Head of department Mr. S J Horne


The science department's vision is to engage young people in science and develop scientists of the future. To create a stimulating and exciting learning environment where the teaching is both challenging and supportive. To empower students to learn independently and achieve to the very best of their ability. We wish to offer the highest standards including quality resources and a safe, comfortable environment.

Our Science Faculty is one of the largest in school offering a total of four GCSEs, three A levels and one BTEC level 3 in science subjects. We have a very qualified team of teachers from every specialism.

The science department aims to educate our students to become citizens of a scientific world and perhaps inspire some to become future scientists and engineers. We hope to motivate students to consider the social, cultural and moral issues related to science. We aim to teach them to use scientific knowledge and understanding with confidence and accuracy.


Key Stage 3

We deliver a 2 year accelerated Key Stage 3 programme of study incorporating the new National Curriculum. KS3 Science course designed to spark curiosity in science and support students on their journey through KS3 to KS4 success.

The students are assessed regularly throughout Key Stage 3 with the use of assessments after two topics and access to online exam questions. The questions are differentiated and will allow access to all abilities.




C1: Elements and Reactions

B1: Cells, Tissues, Organs
      and Systems

C1: Elements and Mixtures

B1: Body Systems


P1: Particle Model

B2: Adaptation and the   

P1: Forces

B2: Variation


C2: Earth’s Resources
       and Water

P2: Electricity and Magnetism

C2: Earth’s Resources and the

P2: Waves


Key Stage 4

Science is a core subject and must be studied by all students until they leave school. There are two routes of study at KS4 Science, both routes follow AQA specifications.  These new science GCSE will be first examined in 2018.

  • Separate science GCSEs (Biology, Chemistry, Physics - 3 GCSE grades are awarded at the end of the course)
  • Combined Science GCSE- Trilogy (2 GCSE grades are awarded at the end of the course)

In year 9 students will start their GCSE studies having spent the autumn term further developing the necessary practical & mathematical skills they require for KS4 science study. By the end of year 8, some students will have opted to study the separate sciences. The majority of students will continue studying combined science in years 9,10 & 11.

For more details on each of the GCSEs we offer including specification and assessment details, please use the links below.

GCSE Biology-

GCSE Chemistry-

GCSE Physics-

GCSE Combined science: Trilogy-

Students will be placed in a set that reflects their ability in the subject and a range of assessments will be used to determine the most appropriate set.  

All qualifications are linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course. There is no coursework.

Subject content

All pupils will study the subject topics outlined in the table below. Those pupils studying separate science study each topic in more depth.

There are two exams for each component Biology, Chemistry and Physics. For students taking Combined Science, the papers are 1h15 minutes in length and each is marked out of 70.

For students taking Separate Science, the papers are 1h45 minutes and each is marked out of 100.

Instead of coursework, there are 21 required practical activities which are completed during the KS4 course. Questions on these practicals will appear on the final exam.

The required practicals






Food tests


Reaction time

Field investigations

1 Cell biology

2 Organisation

3 Infection and response

4 Bioenergetics

5 Homeostasis and response

6 Inheritance, variation and evolution

7 Ecology


Making salts


Temperature changes

Rates of reaction


Water purification

8 Atomic structure and the periodic table

9 Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter

10 Quantitative chemistry

11 Chemical changes

12 Energy changes

13 The rate and extent of chemical change

14 Organic chemistry

15 Chemical analysis

16 Chemistry of the atmosphere

17 Using resources


Specific heat capacity


I-V characteristics


Force and extension



Radiation and absorption

18 Energy

19 Waves

20 Electricity

21 Magnetism and electromagnetism

22 Particle model of matter

23 Atomic structure

24 Forces

25 Space (GCSE Physics only)

Entry Level Certificate (ELC)

Entry Level Certificates (ELCs) in science are designed for a minority of lower ability students who may not achieve a grade 1 at GCSE.

The topics studied are the same as for GCSE Combined Science and would therefore allow students to progress up to GCSE.

There are 6 components, each of which has an externally set end of unit assessment. This is marked by the class teacher and moderated externally. Practical work is undertaken regularly and assessment pieces are marked by the class teacher and again, submitted to an external moderator at the end of the course.

Please follow the link below for further information:


Key Stage 5

The Science Department offers a choice of 4 courses in the sixth form and is the biggest department.  Overall, at least 10% of the marks in all assessments will require the use of mathematical skills. These skills will be applied across a wide range of contexts and will be at least the standard of higher tier GCSE mathematics.

Students will sit all of their external examinations at the end of the A- level course at the end of Year 13.

AQA A-level Biology

Preconditions for taking the course

A grade 7 or above in GCSE Biology and a grade 7 or above in Mathematics are needed or at least the combination of grades 7,7 in the Combined Science GCSE component if you have not taken separate sciences.

The core content topics are:

Biological molecules
Organisms exchange substances with their environment
Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
Energy transfers in and between organisms (A-level only)
Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments (A-level only)
Genetics, populations, evolutions and ecosystems (A-level only)
The control of gene expressions (A-level only)

Please follow the link below for further information:


AQA A-level Chemistry

Preconditions for taking the course

A grade 7 or above in GCSE Chemistry and a grade 7 or above in Mathematics are needed or at least the combination of grades 7,7 in the Combined Science GCSE if you have not taken separate sciences.

The core content topics are:

Organic Chemistry
Physical Chemistry
Inorganic Chemistry

Please follow the link below for further information:


AQA A-level Physics

Preconditions for taking the course

A grade 7 or above in GCSE Physics and a grade 7 or above in Mathematics are needed or at least the combination of grades 7,7 in the Combined Science GCSE if you have not taken separate sciences.

The core content topics are:

Measurements and their errors
Particles and radiation
Mechanics and materials
Further mechanics and thermal physics (A-level only)
Fields and their consequences (A-level only)
Nuclear physics (A-level only)
Astrophysics (A-level only)
Medical physics (A-level only)
Engineering physics (A-level only)
Turning point in physics (A-level only)
Electronics (A-level only)

Please follow the link below for further information:


Pearson BTEC Level 3 Applied Science

This course is suitable for students who wish to follow a science course at KS5 and keep open their options for further scientific study. Assessment is internally based, and students have the opportunity to achieve up to distinction * standard in all of their assignments. Independent learning skills, as well as research skills, are of the utmost importance and students will also carry out many practical activities in lessons.

BTEC Nationals are career-based qualifications designed to give students the skills they need to move on to higher education or go straight into employment.

More employers and Higher Education institutions than ever before are choosing BTEC-qualified candidates for their academic and practical knowledge and skills.

With a track record built over 30 years of learner success, BTEC Nationals are widely recognised by industry and higher education as the signature vocational qualification at Level 3. They provide progression to the workplace either directly or via study at a higher level.

Proof comes from YouGov research, which shows that 62% of large companies have recruited employees with BTEC qualifications. What’s more, well over 100,000 BTEC students apply to UK universities every year and their BTEC Nationals are accepted by over 150 UK universities and higher education institutes for relevant degree programmes either on their own or in combination with A Levels.

Preconditions for taking the course

A grade 4 or above in separate science GCSE exams or a combination of at least 4,4 in Combined Science and a grade 4 or above in Mathematics are needed to be able to study this course.

Please follow the link below for further information:



At KS3 we offer a STEM club at lunchtime.  Students are also able to apply to become Science Ambassadors.

There are many opportunities for students to attend lectures on topics from Nanotechnology to Quantum Physics and Space Science and visit University departments. We also have a number of students taking part in the University of Liverpool Nuclear Physics Masterclasses. There are links with the John Moores’ University Chemistry Department.

Students often help out at open evenings and Science students at Holy Family are invited to participate in an international Science study tour to a major European city once a year. To date we have visited The Large Hadron Collider in Geneva and have visited Universities to undertake lab work in Berlin and Brussels. There have been visits to Barcelona and Budapest.

Useful Websites Links

To help GCSE students, here are a few online revision resources:

A useful revision aid with videos on a variety of science topics. Search for videos by topic and level.

Choose an activity, revise it, test it and remember it! S-cool includes overviews, exam style questions, multiple choice questions and revision summaries on a range of GCSE science topics.

A classic revision aid with subject overviews, interactive activities and questions on a variety of topics from different syllabi.

With over 3,100 videos on everything from arithmetic to physics, GCSE students should be able to find videos on the topics they need.

Check out the Planet Science YouTube playlists for inspiration.

Designed to help students studying AQA Core Science, Additional Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Each video is accompanied by revision notes and more videos are added every week.

Exam tips, revision notes and links to past papers

GCSE revision questions and quizzes

Exam board pages for Core (4405) and Additional Science (4408) and also Biology (4401), Chemistry (4402) and Physics (4403) with links to syllabus and past papers

Online homework website


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What's Coming Up
Monday 21st Oct - School Play (rehearsals)
Tuesday 22nd – Thursday 23rd – School Play
Thursday 24th Oct - Year 11 Geography trip to Liverpool
Friday 25th Oct - 6th Form trip ‘Scarefest’ Alton Towers
Monday 28th October – Friday 1st November 2019 - Half term


For more information please see

Holy Family School Calendar



Our Address

Mr M Symes,

Holy Family Catholic High School

 Virgins Lane.


L23 4UL

Contact Us

sample0151 924 6451

   School Contact Mrs S Harris (Head’s PA):
         Tel: 0151 932 6106
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