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Buxton Community School

Buxton Community School


Head of Department: Dr Stu Norris  (

Key Stage 3

All students in Year 7, 8 and 9 experience the full breadth of the science curriculum in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The science department follows a modified version of the Activate scheme of learning to engage students in fundamental concepts and introduce them to current scientific developments. The lessons develop their scientific language, data analysis and practical skills through a range of learning activities that provide support and challenge to all levels of ability and aim to prepare them for the challenges of GCSE Science. Pupils’ progress is tracked through a combination of literacy, numeracy and skills based activities, homework tasks and end of topic tests.

In Year 7 the topics covered are:

  • Cells 
  • Structure & function of body systems 
  • Reproduction 
  • Particles and their behaviour 
  • Elements, atoms and compounds 
  • Chemical reactions 
  • Acids and alkalis 
  • Forces 
  • Space 
  • Sound

In Year 8 the topics covered are:

  • Health and lifestyle 
  • Ecosystem processes 
  • Adaptation and inheritance 
  • The Periodic Table 
  • The Earth 
  • Separation techniques 
  • Motion and Pressure 
  • Energy 
  • Light 

In Year 9 the topics covered are:

  • Health and Immunity 
  • DNA and inheritance 
  • Metals and acids 
  • The Atom and Collision Theory 
  • Electricity and magnetism 
  • Newton’s Laws 

Y9 students will then start the GCSE course in the summer term:

  • Ecology
  • Chemistry of the Atmosphere
  • Particle Model of Matter

Key Stage 4

All students in Year 10 & 11 study topics in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Most students will complete the AQA Trilogy course which will give them a combined science GCSE qualification of two GCSE grades (1-9). The most able students will complete the extra content of the Triple Science course which will enable them to achieve separate grades in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

In Year 10 students will study the following topics:

Cell biology

Atomic structure and the Periodic Table



Structure, bonding and properties of matter


Infection and response

Chemical quantities and equations



Chemical changes

Atomic structure


Energy changes



In Year 11 the following topics will be covered:

Homeostasis and response

The rate and extent of chemical change


Inheritance, variation and evolution




Chemical analysis






Sustainable development



Throughout the course there will be a series of required practicals that will develop the students’ skills and will be assessed through the terminal examinations. All GCSE courses are examined at the end of Year 11.