Curriculum rationale:

The fundamental aim of our science curriculum is the desire to increase the life chances of the students at the college. To facilitate this aim, the curriculum has been designed with the following guiding principles:

  • Reflective and Flexible –The scientific world is one of constant change and new developments, as such our curriculum should also be reflected upon and flexible enough to meet the demands of our students.
  • Academic and Knowledge based –Education has undergone vast changes in the last 10 years, as such the students arriving at the college have received a far more challenging education than previous cohorts did in Key Stage 2.We won’t apologise for building on these challenges and expecting students to acquire and master knowledge quickly.
  • Ready for the future –Many of the jobs in today’s labour market did not exist when the current generation of teachers were students themselves. As such we are now preparing students for careers that do not exist yet. Our students deserve to be equipped with the transferrable skills that will allow them to flourish in the future and our curriculum is designed to help develop those skills.
  • Love of Knowledge –Learning should be its own reward; our curriculum should encourage students to seek out and learn about the world around them. We want to develop students who seek out knowledge for themselves simply because they want to know.
  • Meeting the needs of the country –Our country has a growing shortage of doctors, Engineers, Scientists, Computer Programmers and other specialist jobs. The curriculum at Sir Jonathan North College should be designed to facilitate giving more students the option to study appropriate courses after they leave the college to follow the path into these careers.


Curriculum Design:

A successful science curriculum should always challenge and inspire students so that:

  • students acquire powerful knowledge that takes them beyond their experience;
  • students are encouraged to enjoy and take an interest in the subject;
  • students are well-prepared for terminal exams at the end of five years of study;
  • students build their academic background knowledge and cultural capital by acquiring scientific and academic vocabulary;
  • students acquire the foundations needed in each subject for further study beyond GCSE should they wish.

At Sir Jonathan North College, students follow a spiral curriculum allowing them to understand the fundamentals of particular topics before revisiting those topics in later years to build upon the fundamental knowledge gained previously. By doing this we enable the students to master the content of the curriculum at an appropriate pace whilst still allowing opportunities to revisit and reinforce understanding in areas. We also interweave this spiral design with activities designed to bridge across the spiral nature of the curriculum and encourage long term understanding on the curriculum content.



Curriculum Plan:

Curriculum Map

Year 7

Introductory Topic for two to four weeks, including a Baseline Assessment

Biology: Organisms Topic

(Organisms – Cells and Movement)

Chemistry: Particles Topic

(Matter – Particle Model)

Physics: Forces Topic

(Forces - Speed and Forces - Gravity)

Biology: Reproduction Topic

(Genes – Human Reproduction and Ecosystems – Plant Reproduction)

Chemistry: Solutions Topic

(Matter – Separating Mixtures)

Physics: Space Topic

(Earth - Universe)

Biology: Variation Topic

(Genes – Variation)

Chemistry: Reactions Topic

(Reactions – Acids and Alkalis)

Physics: Energy Topic

(Energy - Energy Transfer and Energy - Work)

Biology: Interdependence Topic

(Ecosystems – Interdependence)

Chemistry: Reactions Topic

(Reactions – Metals and Non-Metals)

Physics: Electricity Topic

(Electromagnets – Potential Difference and Electromagnets - Current)

Year 8

Biology: Digestion Topic

(Organisms – Digestion)

Chemistry: Elements Topic

(Matter – Elements)

Physics: Waves Topic

(Waves – Wave Effects, Waves - Wave Properties, Waves - Sound and Waves - Light)

Biology: Respiration Topic

(Organisms – Breathing and Ecosystems - Respiration)

Chemistry: Periodic Table Topic

(Matter – Periodic Table)

Physics: Advanced Energy Topic

(Energy - Heating and Cooling and Energy - Energy Costs)

Biology: Photosynthesis Topic

(Ecosystems - Photosynthesis)

Chemistry: Earth Topic

(Earth – Earth Structure and Earth – Earth Resources and Climate)

Physics: Magnetism Topic

(Electromagnets - Magnetism and Electromagnets - Electromagnets)

Curriculum Map – Year 9 for 2020/2021 Only

Year 9

Biology: Humans as Organisms Topic

Chemistry: Further Chemical Reactions Topic

Physics: Forces Topic

Biology: Plant Biology and Variation Topic

Chemistry: Reactivity Series and the Earth’s Resources

Physics: Electricity Topic

Key Stage 4

Depending on ability and enthusiasm for science, students follow one of two pathways through Science at Key Stage 4

GCSE Separate Science Pathway

GCSE Combined Science Pathway

Students complete 3 GCSEs in the sciences, following the following AQA Courses:

8461 Biology, 8462 Chemistry and 8463 Physics

Students complete 2 GCSEs in the sciences, following the following AQA Courses:

8464: Combined Science (Trilogy)

Biology (8461 and 8464)

Chemistry (8462 and 8464)

Physics (8463 and 8464)

1.            Cell Biology

1.            Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table

1.            Energy

2.            Organisation

2.            Bonding, Structure and the Properties of Matter

2.            Electricity

3.            Infection and Response

3.            Quantitative Chemistry

3.            Particles

4.            Bioenergetics

4.            Chemical Changes

4.            Atomic Structure

7.            Ecology

5.            Energy Changes

5.            Forces

5.            Homeostasis and Response

6.            The Rate and Extent of Chemical Change

6.            Waves

6.            Inheritance, Variation and Evolution

7.            Organic Chemistry

7.            Magnetism


8.            Chemical Changes

8.            Space (8463 Only)


9.            Chemistry of the Atmosphere



10.          Using Resources



Curriculum Assessment:

  • On entry to College in Year 7, students complete a short introductory topic containing a baseline assessment. This is used to inform future teaching.
  • For all years, at the end of each topic, students complete a low-stakes test to measure progress in that topic and to allow closing the gap activities. As topics progress, these tests will include questions to ensure retention of prior learning.
  • At the end of each year, students complete an end of year assessment covering all topics learnt in that year. This assessment, along with the topic tests, is used to ensure students are placed in the appropriate classes for the next academic year.
  • An end of Key Stage 3 assessment, in conjunction with other data and Maths data, is used to determine the most appropriate GCSE course for the students.
  • In preparation for GCSE, students complete two sets of trial exams (paper 1 in December, paper 2 in March of year 11). Intervention for students not likely to achieve their target grade is then prepared.
  • Within lessons, students complete regular DIRT tasks based on current learning. Feedback is provided and students are expected to reflect and improve their work. Furthermore, teachers continually informally assess the understanding of students within lessons through a variety of techniques to inform future learning activities.

Essential equipment:

Each student requires their own scientific calculator. These can be obtained via Beehive.