Skip to content ↓
Sir Jonathan North College

Sir Jonathan North College



Science plays a major part in our lives and its importance is certain to increase. In today’s society we cannot afford to be scientifically ignorant. Through science, students learn how major scientific ideas contribute to technological change impacting on industry, business, medicine and improving the quality of life.

At Sir Jonathan North students are taught in 9 new purpose built rooms with demonstration and practical areas widely available. During Key Stage 3 students are taught as general science groups, covering all three specialist areas – Biology, Chemistry and Physics. As the students begin to reach Key Stage 4, teaching moves towards having a specialist teacher for each subject area.

Students working on a practical science task

The experienced and knowledgeable science team uses a variety of inspiring techniques to enable students to understand often complex scientific concepts. This is further enhanced by trips and external visitors to complement the curriculum. Highlights include visiting the Natural History Museum in London and the National Space Centre.



During Key Stage 3 students are introduced to all areas of science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) using various teaching techniques. This ensures an enthusiasm for scientific investigation among students and ignites a passion for investigative learning.

Initially all students are introduced to studying science with practical sessions to ensure the safe use of scientific equipment such as Bunsen Burners and resources such as chemicals. After this initial introduction, students develop their knowledge of a variety of topics including life processes, chemical reactions and magnetism using practical, demonstrative and theoretical learning.

In Year 7 students study science for 4 lessons a week in mixed ability tutor groups. Following the assessment at the end of the year, students are grouped by ability for Year 8 and 9. As students’ progress into Year 8 they are expected to demonstrate a greater level of practical skills and show more independence in their work both in the classroom and at home.

Year 9 is a transitional year for students. The first term is spent mastering some of the key concepts of science in preparation for the commencement of GCSE studies after Christmas. Students are assessed on their overall performance for Key Stage 3 and this judgement is used to determine the suitability of options at GCSE. After Christmas, students start following a GCSE program designed to get them used to the rigorous nature of the new GCSE courses.

Programme of Study

Year 7

  • Introduction to studying science (4 week module)
  • Biology Topics - Life processes, growth and reproduction, Variation and Interdependence
  • Chemistry Topics - Particles, Chemical reactions
  • Physics Topics - Energy and Electricity, Forces and Space, Magnetism

All students undertake an exam in June. This is followed by a unit of study on Health which is a component of personal, social and health education

Year 8

  • Biology Topics - Food and Digestion, Microbes and Systems
  • Chemistry Topics - Atoms, Elements and Compounds, Rocks and The Rock Cycle
  • Physics Topics - Heat and Energy, Light and Sound

All students undertake an exam in June.  This is followed by sessions recapping and mastering concepts based on the outcome of the exams.

Year 9

  • Biology Topics - Human Body, Genetics, Cell structure and transport, Cell division
  • Chemistry Topics - Chemical Reactions, Reactivity series and Earth’s Resources, Energy Changes, The rate and extent of chemical reactions
  • Physics Topics - Forces, Electricity, Atomic Structure and Radioactivity, Waves and Magnetism

In November all students undertake an exam covering all learning from Key Stage 3.


“Our science group was amazing and friendly. The teachers were brilliant!”

“I love the wide variety of topics that we learn and the practical sessions we get to undertake.”

“The teachers are always really supportive. They have time for questions at break and lunch.”

Science is part of the core curriculum and as such all students at Sir Jonathan North study science at GCSE level. Assessment is 100% examination at the end of the course in Year 11.

Studying for example how to genetically modify bacteria and make the bacteria glow by taking the PGLo gene from a jelly fish and inserting it into bacteria, insure that students are engaged and excited by their science learning.

In addition to exceptional classroom teaching the science team encourage students to attend extra experiences to enhance their learning. For students who are on course to meet their targets at Christmas in Year 10 there is the opportunity to take part in a trip to The Big Bang Show in Birmingham during the Spring Term. For those studying separate sciences in Year 11, they are able to attend the GCSE Live! Show, this involves hearing inspirational talks from some of the top scientists in the country and a session lead by a senior examiner designed to help students succeed in their exams. In the separate sciences Biology module  students are able to attend a lecture given by eminent Professor Turi King on the discovery and identification of King Richard III’s remains.

Those students who have achieved the required expected entry or above in their end of Key Stage 3 assessment are expected and encouraged to choose Separate Sciences. Separate Sciences will better prepare students wishing to study science at A level or beyond. This qualification awards three separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Alternatively students follow the AQA Trilogy Science route which is a double award GCSE and includes elements of all three sciences. The Trilogy curriculum covers the same topics as the Separate Science route but not in as much detail.

Programme of Study

Year 10

  • Biology Topics - Cell Biology, Organisation, Infection and response
  • Chemistry Topics - Atomic structure and the periodic table, Bonding, structure and the properties of matter, Quantitative chemistry, Chemical changes, Energy changes
  • Physics Topics - Energy, Electricity, Particle model of matter, Atomic structure

Year 11

  • Biology Topics - Bioenergetics, Homeostasis and response, Inheritance, variation and evolution, Ecology
  • Chemistry Topics - The rate and extent of chemical change, Organic chemistry, Chemical analysis, Chemistry of the atmosphere, Using resources
  • Physics Topics - Forces, Waves, Magnetism and electromagnetism, Space (Separate Physics Only)

Useful Resources

Key Stage 3

Maths Made Easy contains Science revision questions and mark schemes for Science, as well as English and Maths.
BBC Bitesize for KS3 – lots of information covering the whole of KS3 science.

Key Stage 4

At KS4 students have access to an electronic version of the textbooks the college use via a kerboodle login:

Kerboodle - your daughter would be provided with login details. The College’s institution code is fu7.

All students have access to revision video clips on My-GCSE Science.