Science is a subject that links to most, if not all, careers. We aim to offer a curriculum that provides an engaging and inspiring springboard for our student’s aspirations, from medicine to agriculture to engineering and beyond.

We explore complex ideas in real-world contexts, whilst developing practical and analytical skills which can be applied to many different subjects and careers.

At City Academy Norwich, we study a five-year curriculum built around providing students with a strong foundation of knowledge and skills in KS3 before stretching and applying their knowledge in KS4, enabling students to be successful in their GCSEs.


Science lessons at KS3 are designed to build the bridge between the knowledge, skills, and techniques introduced at Key Stage 2 and their GCSEs. Our KS3 curriculum is currently in transition as we adopt the Bohunt Education Trust scheme of learning, allowing us to share expertise and provide students with the best possible teaching. As such, in Year 7 content is delivered under the heading of 7 different topics, whereas 20 separate topics are delivered in Year 8, under the heading of 10 big ideas.

Year 7

  • Working Scientifically
  • Energy
  • Forces and Space
  • Particles
  • Atoms and the Periodic Table
  • Cells and Organisation
  • Reproduction and Inheritance

Year 8

  • Forces – Contact Forces and Pressure
  • Electromagnetism – Magnetism and Electromagnetism
  • Energy – Work and Heating & Cooling
  • Waves – Wave Effects and Wave Properties
  • Matter – Periodic Table and Elements
  • Reactions – Chemical Energy and Types of Reaction
  • Earth – Climate and Earth Resources
  • Organisms – Breathing and The Digestive System
  • Ecosystems – Respiration and Photosynthesis
  • Genes – Evolution and Inheritance


Students begin studying and preparing for their GCSE Science examinations in Year 9.

They will look to build upon the knowledge and skills they have acquired during KS3,  and apply these to more complex and abstract concepts. During this time, students will complete a minimum of 21 required practicals, ensuring that not only do students leave City Academy Norwich with a great depth of Science knowledge,  but that they are equipped with the skills enabling them to pursue careers or further study within the field.

Students will undertake one of two GCSE Science routes;  either AQA Single Sciences, or AQA Combined Science: Trilogy. This ensures that every student can be successful in their Science GCSEs,  and effectively equips students with the best qualifications whatever their next steps may be. The examination information for each route and the topics studied can be seen below.

AQA GSCE Single Sciences (Triple Science)

Students will either sit Higher Tier exams (grades 9 to 4) or Foundation Tier exams (grades 5 to 1),  from which they will receive 3 separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Biology 1100 marks1 hour 45 min
Biology 2100 marks1 hour 45 min
Chemistry 1100 marks1 hour 45 min
Chemistry 2100 marks1 hour 45 min
Physics 1100 marks1 hour 45 min
Physics 2100 marks1 hour 45 min

AQA Combined Science: Trilogy (Double Science)

Students will either sit Higher Tier exams (grades 9-9 to 4-4) or Foundation Tier exams (grades 5-5 to 1-1), from which they will receive 2 GCSEs in Combined Science.

Biology 170 marks1 hour 15 min
Biology 270 marks1 hour 15 min
Chemistry 170 marks1 hour 15 min
Chemistry 270 marks1 hour 15 min
Physics 170 marks1 hour 15 min
Physics 270 marks1 hour 15 min

Biology Topics – Paper 1

  • Cell Biology
  • Organisation
  • Infection and Response
  • Bioenergetics

Biology Topics – Paper 2

  • Homeostasis and response
  • Inheritance, variation, and evolution
  • Ecology

Chemistry Topics – Paper 1

  • Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter
  • Quantitative chemistry
  • Chemical changes
  • Energy changes

Chemistry Topics – Paper 2

  • The rate and extent of chemical change
  • Organic chemistry
  • Chemical analysis
  • Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • Using resources

Physics Topics – Paper 1

  • Energy
  • Electricity
  • Particle model of matter
  • Atomic structure

Physics Topics – Paper 2

  • Forces
  • Waves
  • Magnetism and electromagnetism
  • Space physics (single sciences only)

Assessing Progress

Teachers track students’ progress in class every lesson, assessing whether they have understood the key concepts, and how they can best move their learning forward.  In addition to this, students’ progress is monitored using checkpoint activities from which the students will receive detailed teacher feedback.

Students will also complete two pre-public exams every year to effectively prepare them for their GCSEs and provide us with vital information to support their learning. This will include 3 x formal mock examination periods – the first in the final term of  Year 10, then in Year 11 term 2 and term 4.  

Home Learning

Homework is assigned every week in science. Home Learning is viewed as essential for developing both independence and important study skills, as such, it is vital that these tasks are completed in the stated timeframe to ensure the full learning experience is achieved.

Year 7, 8 and 9 students will be expected to spend 30 minutes once a week completing science homework, whereas students in Year 10 and 11 will be expected to complete two 45-minute sessions weekly.  


We look to provide a plethora of opportunities to enhance and encourage students in their science studies within our lessons but also offer many extra-curricular activities. Every year, during British Science Week, we host a Science Fair where students are encouraged to complete a project on an area of Science they are particularly interested in. We organise trips to areas of scientific interest such as the Science Museum, Colchester Zoo, Thorpe Park and Sizewell Nuclear Power Station. We also have organisations come to the school for enrichment days, these have included the Royal Engineers, exotic animal shows, planetariums, and the National Space Centre.


Whilst the skills and knowledge covered in Science are applicable to a multitude of careers as well as students everyday lives, some specific careers where a science qualification may lead include:  

  • Engineers
  • The medical industry
  • Environmental scientists
  • Forensic scientist
  • Geologist
  • Meteorologist
  • Electrician
  • Pilot
  • Athletic trainer
  • Lawyer
  • Psychologist
  • Veterinarian
  • Marine biologist
  • Plant scientist
  • Architect
  • Physical therapist