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Key Stage Three Science - Years 7 and 8
Students gain increase their understanding of the scientific process though practical experiments along with acquiring knowledge of the world around them. Students should be able to use observations from everyday experience to plan, predict  and analyse experiments.
More attention is paid to collecting reliable and accurate results. Experimental procedure is considered and evaluated at this stage.

Key Stage Three


Topics to be covered

Cross Curricular


Pay attention to accuracy, precision, repeatability.


Understand that theories develop due to new evidence and that scientists share ideas by publishing results


Evaluate risks


Ask questions and develop enquiry based on observations


Make predictions


Select, plan and carry out

appropriate  investigations to test predictions – including independent, dependant

and control variables.




Record observations and evaluate the reliability of methods and suggest improvements


Apply sampling techniques


Present data in tables and graphs


Analyse results to identify patterns and draw conclusions with reasoned explanations


Evaluate data and identify sources of error


Identify and use SI units  and IUPAC nomenclature


Use simple equations and basic statistical techniques


Structure and Function of Living Organisms

Cells and organisation


-        Cells as a fundamental unit of living organisms including how to observe and record them.

-        The functions of the cell membrane, cell wall, cytoplasm, nucleus, vacuole, mitochondria and chloroplasts

-        The similarities and differences between plant and animal cells

-        The role of diffusion between in the movement of materials in and between cells

-        The structural adaptations of some unicellular organisms

-        The organisation of multicellular organisms.




Nutrition and Digestion


-        The content and reasoning behind healthy diet

-        Calculation of energy requirements

-        The consequence of imbalance (obesity, starvation and deficiency)

-        The tissues and organs of the digestive system – how does the digestive system digest food (including enzymes as biological catalysts)

-        The importance of bacteria in the digestive system

-        Plants make carbohydrates in their leaves and take in water and minerals through the roots


Gas Exchange Systems


-        The structure and function of the lungs to show where gas exchange takes place (how are lungs adapted?)

-        The mechanism of breathing and measuring lung volume

-        The impact of exercise, asthma and smoking on gas exchange.

-        The role of leaf stomata in plants




The Skeletal and Muscular Systems


-        The function and structure of the human skeleton

-        The interaction between the skeleton and muscles including the measurement of force exerted.

-        The function of muscles and how muscles work antagonistically.





-        The structure and function of female and male reproductive systems.

-        The menstrual cycle

-        Gametes, fertilisation, gestation and birth (including maternal lifestyle on foetus)

-        Reproduction in plants, including flower structure, pollination, fertilisation, seed and fruit production and dispersal.

-        Quantitative investigation into dispersal mechanisms









-        The effects of recreational drugs on behaviour, health and life processes


Materials Cycles and Energy




-        The reactants in, and products of photosynthesis to include word summary.

-        The dependence of all life on Earth on green plants and how photosynthesis is the key to this.


B4 is the year 9 biology module in which students will continue these ideas in more depth.


Cellular respiration


-        Aerobic and anaerobic respiration in living organisms – making comparisons between the two

-        Word equation for aerobic and anaerobic  respiration

-        The process of anaerobic respiration in humans and microorganisms including fermentation


Interactions and Interdependencies


Relationships in an ecosystem


-        Interdependence of organisms – including food chains and webs and insect pollinated crops

-        The importance of insects in terms of food security

-        How organisms are affected by their environment including bioaccumulation


Genetics and Evolution


·       Inheritance, Chromosomes, DNA and Genes


The Particulate nature of Matter


States of Matter


·       the properties of the different states of matter (solid, liquid and gas) in terms of the particle model, including gas pressure

·       changes of state in terms of the particle model.


Atoms, elements and compounds


·       a simple (Dalton) atomic model

·       differences between atoms, elements and compounds

·       chemical symbols and formulae for elements and compounds

·       conservation of mass, changes of state and chemical reactions.


Pure and impure substances


·       the concept of a pure substance

·       mixtures, including dissolving

·       diffusion in terms of the particle model

·       simple techniques for separating mixtures: filtration, evaporation, distillation and chromatography

·       the identification of pure substances.



Chemical Reactions


·       chemical reactions as the rearrangement of atoms

·       representing chemical reactions using formulae and using equations

·       combustion, thermal decomposition, oxidation and displacement reactions

·       defining acids and alkalis in terms of neutralisation reactions

·       the pH scale for measuring acidity/alkalinity; and indicators

·       reactions of acids with metals to produce a salt plus hydrogen

·       reactions of acids with alkalis to produce a salt plus water

·       what catalysts do.

·       the chemical properties of metal and non-metal oxides with respect to acidity.





·       energy changes on changes of state (qualitative)

·        exothermic and endothermic chemical reactions (qualitative).






The Periodic Table -

To be completed at County Upper as part of the C4 Module


Reactivity of Metals


·       the order of metals and carbon in the reactivity series

·       the use of carbon in obtaining metals from metal oxides

·       properties of ceramics, polymers and composites (qualitative).


Properties of Materials


·       the composition of the Earth

·       the structure of the Earth

·       the rock cycle and the formation of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks

·       Earth as a source of limited resources and the efficacy of recycling

·       the carbon cycle

·       the composition of the atmosphere

·       the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the impact on climate.







Calculation of fuels uses and costs in the domestics context

·        comparing energy values of different foods (from labels) (kJ)

·       comparing power ratings of appliances in watts (W, kW)

·       comparing amounts of energy transferred (J, kJ, kW hour)

·       domestic fuel bills, fuel use and costs

·       fuels and energy resources.


Energy Changes and Transfers


·       simple machines give bigger force but at the expense of smaller movement (and vice versa): product of force and displacement unchanged

·       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

·       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


·       energy as a quantity that can be quantified and calculated; the total energy has the same value before and after a change

·       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

·       using physical processes and mechanisms, rather than energy, to explain the intermediate steps that bring about such changes.







Motion and Forces


Describing Motion

·       speed and the quantitative relationship between average speed, distance and time (speed = distance ÷ time)

·       the representation of a journey on a distance-time graph

·       relative motion: trains and cars passing one another.




·       forces as pushes or pulls, arising from the interaction between two objects

·       using force arrows in diagrams, adding forces in one dimension, balanced and unbalanced forces

·       moment as the turning effect of a force

·       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

·       forces measured in newtons, measurements of stretch or compression as force is changed

·       force-extension linear relation; Hooke’s Law as a special case

·       work done and energy changes on deformation

·       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


·       atmospheric pressure, decreases with increase of height as weight of air above decreases with height

·       pressure in liquids, increasing with depth; upthrust effects, floating and sinking

·       pressure measured by ratio of force over area – acting normal to any surface.


Balanced Forces


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





Forces and Motion


·       forces being needed to cause objects to stop or start moving, or to change their speed or direction of motion (qualitative only)

·       change depending on direction of force and its size.




Observed Waves


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


Sound Waves


·       frequencies of sound waves, measured in hertz (Hz); echoes, reflection and absorption of sound

·       sound needs a medium to travel, the speed of sound in air, in water, in solids

·       sound produced by vibrations of objects, in loud speakers, detected by their effects on microphone diaphragm and the ear drum; sound waves are longitudinal

·       auditory range of humans and animals.


Energy in Waves


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


Light Waves


·       the similarities and differences between light waves and waves in matter

·       light waves travelling through a vacuum; speed of light

·       the transmission of light through materials: absorption, diffuse scattering and specular reflection at a surface

·       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

·       light transferring energy from source to absorber leading to chemical and electrical effects; photo-sensitive material in the retina and in cameras

·       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

·       electric current, measured in amperes, in circuits, series and parallel circuits, currents add where branches meet and current as flow of charge

·       potential difference, measured in volts, battery and bulb ratings; resistance, measured in ohms, as the ratio of potential difference (p.d.) to current

·       differences in resistance between conducting and insulating components (quantitative).



Static Electricity


·       separation of positive or negative charges when objects are rubbed together: transfer of electrons, forces between charged objects

·       the idea of electric field, forces acting across the space between objects not in contact.




·       magnetic poles, attraction and repulsion

·       magnetic fields by plotting with compass, representation by field lines

·       Earth’s magnetism, compass and navigation

·       the magnetic effect of a current, electromagnets, D.C. motors (principles only).





Physical Changes

·       conservation of material and of mass, and reversibility, in melting, freezing, evaporation, sublimation, condensation, dissolving

·       similarities and differences, including density differences, between solids, liquids and gases

·       Brownian motion in gases

·       diffusion in liquids and gases driven by differences in concentration

·       the difference between chemical and physical changes.




Particle Model


·       the differences in arrangements, in motion and in closeness of particles explaining changes of state, shape and density, the anomaly of ice-water transition

·       atoms and molecules as particles.


Energy in Matter


·       changes with temperature in motion and spacing of particles

·       internal energy stored in materials.





Space Physics


·       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)

·       our Sun as a star, other stars in our galaxy, other galaxies

·       the seasons and the Earth’s tilt, day length at different times of year, in different hemispheres

·       the light year as a unit of astronomical distance





Year 7 Topic – Cells  


Art/Craft – Make a model of animal and plant cells

                     Draw diagrams from microscopes


Literacy – choose a cell and write about it’s function and how it is adapted to this.










Year 8 Topic – Nutrition


Numeracy – Enzyme activity of Catalase experiments: rates of reaction

Calculate % and fractions from healthy diet data


Literacy – Comic strip: Journey through the digestive system







Year 8 Topic – Respiration and gas exchange

(to include skeletal system)


Numeracy - Measure lung capacity

Literacy - Journey of Oxygen molecule through the lungs
















Year 7 Topic – Reproduction  

Numeracy – Seed dispersal investigation

Literacy – Produce an information leaflet for an expectant mother

PSHE – Sex education











Year 8 Topic – Nutrition and Respiration & gas exchange

PSHE - Drugs

Year 7 – Energy Transfers

Then taught in year 9 (module B4)











Year 8 Topic – Respiration and Gas Exchange  


Numeracy – Measure gas released by yeast during fermentation and compare to aerobic conditions

Literacy – Write conclusions to experiment








Year 7 Topic – Energy Transfers

Academy Trust Action day/ afternoon

Numeracy – Calculate % bioacculation

Year 7 Topic

Academy Trust Action day – June

Literacy – Research the work of Watson and Crick



Year 8 Topic – Elements and Compounds



Topic on Atom Structure to be covered by CUS in Year 9 (Module C4)


Numeracy – Draw graph to show relationship between Magnesium and Magnesium Oxide




Literacy – Poem/ Comic strip to describe diffusion and Brownian motion










Year 7 Topic – Chemical reactions

Year 7 Topic – Acids and Alkalis

Numeracy – Time for candle to extinguish dependant on beaker size and draw conclusions

Balance equations (HAb)















Year 7 Topic – Chemical reactions

Year 8 Topic – Elements and compounds


Energy changes to be further expanded on in P1 module in year 9 at CUS

Numeracy – Measure temperature Changes and interpret graph

Year 7 Topic - Chemical Reactions


Year 8 Topic – Rocks

Year 8 Topic – Energy Transfers

Literacy – Journey to the centre of the Earth


Numeracy - % composition of the atmosphere

Interpret graphical data on population and climate


Geography – Rock Cycle, atmosphere and Earth structure

Population studies

Year 7 – Energy Transfers

Year 8 – Respiration and Gas exchange


Numeracy – calculation of energy transferred and power.


This is revisited in P1 in year 9 at CUS


Taught in Year 9 at CUS in Module P1  

Year 7 – Energy Transfers

Year 7 Chemical Reactions

Year 7 - Electricity

Year 8 – Respiration and gas exchange

Year 8 – Solar system and beyond

Year 7 Topic – Chemical reactions

Year 7 Energy Transfers

Year 7 Topic – Force and Motion

Year 8 Topic - Electromagnets

Numeracy – Hookes law experiment: Graph results and interpolate

Calculate energy changes taking place


Year 7 Topic – Forces and Motion


Numeracy – Speed calculations


Literacy – Write a story to describe the journey taken if a graph is given

















Numeracy – Use of Newtonmeters and data interpretation






Year 8 Topic – Solar system and beyond

Year 7 – Forces and Motion  

Numeracy – Ratio


To be taught at CUS in Year 9 (module P1)

Year 8 Topic – Light and Sound

Numeracy – Compare frequency and wavelength with amplitude

Literacy – Write an explanation to explain why loud sounds are dangerous







Taught at CUS in Year 9 (module P1)

Numeracy – find the angle of incidence and reflection

Idea revisited at CUS in Year 9

Year 7 Topic  - Electricity

Literacy – Write a story to explain what happens in a parallel circuit

Numeracy – Quantify resistance and relate to voltage and current

Year 8 Topic – Magnets and Electromagnets

Numeracy – Direction









Year 8 Topic – Elements and Compounds


Year 7 Topic – Chemical reactions

Year 8 Topic– Elements and Compounds  

Also taught in Year 9 at CUS (module P1)

Year 7 Topic – Chemical reactions (diffusion)


Year 7 Topic – The solar system and beyond

Numeracy – Calculate Force of Gravity on different planets



Literacy – Imaginary planet: Create a factfile