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Art at HRS is accessible to all students. We intend for our students to improve their artistic skills and creatively, striving for progress not perfection, regardless of their starting point. 

Study at KS3

All students in Year 7 and 8 study Art at HRS, they learn a wide variety of techniques including drawing, painting, printmaking and clay. Students are encouraged to participate in activities within the local community such as designing a front cover for the Dunmow Carnival brochure, alongside other competitions. Year 7 and 8 homework is set every half-term and is project based whereby students move through a historical timeline of Art History. They are required to produce a practical outcome of their choice relevant to the time period. 

Study at KS4

From Year 9 students have the opportunity to study Art GCSE.  They study a wide range of skills and techniques developing their work in response to a variety of themes. The study of Art History and the context in which Art is made is an important part of the course alongside understanding and appreciating your own work and the work of others. 

In Year 10 there is much more freedom, whereby students choose their own title from a previous AQA exam paper and complete the tasks in their own style playing to the strengths and challenging their skills. They complete a sketchbook full of experiments and then sit a 10 hour exam to complete their final piece. In Year 11 students have had exposure to the skills necessary to become independent learners. All students are given the title 'Identity' up until January and then students receive their final exam paper: a sketchbook full of preparatory work and a 10 hour exam over two days. 



To develop independent, confident, resilient and happy students who are able to tackle a range of practical and academic activities. 

ASDAN is an invitation only option subject. 

Study at KS3

In Year 9 students study a range of short courses.

ASDAN Short Courses are flexible, portfolio-based programmes designed to accredit up to 60 hours of activity and skills development across a range of topics and curriculum areas. Short Courses are multi-level, the focus is on completing challenges and skills development according to individual ability, rather than attainment at a specific level.

More information can be found on this link:

Study at KS4

In Year 10 and 11 the students will use the skills they have acquired in Year 9 to complete ASDAN's new Personal and Social Effectiveness (PSE) qualification. It is  designed to develop competencies in communication, collaboration and emotional intelligence for learners working at Level 1 and Level 2.

More information can be found on the ASDAN website:



The purpose of the Computing curriculum is to equip students 'to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world', providing insights 'into both natural and artificial systems'. This is the core of the subject-it lets students think about the world and the systems that exist. This is taught through computing theory and how digital systems work.  Students will be equipped to use information technology to create program, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate at a lvel suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world including e-safety. 

Study at KS3

In KS3 students will have one lesson per week and will cover a range of topics to help them develop their ICT skills and introduce them to Computer Science and concepts. In Year 7 and 8 students will identify and describe a range of computer components and will be able to distinguish the difference between hardware and software. Students are also introduced to data collection, modelling and animation through project based scenarios.

Study at KS4

In KS4, students will have the option to choose to study either Computer Science or Information Communication Technology (ICT).  Both are very different subjects and we suggest speaking to the Computing teachers to gain further understanding.


Design & Technology


We offer a range of Design & Technology subjects, including Resistant Materials, Textiles and Food Preparation and Nutrition.

The Design & Technology faculty is a successful faculty.  In our purpose built block, there are two well-equipped workshops on the ground floor, and on the first floor two textiles rooms and two food rooms.  There is also an ICT room specifically for the delivery of Design and Technology.

In addition to the ICT room there are a variety of desktops/laptops available in all teaching rooms. The Design & Technology department also uses a number of computer controlled devices and CAD packages. We have a large bed laser cutter. CAD/CAM is used by all students from Year 7 through to Year 11.

The Design & Technology faculty reflects the aims and objectives of the school community as a whole that puts students at the centre of their learning journey. In Design & Technology we strive to keep up to date on the latest technologies to support students within their studies.

Study at KS3

At KS3 all students follow a 12-week modular course in Resistant Materials, Textiles and Food. Design Technology is taken for 2 periods per week at KS3.

At the end of Year 8 students can opt to take one of our Design Technology subjects through to GCSE. Despite being non-compulsory it is for many students a popular option choice, with many opting for one of our subjects.

Study at KS4

At GCSE level, Design Technology (Timber or Textiles AQA Specification) and Food Preparation and Nutrition are taught. GCSE students study for 5 lessons across a two-week timetable. Students complete a range of practical and theory based tasks and topics and are assessed through coursework and examination.



Dance increases your confidence and self-esteem, improves problem-solving and creativity and allows you to make knowledgeable decisions about dances.

Why Study a GCSE/A Level in Dance?

  • Itpromotes fitness, a healthy lifestyle, teamwork and creativity.
  • It develops independent learning and critical and reflective thinking.
  • It develops an understanding of a range of dance styles through performance, creation and appreciation.
  • Itdevelops physical, technical and expressive skills which enable you to communicate choreographic intention and individuality as a performer.
  • It helps you to build an understanding of choreography through which you are able to communicate ideas and meaning, drawn from a range of dance styles.
  • It develops a critical appreciation of dance in its physical, artistic, aesthetic and cultural settings.

Development in Dance

The study of dance as an art form contributes to your aesthetic and social development and, as a physical activity, it promotes fitness and well-being. It also supports learning across a range of subjects. Studying dance helps you to develop:

  • As a performer, building confidence, self-esteem, self and body awareness as well as sensitivity to others and team-working skills
  • Being an effective performer having determination to succeed, improve as a choreographer, employing problem-solving and creativity by using imagination in all practical work
  • Building upon interpersonal and communication skills
  • Developing own critical skills, making informed decisions about the dances you see

Study at Ks3

The Dance Department offers a wide range of extra-curricular clubs at lunchtime and after school. Each year group has one dedicated dance club as well as a ‘Gifted and Talented’ invitation club which is a select group of dancers who represent the school at various community events. 

In addition to the weekly clubs that we offer, additional workshops and opportunities are offered at different times throughout the calendar year with visiting dance artists and theatre trips.

Dance clubs not only support the students to develop their technical and performance skills, but also enable students to make friendships with students across the year groups. All year groups have the opportunity to work towards the annual dance show and choreographic competition supporting the Key Stage 4 & 5 syllabus.

Study at Ks4

Unit 1: Performance and Choreography – Practical Exam 60%

  • Perform two set phrases through a solo performance each one is 40 seconds (30%).
  • Solo or group choreography which is set by the exam board, however students have the ownership to choose one out of five questions to focus on (30%).

Unit 2: Dance appreciation – Written Exam 1½ hours 40%

  • Based on students' own practice in performance and choreography and the GCSE Dance anthology.
  • Students gain knowledge on six professional dance works ranging in dance styles and cultures.

Drama & Media


Edexcel Drama
promotes self-confidence. It develops an emotional intelligence whilst fostering crucial team working skills.
AQA Media develops creative, analytical and reflective students. It encourages students to consider the world around them, actively identifying how they are influenced by a variety of institutions and people.

Both of these subjects are based heavily on Literacy, so to support this we work closely with extended learning. Using group work, peer/self/teacher assessments and clear scaffolding to contribute towards the passionate environments we seek within our classrooms – encouraging all to achieve.

Study at Ks3

 During Year 7, pupils explore the use of performance and analytical skills through schemes of work such as The Haunted Lift and Blood Brothers. Drama is taught once a week in form groups at Key Stage 3.

Media: In Key Stage 3, Media is covered within the English department.

Study at KS4

At KS4, the curriculum is enriched with opportunities to attend live theatre performances and technical theatre workshops. These inspire students in the creation of their own performances – enhancing their theatrical knowledge and creativity. Year 9 students also take part in a Year 6 primary liaison project where they become positive role-models. Many students have continued to study the Arts at University and we currently have ex-students that perform regularly in the West End and TV. Support is provided in the form of coursework clinics and the setting of SMART targets. Many of our sixth form students facilitate lower school classes.

Media: At Key Stage 4, Media is a separate GCSE and A-level course. The students are provided with visits such as the Harry Potter Studios and the BBFC. The information gained is then put into practice with the creation of a magazine front page and their own short films (using IMovie). The students explore media forms such as TV, Radio and Video Games.

Employment and Enterprise


The Employment and Enterprise department look to prepare you for a more successful future through the study of both academic and work-related subjects; providing students with the skills that will enable success in the workplace. The Employment and Enterprise department boasts specialist computer suites as well as teaching rooms that are designed for tutorial style, student-led learning sessions.

The department teach a mixture of qualifications, including Cambridge Nationals, BTEC’s, GCSE’s and A-Levels.  Cambridge Nationals and BTEC’s are nationally recognised qualifications, tailored towards real life experience and can guide you towards specific jobs or further education courses.  Just like other GCSE’s and A-Levels, our vocational courses offer a more flexible, hands-on approach to learning, giving you an insight into the world of work as well as providing a practical element; allowing the students to learn by participating in projects.

Study at KS4

Business Studies - GCSE 
Exam board - AQA 
Topics covered: 
We have 6 units that we complete throughout the course. These are Business in the real world, External Influences. Human Resources, Operations, Marketing, Finance. 

Learners will gain a good understanding about the world of business. The curriculum encourages students to understand that businesses operate in a globalised context. As such cultural diversity exists within markets and that companies do have to be accepting of this in order for them to achieve national and international success. 

Cambridge National in Enterprise and Marketing 
Exam Board - Pearson 
Topics covered:
For this course we have 3 different units of work to complete: one is an exam and the other two are coursework based. R064 enterprise and marketing concepts, R065 design a business proposal and R066 market and pitch a business proposal. 

Learners will use business terminology to identify and explain business activities, they wil apply business concepts to familiar and unfamiliar contexts. The curriculum allows students to investigate, analyse and evaluate business areas whilst having the ability to be creative. 

Cambridge National in Child Development 
Exam Board: OCR
Topics Covered:

  • Unit 18 - Health and well-being for child development - Written paper, OCR-set and marked
  • Unit 19 - Understand the equipment and nutritional needs of children from birth to five years - Centre-assessed tasks, OCR moderated
  • Unit 20 - Understand the development of a child from birth to five years - Centre-assessed tasks, OCR moderated

Learners will develop a detailed knowledge of pregnancy, birth and infant's development up to the age of 5.

Cambridge National in Health and Social Care 
Exam Board: OCR
Topics Covered:

  • Unit 21 - Essential values of care for use with individuals in care settings  - Written paper, OCR set and marked
  • Unit 22 - Communicating and working with individuals in health, social care and early years settings - Centre-assessed tasks, OCR moderated
  • Unit 23 - Understanding body systems and disorders - Centre-assessed tasks, OCR moderated
  • Unit 25 - Understanding life stages - Centre-assessed tasks, OCR moderated

Learners will develop a knowledge of the key skills involved in Health and Social care professions along with research, application and evaluation skills.

eNGLISH & media

In the English department we want our students to be equipped with the necessary reading, writing and communication skills to thrive when they leave us to enter into the world.

Along with striving for success, our curriculum encourages students to embrace our core values of working hard and being kind. From Year 7, the units of study are focused around texts promoting the need to embrace differences, with the selection of texts at GCSE demonstrating a clear message on the need for social responsibility.

We want our students to enjoy success in English and for them to want to achieve it in an honest and respectful way.

Study at KS3

Students are given the opportunity to be creative and to enjoy English within the framework of a curriculum designed to challenge all. The aim is for them to develop a range of new skills which will prepare them for the rigour GCSE study.

The study of literature is geared towards giving the students a good grounding in: the works of Shakespeare, Victorian fiction, the appreciation of poetry and modern prose.

Whereas, the study of language will ensure students are able to plan and produce an effective piece of writing. An emphasis will be placed on students using a broad vocabulary, structuring for impact on the reader and the use of a range of sentence structures. The students will be equipped with a range of reading strategies to enhance the understanding and interpretation of fiction and non-fiction texts.

Study at KS4

For the GCSE English Literature and GCSE English Language, students will follow the AQA specification. The Literature texts studied will be:

  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  • An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestley
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • Poetry anthology, Cluster 2: Power and Conflict

Media Studies

In the modern world, our lives are intrinsically linked to a range of media platforms. Whether you view news on social media, watch TV documentaries that are really examples of subtle guerilla marketing or simply go to the cinema to watch a film from a mega franchise, media and communications have never held greater global relevance or significance as they do today.  The study of media products, audiences, representations and institutions is more important and exciting than it has ever been in this ever-growing landscape.

In Media Studies, we explore four main key concepts in GCSE Media Studies: Media Language, Representation, Audience and Industry. These are woven throughout the curriculum across a range of different and varied media products.  We also explore wider key concepts such as gender and racial stereotypes, the power of media conglomerates, and the changing face of media platforms, all of which support and shape students’ thinking.  By studying and exploring these concepts, we hope to enhance their cultural and moral capital. Not only is GCSE Media Studies interesting and relevant, it gives students valuable skills to help them to understand the world around them. Students can apply many of these skills to other humanities subjects, and therefore, it's a good subject to select when combining with other options.

Media Studies GCSE is available at Helena Romanes School from Year 9 through to Year 13. Students follow the GCSE course over three years to offer them the best chance of success and to cover a depth and breadth of knowledge and skills across a range of different media products. In addition, they can take the A-Level Media Studies course from Year 12.

Media Studies is a diverse and interesting subject that offers learners challenge, rigour and the opportunity to learn and develop skills independently.  Media Studies covers many topical and important issues around the world where learners can debate, discuss and think about how these impact their lives.  This subject is perfect for developing learners' all-round thinking and expanding their understanding of the media. 



At HRS, our main aim in Geography is to

  • inspire learners to become global citizens by exploring their own place in the world, their values and responsibilities to other people, to the environment and to the sustainability of the planet.
  • to  take an interest in both local and global Geography. 
  • to develop their knowledge and understanding of the planet Earth and its people.
  • to discover where places are, how landscapes are formed, how people and their environment interact, and how a range of diverse economies, societies and environments are interconnected. 
  • to develop a lasting awareness of the world around us and encourage empathy towards all others by making sense of a dynamically changing community becoming global citizen
  • to spark interest and a love for learning about places near and far.
  • to equip students to engage with an increasingly diverse world and hope to promote an understanding of topical issues from an early age. Pupils at HRS are taught to extend their knowledge of the world’s major countries and their physical and human features.
  • to understand how geographical processes interact to create distinctive human and physical landscapes that change over time. In doing so, they become aware of increasingly complex geographical systems in the world around them. 

Study at KS3

We have recently developed the KS3 Geography curriculum to include some traditional Geographical topics, coupled with some current affairs that lend themselves to lots of relevant research, debate and discussion

At Key Stage 3 we explore Geographical skills which are woven through all units. Students develop key skills including numeracy, literacy, discussion, persuasion, analysis, evaluation and justification. They develop greater competence in using geographical knowledge, approaches and concepts [such as models and theories] and geographical skills in analysing and interpreting different data sources. In this way pupils continue to enrich their location knowledge as well as spatial and environmental understanding.

Topics include: Rivers, Weather and Climate, Climate Change, The Middle East, Tectonics, Geography of Crime and Rainforests

Study at KS4

We follow the AQA exam board specification, which allows students to study a balance of human and physical Geography topics. We choose case studies carefully, and keep the course up to date by ensuring that news articles and real life examples are used throughout the 2-year course. There are opportunities for fieldwork (coasts and urban environments).

Continuing the work from Key Stage 3 we explore Geographical skills which are woven through all units. 

Topics Include: UK landscapes, Rivers, UK economy, Sustainable Urban Development, the Development Gap, Ecosystems including Rainforests and Hot Deserts. 



Our vision is that HRS pupils acquire a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world which will enable them to become confident and well educated citizens within our society. History aims to inspire students’ curiosity to know more about the past, in order to paint a bigger picture of how life today came about. We also aim to equip them with the skills to ask questions about the past, to weigh evidence and think critically, and to develop perspective and judgement.

Study at KS3

Students carry out ‘enquiry questions’ to help them gain knowledge from across the world when they are studying one particular topic in depth in order to make sure they have an extensive understanding of the world.

Students learn topics across KS3 from the Medieval Period through to the Present Day. They look at key historical events and people to debate and answer exciting historical questions such as ‘How did the Normans ‘transform’ England?’, ‘How can we find out about the lives of enslaved people?’ and ‘What were the turning points in World War II?'.

Study at KS4

At GCSE, students learn four main different topics focusing on Medicine and treatment from Medieval times until present day as well as understanding surgery on the Western Front. They will also learn about the construction and fall of the Weimar Republic and the rise of the Nazi Party. Students also learn about the Cold War looking at the power struggle between USA and the USSR, focusing mainly on the changing situation within Europe and the Satellite states. Finally, for GCSE, students will learn about Elizabethan England to make sure their knowledge of earlier British history is developed.



 Our aim is to make mathematics an enjoyable, exciting and empowering experience for all pupils. We want all students to develop and improve their mathematical fluency alongside critical reasoning and problem-solving skills.

Study at KS3

At HRS, we follow the White Rose Mastery scheme for Mathematics, which reflects the study programme of many of our feeder schools. This consistent practice allows for a smoother transition between Primary and Secondary mathematics. Students are placed in sets early in Year 7 so that we can provide stimulation and support for students of all abilities. 

Our curriculum coverage includes: Number, Algebra, Ratio, Proportion and Rates of Change, Geometry and Measures, Probability and Statistics. Students are assessed against Key Objectives appropriate to their expected target grades on a regular basis including overall assessments to ensure that they are progressing at an expected rate. We monitor student progress and provide intervention to provide support where necessary. We also have online support for students which provides homework and videos for study to help encourage students to become independent learners.

Study at KS4

At GCSE, we prepare students to sit the EDEXCEL exam which involves one non-calculator and two calculator papers - each worth 80 marks. Students either follow the Higher or Foundation Syllabus depending on their target grades, in an attempt to achieve or exceed their target levels.
Students start their GCSE studies in Year 9 with a view to sit their Exam at the end of Year 11 when KS4 completes. In Year 11, students focus on exam skills with frequent feedback and analysis.



The ability to communicate in a foreign language is a highly-valued skill and much sought after by employers. A language qualification can lead, not only to a richer and more rewarding quality of life, but also to higher earnings as those with skills in a foreign language are, on average, paid more.

75% of the world’s population does not understand a single word of English. Foreign language skills are valued, not only by companies operating on overseas markets, but also by those dealing with visitors to the UK. Sectors such as retail, tourism, financial services, fashion, media and sport all recognise the value of being able to communicate with customers in their own language.

Our vision of Modern Foreign languages at HRS is to:

  1. to enable all students to achieve their full potential
  2. to cultivate an awareness and tolerance of a foreign culture
  3. to provide enjoyment and motivation through a variety of activities
  4. to develop language learning skills
  5. to encourage communication in the foreign language without inhibition
  6. to inculcate valuable study skills and independent learning
  7. to enhance self-confidence
  8. to foster personal and social development
  9. to provide a good base for learning further languages and career opportunities
  10. to develop the ability to apply language skills in other curriculum  areas e.g. problem-solving, logical thinking

Residential trips to Paris and Salamanca are offered to years 8, 9 and 10 students.

Study at KS3

Expectations in MFL are high and consistently applied with the aim of creating a secure but challenging learning environment. We aim to develop positive relationships with students, based on a mutual desire to enable the student to achieve their full potential.
We use Studio 1 and 2 textbooks for French and Viva 1 and 2 for Spanish and our classrooms are all equipped with interactive whiteboards and sound systems.

The topic coverage at KS3 focuses largely on the student’s experience of the world: family, friends, leisure activities, holidays and school. Students are assessed and monitored regularly to check progress and address underachievement through targeted interventions. Students regularly exceed their target levels at the end of KS3.

To consolidate grammar and vocabulary, homework is set once a week. Spelling homework is set regularly as it enables students to develop their reading and writing skills.  Year 7 and 8 students are expected to spend between 30 and 45 minutes on their homework tasks.

Study at KS4

In Year 9, there is a transitional period for two terms before students embark on the Edexcel French/Spanish GCSE course and practise listening, speaking, reading and writing skills further. During the transitional period, students revise basic grammar and vocabulary and learn a few exams skills such as describing a picture.

Our exam board for GCSE is Edexcel. 

Languages are not compulsory at KS4, but we strongly encourage students to opt for language as it combines well with other subjects such as English, humanities and science. Students have 5 hours of French and or Spanish a fortnight. The 4 skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) are all equally weighted: 25% each.

At GCSE, the KS3 topics are dealt with in greater depth and additional topics, such as protection of the environment and world citizenship, are introduced.

One hour homework is set once a week.



In music, we expect all students to have a happy and successful experience.

The music curriculum encourages students to work hard and to reach their full potential and students at HRS are expected to be able to; compose, perform listen to and appraise music by the time they leave school.

Study at KS3

In KS3, music students are given the opportunity to be creative and expressive through their experiences. The aim for them is to develop a wide range of knowledge, skills and experiences which will give them a good foundation in music education and also prepare them for GCSE music.

The Year 7 curriculum focuses on the understanding of the elements of music and skillfully applying that knowledge to practical and composition work.

The theory(knowledge) is geared to give the pupils/students a good grounding covering a wide range of music. I.e Pop Music, Classical Music, Music from around the World.

Study at KS4

For GCSE Music, students follow the OCR curriculum. This covers the following areas:

  • Theory of Music-Conventions of Pop;
  • Concerto Through Time;
  • Music from Around the World;
  • Film Music

Students are also required to complete the following:

  • Solo Performance;
  • Group Performance
  • 2 Compositions



To equip students with the knowledge and a variety of life skills to empower them to be successful and well-rounded individuals who recognise the importance of a healthy mind and body to follow a healthy lifestyle

Study at KS3

Through studying a variety of different sports and activities students will learn a range of skills.

Alongside fundamental movement skills and techniques specific to particular sports, students will learn how to respect and work with others and the importance of being part of a team; how to make quick decisions towards the best outcome; how to communicate effectively and how to demonstrate a positive attitude and behaviours required of a leader

Study at KS4

In Years 10 & 11 Core PE students will continue to learn the importance of physical activities and the benefits these have towards their overall health

GCSE PE and Cambridge National

We offer two routes for option PE in Key Stage 4, the pathway decision for which is made ready for Year 10. One of the main differences of the routes are the way they are assessed. For example the GCSE route has examinations which occur at the end of the course, so part of the decision will be based on which assessment route is most appropriate for the student as an individual. 

Extra Curricular Opportunities

There are many clubs and extra curricular options at HRS these are intended to:

  • enrich and enhance what pupils are learning in lessons

  • provide students with more opportunities to participate in sport

  • develop further links within the community e.g. MRFA, Infinity Netball

Clubs include: Football, Netball, Hockey, Basketball, Cross Country, Athletics, Rounders



At HRS we foster within students the ability to critically analyse
religious ideas and instil within students a value for religious literacy;
thereby enabling them to successfully navigate our pluralistic and
ever-diversifying society.

Study at KS3

Religious Studies in Key Stage 3 covers ethical systems including the six world religions and a study of Humanism. All beliefs and approaches to life are examined critically and open-mindedly. In addition to this, students are  introduced to moral issues and debates around subjects such as war and peace, animal rights and early life, and are able to evaluate these through religious and non-religious perspectives.

Study at KS4

Exam board: AQA

  • Christianity Beliefs and Practices
  • Buddhism Beliefs and Practices
  • Religion, Peace and Conflict
  • Religion, Crime and Punishment
  • Religion and life
  • Religion, Families and Relationships

Religious Studies full course in Key Stage 4 is taught as an option subject over three years with two exams to be taken in Year 11. One exam concerns the religious beliefs and practices of Christianity and Buddhism and the other concerns how these beliefs are applied to ethical situations for example war and euthanasia. The student’s own opinion is equally important for the examination and lessons are a chance to explore and debate contemporary issues in a safe space.



We live in an increasingly scientific world, from detecting life on other planets to finding cures for diseases. Science is increasingly relevant in modern day society, and it is important for our students to understand the impact it has on their lives and are prepared with the knowledge required to successfully navigate modern society.

As a core subject, Science is recognised by the Government and employers alike to be very important. It encourages a disciplined and logical approach to problem-solving as well as skills such as accuracy in observation and measurement, effective communication, data analysis and literature searches.

This course will enable students to explore science in greater depth, give them a deeper understanding and equip them with skills that will take them forward in the wider world. Students will study the three areas of Science: Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The course is fast-paced, exciting and full of modern scientific issues.

All students at HRS study Science from Year 7 through to Year 11. Key concepts and skills are introduced in the earlier years and developed throughout to support understanding and to allow students to reach their full potential at GCSE. A range of Key Stage 5 courses are also offered to students wishing to continue into the Sixth Form.

Study at KS3

In KS3, all students follow the AQA Big Ideas syllabus to equip them for success at GCSE. The course has an emphasis on investigative and practical skills and aims to engage students through a mixture of experimentation, paired and group activities, regular feedback on students’ progress and electronic and printed resources to support learning.

As students move into Year 9, they study a bespoke hybrid course which is designed to ensure that Key Stage 3 content is secure and to best prepare them with the foundations in scientific knowledge required for GCSE Sciences.

Study at KS4

The Key Stage 4 curriculum starts in the Summer Term of Year 9. At GCSE students will study either the AQA Combined Trilogy Science course (with two grades awarded at the end of Year 11) or the AQA Separate Sciences – Biology, Chemistry and Physics (with 3 grades awarded at the end of Year 11). Both options enable students to progress to post-16 studies in Science.


All students will complete the course at the end of Year 11 with a series of final exams. Combined Science students will sit two exam papers for each Science at either a Higher or Foundation level. Each examination will be 1 hour and 15 minutes long and will be equally weighted (16.7% each).

Separate science students will also sit six exam papers. For each separate science, both examinations will be 1 hour and 45 minutes long and will be equally weighted (50% each).

Exam papers will consist of multiple choice, structured, closed and open response questions.

Description of Activities

There is no coursework or controlled assessment. Students will be completing 21 (24 for Separate science) required practicals and will be tested on their understanding of practical skills and techniques in the final examination.

All students are given the opportunity to carry out core practical tasks and then discuss, evaluate and interrogate the results, methods and conclusions. This ensures that they are prepared for the examination questions relating to them in the final exams; approximately 20% of the exam questions will relate in some way to the core practical content.