“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
– Marie Curie


At Stanley High School we deliver a high-quality science education which provides students with the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all students are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. We look to build up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, whilst encouraging students to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena.

We want our students to:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
  • develop an understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science, through different types of scientific enquiry that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
  • develop and learn to apply observational, practical, modelling, enquiry, problem-solving skills and mathematical skills, both in the laboratory, in the field and in other environments
  • develop their ability to evaluate claims based on science through critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions, both qualitatively and quantitatively


The science department consists of seven members of teaching staff who are all subject specialist teachers and the department is supported by one science technician.

Curriculum hours over the 2-week timetable:

  • Year 7 – 6 hours per fortnight
  • Year 8 – 7 hours per fortnight
  • Year 9 – 8 hours per fortnight
  • Year 10* – 8 hours per fortnight
  • Year 11* – 8 hours per fortnight

* Students who have opted to study separate science (GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry, GCSE Physics) receive an additional 5 hours of science in addition to the standard quota of lessons.

Key stage 4 Information

At Key stage 4 students follow the AQA GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy specification. Students who have opted for separate science will follow:

The Key Stage 4 curriculum is planned and sequenced from the Oxford University Press AQA GCSE 9-1 scheme which has been mapped against the National Curriculum for Key Stage 4. From experience, this has enabled coverage of the course in an appropriate and effective manner. It has enabled pupils to build subject knowledge that is then required at later stages of the course. Staff and pupils are happy with the general structuring of the curriculum at GCSE. Additionally, to this, the resources provided through the online platform are extensive and allow students to have access to digital textbooks, Podcasts and additional support resources.


Student progress is monitored using both formative and summative assessments. Each student will sit a formal summative assessment (30-mark assessment) at the end of each topic that is studied. Each assessment has a range of different types of questions asked for example: multiple choice, structured, closed short answer, and open response questions. These assessments are purpose-built at both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 to enable our students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding whilst also gaining the confidence in how their GCSE examinations will look.

These formal assessments are used to track pupils’ progress through the curriculum. However, no single assessment is used in isolation and the regular formative assessment of classwork and homework is also taken into consideration.

All forms of assessment are used to identify which students require additional support or challenge, and which areas of the curriculum may require further reinforcement and they are also used to inform future changes to schemes of work. In KS4, assessments can provide useful evidence in deciding on final tiers of entry for the GCSE exams.

By the end of their Science learning journey at Stanley High School, we hope that students have firmly developed on each of the 4 bullet points in our intent statement. We want our students to have enjoyed their science learning experience and to realise that science is for everyone and it can provide answers to many everyday questions people ask.

Finally, and most importantly, we want our students to leave our school with the scientific knowledge and skills required to make a positive contribution to society.

Suggested post-16 pathways and possible careers

Science is a highly valued subject that nurtures the development of transferable skills essential for the workplace. Science provides a foundation for many science-related and unrelated careers such as: doctor, vet, physiotherapist, chemist, beautician, plumber, nurse, architect, surveyor, engineer, farmer, sports trainer, lawyer, journalist, computer games developer, marine biologist and electrician, to name but a few. A strong knowledge of at least one of the sciences will be highly desirable if not essential.

Students will leave Stanley High School with the knowledge and skills that would allow you to study A Levels / BTEC diplomas in any area of Science.

Extra curricula opportunities:

  • Science ambassadors – All about being involved in developing and improving student experience within Science.
  • Key stage 3 Rocket Club coordinated by Mr Black (Mathematics).
  • STEM Educational visits – more recently to GA Pet Food partners and Unilever.
  • Local Science competitions.