• Develop students’ scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students will develop a fascination with the world around them.
  • Develop students’ understanding of the nature, processes, and methods of science through scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them. Students will be confident in their knowledge of scientific concepts and be able to apply this understanding to a range of contexts.
  • Help students to recognise that not all questions are scientific and begin to understand the how ethical questions may be identified, explored, and resolved. Students will develop confidence to question scientific principles.
  • Ensure students are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. 
  • Highlight and celebrate diversity, including specifically the history of women in Science and Technology, and develop a confidence in students that the full range of scientific and technological opportunities are open to them. 
  • Ensure that study of the Sciences is inclusive and available to all students and that students can work well both in collaboration with each other and as individuals. 
  • Explore topics at increasing depth as students progress through the school; this is shown in our by our Curriculum Timelines and Curriculum Pathways.
  • To develop the scientific knowledge of all students and maintain an inclusive environment, all teaching groups contain students of mixed prior attainment. 
  • Students can opt to take Separate Sciences at GCSE level; there are no selection requirements. 
  • All of our Schemes of Work consist of lesson outlines planned by subject specialist teachers. Their logical progression can be seen clearly in our Curriculum Timelines.
  • Students are taught by subject specialists in Biology, Chemistry and Physics in all three key stages. 
  • Our initial topics in Year 7 (Energy, Cells, and Particles) have been chosen to introduce fundamental key ideas not present in Key Stage 2. This provides all students with new learning regardless of prior history. 
  • Within lessons, we use effective questioning including techniques such as “cold calling” and “no opt-out” and effective AFL strategies including, but not limited to, the use of mini white boards to ensure students build secure scientific knowledge without misconceptions. 
  • We teach students a standard department strategy for tackling calculations to ensure a consistent approach and build student confidence. 
  • The use of the “Tassomai” app alongside in-class retrieval practice allows for the consistent development of students’ knowledge recall.
  • In order to further diversify students’ ideas about Science, the following project work has been put in place: Women Who Changed the World through Science and Technology and Medical Careers (aimed to widen horizons beyond doctor and nurse as well as beyond the biological sciences into fields such as radiology, nuclear medicine, ophthalmology). 
  • Astronomy GCSE is also available to students as an extra-curricular club.
  • The curriculum maps set out the topics which will be implemented for each year group and indicates the sequence the curriculum follows.
  • We have identified key curriculum themes and the pathway for each has been tracked across year groups. The pathways and links to units of work within the curriculum can be found here can be found here: Curriculum Pathways

Attainment and Progress:

We assess students using end of topic tests. In Year 7, these start with short recall tests and progress, at Key Stage 4, to GCSE examination style topic tests typically around 45 mins in length. In Year 10 and 11 students complete assessments on previous units to support recall of earlier topics.

We give students opportunity to review topics using retrieval practice tasks. This ensures that knowledge is embedded firmly in long term memory.

Students achieve excellent results at St Bernard’s. In 2019 the subject progress point score for combined science was significantly above the national average with 80% of students gaining a grade 4+. At St Bernard’s we have an inclusive policy for entering students into separate sciences and for all sciences results were at least in line with the national average with each showing a positive progress point score.

At Key stage 5, in the 2019 results for Biology and Chemistry students achieved a positive value-added point score. In all sciences, students were at least in line with the national average. Students in Biology gained 90% A*-C, in Chemistry 100% A*-C and in Physics, with a small cohort of five students 40% (A*-C).

Results in 2020-21 continue to be successful and represent a rising trend.


The uptake for Science A levels is strong with high numbers in Biology and Chemistry. Students go on to study a wide range of science-related degrees. In 2020-21 students from St Bernard’s went on to study: Medicine, Pharmacy, Chiropractic; Biomedical sciences; Physics; and Nursing