be ample opportunity for practical investigation and links to the world of work and industry. In addition, the human impact of scientific developments will be considered throughout the course. Students will understand the need for thoughtful and accountable applications of scientific knowledge and their natural scepticism and creativity will be encouraged.

In addition to the practical lessons which will support the teaching of the course, students will undertake 20 practical investigations which are required by the exam board. These ‘required practical investigations’  for the basis of 50% of the GCSE examinations, being assessed in GCSE paper-2 (Life Sciences) and in GCSE paper-4 (Material Sciences).

The course teaching will be completed by the end of year-10 so that year-11 can be devoted to revision and preparation for the GCSE exams. This will include the repetition of many of the required practical investigations.

GCSE Exam board information
AQA – Combined Science (Synergy)

Papers 1-2 Life Sciences

Papers 3-4 Materials Science

Term Dates


Term 2

Inset day – Fri 11 Nov & Fri 2 Dec 2022

Mon 31 Oct – Tue 20 Dec 2022

Christmas break – Wed 21 Dec – Tue 3 Jan 2023

Term 3

Wed 4 Jan – Fri 10 Feb

Half term – Mon 13 Feb – Fri 17 Feb 2023