Proud to be a member of the
Lincolnshire Gateway Academies Trust
Proud to be a member of the
Lincolnshire Gateway Academies Trust


Science is a core subject in the Academy. It develops thinking skills as well as a practical approach to problem solving. These skills are essential both in the workplace and for personal decision-making. Students develop in science across the Key Stages and are able to think independently, reason, solve problems and assess risk.

Please explore these pages to find out more about what we offer.

Ethos & Values

As a curriculum area, our primary teaching aims are:

  • To produce not only well-qualified scientists, but also young people who can use their knowledge, understanding, application and skills throughout adult life.
  • To enable students to experience an exciting and creative climate for learning science regardless of Key Stage and ability.
  • To maintain the Science Curriculum Area at the leading edge of educational innovation.
  • To raise the overall standard of teaching and learning in Science.
  • To maintain a philosophy of continuous improvement in every aspect of the Science Curriculum Area.
  • To support Academy and National strategies in literacy, numeracy and the use of ICT within the context of Science.

Knowledge & Skills

The aims of these qualifications are to encourage students to:

  • acquire a systematic body of scientific knowledge, and the skills needed to apply this in new and changing situations in a range of domestic, industrial and environmental contexts;
  • acquire an understanding of scientific ideas, how they develop, the factors which may affect their development and their power and limitations;
  • plan and carry out investigative tasks, considering and evaluating critically their own data and that obtained from other sources, and using ICT where appropriate;
  • use electronic (internet, apps, databases, simulations, etc.) and/or more traditional sources or information (books, magazines, leaflets, etc.) to research and plan an investigation.
  • select, organise and present information clearly and logically, using appropriate scientific terms and conventions, and using ICT where appropriate;
  • interpret and evaluate scientific data.

The Twenty First Century Science suite studied at Somercotes Academy comprises three subjects which share common material, use a similar style of examination questions and have a common approach to skills assessment.

GCSE Biology covers the major animal and plant systems in a traditional way, but also introduces the students to important breakthroughs of recent years, such as cloning and genetic engineering. Topics include: You and your genes, Keeping healthy, Living together - food and ecosystems, Using food and controlling growth, The human body - staying alive and Life on Earth - past, present and future.

GCSE Chemistry aims to give students a sound knowledge base, as well as industrial and practical applications of chemistry. Topics include: air and water, chemical patterns, chemicals of the natural environment, material choices, chemical analysis and making useful chemicals.

GCSE Physics provides students with a thorough knowledge of the subject, and develops their understanding through the use of examples taken from a modern everyday context. Topics include: Radiation and waves, Sustainable energy, Electric circuits, Explaining motion, Radioactive materials and Matter - models and explanations.

GCSE Combined Science, covering all three sciences, has an emphasis on scientific literacy - the knowledge and understanding which students need to engage as informed citizens with science-based issues. It features many of the major theories of science in a way that encourages students to appreciate their importance to everyday life. The course also explores how scientific information is obtained, how reliable it is, what its limitations are, and how this information helps society to make important decisions.

The GCSE also develops students' ability to plan and carry out scientific investigations and their understanding of the role of experimental work in developing scientific explanations.

Topics are: You and your genes, Keeping healthy, Living together - food and ecosystems, Using food and controlling growth, The human body - staying alive, Life on Earth - past, present and future, Air and water, Chemical patterns, chemicals of the natural environment, Material choices, Chemical analysis, Making useful chemicals, Radiation and waves, Sustainable energy, Electric circuits, Explaining motion, Radioactive materials and Matter - models and explanations.

The Key Stage 3 Science Syllabus is designed to provide structure and clarity to the national curriculum and helps students gain knowledge of key scientific concepts and progress to Key Stage 4.

KS3 Topics are: Cells, Structure and function of body systems, Reproduction, Particles and their behaviour, Elements, atoms and compounds, Reactions, Acids and alkalis, Forces, Sound, Light and Space, Health and lifestyle, Ecosystem processes, Adaptation and inheritance, The Periodic Table, Separation techniques, Metals and acids, The Earth, Electricity and magnetism, Energy and Motion and pressure.

Resources & Facilities

The Science Curriculum Area consists of 3 teaching laboratories all of which have interactive white boards or projectors and. In addition there is a very well-resourced preparation area on site

Very well resourced throughout, the Science Curriculum Area provides opportunities for whole-class practical work at all ages and levels. Text books and worksheets have been purchased to meet the needs of all of our students.

Courses & Qualifications

Key Stage 3

Students follow the national curriculum in science. The course is taught over 3 years using the Activate scheme of work. Students have 3 Science lessons each week.

Key Stage 4

(GCSE in 21st Century Science OCR. Code J260)

Combined Science: The course is taught over 2 years with 6 lessons per week in science covering Biology, Chemistry and Physics content. There are four examinations for GCSE Combined Science. Three of these are for the subjects (Biology, Chemistry and Physics). The fourth exam paper assesses Data Analysis skills.

Separate Science: (GCSE in 21st Century Science Course codes: Biology J257, Chemistry J258, Physics J259)

The course is taught over 2 years with 3 lessons per week on each science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics or Computer science. There are two examinations for each GCSE Science (Biology, Chemistry, and Physics) each worth 50% of the final grade. Each paper will cover all of the topics from the Separate Sciences.

GCSE Combined Science & Separate Science

Science is a core subject in the National Curriculum and as such must be studied by all to the age of 16. A broad and balanced GCSE Science curriculum can be followed at Somercotes Academy in Years 10 and 11, using the OCR Twenty First Century Science specification. The Science Faculty comprises a full compliment of specialist science teachers experienced in the teaching of Science GCSE courses.

All of us, as citizens, need to be able to cope with the science that shapes our lives. We are on the receiving end of scientific ideas and technical information in many different roles such as worker, householder, parent, patient, voter or juror.

Some young people aspire to be scientists, or to work in careers where knowledge of science is essential. So educating the next generations of science practitioners is also crucial.

How many GCSE grades will students get?

A student taking Combined GCSE Science will be awarded two GCSE Science levels. A student taking Separate GCSE Science will be awarded a GCSE level for each science taken, 3 in total. Because the assessment of the courses are independent, these grades may be different.

Practical Skills

Throughout the year students will complete a broad variety of investigations. Students' will be able to enhance their ability to plan and carry out practical investigations and their understanding of the role of experimental work. They will also be provided the opportunity to develop their data analysis skills.


GCSE Science Combined 4 exams:
Biology worth 26.4 %
Chemistry worth 26.4 %
Biology worth 26.4 %
Combined Science 20.8 %
GCSE Biology 2 exams:
Breadth in Biology worth 50%
Depth in Biology worth 50%
GCSE Chemistry 2 exams:
Breadth in Chemistry worth 50%
Depth in Chemistry worth 50%
GCSE Physics 2 exams: Breadth in Physics worth 50%
Depth in Physics worth 50%

Learning Outside The Classroom

Science Club

A lunch Science club is run for all Year 7 and 8 students. Activities are undertaken each week by the students which aim to improve their problem solving skills and application of scientific method.

The aims of science club are:

  • To enrich, enhance and extend the Key Stage 3 curriculum
  • Improve attainment in, interactions with, and experiences of, science among those students already showing interest and ability in science
  • encourage students to continue their education in STEM beyond GCSE level

Catch Up

During the year students are invited to attend catch-up sessions whenever necessary as well as for students to build on and improve their classwork. Students can come in and do their work in a relaxed atmosphere with more one to one help from the staff.

Revision Sessions

Revision sessions are run for KS4 throughout the year with a particular focus at Year 11, the sessions take place after school, at weekends and during half term. These sessions cover all GCSE content and allow students the opportunity to develop and strengthen their scientific knowledge and understanding of content in preparation for GCSE examinations.

Where Does This Take Me In The Future?


  • Provides opportunities for students who may wish to be employed in the science industry or organisations that use science, to develop knowledge and skills in specific sciences
  • Provides a good progression route to more advanced qualifications