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Introduction: Key Stages 3 & 4

Key Stage 3

Science class at Christleton High School

The Key Stage 3 course has been developed in-house to reflect changes in Science at all Key Stages.

Each topic is built around real-world themes and issues in order to highlight the relevance of science to our everyday lives. The scheme uses a wide range of multimedia resources and activities which allows lessons to be tailored to meet the range of learning styles and abilities of each class of students.


Year 7 are taught in mixed ability form groups. Years 8 and 9 are taught in sets based on their ability.

At the beginning of Year 9 students start to study GCSE level courses.

Key Stage 4

Science class at Christleton High School

Students follow a double award science route through Key Stage 4, which leads to two GCSE grades for science. It is a combined course which has Biology, Chemistry and Physics elements.

Students who particularly enjoy Science can opt for Separate Sciences (3 Science GSCEs) during the Year 9 options process. Uptake for the separate sciences has been strong since its introduction here in September 2008.

Students are set according to ability for their GCSE courses.


Science class at Christleton High School

All examinations for Science are now at the end of each course.

Practical work is carried out throughout the course and will be tested in the written papers at the end of the course from 2018.

Key Stage 5

For Key Stage 5 see the Sixth Form area. We currently run A levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Science is involved in the STEM club (KS3); GCSE revision; Physics, Chemistry and Biology clubs as well as running various visits, external trips and residential courses both here and abroad.

AS & A2 Biology

What do I need to do A-level Biology?

Biology class at Christleton High School
  • You must have a Grade B or above in GCSE Double Award Science or in all three Separate Sciences. If you get a grade C at GCSE we shall ask you to try another subject - there’s little point in starting AS Biology
  • You must be good at Maths. There is a great deal of maths in the Biology specification, including formulae and statistics, so you need to be confident at maths
  • You must have maturity, self-discipline, good study skills and the motivation to succeed

A-level Biology is not an "easy option", it is extremely demanding and is often considered by students to be the most difficult of the sciences at AS and A2 level, since it involves such a wide range of skills.

AS Biology is much harder than GCSE, so hard work and determination is required from day one. You need do one hour’s work on your own for each hour of tuition (i.e. 5 hours per week). To help you, we monitor your attendance, classwork, homework and attitude, and we liaise with your parents, tutor and Head of Sixth Form.

What Does the A-level Biology Course Consist Of?

Biology class at Christleton High School

AQA Biology consists of 6 units:

AS (Y12)

  • Unit 1. Biology and Disease (biochemistry, cells, physiology, disease)
  • Unit 2. The Variety of living organisms (physiology, genetics, ecology)
  • Unit 3. Investigative and Practical Skills (assessed practical and test)

A2 (Y13)

  • Unit 4. Populations and Environment (metabolism, ecology, genetics)
  • Unit 5. Control in Cells and Organisms (nervous system, homeostasis, DNA, biotechnology)
  • Unit 6. Investigative and Practical Skills (assessed practical and test)

Other Subject Combinations

Biology class at Christleton High School

Chemistry and/or Geography complement Biology and usually result in a higher examination grade. In addition, a student wishing to continue his/her studies at university may study chemistry to have a wider choice of university options. This subject combination is essential to study medicine, pharmacy and veterinary science. However, many students study Biology as their single science subject and it can be studied with a range of humanity subjects, as well as languages, with good grades being achieved.

Potential Degree Courses and Career Choices

Biology, Genetics, Physiology, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Medicine, Nutrition, Occupational Therapy, Sports Science, Biomedical Science, Biochemistry, Nursing, Veterinary Science, Psychology.

Useful Links

AQA A Level Biology Link icon Visit website

AS & A2 Chemistry

Our Chemistry Specification is through AQA. It is designed to encourage candidates to gain hands-on practical skills and data analysis skills, to appreciate how science works and its relevance beyond the laboratory and develop an enthusiasm for Chemistry. The specification also provides clear continuity from GCSE and progression to university.

AQA AS Chemistry Outline

The specification introduces the chemical reactivity of atoms and molecules and provides an understanding of their structures as well as the development and use of the periodic table.

  • Unit 1: Foundation Chemistry
  • Unit 2: Chemistry in Action
  • Unit 3: Investigative and Practical Skills External Assessment (EMPA)

What do you need to study AS Chemistry at CHS?

To be accepted onto the AS Chemistry course you will need at least a B Grade at GCSE Science (or GCSE Chemistry) and in GCSE Mathematics.

You also need to possess a variety of personal skills such as; strong problem solving; being able to communicate effectively; the ability to work independently as well as in a team; critically assess and analyse data; derive conclusions and arguments.

AQA A2 Chemistry Outline

A2 develops the concepts introduced at AS such as kinetics, equilibria, organic chemistry and spectroscopic techniques to determine the molecular formulae and structures of organic compounds.

  • Unit 4: Kinetics, Equilibria and Organic Chemistry
  • Unit 5: Energetics, Redox and Inorganic Chemistry
  • Unit 6: Investigative and Practical Skills External Assessment (EMPA)

Career Opportunities

Chemistry opens many doors. Major employers of chemists include Pharmaceutical, Agrochemical, Petrochemical companies and producers of detergents, paints, dyes, cosmetics, textiles, perfumes and fragrances. Chemistry is essential for any student wishing to pursue a career in medicine or linked professions.

It is a highly sought after A level (and degree) for many employers, not just in the Chemical Industries. Other careers opportunities are also available within the Government, in Journalism, in our Health services, Museums, Accountancy and the Legal professions.

Useful Links

AQA A Level Chemistry Link icon Visit website

AS & A2 Physics

Physics class at Christleton High School

Our Physics Specification is AQA Physics B: Physics in Context. This is an exciting course in which Physics is placed firmly in a range of contemporary contexts.

It introduces students to new and exciting areas of physics and develops essential knowledge and understanding - all through a context and applications led approach to capture the interest of students. The specification also provides clear continuity from GCSE and progression to university.

What do you need to study AS Physics at CHS?

  • To be a logical and numerate thinker
  • To enjoy the challenge of solving problems and have perseverence
  • The ability to work as a team player, or independently
  • Grade B in GCSE Additional Science OR Grade B in GCSE Physics AND minimum Grade B in GCSE Maths (Higher Tier)
Physics class at Christleton High School

Physics can take you just about anywhere, but it is useful and sometimes essential for careers involving Engineering, Electronics, Computing, Mathematics, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Environmental and Energy courses, as well as many new and emerging technologies.

Whilst developing our students’ ability to learn independently the Physics Department also offers students a high degree of support outside lesson time in terms of resources - both physical and online; and we encourage students to be proactive in seeking assistance through the use of email and a weekly drop-in session where students can collaborate and help each other, but where staff are also on hand.

Physics class at Christleton High School

In the coming academic year (2014-15) we plan to take AS Physics students to Warwick University to learn about cutting edge developments in Physics and real world applications, as well as being given advice on preparing for their AS examinations. These students will also take part in a school-based workshop run by Liverpool John Moores University’s Astrophysics Research Institute.

During the A2 course undertake trips to Alton Towers to support the learning of "The Physics of Fairground Rides". This has proved to be very popular with students who make good use of mobile technologies to obtain data whilst on the rides, which is then analysed back in the classroom.

In July 2014 one of our students was awarded "Young Physicist of the Year" along with other students across the Chester and Merseyside area, in conjunction with Liverpool John Moores University and The Ogden Trust. The award was presented at Spaceport, Seacombe, where there was an opportunity to talk with professional Physicists and Astronomers, view the Dr Who exhibition and attend an astronomy lecture.

Useful Links

AQA A Level Physics B Link icon Visit website