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Welcome to Science 

We support and encourage all our learners to strive towards high levels of achievement in the field of Science and to enjoy all aspects of our subject.

By supporting our learners in all areas of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, we hope to start them on a lifelong interest in Science and provide them with the skills to understand how Science underpins our modern world.

Learners study science at school to acquire a comprehensive understanding of the natural world, develop critical thinking skills and foster a curiosity-driven mindset that empowers them to explore, innovate, and contribute to the advancement of human knowledge and technological progress.

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Science is the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence. Therefore, we aim to equip our learners with the skills and expertise to investigate scientific problems and question scientific issues as well as learn the biological, chemical and physical concepts which underpin the life they see around them.

The curriculum has been written with the aim of developing lifelong learners who display a curiosity about the natural world, and possess the skills and scientific knowledge required to understand the role of science in our everyday lives, and its scope for developments in the future.  We don't just focus on imparting specification knowledge, but in developing critical thinkers who make informed decisions based on evidence they have seen or collected. Learners grow in confidence and establish transferable skills in planning, timekeeping, teamwork and leadership. They take calculated risks and learn how to manage their own safety and that of those around them.

To support disadvantaged and minority groups in making progress we promote ‘Quality first teaching’. The Curriculum reflects that all learners have not come from the same starting point and aims to close gaps in their knowledge by addressing misconceptions at the earliest stage. At GCSE disadvantaged learners are targeted with interventions to close gaps in knowledge. All disadvantaged learners in every key stage are provided with free revision guides to support their out of school learning opportunities.

We ensure that for each area of the curriculum we study we promote relevant careers and the life opportunities which relate to it. We want our learners to achieve and become productive members of society who understand the everyday science around them, so we keep our lessons relevant and up to date.  We offer a broad range of courses in Science to ensure that all of our learners have the opportunity to shine and achieve their very best.

We have built a curriculum which is planned and purposeful, linking science into everyday life and deepening learners' understanding of the world they see around them.  In Biology lessons we delve into health, disease, hygiene and reproduction, In Chemistry we examine our impact on the planet and ways in which we can change our behaviours to advance the human race, and in Physics we equip our learners to better understand the technology around them. We have invested heavily in ensuring that all our learners succeed by following a broad Science curriculum which enhances both practical and analytical skills. We aim to inspire our learners to take Science to the next level and be able to impart their knowledge to the next generation.

Key Stage 3

KS3 Science at Upton-by-Chester High School runs over Years 7, 8 and 9. In science Year 7 are taught in mixed ability groups.

We follow the KS3 National Curriculum and teach work clearly split into Biology, Chemistry and Physics but build links across the three areas of school science.

We ensure that our learners gain a good understanding of key scientific concepts, laws, theories and models across KS3 and ensure that we revisit concepts multiple times during KS3 giving a strong foundation for our learners starting the GCSE courses later in their school studies.

The core framework of KS3 is designed to facilitate a gradual evolution, growth, and practical utilisation of essential foundational concepts. In year 7, students commence their journey by acquiring fundamental ideas, including forces, energy, cells, and the particle model of matter. As they progress through the curriculum, students revisit these foundational concepts on a regular basis, progressively enhancing the intricacy of their comprehension and employing them in the context of increasingly advanced topics. This ongoing repetition of concepts serves to consolidate students' grasp of fundamental scientific knowledge, while the ascending complexity enables the application of these ideas to a broader range of real-life scenarios and future pursuits.

We use data collated throughout Year 7 to place them into science sets in Year 8. Pupils are assessed throughout the three years using a variety of assessment methods. These include periodic online assessments, paper-based assessments, extended writing assessment tasks and teacher assessments. An average grade of attainment is calculated throughout the year and this data is used to set learners into their classes, the following year.

Further details: Key Stage 3

Key Stage 4

GCSE study in the sciences provides the foundation for understanding the material world. Scientific understanding is changing our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity. All learners should learn essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. They should gain appreciation of how the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a small number of key ideas that relate to the sciences and that are both inter-linked and of universal application. 

Science is a compulsory subject in Key Stage 4. All learners are required to take Combined Science which is worth two GCSEs. Some learners choose to take all three Science subjects, Biology, Chemistry and Physics and achieve a GCSE in each subject. Learners taking the separate sciences must select this as one of their options.

The majority of our learners follow the Edexcel Specification both for Combined Science and for Separate Science. This specification teaches the content as three clearly defined subjects - Biology, Chemistry and Physics and learners will ultimately sit examinations in each of these areas.

A smaller group of learners follow the AQA Combined Science Synergy Specification which teaches very similar content to the Edexcel course, however breaks the content into the living world and the physics world and links topics together in a different way.

Further details: Key Stage 4

Key Stage 5

Three A levels are available, these being the traditional sciences of Biology, Physics and Chemistry. Each A level is a 2 year linear course examined in the summer term at the end of year 13.

We follow the AQA specification at A Level - all three subjects are assessed via three written papers at the end of year 13. To assess practical skills, learners have to complete a practical endorsement which generally consists of ten or more practicals which the learners complete over the two years of the course.

We also offer an extended certificate in Applied Science for KS5 learners - as the title implies, this course is more focussed on the applications of Science and is assessed by a mix of assignments and written examinations.

Further details: Key Stage 5


The Science department prides itself upon enriching the curriculum with educational visits. Please see the links on the left hand side for reports and photos of our recent trips and expeditions to NASA, CERN, Madagascar, Cuba, Honduras, Anglesey and Chester Zoo. We also offer many after school booster sessions and a science club.

Department staff & responsibilities

  • Head of Department - current being covered by subject heads - new Head of Department will be in place by September 2024
  • Mrs K. Rowles - Head of Biology
  • Mrs J. De Costa (Maternity leave)
  • Mr M. Rutter
  • Mrs S. Risi
  • Mrs E. Bradbury
  • Ms A. Bowen (Maternity leave)
  • Mrs G. Bain
  • Mr L. Bruce
  • Mrs H. Vigus Hurst

  • Mrs E. Morrow - Head of Chemistry
  • Mr M. Bell
  • Mr P. Lewis
  • Mrs A. Gruber
  • Mrs S. White (Maternity leave)
  • Mr O. Beck

  • Mr S. Lydiate - Joint Head of Physics
  • Mr G. Mottram - Joint Head of Physics
  • Ms A. Burns
  • Miss V. Birch - Animal Care

Laboratory Technicians:

  • Mrs K. Campbell, Senior Technician
  • Mrs V. Ramakrishnan
  • Ms S. Burton
  • Mr D. Hundleby


Key Stage 3 - 1 x 20 minute piece per fortnight 

Key Stage 4 - 1 x 20 minute piece per fortnight

Key Stage 5 - Past paper questions

Whole School Policy


The Science department follows the whole school feedback policy. Feedback is regularly given in lessons during retrieval practice and questioning. Written feedback is provided for specific pieces of work and assessments.


Key Stage 3 assessment will be based on units studied by End of unit assessments, mid year and end of year assessments.

Key Stage 4 assessment will be based on Edexcel  & AQA past paper questions and follow the assessment calendar.

Key Stage 5 assessment will be based on AQA past paper questions and follows the assessment calendar.

2023-2024 Upton by Chester Assessment Schedule