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Teaching Science in key stage 4 continues building upon and deepening scientific knowledge and the understanding of ideas developed in earlier key stages in the subject disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

For some students, studying the sciences in key stage 4 provides the platform for more advanced studies, establishing the basis for a wide range of careers. For others, it will be their last formal study of subjects that provide the foundations for understanding the natural world and will enhance their lives in an increasingly technological society.

Science is changing our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all students will be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. They will be helped to appreciate the achievements of science in showing how the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a few key ideas relating to the sciences which are inter-linked, and which are of universal application.


KS4 National Curriculum Programmes of Study:



AQA KS4 Trilogy Combined Science Specification:


AQA KS4 Triples Biology Specification:


AQA KS4 Triples Chemistry Specification:


AQA KS4 Triples Physics Specification:



YearCycle 1Cycle 2Cycle 3Cycle 4

Relative masses and moles


 (H)Equations and calculations


 (H)From masses to balanced equations


 Expressing concentrations


The reactivity series and displacement reactions


 How to extract metals and make salts


Acids, alkalis and neutralisation


Introduction to electrolysis

Changes at the electrodes


 The extraction of aluminium


 Electrolysis of aqueous solutions Exothermic and endothermic reactions


Using energy transfers from reactions


 Reaction profiles


Bond energy calculations


Separate science candidates will also know:


Formation of the solar system


Life cycle of a star


 Planets, satellites, and orbits


History of the universe


The yield of a chemical reaction


Atom Economy




Titration calculations


Volumes of gases 


Chemical cells and batteries


 Fuel Cells

Factors affecting digestion


Blood vessels - structure and function


The heart - structure and function


Breathing and gas exchange in plants and animals




How disease and infection is spread


How infections affects the body


How the body mounts a response to pathogens


The difference between viral and bacterial pathogens


What a non-communicable disease is and how these impact on health


How diet, exercise and social activities impact on long and short term health


Why alcohol and environmental factors are termed carcinogens




The rate of photosynthesis and limiting factors


How plants use glucose


Aerobic respiration


Response to exercise


Anaerobic respiration


Metabolism and the liver


Separate science candidates will also know:


Growing bacteria in the lab


Preventing bacterial growth


More about plant diseases


Plant defense responses


Making monoclonal antibodies


Controlling body temperature


Removing waste products


The human kidney


Dialysis - an artificial kidney


Kidney transplants

Electrical key terms


The difference between a series and parallel circuit


The relationship between potential difference and resistance


How plugs are wired


How electricity is used in the home


Particle Theory and structure of the atom including history of the model


Bores model


The concept of density


Kinetic energy of molecules and relationship to temperature


Latent heat of fusion (solid to liquid) and use of equation


Latent heat of vaporisation (liquid to gas) and use of equation


Types and dangers of radiation


Half Life


Separate science candidates will also  know:


Understand electrical charges and fields


Gas pressure and volume


Radon gas and its dangers


Nuclear Reactors safety


Hazards of nuclear waste



fusion and fission


Radiation in medicine


Reflection and refraction of light


Light and colour 



Rates of reaction


Collision theory and surface area


The effect of temperature


The effect of concentration and pressure


The effect of catalysts


Reversible reactions


Energy and reversible reaction


Dynamic Equilibrium


Altering conditions


The human nervous system - structure and function of the reflex arc


Understand the difference between vector and scalers


Friction and Newtons third law


Balanced and unbalanced forces


Levers and gears


Centre of mass


Principal of moments


Separate science candidates will also know:


Energy and reversible reactions


Dynamic equilibrium


(H)Altering conditions


How the brain and the heart help control the body


Moments and equlibrium


Turning forces and relevant calculation




Fractional distillation


Burning hydrocarbons




 Students will know the difference between a pure substance and mixture


They should be able to analyse chromatograms and be able to test for gases


How the ideas of the atmosphere have evolved and developed over time


Be able to explain how today's atmosphere is changing regarding greenhouse gases


Explain how ideas on climate change and atmospheric pollution have developed


Separate science candidates will also know:


Reactions with alkenes


Structures and reactions of alcohols, carboxylic acids and esters


Addition and condensation polymerisation


Natural polymers




How to test for positive and negative ions

Hormonal coordination




Variation and evolution


Genetics and evolution








Organising ecosystems


Cycling systems


The carbon cycle


Separate science candidates will also know:


Conditions required for rusting


Useful alloys


Properties of polymers


Glass, ceramics and composites


Making ammonia using the Haber process


Economics of the Haber process


Making fertilisers in the lab and industry


Plant and hormones and responses


DNA structures and protein synthesis


Gene expression and mutation




Genetic history


Theories of evolution to include Darwin and Lemarck


Evolution and speciation


Trophic levels and biomass


Food production and factors that affect security and sustainability

Measuring the speed of an object


Distance time graph for any object


Gradient of a distance time graph represents the speed


Acceleration as a change of velocity




Using velocity time graphs


Gradient of a velocity time graph is acceleration


Use Newtons second law of motion


Concept of weight and mass


Forces and braking




Hooke's law


The Nature of waves


The properties of waves


Reflection and Refraction


More about waves


The Electromagnetic spectrum


Light, Infrared, Microwaves, Radio waves




UV, X Rays, Gamma Rays


X Rays in medicine


Electromagnetic Induction


The motor effect


Separate science candidates will also know:


Momentum calculations


Use of conservation of momentum


Collisions and relevant calculations


Effect of impact forces


Safety appliances for impact


Sound waves


Uses of ultrasound


Seismic waves


Flemings left hand rule


Electromagnets in devices


Generators and alternators and how they work


The current dynamo effect


How a transformer works


Pressure and surfaces


Pressure in a liquid at rest


Atmospheric pressure


Upthrust and flotation

Pupils will have been taught all the GCSE content and will now focus on exam preparation.


Our Mission and Values

“Therefore learn as if to live forever; live as if to die tomorrow” (St Edmund of Abingdon)

Read Our Values & Ethos Statement

Trust Information

St Edmund's Catholic School is an academy, and part of the Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership. The Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership is an exempt charity and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales under company registration number 08176019 at registered address: Barham Court, Teston, Maidstone, Kent, ME18 5BZ. St Edmund's Catholic School is a business name of Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership.