Science Department Staff

For more information about the Subject curriculum, please contact: Mrs J McCutcheon the Curriculum Leader.

  • Mrs J McCutcheon - Curriculum Leader
  • Mr J Bailey
  • Mr M Daniels - GCSEPod and ClassCharts coordinator
  • Mrs J Hayes
  • Mrs D Holden - Teacher in charge of Physics
  • Mr D Simpson - Teacher in charge of Chemistry
  • Miss C Warburton
  • Mrs A Ellis -Technician
  • Mrs S Walsh - Senior Technician
  • Mrs K Pye - Science Support

Science Department 

The intent of our Science Curriculum is to develop scientifically literate citizens who are equipped with scientific skills required to understand the uses and implications of Science. Students are encouraged to see how Biology, Chemistry and Physics interconnect with each other and the outside world. We want to develop their understanding and appreciation of the natural, material and physical world around them and to encourage awe and wonder. 

We want students to realise how scientific innovation and advances changes our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity. 

At Balshaw’s Church of England High School we wish to inspire many students to become future scientists and for others to see the applications of Science within our everyday lives.  

Our Science Curriculum area is one of the largest in school with 7 members of teaching staff, one Science teaching assistant and two laboratory technicians. We have 6 well equipped laboratories and a science classroom. 

KS3 Curriculum 

We operate a three year KS3 programme of study, incorporating fully the National Curriculum.  

Pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 will usually have one Science teacher who delivers all three Sciences using topics (see table below). Students in Years 7 have five Science lessons per fortnight and Year 8 and Year 9 students have six lessons. We have 7 classes in Year 7 and 8 with 3 ability sets in the X band and 4 in the Y band. In Year 9 we have 4 ability sets in both the X and Y bands.  

Students are assessed regularly throughout KS3 with the use of summative and formative assessments for each topic as well as summative assessments that require retention and recall of more than one topic at a time.  

We operate a carousel system for each year group at KS3 to facilitate the sharing of practical equipment. 

Year 7 Topics 

Year 8 Topics 

Year 9 Topics 

C1 Particles 

B4 Nutrition & Digestion 

C7 Chemical Reactions 2 

B1 Cells 

C4 Periodic Table, Atoms & Elements 

P10 Forces, Energy Transfer, Electricity 

P1 Forces 

P3 Light & Sound 

B9 Photosynthesis 

C2 Diffusion & Separation 

C5 Chemical Reactions 1 

P5 Motion 

B3 Reproduction 

P9 Heat & Insulation 

B8 Genetics & Evolution 

C3 Acids & Alkalis 

B5 Health 

Maths Skills 

P2 Space 

C8 Materials 

Scientific Skills 

B6 Ecosystems 

P8 Pressure 

Astronomy & Space 

C6 Earth & Atmosphere 

P6 Electrical Circuits & Magnetism 

Careers in Science 

 

KS4 Curriculum 

We operate a two year KS4 with students having 11 lessons per fortnight of Science. We have one group studying AQA Separate Sciences and six groups studying for AQA Combined Science GCSEs. Where possible students are taught by specialists in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. There are 7 teaching groups banded in to Higher and Foundation tier classes. 

We follow the AQA specifications at KS4.  

Students are assessed throughout every unit of study, with a formative assessment for each as well as up to three summative assessments. 

Students are taught Paper 1 content primarily in Year 10 and Paper 2 content towards the end of Year 10 and in Year 11 (see information below). 

Combined Science 

Separate Sciences 

2 GCSES 

3 GCSES 

AQA Combined Science (8464) 

AQA Biology (8461) 

 

AQA Chemistry (8462) 

 

AQA Physics (8463) 

6 exam papers 

6 exam papers 

1 hour 15 minutes per paper 

1 hour 45 minutes 

11 hours of Science per fortnight 

11 hours of Science per fortnight 

 

Combined Science 

Separate Sciences 

21 equations to recall and use 

23 equations to recall and use 

7 equations they can select from the Physics  data sheet and apply 

12 equations they can select from the Physics  data sheet and apply 

 

Biology 

 

Combined Science 

Separate Sciences 

Paper 1 Content 

Cell Biology, Organisation, Infection & Response, Bioenergetics 

Cell Biology, Organisation, Infection & Response, Bioenergetics 

Paper 2 Content 

Homeostasis & Response, Inheritance, Variation & Evolution, Ecology 

Homeostasis & Response, Inheritance, Variation & Evolution, Ecology 

Available marks per paper 

70 marks  

100 marks 

% of the GCSE 

Each paper worth 16.7%  

Each paper worth 50%  

Type of questions featured in exam papers 

multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response 

multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response 

Tier of entry 

Higher or foundation 

Higher only 

 

Chemistry 

 

Combined Science 

Separate Sciences 

Paper 1 Content 

Atomic Structure & Periodic Table, Bonding, Structure & Properties of Matter, Quantitative Chemistry, Chemical Changes, Energy Changes 

Atomic Structure & Periodic Table, Bonding, Structure & Properties of Matter, Quantitative Chemistry, Chemical Changes, Energy Changes 

Paper 2 Content 

Rate & Extent of Chemical Change, Organic Chemistry, Chemical Analysis, Chemistry of the Atmosphere, Using Resources 

Rate & Extent of Chemical Change, Organic Chemistry, Chemical Analysis, Chemistry of the Atmosphere, Using Resources 

Available marks per paper 

70 marks  

100 marks 

% of the GCSE 

Each paper worth 16.7%  

Each paper worth 50%  

Type of questions featured in exam papers 

multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response 

multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response 

Tier of entry 

Higher or foundation 

Higher only 

 

Physics 

 

Combined Science 

Separate Sciences 

Paper 1 Content 

Energy, Electricity, Particle Model of Matter, Atomic Structure 

Energy, Electricity, Particle Model of Matter, Atomic Structure 

Paper 2 Content 

Forces, Waves, Magnetism & Electromagnetism 

Forces, Waves, Magnetism & Electromagnetism, Space Physics 

Available marks per paper 

70 marks  

100 marks 

% of the GCSE 

Each paper worth 16.7%  

Each paper worth 50%  

Type of questions featured in exam papers 

multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response 

multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response 

Tier of entry 

Higher or foundation 

Higher only 

 

As a department we run successful Science clubs in Years 7 and 8. 

We offer a wealth of enrichment opportunities including overseas trips to Iceland and Geneva. Year 7/8  Science Clubs have the opportunity to travel to London to visit the Natural History and Science museums. Year 9 are offered a Saturday day trip to Birmingham Big Bang Fair and Year 10 can choose to attend Science Live events in Manchester.  

Members of the department are involved in the American Ski Trip, Staff Choir, Lego – Future Engineers, Salter’s Chemistry Festival, Ogden Trust Physics Olympics and Hockey.  

Year 8 Magnificent Magnets Homework 

Our Year 8 Science students have produced some amazing pieces of work whilst exploring what happens when this phenomenon occurs and how it could affect our communication systems and the navigation systems of many wildlife species.

Thank you to all the students (& parent helpers) for all of their hard work.

Magnificent Magnetics!

Year 7 Pollination Homework

Year 8 Chemistry Homework

Year 7 Creative Cell Work

Model Cells

These amazing pieces of work are completed by 7x/sc2. Model cells made from everything, including cake

Year 7 Fabulous Model Cell Homework

Science Department