Science: Statement of Intent

At Christ the King we believe that every student should get the best possible education from the moment they walk through the door. For this reason, Science is taught, wherever possible, by specialists from Year 7. We believe that students should be encouraged to wonder and question the world around them. Our intent is to develop our students to become scientists who develop a good appreciation and understanding of the wonderful world around them via the use of a carefully sequenced and engaging curriculum that:

  • Provides clear coherent curriculum pathways
  • Hold high expectations, aspirations and ambitions for all learners
  • Is accessible to all students including SEND and disadvantaged students
  • Supports engaged, self-regulated and metacognitive learning
  • Promotes development of learner identity and identification with each subject
  • Enables responsive teaching and learning that continually evolves and improves
  • Stimulates fascination, awe and wonder in the discovery of self and the world around us
  • Supports the catholic ethos of our school and our mission statement ‘Love one another as I have loved you’ (John, 15)
  • Clearly builds from and to previous and future Key stages
  • Allows diagnosis of learner strengths and weaknesses, learning gaps and misconceptions, enabling easy intervention with relevant teaching resources
  • Includes sequencing of concepts, knowledge, skills and principles in common across the curriculum, resources, assessment and CPD
  • Includes sequencing of literacy and maths skills relevant in the context of science
  • Builds of students science capital

Our aim is that every student has access to the same curriculum and leave us ready for the next stage of their education with the skills, knowledge and understanding that enable them to question analyse and make sense of our every changing world.


Wherever possible science is taught via a subject specialist and neither key stage is prioritised in receiving this specialised teaching as every part of the curriculum is equally important.

At Christ the King all lessons are 50 minutes in length and at KS3 our students have 4 science lessons a week (3.3hrs) and 6 science lessons (two of each discipline) at KS4 (5hrs).

All students at KS3 follow the smart ‘Activate’ curriculum which has been designed by experts and based on evidence of what works best to deliver the best learning experience for its’ students. The curriculum is sequenced such that it builds on knowledge and skills through KS3 and KS4 and has five key concepts that are the core of the learning for each discipline.




How organisms work

Growth, development and reproduction

Health and disease

Ecosystems and environment

Variation and evolution

Genetics and inheritance

Substances, bonding and structure

Elements, compounds and organic chemistry

Chemical reactions

Chemical analysis

Chemistry of the Earth and Earths resources

Forces and motion


Earth and space

Electricity and magnetism


Atomic, nuclear and quantum physics


At Key Stage 3 the curriculum is structured around the learning intentions and developing, securing, extending learning outcomes. Learning intentions are the knowledge and skills that learners will cover in the topic. The learning outcomes are used as guidance of how deeply a learning intention is covered and how knowledge can be applied by a learner.

The learning outcomes consider age related expectations, level of cognitive demand, prior learning and component/composite knowledge. Each objective is differentiated into Emerging, Developing, Securing and Extending outcomes:

Emerging: learners at this stage are struggling to reach the developing criteria, poor attendance, behaviour or cognitive processing speeds may be an issue, these leaners may require more directed intervention.

Developing: learners at this stage are working towards secure knowledge and understanding but need more support to do this.

Secure: learners at this stage have a secure knowledge and understanding; this is the aspiration for all learners to achieve.

Extending: learners at this stage are working beyond age related expectation and their knowledge and understanding can be stretched and challenged.

These descriptors are given to all students within a literacy tracker that also allows keywords and vocabulary to be built up and revisited during their science journey. Formative assessment is continuous throughout the Key Stage and for each module. Summative assessments take place twice a year and are designed to help our students prepare for longer tests and allow teachers, leaders and parents to have a better overview of the overall key knowledge and understanding their child has learned. It also allows teachers to readdress curriculum sequencing and to inform subsequent recall/revision tasks.

In Science we use literacy trackers daily to build confidence in the use and understanding of scientific vocabulary. We discuss the etymology of words to aid understanding of complex words and concepts. Many of the formative assessments covered in both key stages have the development of strong literacy at their heart.

At Key Stage 3 students are rewarded for their efforts in class and homework with ‘stars’ that are added to their Literacy Trackers. The students in each year group meet at the end of every rotation or term when these science reward stars are awarded. At the end of the school year, all students receiving at least one star receive a certificate and for those with the highest number of stars, a special Science badge is awarded to recognise their continued efforts.

At Key Stage 4, students are offered a choice of two pathways for GCSE Sciences. The first option is the Triple Science Pathway which covers the 3 individual GCSE subjects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. This is an intensive course designed to prepare students for Advanced Level sciences. Students opting for this course should have successfully completed the Key Stage 3 course and demonstrated their ability to meet the extending criteria in all science disciplines.

The second option is AQA Combined Science (Trilogy) GCSE. This course is not as intensive as the Triple Science Pathway but still allows students access to Advanced Level Sciences in Further Education and covers the range of all 3 Science disciplines. Students at Christ the King are taught to the highest standard in all groups and given multiple opportunities in all classes to access the higher tiers at GCSE.  Study Support sessions are available every other Thursday after school and are available to all GCSE Science students.

Assessment in Science is ongoing and uses effective formative assessment tasks as well as longer summative tests to prepare our learners for their forthcoming GCSE examinations and their journey onwards to Further education.

Key Stage 4 students are rewarded for impressive efforts and attainment in their Sciences via the use of certificates which are awarded at termly House Reward Assemblies.

The department continue to focus on the development of independence in our learners via the use of varied forms of assessment and delivery of content as well as the use of textbooks to encourage reading and literacy skills.

Metacognitive talk is routine in science lessons with students being actively encouraged to discuss their thought processes both whole class and in groups.

The department have spent time looking at evidence from ‘BEST’ and are building in awareness of common misconceptions the students are likely to have. These are discussed in departmental meetings so that specialists are aware of misconceptions that are likely outside of their own discipline.


The school continues to produce good results and retains a cohort of 33% of students in the Triple Sciences.  A significant percentage of students 17% (2023) go on to study science related disciplines. Results are actively scrutinised by the department and used to make targets for the following year and inform curriculum and sequencing decisions when needed.

Students enjoy their science lessons and respond well in student voice. Students generally have very positive attitudes towards learning and are prepared to work independently and with their peers to investigate the world around them. Students make good progress in Science and respond well to intervention when it is needed.

Students are encouraged to consider careers in STEM subjects wherever possible and opportunities to provide outside experiences, for example using visits by BAE roadshow as well as an annual visit to UCLAN are commonplace. This, as well as the use of outside speakers really helps to provide a more a varied understanding for students of all the courses and career pathways available. Each March, the Science Department also organise activities to help promote a love of Science. Biennially, Key Stage 3 students are challenged with designing an experiment or presentation about any area of Science of interest which they present to their peers and compete for prizes. Subsequent year activities vary and are designed to centre around promoting community links and/or recent Science initiatives or developments. These have included a ‘Cluedo’ themed ‘Who done it?’ whole school activity where House Tutor groups solved clues using scientific principles to solve a fictional ‘murder’, as well as visits to local primary schools to host after-school Science clubs.

The department also run a ‘Rocket’ themed STEM event on an Extended Learning Day each year. The day involves students working in various teams to research about, design and build a model water rocket. The event ends with each team giving a presentation and the winning House team receives a trophy. Events like this often provide opportunities to invite outside ambassadors who can again encourage students into the STEM related careers pathways available to them, and develop team-building, presentation, communication and leadership skills in students’ personal development.

Please click here for the curriculum overview