Hillside High School

Excellence in the Heart of the Community

Wade Deacon Trust

    Mrs J Nelson 
    Subject Leader
    Email: science@hillsidehigh.co.uk
    Departmental Twitter Feed: @hhs4science


    The main aim of the Science department is to support our pupils in becoming successful learners who enjoy science, make good progress and achieve. We are a forward thinking department who are consistently developing Teaching and Learning strategies to engage and excite our learners. Through group work, model making and use of ICT to ensure pupils are involved and active in their learning, encouraging creativity and innovation. We also value the importance of feedback to stretch our pupils and use the Purple Pen of Progress to allow pupils to reflect on their learning but also to seek further ways to improve.

    We also aim to:

    • provide a curriculum which all of our pupils can access which allows them to be challenged, engaged and make good progress
    • inspire our pupils by making them aware of the relevance and importance of science along with the career opportunities that are available
    • provide pupils with a range of assessment opportunities and encourage them to reflect on their learning and recognise how to make further progress.

    Key Stage 3

    At Key Stage 3 the curriculum is intended to allow pupils to develop their personal, learning and thinking skills through providing a range of exciting and stimulating learning activities.  At Key Stage 3 we follow the AQA two year Key Stage 3 course to support and prepare our students for Key Stage 4.

    In Year 7 and 8 pupils develop a good understanding of the key concepts in science.

    Overview of the KS3 Science Syllabus:

    Year 7

    Biology Chemistry Physics
    Plant reproduction
    Human reproduction
    Particle model
    Separating mixtures
    Metals and non-metals
    Acids and alkalis
    Earth structure
    Voltage and resistance
    Energy costs
    Energy transfer

    Year 8

    Biology Chemistry Physics
    Periodic table
    Chemical energy
    Types of reaction
    Earth resources
    Contact forces
    Pressure Magnetism
    Work Heating and cooling
    Wave properties
    Wave effects


    Throughout Key Stage 3 pupils are provided with a range of opportunities to develop key skills which include practical, literacy and numeracy skills. Pupils will be assessed at four key points throughout the year and feedback is provided for each assessment. Pupils must also complete one Independent Learning activity per week which will be set by their teacher and can also be accessed via Show My Homework.

    Pupils may find the following websites useful when revising for upcoming assessments and extra support when completing independent learning tasks:


    Key Stage 4

    Pupils in Year 9 start the Key Stage 4 course in science. This is to allow them time to fully integrate themselves into the course and develop the required skills to allow them to be successful learners. Our current Year 9 and Year 10 students are following the new AQA GCSE course. We offer Separate Science and also Combined Science Trilogy. The course content is split over the three years and students are assessed four times per year to prepare them for the linear tests. To support pupils we also deliver interleaving lessons were we revisit content from previous topics to build up subject knowledge.

    Our current Year 11 students are currently studying and preparing for their examinations for the existing AQA GCSE curriculum (due to end this summer). Students on this course have linear exams at the end of Year 11 but also have a controlled assessment aspect that is worth 25% of their overall GCSE grade. Our curriculum map is available; please refer to this for topics covered in each P2S.

    Pupils are expected to complete one independent learning activity per week which will be set by their class teacher and can also be accessed via Show My Homework. In addition to this pupils are also expected to complete their independent study at home and also revisit the topics covered in lessons.

    Below are the links for the AQA courses;

    New GCSE 2016 onwards (Current Year 9 and Year 10)

    GCSE Combined Science Trilogy Specification

    GCSE Separate Sciences  Biology Specification  Chemistry Specification  Physics specification

    Existing GCSE course (Current Year 11’s)

    AQA Core Science

    AQA Additional Science

    AQA Separate Science  Biology Specification  Chemistry Specification  Physics Specification


    Enrichment and Extra Curricular Activities

    STEM – Projects running throughout the year in school that involve collaboration between the science department, maths department and also Technology department. Projects carried out have a focus on developing skills for the work place. Family learning evenings also take place at set times in the year. In addition we celebrate British Science Week and World Space Week.

    Unilever Bright Futures programme, we currently have three Year 10 students enrolled on this programme.

    Visits to local Universities and colleges to raise aspirations and allow pupils to gain first hand experience of higher education.  

    Lunch with a scientist, we have visits from local scientists to the department from a range of career backgrounds to meet with pupils and share their experiences.

    Study Skills workshops – Delivered by the science department to support pupils with their exam skills and study methods to help pupils prepare for their examinations

    Masterclasses – Masterclasses are delivered at certain times during the year to support with exam preparation and to deepen subject knowledge.  

    Physics and Chemistry Breakfast Clubs.

    News from the Science Department