We want our students to become future scientists and engineers who enjoy and value the learning opportunities provided for them here at The Orchard Centre.


“A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.”

Our science curriculum is broad, balanced and relevant to the needs of all our students.  We offer a range of progression routes which enable students to close the gap between an interrupted educational career and their mainstream goal. The curriculum not only develops students’ knowledge and understanding in a range of science topic areas, it enables them to develop the skills required to become more independent, creative and innovative learners in order to make other links between their subject knowledge.


Key Stage 4 Curriculum



At Key Stage4, the year 11 GCSE students will follow the AQA Core Science A (route 2) Qualification with the option of Additional Science in year 11 if appropriate. The qualifications are arranged into 4 components which are equally weighted, consisting of;

Biology (25%), Chemistry (25%), Physics (25%) and A Controlled Assessment based on a practical investigation (25%).

As of September 2016, the year 10 cohort will be following the new GCSE combined science: Trilogy AQA specification at GCSE. The Key Stage 4 curriculum will directly compliment the new programme of study for Key Stage 3. This cohort will have covered some of the new areas that will present themselves during the GCSE specification. It will include the following areas;

In Biology students will cover;

Cell Biology, Transport Systems, Health, Disease and the Development of Medicines, Coordination and Control, Photosynthesis, Ecosystems, Inheritance, Variation and Evolution, The Genome and Gene Expression

In Chemistry students will cover;

Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table, Structure, Bonding and the Properties of Matter, Chemical Changes, Energy Changes in Chemistry, The Rate and Extent of Chemical Change, Organic Chemistry, Chemical Analysis, Chemical and Allied Industries, Earth and Atmospheric Science.

In Physics students will cover;

Energy, Forces, Forces and Motion, Waves in Matter, Light and Electromagnetic Waves, Electricity, Magnetism and Electromagnetism, Particle Model of Matter, Atomic Structure and Space Physics.

The new specifications mean that the grading criteria will change for those pupils sitting exams in 2018 and beyond. The criteria extends from 1-9, with 1 equivalent to a G and 9 equivalent to an A*.

Entry level;

Alternatively, we offer OCR Entry Level Science to students for whom GCSE science may not be a suitable route. Students study a range of mini topics and collect points throughout the year, culminating in outcomes at Entry Level 3, Entry Level 2 or Entry Level 1 certificates.


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