Sir James Smith's Community School

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Science and Technology affect our everyday life. Many of the things you see have been discovered or invented by scientists. From the clothes you wear to the most advanced computer controlled robotic spacecraft.  In your everyday life it may allow you to mend a fuse or rewire a plug. You will know how to plan a healthy diet for you and your family. Your mobile telephone and how it works will no longer be a mystery to you. You may even end up in a career where you are discovering new things that may lead to inventions like a drug to cure cancer or a fuel to replace oil.

Key Stage 3

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is designed to interest students, developing their curiosity, especially at the beginnings of their science career. Our delivery is based around the Smart Science Programme of Study which is linked to our KS4 provider allowing a smooth and productive transition to GCSE.  The Programme of Study has been adjusted and re-worked to suit our students needs and is delivered in short units alternating Biology, Chemistry and Physics across the year.


Our Science lessons are reliant on teaching through the means of practical experiments, models and discussion. We believe that skills are best learnt through these processes and enables students to then access the literacy and numerical side of science more easily as they have a vision to support further learning. This style of delivery maintains the student’s interest and motivation as well as the teacher’s and we have found that it creates a real sense of enjoyment in lessons. 


Our Scheme of work has a series of ‘progress objectives’ associated with each topic. These are stuck into the student’s book so that they and their teacher can monitor their progress. The challenge is built into the progress objectives and therefore we expect a student to maintain the same STEP throughout the whole of their KS3. This is because the same STEP in year 8 is more difficult than the work set at that STEP in year 7. This is slightly different to the other subjects at SJS which expect students to make a STEP of progress each year.

Transition to KS4 and GCSE studies

Our Year 9 KS3 Programme of study has been shortened slightly and each student starts their GCSE studies after Easter in Year 9. This transition will be informed by the completion of a ‘ready for GCSE transition test’ that will inform us whether the student is at the level required for transitioning to GCSE.


We are a very successful department and relish in celebrating everybody’s achievements. We share a student’s progress using our data sheet and allow students to see how they are doing against their advised end of year STEP. They are then encouraged to write an improvement goal which gives them ownership of their studies and their progress.

Key Stage 4

In 2016, all Science GCSEs changed following guidelines from the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), all exam boards were asked to re-write the Science qualifications in line with delivering the new 1-9 GCSE. This qualification has just been sat for the first time in this year’s 2018 exam season and we look forward to sharing our success with you in August 2018.

We offer the Triple Sciences qualification with an outcome of 3 GCSE’s upon successful completion of the course. And we offer the Combined Science Trilogy GCSE with an outcome of 2 GCSE’s upon successful completion of the course.

*The combination of teachers the student has for science will decide to an extent the order of content. Please ask the science department for more information regarding this area.

In addition to covering topics including the periodic table, chemical reactions, Newton’s laws of motion, electricity, photosynthesis, evolution, energy renewal and mobile phone technology; there is an emphasis on climate change, plastics and the environment to update the content being studied and to make it more relevant to the issues in society today. The aim is to provide students with the scientific literacy they need for life in the twenty first century. The government recognise that in a modern society, there is a need to be scientifically literate, consequently they have specified that everyone has to study Science in Years 10 and 11. 

Please click here to see the information in the Curriculum Handbook

What jobs can I get if I study Science?

Scientists are in demand. Being a scientist doesn’t mean you have to be a rocket scientist!! You could be a nurse, doctor, oceanographer, hairdresser, electrician, archaeologist, mining engineer or conservation worker. Public authorities like the Water Company, Civil Service and local government need scientists to act as ecologists, pharmacists, forensic scientists or even a science teacher.

All of the courses on offer at SJS provide a good basis for which ever career path you follow and I bet your bottom dollar you’ll find some science in your life path – that’s if you look hard enough and are curious enough!