About the department

The Science department at PCHS comprises the three subject areas Biology, Chemistry and Physics taught from Key Stage 3-5.

At KS3, students have specialist lessons in all three science subjects.  The focus of the first term is on developing the student’s practical and analytical skills.  We then teach the fundamental concepts of each subject to prepare our students for their GCSE studies.

At GCSE, students are offered one of two routes – Separate Sciences or Combined Sciences, both of which include the study of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Students are taught by excellent specialists in each area and we encourage the development of knowledge and understanding in science through practical work and other opportunities for working scientifically.

At A level, Biology, Chemistry and Physics are offered along with Applied Science. Uptake is strong in all four subjects and each year we have a large number of students going on to University to continue their studies in Science courses with excellent results.


Studying Biology gives students the skills to make connections and associations with all living things around them. Biology literally means the study of life and if that’s not important, what is? Being such a broad topic, students are bound to find a specific area of interest, plus it opens the door to a fantastic range of interesting careers.


Chemistry attempts to answer the big question ‘what is the world made of’ and it’s the search for this answer that makes this subject so fascinating. From investigating how one substance can be changed drastically into another, to researching a new wonder drug to save millions of lives, the opportunities that chemistry provides are endless.


Physicists explore the fundamental nature of almost everything we know of. They probe the furthest reaches of the earth to study the smallest pieces of matter. By studying Physics students can enter a world deep beneath the surface of normal human experience.

Applied Science

Students that study Applied Science in year 12 will develop an understanding of key concepts relating to biology, chemistry and physics. They are introduced to new experimental techniques and develop their practical skills to include accuracy and precision. Students will analyse and evaluate scientific information to develop critical thinking skills and understand the use of the media to communicate scientific ideas and theories. Students will also find out about scientific careers through the different roles scientists undertake in scientific organisations.

In year 13 students will develop knowledge and understanding of the structure and function of the digestive system, the components of a balanced and imbalanced diet and the effects on health. Assessment focuses on occupations that require knowledge of the human body, such as sports scientists and dieticians.

Students also gain the opportunity to undertake the role of a research scientist, following standard procedures to complete a scientific investigation enabling learners to demonstrate and extend their scientific knowledge and skills. In addition, students will develop their knowledge and understanding of key microbiological concepts and techniques used when working in biotechnological industries.

Links to key documents

Details of our curriculum plans across all key stages can be found here:

Year 10 Physics