KS3 Science

At New Mills School science education is both broad in its range of topics and deep in its level of detail. Students learn about fundamental scientific principles and concepts that begin to explain the world around them. We provide ‘real world’ examples to anchor and develop the ideas so that our young people can take part in ongoing national and international debates which surround scientific discoveries. We engage the students through amazing demonstrations and practical investigations, and provide many opportunities to go beyond the curriculum and enrich understanding. This includes several chances to take part in local and national competitions.

KS3 Science provides the building blocks for the various science options at KS4. Many students choose to study separate sciences beginning soon after they have taken their options in Year 9 and will go onto achieve three GCSE’s one each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Other students may prefer to choose alternative subjects at options and follow Trilogy pathway which combines the three subjects into a dual GCSE award based on examinations taken at the end of Year 11.

The basic scheme of learning is laid out below, along with practicals designed to develop and assess key scientific principles and skills. This is based on the AQA KS3 Science Syllibi. More information about this can be found at the relevant AQA website

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Required practical list

Year seven


1.    Working in a lab – Testing a hypothesis –

2.    Separating mixtures – Plan variables and Present data - Investigating the time sugar takes to dissolve.

3.    Energy transfer and work – Present data – Energy in food

4.    Cells and movement – Construct explanations – Identify the principle features of a cheek cell and describe their functions.

5.    Voltage resistance and current – Collect data - What are the rules for voltage and current in series and parallel circuits?

6.    Interdependence – Analyse patterns – Draw a graph and analyse the data for predator prey cycles.

7.    Earth structure and universe – Construct explanations – Use models of processes responsible for rock formation and link to rock features.

8.    Contact forces, pressure and gravity – Communicate ideas – Explain how an astronaut’s weight varies on a journey to the moon.

9.    Human and plant reproduction – Critique claims – Use the evidence to decide if smoking and drinking alcohol is harmful to the developing embryo

10.    The periodic table and the elements – Analyse patterns – Analyse data for group one and seven elements in the periodic table

11.    Sound and light

Required practical list
Year eight

1.    Breathing and digestion – Discuss limitations – Discuss the limitations of using visking tubing to model the small intestine

2.    Wave properties and effects – Communicate ideas - Use the wave model to explain observations of waves

3.    Acids and alkalis – Discuss limitations - Use various methods to determine the pH of unknown substances

4.    Variation, inheritance and evolution – Collect data and present data – Collect data to show the variation in the class and present your findings

5.    Heating, cooling and energy costs – Test a hypothesis and design a practical – Design a practical to test the hypothesis that bubble wrap is a better insulator than news paper

6.    Metals and non-metals – Draw conclusions – Suggest an order of reactivity for a set of metals

7.    Magnets and electromagnets – Analyse patterns - How could you vary the strength of an electromagnet?

8.    Photosynthesis and respiration - Estimate risks and construct explanations – Use lab tests to show that chlorophyll is essential for photosynthesis

9.    Types of reactions and chemical energy – Estimate risks – Conservation of mass practical and demo

10.    Speed – Plan variables - Investigate the variables that affect the speed of a toy car rolling down a slope

11.    The earth’s resources and climate – Review theories - Evaluate the theory of climate change using data as evidence