Students initially focus on practical skills and the scientific method learning how to conduct practical experiments and investigate hypotheses.

Pupils learn to plan experiments, producing stepwise instructions that are repeatable by other scientists. They learn to use common apparatus found in a laboratory safely and with precision. Processing results, students learn to analyse data, spot patterns and draw conclusions that prove or disprove hypotheses. At the same time, pupils become familiar with the body of scientific knowledge outlined in the National Curriculum and start to learn the numeracy and literacy skills required to succeed at GCSE. 

At Prince William School we begin studying GCSE Science at the star of Year 9 following the OCR A specification. Most students take the Combined Science GCSE course, achieving two Science GCSE grades. We stretch our most able students by offering the chance to follow the Separate Science GCSE courses, resulting in separate GCSE grades for Biology, Chemistry and Physics. 

The A-level Science courses are very popular with our KS5 students; indeed many of our students going on to take Science related subjects at undergraduate level. That said, the KS5 Science courses are also popular with students who don’t intend to peruse Science related courses and careers after 6th form due to the opportunities to develop numeracy, communication and problem solving skills and therefore people with science A-levels are highly sought after by the majority of employers.

  • Key Stage 3
  • Key Stage 4

    Whether they are studying for GCSE Combined Science or a GCSE in the three separate sciences, all students will study topics from Biology, Chemistry and Physics from the Gateway Science 9-1 Suite offered by Oxford Cambridge RSA (OCR).

    Year 10
    Term 1 Term 2 Term 3


    Types of Reaction

    Motion and Newton’s Laws

    The Challenges of Size


    Forces in Action

    The Nervous System

    Predicting reactions and Products



    Term 4 Term 5 Term 6

    The Endocrine System

    Controlling Reactions

    Magnetism and Magnetic Fields

    Maintaining Internal Environments



    Paper 1 revision


    Year 11
    Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

    Natural Selection and Evolution

    Rates of Reaction


    Monitoring and maintaining the Environment


    Energy – Work done / Power and Efficiency

    Feeding the Human Race

    Improving Processes and Products

    Physics on the Move

    Term 4 Term 5 Term 6

    Monitoring and Maintaining Health

    Organic Chemistry

    Powering Earth

    Non-Communicable Diseases

    Interpreting and Interacting with Earth Systems

    Beyond Earth



    Example of skill progression

    Atomic structure > bonding > electrolysis

    Cells > tissues and organs > mitosis

    Energy > electricity > work done and power

    More challenging topics put the models learned into more advanced contexts.  Technical vocabulary is used with increasing confidence and accuracy.

  • Key Stage 5 - Biology

    Biology is one of the most popular A-Level subjects in the country, attracting students studying a wide range of other subjects.  Biologists are scientists who study the natural world and all the living things in it, from the largest mammals down to our very own microscopic DNA.  Because biologists deal with the natural world, their jobs can take them anywhere, from laboratories to zoos, from ocean liners in the arctic to fieldwork in the Amazon jungle.

    Biology opens up exciting career possibilities. From conservation to cancer research, biologists are tackling important 21st century challenges.  Whatever field you will eventually work in, you will find biology a very rewarding and challenging course which will develop many of the skills essential for a successful career.

    Exam structure / weightings

    There are three papers that students will take at the end of Year 13: 

    Biological Processes 2hrs 15mins worth 37% (covering modules 1, 2, 3 and 5), 

    Biological Diversity 2hrs 15mins worth 37% (covering modules 1, 2, 4 and 6), and 

    Unified Biology 1hr 30mins worth 26% (covering all modules).

    There is also a non-exam component to assess practical skills by showing competency in twelve practical skills over the course of the A Level.

    Year 12
    Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

    Basic Components of Living systems

    Exchange Surfaces in Animals

    Biological Molecules

    Plant Transport


    Classification and Evolution

    Term 4 Term 5 Term 6

    Plasma Membranes

    Communicable Diseases

    Cell Divisions


    Cell Divisions

    Sampling Techniques

    Year 13
    Term 1 Term 2 Term 3





    Cellular Control






    Manipulating Genomes

    Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
    Plant and Animal Responses Revision  
    Example of skill progression

    Biological Molecules > DNA and enzymes > cell division

    Cell microscopy > photosynthesis > plant transport

  • Key Stage 5 - Chemistry

    An understanding of Chemistry and Chemical processes underpins all that we do. It allows us to explain everything from the composition of stars to the processes of life.  It touches on a myriad of everyday items, such as your mobile phone battery, preventing corrosion in your car and making the next great breakthrough in drug discovery.

    The A level specification places a particular emphasis on the development of practical skills and chemical literacy and there are twelve required practicals that all students must conduct and write up over the course of the two years.

    Exam structure / weightings

    There are three papers that pupils will take at the end of Year 13;

    Periodic Table, elements and Physical Chemistry;

    Synthesis and Analytical Techniques; and

    Unified Chemistry

    Please click this link to view the full course specification.

    Year 12
    Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
    Module 2 – Foundations in Chemistry Module 2 – Foundations in Chemistry Module 3 – Periodic Table and Energy
    Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
    Module 3 – Periodic Table and Energy Module 4 – Organic Chemistry and Analysis Module 4 – Organic Chemistry and Analysis


    Year 13

    Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
    Module 5 – Physical Chemistry and Transition Elements Module 5 – Physical Chemistry and Transition Elements

    Module 6 – Further Organic Chemistry and Analysis

    Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
    Module 6 – Further Organic Chemistry and Analysis Revision  


    Example of skill progression

    Atomic structures > bonding > transition metals

    Atomic structure > shapes and bond angles (electron pair repulsion theory) > mechanisms

    Building on the limitations of previous models learned, students are introduced to more advanced models and ideas.

  • Key Stage 5 - Physics

    Physics is one of the most challenging and the most exciting subject Post-16 has to offer.  Want to measure the speed of sound in air to 98% accuracy? Fancy practically determining the wavelength of laser light by measuring a few lengths and angles?  Interested in measuring absolute zero in the laboratory?  Then A Level physics is the subject for you.

    Walk the footsteps of Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, Einstein and Higgs.  Challenge yourself to examine energy and matter at the quantum level, and spend your time thinking and discussing fundamental questions about the Universe.

    Students need to be highly committed, and willing to put in an Outstanding Effort to achieve well.

    Exam structure / weightings

    There are three exams at the end of Year 13, which are worth 30%, 30% and 40% respectively. All three can draw on any topic within the syllabus, with the third, longest exam being most likely to ask questions about the core practicals in the A Level syllabus.

    Please click this link to view the full course specification.

    Year 12
    Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

    Foundations of Physics

    Forces of Motion

    Forces of Motion

    Charge and Current

    Energy, Power and Resistance

    Term 4 Term 5 Term 6

    Electrical Circuits

    Waves 1

    Waves 2

    Quantum Physics


    Year 13

    Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

    Transport on Track

    Further Mechanics and Electric Motors in trains

    The Medium is the Message

    Communications industry is the context for more waves exploration

    Probing the Heart of Matter

    Particle Physics and all the mechanics of fundamental Physics

    Build or Bust

    Simple harmonic motion and is taught through earthquakes and building design

    Term 4 Term 5 Term 6

    Reach for the Stars

    Nuclear Physics, Stellar Evolution and measuring the universe is taught by gazing at the stars

    Example of skill progression

    Charge and Current > Capacitance > Electric Fields

    Waves > Quantum Physics > Medical Imaging

  • Careers and progression
    Qualification pathways 

    The GCSE offered at KS4 prepares students perfectly for the A levels offered at KS5, which in turn prepares students for further study at degree or employment in a scientific sector. 

    Career Opportunities


    Medicine, nursing, midwifery, veterinary science, dentist, physiotherapy, biomedical Science, sport science, marine biology, zoology, microbiologist, ecologist, biotechnology, forensic science, nutritionist.


    Chemical industry, medicine, dentistry, pharmaceutical industry, biochemistry, biomedical sciences, forensic science


    Engineering, scientific research, medicine, architecture, astronomer, geophysicist, meteorologist, nanotechnologist, radiation protection practitioner, sound engineer, software engineer, telecommunications researcher.


    Example of successful progressions

    18 students from Y13 progressed to reading scientific subjects at university in 2019, including 3 reading medicine and 2 veterinary science.

    Examples of links to Gatsby benchmark 4 (Linking curriculum to careers) 

    Through KS4 specific lessons have been identified where the curriculum knowledge links to specific careers. For example linking Instrumental Methods of Analysis to the work of an analytical chemist. These links are reinforced with additional detail through KS5.

    The KS3 science enquiry investigations links the skills students are developing to careers. For example, the ‘Who’s Cheating on the Vinegar’ practical draws links with the role of a food technologist.

    Examples of link to Gatsby benchmark 5 (encounters with employers)

    Anglian water – problem solving (including teamwork and employability skills) day for all Y12 and Y13 STEM students. Currently planning a similar day for Y7 students

    Dr Ben Evan, an Aerospace professor involved in the Bloodhound project (breaking the world land speed record), is making a presentation to Y10, 12 and 13 students in January 2020

    Visit to RAF Cranwell with Y12 and 13 students – investigating circular motion at UK’s newest centrifuge facility including discussions around career pathways in the RAF

    Planning for Perkins and Amazon trips to view factory facilities and production lines

    The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people in the UK.

    The Big Bang Fair aims to show young people aged 7 to 19 the exciting and rewarding opportunities out there for them with the right experience and qualifications, by bringing classroom learning to life.

    Employability skills
    • Numerical and calculation skills including units conversions and rearranging algebraic equations
    • Logical sequencing and problem solving
    • Modelling and exploring the limitation of any model
    • Planning and developing a risk assessment
    • Analysis and presentation of data
    • Drawing conclusions and making evaluations from data
    • Academic rigour.

    Presenting to small groups / classes

Get in Touch

To get in touch with Prince William School please click on the link below, or call us on 01832 272881

Contact Us