Curriculum Subjects



See our Science Curriculum below at Bentley Wood for KS3, KS4 and KS5

KS3 | Science

Course Aims:

  • To develop a deeper understanding of a range of scientific ideas in the subject disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
  • To begin to see the connections between these subject areas and become aware of some of the big ideas underpinning scientific knowledge and understanding.
  • To be encouraged to relate scientific explanations to phenomena in the world around them and start to use modelling and abstract ideas to develop and evaluate explanations.

Trips and visits:
Science museum; Whipsnade Zoo and the Natural History Museum

Co-curricular activities:

  • Science club – Students learn practical skills, carryout fun and interesting experiments and take part in competitions.
  • Race for the line (Rocket car club) – A National STEM competition

Key Stage 4 & 5 / Career Progression:

The science course is specifically designed to build understanding and skills that leads into the new AQA Science GCSE  and A Levels. Careers that directly link to Science are numerous, some of these include: medicine, nursing, optometry, dentistry, teaching and engineering.

Recommended Reading:

Year 7 Course Content:

  • Introduction to science
  • Cells
  • Particles
  • Space
  • Movement
  • Acids and Alkalis
  • Basic Electricity
  • Human reproduction
  • Separating mixtures
  • Waves – light
  • Plant reproduction
  • Photosynthesis
  • Waves – sound

Year 8 Course Content:

  • Respiration and breathing
  • Digestion
  • Ecosystems
  • Periodic table/elements
  • Chemical reactions
  • Earth
  • Forces
  • Forces and Motion
  • Energy
KS4 | Science

GCSE Science

 Examining Board: AQA

All students at Bentley Wood study science and the Science Department sets the highest expectations for all students. Based on prior achievement, aptitude and dedication to scientific learning, students are allocated to one of two pathways below:

  1. Triple Science AQA – Biology, Chemistry & Physics
  2. Double Award AQA – Combined Science (Trilogy Route)

All students have 6 periods of Science allocated per week. Science is not an options subject.

Course Overview and Methods of Assessment
A brief outline of what is required in both the Triple and Combined examination pathways is outlined below:


Triple Science Double Award
  • 6 papers across all 3 science disciplines
  • 1 hour and 45 minutes per paper
  • 100 marks per paper
  • 6 papers across all 3 science disciplines
  •  1 hour and 15 minutes per paper
  • 70 marks per paper

Topic Overview: All topics in bold are examined in Triple and Double pathways. Topics in italics are Triple only topics.

 Biology Paper 1

Topics: Cell Biology; Organisation; Infection and response; and Bioenergetics.

Triple only topics: Plant Diseases and Responses, Bacterial Growth, Monoclonal Antibodies.

Biology Paper 2

Topics: Homeostasis and response; Inheritance, variation and evolution; and Ecology.

Triple only topics: The Brain and the Eye, Plant Hormones, Controlling Body Temperature, The Kidneys and their Function; Advantages and Disadvantages of Sexual and Asexual Reproduction, DNA and Gene Expression, Protein Synthesis, Adult Cell Cloning, History of Genetics, Theories of Evolution, Speciation; Rates of Decomposition, Impact of Environmental Change; Biomass and factors affecting Food Security and Sustainable Food Production.

Chemistry Paper 1

Topics: Atomic structure and the periodic table; Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter; Quantitative chemistry, Chemical changes; and Energy changes.

Triple only topics: Transition Metals; Nanoparticles; Yield, Atom Economy, Percentage Yield, Titrations, Volumes of Gases.

Chemistry Paper 2

Topics: The rate and extent of chemical change; Organic chemistry; Chemical analysis; Chemistry of the atmosphere; and Using resources. Questions in Paper 2 may draw on fundamental concepts and principles from Atomic structure and the periodic table; Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter; Quantitative chemistry.

Triple only topics: Transition Metals; Nanoparticles; Yield, Atom Economy, Percentage Yield, Titrations, Volumes of Gases; Fuel and Chemical Cells; Organic Chemistry including alcohols, carboxylic acids, esters; Polymers; Testing for Ions and Instrumental Analysis; Using Materials.

Physics Paper 1

Topics: Energy; Electricity; Particle model of matter; and Atomic structure.

Triple only topics: Infrared radiation, Electrical charges and fields; Nuclear: fission/fusion/issues.

Physics Paper 2

Topics: Forces; Waves; and Magnetism and electromagnetism

Triple only topics: Moments at work and levels and gears, Using conservation of momentum, Impact forces, Safety, Force and Pressure, Ultrasound and Seismic waves; Light; Electromagnets, Alternating-Current Generator, Transformers, Space.

Practical work underpins many aspects of scientific work and our curriculum seamlessly incorporates practical elements and foci into our student learning.

 Recommended Revision Guides

Separate sciences / combined foundation textbooks are also available where applicable.

NB: If purchasing the workbooks, ensure you purchase the ones that include the answers
(older versions do not!).

Recommended Revision Websites:

Further Reading

  • On the Shoulders of Giants – Melvyn Bragg
  • The Big Bang – Simon Singh
  • The Edge of Time – Dan Hooper
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson
  • Bad Science – Ben Goldacre
  • The Selfish Gene – Richard Dawkins
  • 8000 Metres Climbing The World’s Highest Mountains by Alan Hinkes
  • The Science Book, Big Ideas Simply Explained by by Rob Colson (Editor), Camilla Hallinan (Editor), David John (Editor), Adam Hart-Davis

 Further Study / Career Prospects

Triple Science and Combined Science at the higher tier of entry are both academically rigorous and therefore offer a strong foundation for those considering studying science at A-level and beyond into higher education.  Bentley Wood offers a comprehensive range of Science A-Levels Biology, Chemistry and Physics, all taught by experienced subject specialists.

Our entry requirements for science A-levels are 66 or above in science GCSE, a 6 in Maths GCSE and a 5 in English Language GCSE.

As well as the more obvious medical or research-based career options, science graduates are highly sought after in industry and the financial and business sectors where their analytical skills are in demand.


  • Royal Society lectures
  • Summer Science Exhibition
  • Imperial Summer Schools
  • Science Olympiads



KS5 | Biology

Is Biology the subject for you?

Yes, if you are a person who has an interest in the living world that surrounds you. Yes, if you want to develop a deep understanding of the organization and working of living organisms and systems. Yes, if you want to be involved in high level experimental and investigative work and develop and develop an extended understanding of the link between theory and scientific method.

The aims of this course are to encourage students to:

  • Develop interest in and enthusiasm for Biology and understand how differentareas of Biology relate to each other.
  • Appreciate the impact of Biological Science on society.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the scientific process and experimental work.

Course content

In Year 12 students study three units; Cells Exchange and Transport; Molecules, Biodiversity, Food and Health; Practical skills. In year 13 students study a further three units; Communication, Homeostasis and Energy; Control, Genomes and Environment; Practical Skills.

Methods of study

Students will learn to describe, explain and interpret phenomena and effects in terms of biological principles and concepts presenting arguments and ideas clearly and logically. The lessons will vary in style from practical and student centred investigations to demonstrations and teacher investigations.

How will it be examined?

AS qualification will not count towards the final grade of an A Level and be a separate qualification in its own right (Linear).

Career opportunities

Most universities offer biology as a single or joint honours degree. Biology combines well with other science subjects and often provides a background to careers in medicine, nursing, veterinary science, environmental science, physiotherapy, food science and teaching.

KS5 | Chemistry

Is Chemistry the subject for you?

Studying Chemistry provides you with a privileged insight to the processes that define our everyday world. The skills you will develop as a chemist are highly transferable enabling you to continue your academic trajectory in a multitude of different fields. You will use and develop powers of critical and creative thinking and demonstrate your chemical knowledge through a diverse range of practical experiments.

Course content

The course allows you to develop a myriad of skills in the classroom by seamlessly integrating these throughout the course topics. These can be in the form of practical work as well as presentational skills. Learning is sequenced to allow you to cumulatively build on your knowledge and take ownership of your learning as you progress from topic to topic. The innovative nature of Chemistry means that this field is constantly evolving, and our students are encouraged to complement their learning with wider, up-to-date research in order to expand their contextual appreciation of the subject.

Methods of study

Chemistry lessons are varied however, we aim to incorporate as many practical experiences as part of our lessons as possible. This is so that students can appreciate the concomitant link between theoretical chemical work and experimental research. This is particularly crucial for those continuing with scientific learning in higher education. You will receive regular feedback from class teachers throughout your studies and will also evaluate your learning through peer assessment, group work, class discussions, presentations, experimentation and research.

How will it be examined?

Our exam board is AQA and our students complete the Linear Chemistry qualification; the AS qualification will not count towards the final grade of an A Level. However, there are opportunities throughout the course for learning to be regularly examined and for you to reflect on where your learning currently stands and how to make progress going forward.

Career opportunities

A qualification in Chemistry is in high demand and will set you apart in any field you continue your studies in. Many courses such as medicine, engineering and dentistry require an A Level in Chemistry as a prerequisite for the course. What careers could you consider in the future with chemistry? Analytical Chemistry, Banking, Atmospheric Chemistry, Engineering, Forensic Science, Marine Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Accounting, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, and Patent Attorney – these are just a few! Many employers value the analytical and creative problem solving skills that are developed at Chemistry A-level.

KS5 | Physics

Is Physics the subject for you?

If you are the sort of person who likes to ask questions about the world around you, is interested in the way that things work and has a curiosity about the world and the Universe then Physics is definitely for you. Physics is about making observations and explaining why events and strange phenomena. You will enjoy solving problems in a variety of areas, working in a team and having a shared purpose with others.

Course content

The course not only includes the study of the laws, theories and models of Physics but also the application of these to the modern world. From waves to radioactivity, mechanics to electricity and many things beyond.

Methods of study

Physics lessons are varied and include peer teaching, peer assessment, group work, class discussions (you will be expected to talk), presentations, experimentation, research and watching DVDs of experiments. Understanding of some aspects of physics is achieved through the application of mathematics.

How will it be examined?

AS qualification will not count towards the final grade of an A Level and be a separate qualification in its own right (Linear).

Career opportunities

Physics A-level helps to develop strong numerical, analytical and logical skills, and there is a perception that physicists are very able students.

Clearly, Physics A-level is an important qualification for many university courses and careers. Obvious examples are any form of engineering and many technical and ‘hi-tech’ courses and careers.

More broadly, employers in general value the skills developed in Physics A-level very highly, and Physics can open many employment doors in business and banking, for example.Furthermore, there is currently a severe shortage of physicists and an even more severe shortage of female physicists, and young people with physics backgrounds are very much in demand. This means that universities are especially keen to receive applications from A-level physicists. At a time when many schools do not provide A-level physics and still relatively few girls take it as an option, those that do place themselves at a significant advantage.