Curriculum Intent

The aim of the science curriculum is to promote a love of learning through developing inquiring minds that show curiosity about science and the natural world. We aspire for our students to acquire the powerful knowledge needed to question models and secure and challenge their conceptual understanding.  

We want our students to develop scientific skills of inquiry: to explore through experimental design and evaluate scientific evidence to draw conclusions. They should be able to communicate scientific ideas, explanations, arguments and practical experiences accurately in a variety of ways. 

From their experience of the science curriculum, students should excel in thinking analytically, critically and creatively to solve problems, judge arguments and make decisions in scientific and other contexts and have a keen understanding of the international nature of science and the interdependence of science, technology and society. 


In Combined Science last year, 40.9% of students achieved grades 9 to 5; and 62.9% achieved grades 9 to 4.

What we study – Topic Overview

Term1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
Year 7Introduction to Science / EnergySubstances /Forces / ParticlesCellsElements and Compounds / How Cells WorkWaves and Sound / ReproductionAcids & Alkalis / Simple Circuits / Space
Year 8Introduction to Science / EnergyRepresenting reactions / Reproduction /Digestion and Circulatory SystemsForces / Bacteria / Waves and Electromagnetic SpectrumChemistry in Action / PhotosynthesisElectricity in the Home /  Periodic TableElectromagnets / Environmental Chemistry
Year 9KS3 Circuits, GCSE Biology:
Cell Structure
GCSE Chemistry:
Atomic Structure
/ GCSE Physics:
Energy / GCSE Biology: Cell Division
GCSE Physics: Energy Heating / GCSE Chemistry:
Periodic Table /  GCSE Physics: Energy Resources
GCSE Biology: Organisation and Digestive System / GCSE Chemistry:
Bonding & Structure
GCSE Biology: Organising Animals and Plants / GCSE Physics: CircuitsGCSE Chemistry: Chemical Calculations GCSE Biology:
Communicable Diseases
Year 10GCSE Biology: Preventing and Treating Disease, Non-communicable Diseases / GCSE Physics:
Domestic Electricity
GCSE Chemistry: Chemical Change / GCSE Physics:
Particle Model GCSE Biology:
GCSE Chemistry:
Energy Changes / GCSE Physics:
Atomic Structure GCSE Biology:
GCSE Chemistry:
Rate & Extent of
Chemical Change GCSE Biology:
GCSE Biology:
Reproduction / GCSE Physics:
Forces in Balance
GCSE Biology: Variation, Inheritance & Evolution
Year 11GCSE Chemistry:
Rate & Extent of Chemical Change / GCSE Physics:
Forces in Balance
GCSE Biology: Variation, Inheritance & Evolution / GCSE Chemistry:  Organic Chemistry / GCSE Physics: MotionGCSE Chemistry: Chemical Analysis / GCSE Physics: WavesGCSE Biology: Ecology / GCSE Chemistry:  AtmosphereGCSE Physics: Magnetism & Electromagnetism GCSE Chemistry: Using Resources / GCSE Physics 8:
Space Physics
Triple Science content in bold

How we assess

Assessment in Year 7 and Year 8 Science takes place through a range of processes, including: bi-termly assessments, end of topic assessments, understanding checkpoints in lesson, homework assessment for learning, evidence produced in lessons in the form of carrying out practicals, drawing tables, graphs, diagrams, presentations, ’big writes’, interactive tasks and whiteboard quizzes.

Assessment in Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11 Science consists of an assessment every other term with exam questions drawn from any area of the curriculum studied so far, but weighted towards more recent topics. In addition, students will be assessed on the quality of their written and spoken work during lessons and homework, and end-of-topic tests. Year 11 take a series of preliminary exams in term 3, and year 10 a similar set in term 4.

Meet the team

Mr Will Skelton – Head of Department

Mrs Imogen Parnell – Deputy Head of Department

Mr Christopher Budd – Science Teacher

Mr Rhys Evans – Science Teacher

Ms Kela Lee – Assistant Headteacher

Mrs Pebbles Morley – Deputy Headteacher

Mr Andrew Robinson – Lead Practitioner

Curriculum Allocation

All students study Science throughout their career at The Dorcan Academy.

In Years 7 and 8, students in the Extended pathway have 8 lessons a fortnight, whilst students in the Central pathway have 9.

In years 9 to 11 all students have 8 lessons of Science a fortnight, unless they have chosen separate Science as an option, where in Year 10 and 11 students receive an additional five lessons.

Enrichment Opportunities

Students in year 7 and year 8 attend a weekly science club. Year 9 students visit the Big Bang science festival in Cirencester. All of year 7 enjoy a Space Day as part of their space topic, with space themed activities. More able students are able to attend the Science Christmas lectures in Oxford and take part in a Physics inter-school competition. We are being visited this year by the top undergraduate of the year in Engineering.

BBC Bitesize KS3        KS3 Science – BBC Bitesize

BBC Bitesize KS4        GCSE Science – BBC Bitesize

FreeScienceLessons – excellent revision videos        freesciencelessons | The very best in science education

AQA – our exam board         AQA | Subjects | Science

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The Dorcan Academy
St. Paul’s Drive
Covingham, Swindon
Wiltshire SN3 5DA
Switchboard: 01793 525231
Fax: 01793 431461
The Dorcan Academy is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales under company number 07831414. The registered office is St. Paul’s Drive, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN3 5DA.