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GSO Test

Science Programme of Study

Key Stage 3


Year 7

Year 8

Autumn Term 1

Unit 1 Cells- the Building Blocks of Life

  • Describe how evidence can be made to support discoveries and how technology can be used to support this.
  • Explain the job of the different organelles in a plant and animal cell and state and describe the differences between them.
  • Name and describe 3 animals and describe 3 specialised cells in an animal. Draw and explain the role of the root hair cell in a plant and how the features of it make it good for its role.
  • Compare and contrast features of unicellular organisms and their role in survival.
  • Describe diffusion and explain how different factors speed up or slow it down (incl. SA: Volume).
  • Compare the strengths and weaknesses of multi-cellular organisms and single-celled organisms.
  • State the different parts of flowering plants and evaluate the differences between wind-pollinated and insect-pollinated plants.
  • Describe the role of insects in crop production and make suggestions for increasing insect populations.
  • Use your knowledge of the different seed types to plan an experiment investigating wind dispersal.
  • Use data to describe the effectiveness of seed dispersal and evaluate which you believe is best.
  • State the structures and functions of the male reproductive system, then summarise the strengths and weaknesses of the human and plant male reproductive systems.
  • Use your knowledge of the female reproductive system to explain fertilisation and how infertility might be treated.
  • Use knowledge of female puberty to explain menstruation and explain how problems may occur due to it.
  • Describe and explain the function of the different structures in a pregnant women’s uterus.
  • Describe the effects of smoking, drugs, alcohol and nutrition on the health of a fetus.
  • Explain what the difference between valid and reliable evidence is and how to improve an experiment.

Unit 1 Getting the Energy your Body Need

  • Identify the bones of the human body.
  • Explain why we have different shapes and sizes of bone.
  • Describe the structure of a bone.
  • Describe the roles of a skeleton and link these to evidence.
  • Estimate height using bone measurement calculations.
  • Describe the roles of tendons, ligaments, joints and different muscle groups.
  • Name and compare the different types of joints, with examples, in the body.
  • Suggest a movement that uses more than one type of joint and describe it.
  • Describe what is meant by an antagonistic movement with muscles.
  • Create an experiment to test muscular strength.
  • Draw and analyse a graph to suggest how muscular strength differs.
  • Explore the various scientific ideas in identifying and treating muscle conditions.
  • Describe how antagonistic muscles create movement.
  • State some skeletal medical issues and describe how they can be treated.
  • Suggest how medical advances have helped treatments develop over time.
  • State the equation for aerobic respiration and describe what the energy is used for in the body.
  • Briefly describe how proteins are made using energy.
  • Describe what photosynthesis is and using the word equation.
  • Describe how you can test for the products of photosynthesis to prove it is occurring.
  • State where respiration occurs and label the relevant molecule.
  • Describe how the mitochondria are adapted for their role.
  • Compare and explain why there are different numbers of mitochondria in different cells.
  • State what the breathing, digestive and circulatory system are used for and describe how they are linked to respiration.
  • Explain how plants use their energy from respiration.
  • Using the word equation for anaerobic respiration, explain why some sports involve more aerobic or more anaerobic respiration.
  • Describe what is meant by the term oxygen debt and its relationship to anaerobic respiration.
  • Explain how animals store energy and then use these stores.
  • Describe fermentation and use an example of a microorganism this occurs in.
  • Suggest and experiment which proves fermentation occurring.
  • Describe some uses of fermentation.
  • Design an experiment to show the effect of temperature on fermentation.
  • Describe what a catalyst is.

Autumn Term 2

Unit 3 Mixing, Dissolving and Separating

  • Identify the dangers in a lab and correctly describe how to use a Bunsen burner on orange and blue flames.
  • Take measurements accurately for independent and dependant variables and report the results in a table and line graph including the line of best fit.
  • Use your knowledge of elemental symbols and names to describe the difference between a compound, element and mixture.
  • Explain what the difference between a chemically pure and impure substance is.
  • Describe the different sources of water from around the world and how it can be purified and why this is important.
  • Explain what the terms solute, solvent, solution and soluble mean and how they are linked.
  • Explain what the difference is, using a diagram, between a dilute and concentrated solution.
  • Describe how to separate a solution of a solute and solvent, immiscible liquids and magnetic materials.
  • Create a method to describe how to separate from a solute-solvent solution to crystallisation.
  • Interpret a solubility graph and compare solubility of various substances.
  • Define the word saturated.
  • Explain how they can mine salt from brine pits; extract it from seawater and rock salt.
  • Describe distillation and explain how it works.
  • State the gases in the air and explain how they can be separated.
  • Describe what pollution in the air contains and what effects air pollution has on the body.
  • Describe chromatography and use the information to make comparisons between different mixtures (using Rf values).
  • Describe the method police use with chromatography for DNA fingerprinting.
  • Use knowledge of solvent properties to recognise hazards and explain what the terms volatile and toxic mean.
  • Use a circle model to explain dissolving and separation.
  • Define the Law of Conservation of Mass.

Unit 2  Looking at Plants and Ecosystems

  • Identify the importance of plants to life.
  • Use evidence to explain that plants do not use soil to grow and describe what they do.
  • State the word equation for photosynthesis and describe how to test for the products.
  • Explain the importance of green leaves in a plant.
  • Recall and label the structures in a leaf and describe their adaptations.
  • Explain how gas exchange occurs in leaves.
  • Describe how various factors can affect photosynthesis.
  • Create an investigation and analyse the data to show effect of light intensity on photosynthesis.
  • Explain what transpiration is and how it causes movement of water.
  • Evaluate the cell structures that allow the movement of water and minerals through a plant.
  • Evaluate the issues and limitations of using fertilisers on plants.
  • Compare photosynthesis and chemosynthesis.
  • Describe how ocean vent communities survive.
  • Describe how a food web is made up of 
  • Make predictions about factors affecting plants and animals.
  • Describe the importance of pollination on fruit production.
  • Explain why artificial pollination is used on some crops.
  • Evaluate the risks of monoculture.
  • Describe the terms parasitism, commensalism and mutualism and explain how organisms help other organisms to survive.
  • Explain issues of habitat destruction.
  • Explain why many species are endangered using ideas about the effect of human activity.
  • Suggest possible solutions to endangered organisms.
  • Describe ways in which organisms affect their environment.
  • Explain the predator-prey relationship and evaluate the importance of it.
  • Explain how toxins enter and pass along the food chain.
  • Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using pesticides.
  • Describe what is meant by a specialist and generalist niche and their roles in the environment.
  • Explain the concept of resource partitioning. 
  • Analyse and evaluate the role of variation in enabling organisms to co-exist.

Spring Term 1

Unit 2 Eating, Drinking and Breathing

  • Use knowledge of the main 7 food groups in a balanced diet to discuss the importance of each component.
  • Evaluate the quality of information given through advertising on balanced diets.
  • Describe the results for fat, protein, starch and sugar food tests and use this knowledge to conclude what various food items contain.
  • Describe why different people need different levels of energy from respiration and calculate how much energy various foods contain from their labels.
  • Describe how deficiencies of certain food groups affect the body and evaluate the methods of getting various vitamins and minerals.
  • Use knowledge of the digestive system in animals to explain the role of each area in digestion.
  • Explain the link between the digestive system and the circulatory system.
  • Explain the role of teeth and saliva in digestion and how they are adapted.
  • Describe the adaptations and roles of the oesophagus, small intestine, pancreas and stomach in digestion.
  • Explain the role of enzymes in the body and how they can also be used in everyday life, using examples of 3 separate enzymes.
  • Create a model/experiment to demonstrate an enzyme reaction with a positive result for starch to glucose.
  • Describe the role of bacteria in our digestive system.
  • Describing, using the components the respiratory system, the changes in pressure in the lungs.
  • Describe what is meant by lung volume and design an experiment to test it identifying an independent, dependent and control variables.
  • Draw a graph and come up with a conclusion followed by an evaluation of the lung volume experiment.
  • Explain the features and roles of the alveoli in the lungs and evaluate which are the most effective adaptations.
  • Describe the difference between diffusion and osmosis.
  • Explain the role of diffusion in the breathing system and how a concentration gradient affects it.
  • Draw models to represent low, medium and high concentration gradients.
  • Explain the effects of smoking on the body and why it only now we are becoming educated about the dangers.

Unit 3 Explaining Physical Changes

  • Describe the particle diagrams for solids, liquids and gases. Explain how this links with intermolecular forces.
  • Relate the properties and behaviour of solids of the particle model.
  • Describe what an alloy is and draw a diagram to model it.
  • Describe and explain Brownian motion in terms of particles.
  • Give an example to explain how scientists use models and analogies to connect ideas.
  • Relate the properties and behaviour of liquids and gases to the particle model.
  • Use data to analyse the effect of temperature on solubility.
  • Use scientific terminology, such as melting point, boiling point, boiling, condensing, freezing and sublimation to describe changes of state.
  • Draw and analyse a graph on latent heat.
  • Explain the difference between boiling and evaporation using the particle model.
  • Use the particle model to explain the effects of heat on expansion.
  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the particle model.
  • Use the particle model to describe density differences between solids and liquids.
  • Use the particle model to explain anomalies between ice and water.
  • Use data to calculate the density of gases.
  • Draw particle models to explain the differences in concentration and pressure.
  • Explain what is meant by pressure and how it occurs.
  • Describe what diffusion is, why it occurs and how it can be sped up.
  • Describe the Law of Conservation of Mass.
  • Calculate the percentage efficiency (percentage yield) of a reaction.
  • Describe some observations you can make to determine if a reaction is physical or chemical.
  • State what the difference is between an endothermic and exothermic reaction is.
  • Describe what an emulsion is and how it occurs using a diagram.
  • Describe what a colloid is.

Spring Term 2

Unit 5 Forces and their effects

  • State what is meant by pushing, pulling or turning force and give an example of each.
  • Represent forces using a force diagram and force arrows.
  • Describe and state an experiment to measure the force on an object using the correct units.
  • Describe the difference between mass and gravity.
  • Use data from a table to show a comparison of the different levels of gravity on different planets.
  • Explain the link between weight and mass of the planet and the gravitational attraction.
  • Predict and explain the changes caused by different sizes of force.
  • Explain the concept of force pairs and Newton’s 3rd Law.
  • State what the difference between compression and extension is. Use the term elastic behaviour when describing extension.
  • Identify and describe applications for compressive and stretchable materials.
  • Describe the experiment to show Hooke’s Law.
  • Use data from extending a spring to draw a graph and analyse the outcomes.
  • State what friction is and how to increase and decrease it.
  • Use resultant force diagrams to suggest movement direction due to friction and thrust.
  • Design a procedure for testing friction giving examples of how it is used beneficially in everyday life.
  • Use your knowledge of friction to suggest what drag is, what causes it and how it affects a skydiver during his/her decent.
  • Explain how terminal velocity occurs.
  • Define streamlining and link it to animals/objects to describe how it makes them more efficient.
  • Explain, using resultant force diagrams, the effects of Newton’s first and second law on movement do to balanced or unbalanced forces.
  • State the speed equation and the relevant units. Calculate examples given to 2 sig. figures.
  • State and describe what is meant by the fulcrum.
  • Explain how to balance different weights on a see-saw – give an example.
  • State and use the law of moments.
  • Describe how turning forces can be increased and give examples of real-life applications.
  • Explain what is meant by a force multiplier.
  • State what is meant by a counterweight and explain how this idea is used by cranes.

Unit 4  Explaining Chemical Changes

  • State some common hazard signs and their meanings.
  • Describe what all acids have in common.
  • Give some properties alkalis have and give some examples.
  • Describe what all alkalis have in common.
  • State what an indicator is and give positive results form a range of indicators.
  • Compare the effectiveness of different indicators.
  • Draw the pH scale and describe what various colours represent.
  • Identify the advantages compared to other indicators of the pH scale.
  • Describe an experiment to demonstrate neutralisation.
  • Suggest real-life examples of neutralisation.
  • Recall the general equation for neutralisation.
  • Describe how water is made in neutralisation.
  • Predict either the correct reactant or product names in a neutralisation reaction.
  • State some common salts and uses.
  • State the difference between an alkali and a base.
  • State the general reaction between a metal and an acid and predict some reactants or product names given examples.
  • Describe the reaction between metal and acid and what observations you expect to see. 
  • Compare the reactivities of different metals.
  • State the equation and describe the reaction between a metal carbonate and acid.
  • State the test for carbon dioxide.
  • Write word equations for the reactions between acids and carbonates.
  • Interpret a changing mass graph to explain what is occurring in a reaction.
  • State what an antacid is and describe an experiment you could do to test their effectiveness.
  • Analyse data to identify a suitable indigestion remedy.
  • Name examples of acids and alkalis in everyday use and describe their importance.
  • Define combustion.
  • State the fire triangle and give examples of how you can use it to put out a fire.
  • Identify the fuels used in different applications.
  • Compare the energy content in different fuels.
  • Compare complete and incomplete combustion using the equations to help.
  • Describe how combustion causes acid rain and the effects it has.
  • Explain how the effects can be treated and prevented.

Summer Term 1

Unit 4 Elements, Compounds and Reactions

  • State the early elements and explain how the early elements were arranged into the periodic table.
  • Describe the make-up and positions of the periodic table and give the symbols for the first 20 elements.
  • Describe what is meant by the atomic number and where you can find it.
  • Use the periodic table patterns to predict melting and boiling points of elements within a group.
  • Describe the difference between an atom, element and compound.
  • Work out, using your knowledge of elements, what the composition of a compound is.
  • Describe the different properties of metals including, malleable, ductile, conductor and sonorous.
  • Describe what an alloy is.
  • Suggest some properties of group 1 metals.
  • Describe properties of the group 7 (halogens) and group 0/8 (noble gases) non-metals and wheat they can be used for.
  • Describe the importance and dangers of sulfur.
  • Describe two uses for metalloids.
  • Explain what makes a radioactive element radioactive and why it is so important.
  • Describe how to extract metals and purify them.
  • Explain what the long term effects of mining are.
  • Use data to suggest the best and worst metals to use for a design or use.
  • Use your knowledge of compounds to determine the formulas from the elements.
  • State the different reactions and colours of lead oxide.
  • Create/draw a model to represent an atom, molecule and compound.
  • Describe what John Dalton discovered.
  • Represent a chemical reaction with a word and symbol equation.
  • Suggest how to balance a symbol equation and describe why this is important.
  • State the positive results for metal flame tests.
  • Describe the differences between carbonates, carbohydrates and organic carbon compounds and what they are used for.
  • Define allotrope and describe the three allotropes of carbon.
  • State what oxidation is and how it can be tested. Suggest why in some reactions there is a change in mass.
  • State 3 carbonate compounds and what they can be used for.
  • Write a symbol and word equation for decomposition reaction.
  • State the test and result of the test for carbon dioxide.
  • State the law of conservation of mass and use an equation to prove it.

Unit 5 Exploring Contact and Non-Contact Forces 

  • Apply the concept of poles and the laws of attraction and repulsion.
  • Describe and draw the magnetic field around a bar magnet.
  • Describe how the Earth’s magnetic field is created.
  • Define the term static electricity. 
  • Describe how static electricity is created.
  • Link electrostatic fields to the laws of attraction and repulsion.
  • State some uses of static electricity.
  • State the difference between gravity and weight.
  • Describe what pressure is.
  • Recall the pressure equation and use it to calculate some simple problems.
  • Describe how pressure in a liquid alters with depth.
  • Relate floating and sinking to density, displacement and upthrust.
  • Describe how gas pressure changes throughout the atmosphere.
  • Give examples as to how pressure affects our lives.

Summer Term 2

Unit 6 Energy transfers and Sound

  • State the units for energy and give several examples of energy transfers both useful and wasted.
  • Create correctly proportioned Sankey diagrams to show the transfer of energy.
  • Use knowledge of energy transfer in falling objects to describe the factors which affect this.
  • Explain how energy is conserved in falling objects.
  • Recall the equation and describe the relationship between work done, force and distance.
  • Apply the work done equation to different real-life situations.
  • Explain, using the energy changes, how a dynamo works.
  • Describe the different situations that use elastic potential energy (EPE), compression and extension, can be used.
  • Explain (with a diagram if necessary) how EPE is transferred.
  • Explain the difference between heat and temperature.
  • Describe how temperature differences lead to energy transfer.
  • Identify examples of fuels and their uses.
  • Describe, using data, the advantages and disadvantages of using different fuels.
  • Explain the environmental problems associated with the combustion of fossil fuels.
  • Present data using appropriate graphs and evaluate the quality of data following an experiment measuring the energy released in various fuels.
  • Describe how sound waves are created and how they transfer energy.
  • Explain the difference in the creation of loud and quiet sounds.
  • Describe and draw a wave to show the difference between frequency, wavelength and amplitude.
  • Describe how an echo occurs.
  • Describe how you can measure the speed of sound and calculate some examples.
  • Use the particle models to describe how the speed of sound changes in a solid, liquid and gas, and why sound doesn’t travel in a vacuum.
  • Analyse the effect of different materials on sound waves.
  • Use ideas about energy transfer to explain how soundproofing works.
  • Explain, using the correct parts, how the ear is able to hear and detect sounds.
  • State how the cochlea is particularly adapted for its job.
  • Use ideas of factors affecting hearing to explain how to prevent damage to our ears.
  • State what ultrasound is and describe some applications for ultrasound and infrasound.
  • Explain how ultrasound scanners work.

Unit 6  Magnetism and Electricity

  • Describe how magnetism was discovered.
  • Explain how ideas about magnetism have changed over time and what it can be used for.
  • Describe the differences between a temporary and permanent magnet and how to create them.
  • Explain magnetism using domain theory.
  • Describe how to test various magnets and evaluate the methods repeatability, accuracy and precision.
  • Describe the geodynamic theory and the evidence for the Earth’s magnetic field.
  • Explain the impact the Earth’s magnetic field has on our planet.
  • Describe what an electromagnet is and how to make it.
  • Investigate and state the factors affecting the strength of electromagnets.
  • Describe different applications of electromagnets.
  • Explain how a circuit breaker works.
  • Describe the magnetic effect of a current and how this is applied to D.C. motors.
  • Describe how batteries work and explain how fruit batteries can be created.
  • Use knowledge of circuit symbols to describe and draw a circuit diagram.
  • Define current and explain how materials allow current to flow.
  • State how to measure voltage and explain voltage using different analogies.
  • Explain what resistance is and how it affects a circuit.
  • Investigate and identify (using Ohms law equation) the relationship between voltage, resistance and current.
  • Describe some examples of resistance.
  • Investigate and explain the factors affecting resistance.
  • Describe how the voltage, current and resistance are related in different circuits and components.
  • Explain how, using circuit diagrams, voltage and current vary in series and parallel circuits.
  • Explain, with a circuit diagram, how voltage and current differ in a series and parallel circuit.
  • Describe where in the home, including the components needed, where various series and parallel circuits are used.

Extra-curricular provision 

STEM Club, Tomorrow’s engineers, British Science Week, WildED conservation programme, Discovery Monday Movie, Cross-curricular work- in school and across the trust, the Life cycle of chickens, Trip to Space center for Year 7, Research In School, Go4Set.

STEM Club, Tomorrow’s engineers, British Science Week, WildED conservation programme, Discovery Monday Movie, Cross-curricular work- in school and across the trust, the Life cycle of chickens, Trip to Whipsnade for Year 8, Research In School, Go4Set.

Science Programme of Study: Key Stage 3

Department for Education - Purpose of Study

Working scientifically through the content across all three disciplines, students should be taught to:

Scientific attitudes

  1. pay attention to objectivity and concern for accuracy, precision, repeatability and reproducibility
  2. understand that scientific methods and theories develop as earlier explanations are modified to take account of new evidence and ideas, together with the importance of publishing results and peer review
  3. evaluate risks.

Experimental skills and investigations

  1. ask questions and develop a line of enquiry based on observations of the real world, alongside prior knowledge and experience
  2. make predictions using scientific knowledge and understanding
  3. select, plan and carry out the most appropriate types of scientific enquiries to test predictions, including identifying independent, dependent and control variables, where appropriate
  4. use appropriate techniques, apparatus, and materials during fieldwork and laboratory work, paying attention to health and safety
  5. make and record observations and measurements using a range of methods for different investigations; and evaluate the reliability of methods and suggest possible improvements
  6. apply sampling techniques.

Analysis and evaluation

  1. apply mathematical concepts and calculate results
  2. present observations and data using appropriate methods, including tables and graphs
  3. interpret observations and data, including identifying patterns and using observations, measurements and data to draw conclusions
  4. present reasoned explanations, including explaining data in relation to predictions and hypotheses
  5. evaluate data, showing awareness of potential sources of random and systematic error
  6. identify further questions arising from their results.


  1. understand and use SI units and IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) chemical nomenclature
  2. use and derive simple equations and carry out appropriate calculations
  3. undertake basic data analysis including simple statistical techniques.


Subject Content – Biology

Students should be taught about:


Structure and function of living organisms

Cells and organisation

  1. cells as the fundamental unit of living organisms, including how to observe, interpret and record cell structure using a light microscope
  2. the functions of the cell wall, cell membrane, cytoplasm, nucleus, vacuole, mitochondria and chloroplasts
  3. the similarities and differences between plant and animal cells
  4. the role of diffusion in the movement of materials in and between cells
  5. the structural adaptations of some unicellular organisms
  6. the hierarchical organisation of multicellular organisms: from cells to tissues to organs to systems to organisms.

The skeletal and muscular systems

  1. the structure and functions of the human skeleton, to include support, protection, movement and making blood cells
  2. biomechanics – the interaction between skeleton and muscles, including the measurement of force exerted by different muscles
  3. the function of muscles and examples of antagonistic muscles.

Nutrition and digestion

  1. content of a healthy human diet: carbohydrates, lipids (fats and oils), proteins, vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and water, and why each is needed
  2. calculations of energy requirements in a healthy daily diet
  3. the consequences of imbalances in the diet, including obesity, starvation and deficiency diseases
  4. the tissues and organs of the human digestive system, including adaptations to function and how the digestive system digests food (enzymes simply as biological catalysts)
  5. the importance of bacteria in the human digestive system
  6. plants making carbohydrates in their leaves by photosynthesis and gaining mineral nutrients and water from the soil via their roots.

Gas exchange systems

  1. the structure and functions of the gas exchange system in humans, including adaptations to function
  2. the mechanism of breathing to move air in and out of the lungs, using a pressure model to explain the movement of gases, including simple measurements of lung volume
  3. the impact of exercise, asthma and smoking on the human gas exchange system
  4. the role of leaf stomata in gas exchange in plants.


  1. reproduction in humans (as an example of a mammal), including the structure and function of the male and female reproductive systems, menstrual cycle (without details of hormones), gametes, fertilisation, gestation and birth, to include the effect of maternal lifestyle on the foetus through the placenta
  2. reproduction in plants, including flower structure, wind and insect pollination, fertilisation, seed and fruit formation and dispersal, including quantitative investigation of some dispersal mechanisms.


  1. the effects of recreational drugs (including substance misuse) on behaviour, health and life processes.


Material cycles and energy


  1. the reactants in, and products of, photosynthesis, and a word summary for photosynthesis
  2. the dependence of almost all life on Earth on the ability of photosynthetic organisms, such as plants and algae, to use sunlight in photosynthesis to build organic molecules that are an essential energy store and to maintain levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
  3. the adaptations of leaves for photosynthesis.

Cellular respiration

  1. aerobic and anaerobic respiration in living organisms, including the breakdown of organic molecules to enable all the other chemical processes necessary for life
  2. a word summary for aerobic respiration
  3. the process of anaerobic respiration in humans and micro-organisms, including fermentation, and a word summary for anaerobic respiration
  4. the differences between aerobic and anaerobic respiration in terms of the reactants, the products formed and the implications for the organism.

Interactions and interdependencies

Relationships in an ecosystem

  1. the interdependence of organisms in an ecosystem, including food webs and insect pollinated crops
  2. the importance of plant reproduction through insect pollination in human food security
  3. how organisms affect, and are affected by, their environment, including the accumulation of toxic materials.

Genetics and evolution

Inheritance, chromosomes, DNA and genes

  1. heredity as the process by which genetic information is transmitted from one generation to the next
  2. a simple model of chromosomes, genes and DNA in heredity, including the part played by Watson, Crick, Wilkins and Franklin in the development of the DNA model
  3. differences between species
  4. the variation between individuals within a species being continuous or discontinuous, to include measurement and graphical representation of variation
  5. the variation between species and between individuals of the same species means some organisms compete more successfully, which can drive natural selection
  6. changes in the environment may leave individuals within a species, and some
  7. entire species, less well adapted to compete successfully and reproduce, which in turn may lead to extinction
  8. the importance of maintaining biodiversity and the use of gene banks to preserve hereditary material.


Subject Content – Chemistry

Students should be taught about:

The particulate nature of matter

  1. the properties of the different states of matter (solid, liquid and gas) in terms of the particle model, including gas pressure
  2. changes of state in terms of the particle model.

Atoms, elements and compounds

  1. a simple (Dalton) atomic model
  2. differences between atoms, elements and compounds
  3. chemical symbols and formulae for elements and compounds
  4. conservation of mass changes of state and chemical reactions.

Pure and impure substances

  1. the concept of a pure substance
  2. mixtures, including dissolving
  3. diffusion in terms of the particle model
  4. simple techniques for separating mixtures: filtration, evaporation, distillation and chromatography
  5. the identification of pure substances.

Chemical reactions

  1. chemical reactions as the rearrangement of atoms
  2. representing chemical reactions using formulae and using equations
  3. combustion, thermal decomposition, oxidation and displacement reactions
  4. defining acids and alkalis in terms of neutralisation reactions
  5. the pH scale for measuring acidity/alkalinity; and indicators
  6. reactions of acids with metals to produce a salt plus hydrogen
  7. reactions of acids with alkalis to produce a salt plus water
  8. what catalysts do.


  1. energy changes on changes of state (qualitative)
  2. exothermic and endothermic chemical reactions (qualitative).

The Periodic Table

  1. the varying physical and chemical properties of different elements
  2. the principles underpinning the Mendeleev Periodic Table
  3. the Periodic Table: periods and groups; metals and non-metals
  4. how patterns in reactions can be predicted with reference to the Periodic Table
  5. the properties of metals and non-metals
  6. the chemical properties of metal and non-metal oxides with respect to acidity.


  1. the order of metals and carbon in the reactivity series
  2. the use of carbon in obtaining metals from metal oxides
  3. properties of ceramics, polymers and composites (qualitative).

Earth and atmosphere

  1. the composition of the Earth
  2.      the structure of the Earth
  3. the rock cycle and the formation of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks
  4. Earth as a source of limited resources and the efficacy of recycling
  5.       the carbon cycle
  6.       the composition of the atmosphere
  7. the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the impact on climate.

Subject Content – Physics

Students should be taught about:


Calculation of fuel uses and costs in the domestic context

  1. comparing energy values of different foods (from labels) (kJ)
  2. comparing power ratings of appliances in watts (W, kW)
  3. comparing amounts of energy transferred (J, kJ, kW hour)
  4. domestic fuel bills, fuel use and costs
  5. fuels and energy resources.

Energy changes and transfers

  1. simple machines give bigger force but at the expense of smaller movement (and vice versa): product of force and displacement unchanged
  2. heating and thermal equilibrium: temperature difference between two objects leading to energy transfer from the hotter to the cooler one, through contact (conduction) or radiation; such transfers tending to reduce the temperature difference: use of insulators
  3. other processes that involve energy transfer: changing motion, dropping an object, completing an electrical circuit, stretching a spring, metabolism of food, burning fuels.

Changes in systems

  1. energy as a quantity that can be quantified and calculated; the total energy has the same value before and after a change
  2. comparing the starting with the final conditions of a system and describing increases and decreases in the amounts of energy associated with movements, temperatures, changes in positions in a field, in elastic distortions and in chemical compositions
  3. using physical processes and mechanisms, rather than energy, to explain the intermediate steps that bring about such changes.

Motion and Forces

Describing motion

  1. speed and the quantitative relationship between average speed, distance and time (speed = distance ÷ time)
  2. the representation of a journey on a distance-time graph
  3. relative motion: trains and cars passing one another.


  1. forces as pushes or pulls, arising from the interaction between two objects
  2. using force arrows in diagrams, adding forces in one dimension, balanced and unbalanced forces
  3. moment as the turning effect of a force
  4. forces: associated with deforming objects; stretching and squashing – springs; with rubbing and friction between surfaces, with pushing things out of the way; resistance to motion of air and water
  5. forces measured in newtons, measurements of stretch or compression as force is changed
  6. force-extension linear relation; Hooke’s Law as a special case
  7. work done and energy changes on deformation
  8. non-contact forces: gravity forces acting at a distance on Earth and in space, forces between magnets and forces due to static electricity.

Pressure in fluids

  1. atmospheric pressure, decreases with increase of height as weight of air above decreases with height
  2. pressure in liquids, increasing with depth; upthrust effects, floating and sinking
  3. pressure measured by ratio of force over area – acting normal to any surface.

Balanced forces

  1. opposing forces and equilibrium: weight held by stretched spring or supported on a compressed surface.

Forces and motion

  1. forces being needed to cause objects to stop or start moving, or to change their speed or direction of motion (qualitative only)
  2. change depending on direction of force and its size.


Observed waves

  1. waves on water as undulations which travel through water with transverse motion; these waves can be reflected, and add or cancel – superposition.

Sound waves

  1. frequencies of sound waves, measured in hertz (Hz); echoes, reflection and absorption of sound
  2. sound needs a medium to travel, the speed of sound in air, in water, in solids
  3. sound produced by vibrations of objects, in loud speakers, detected by their effects on microphone diaphragm and the ear drum; sound waves are longitudinal
  4. auditory range of humans and animals.

Energy and waves

  1. pressure waves transferring energy; use for cleaning and physiotherapy by ultra-sound; waves transferring information for conversion to electrical signals by microphone.

Light waves

  1. the similarities and differences between light waves and waves in matter
  2. light waves travelling through a vacuum; speed of light
  3. the transmission of light through materials: absorption, diffuse scattering and specular reflection at a surface
  4. use of ray model to explain imaging in mirrors, the pinhole camera, the refraction of light and action of convex lens in focusing (qualitative); the human eye
  5. light transferring energy from source to absorber leading to chemical and electrical effects; photo-sensitive material in the retina and in cameras
  6. colours and the different frequencies of light, white light and prisms (qualitative only); differential colour effects in absorption and diffuse reflection.

Electricity and electromagnetism

Current electricity

  1. electric current, measured in amperes, in circuits, series and parallel circuits, currents add where branches meet and current as flow of charge
  2. potential difference, measured in volts, battery and bulb ratings; resistance, measured in ohms, as the ratio of potential difference (p.d.) to current
  3. differences in resistance between conducting and insulating components (quantitative).

Static electricity

  1. separation of positive or negative charges when objects are rubbed together: transfer of electrons, forces between charged objects
  2. the idea of electric field, forces acting across the space between objects not in contact.


  1. magnetic poles, attraction and repulsion
  2. magnetic fields by plotting with compass, representation by field lines
  3. Earth’s magnetism, compass and navigation
  4. the magnetic effect of a current, electromagnets, D.C. motors (principles only).


Physical changes

  1. conservation of material and of mass, and reversibility, in melting, freezing, evaporation, sublimation, condensation, dissolving
  2. similarities and differences, including density differences, between solids, liquids and gases
  3. Brownian motion in gases
  4. diffusion in liquids and gases driven by differences in concentration
  5. the difference between chemical and physical changes.

Particle model

  1. the differences in arrangements, in motion and in closeness of particles explaining changes of state, shape and density, the anomaly of ice-water transition
  2. atoms and molecules as particles.

Energy in matter

  1. changes with temperature in motion and spacing of particles
  2. internal energy stored in materials.

Space physics

  1. gravity force, weight = mass x gravitational field strength (g), on Earth g=10 N/kg, different on other planets and stars; gravity forces between Earth and Moon, and between Earth and Sun (qualitative only)
  2. our Sun as a star, other stars in our galaxy, other galaxies
  3. the seasons and the Earth’s tilt, day length at different times of year, in different hemispheres
  4. the light year as a unit of astronomical distance.