Science KS3 & KS4


Welcome to the Science Faculty 

Our vision at Copthall is to inspire and empower our students to make exceptional progress in science, to ensure they reach their academic potential and have the tools to apply scientific reasoning and logical thinking to everyday life and STEM based careers. This begins in KS3.

Importance of Science Qualification:

The science courses outlined above seek to ensure that students become scientifically literate and will be well prepared to live and work in an increasingly scientific and technological world.  The courses contain an equal proportion of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  The science topics provide pupils with an excellent opportunity to develop their investigative skills, problem solving skills and to understand how science can be applied to their everyday life's and in the workplace.


Document Downloads

KS3 Science Curriculum Map
KS4 GCSE Combined Science Curriculum Map
KS4 GCSE Triple Science Curriculum Map


Key Stage 3 Science

The principal focus of Science teaching in Key Stage 3 is to develop a deeper understanding of a range of scientific ideas in the subject disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics as well as looking at scientific problem solving and use of evidence to develop theories and explanations. This is implemented throughout Year 7, 8 and 9 lessons by following the national curriculum and where possible exceeding it.

In Year 7, students follow the Oxford KS3 Activate Science course which can e be found here:

In Year 8, students progress onto the Oasis Science Course.

In Year 9, students begin the transition into the GCSE curriculum, completing elements of the National curriculum but framing many topics around the demands that they will face as they move into their Key Stage 4 curriculum. 

In year 7 we learn about:

  • cells, body systems and reproduction in Biology
  • particles, elements, reactions and acids in Chemistry
  • forces, sound, light and space in Physics

In year 8 we learn about:

  • health, ecosystems and inheritance in Biology
  • the periodic table, separating techniques, metals and the earth in Chemistry
  • electricity and magnetism, energy and motion and pressure in Physics

In year 9 we learn about:

  • Cells and Organisation in Biology
  • The atomic structure and Bonding, structure and the properties of matter in Chemistry
  • Bonding, structure and the properties of matter
  • Energy and Electricity in Physics

Throughout these topics students learn to be scientists. Students should understand that science is about working objectively, modifying explanations to take account of new evidence and ideas and subjecting results to peer review. Students should decide on the appropriate type of scientific enquiry to undertake to answer their own questions and develop a deeper understanding of factors to be taken into account when collecting, recording and processing data. They should evaluate their results and identify further questions arising from them.

Key Stage 4 Science 

Teaching in the sciences at key stage 4 continues with the process of building upon and deepening scientific knowledge and the understanding of ideas developed in earlier key stages in the subject disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Studying the sciences in key stage 4 provides the platform for more advanced studies, establishing the basis for a wide range of careers.

There are two pathways for KS4 Science at Copthall; triple science and combined science. Students who are making exceptional progress by the end of Key Stage 3 (Year 9) may be given the opportunity to follow the triple Science pathway as they progress into Key Stage 4.

Combined Science: Trilogy (AQA course code 8464)

Trilogy is a double award and worth two GCSEs. The course has been developed to inspire and challenge students of all abilities.

Students cover a wide range of topics from all three science disciplines, detailed in the specification linked below. Embedded in the teaching are essential skills for working scientifically including 21 required practicals.

It is assessed by six, 1 hour and 15 minute exams.

Separate Science: GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics

Some students will study for three separate science GCSEs.

Students cover the same content as GCSE combined Science, with added depth and breadth. Please see the specifications linked below for topic lists and details on how the courses fit together.

It is assessed by six, 1 hour and 45 minute exams.

Course Specifications







In addition to the rich and varied curriculum offered by the Science department, there are many opportunities for students to go further in their studies by getting involved in our enrichment activities.

  • There is a science club which is open to all years after school.
  • Copthall school holds it's own Big Bang Fair which involved a competition for year 7
  • Copthall Students enter The Mayor of London Scientist programme
  • There are small group or whole class visits to museums, theme parks or London Zoo as well as STEM activities in other schools across the borough
  • Students will explore the applications of science, science-based careers and exciting new developments in science during Science Week
  • Students will have the opportunity to join in with various STEM based activities and workshops

Careers & Employment

There are many careers where a qualification in science will be useful and in some cases essential. These include the following: Medicine; Veterinary; Dentistry; Nursing; ICT; Engineering; Research & Development; Architecture; Education.

Recommended Reading


P.B Medawar - Advice To A Young Scientist

Sam Kean - Caesar’s Last Breath: The Epic Story of The Air

Randall Monroe – What if?

Stephen Hawking – Brief Answers to the Big Questions

Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything 

Richard Dawkins -  The Blind Watchmaker

Ben Goldacre -  Bad Science

Rachel Ignotofsky -  Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World



BBC Bitesize -

Science Journal for Kids and Teens -


The Science Faculty enjoys excellent facilities with 9 well equipped purpose built laboratories and a great team of subject specialists. The team is led by a Curriculum Leader. The faculty receives excellent support from an experienced team of professional technicians. In lessons students are provided with textbooks, and an online version can be accessed via