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Year 7 and Year 8 follow a KS3 programme of study that has been written in-house to suit our pupils at Thomas Keble. The content and skills covered directly link to those that are further developed at KS4.

Students will study two Biology, two Chemistry and two Physics topics a year. There will be small end of topic tests as well as two key assessment points throughout the year. All students also purchase a laboratory book so that key practicals are carried out and assessed throughout the two years. This again mirrors the GCSE scheme of learning.

Homework will be set once a week and will focus on developing scientific literacy, working scientifically skills as well consolidation exercises and revision activities when necessary.

The units taught in Year 7 and Year 8 are outlined below:

Introduction to Science

  • 7B1 Cells and Reproduction
  • 7B2 Plants and Ecology
  • 7C1 Matter and Mixtures
  • 7C2 Atoms and the Periodic Table
  • 7P1 Forces
  • 7P2 Energy
  • 8C1 Reactions 1
  • 8C2 Reactions 2
  • 8P1 Electricity and Magnetism
  • 8P2 Waves

 Following these units being taught students are given a choice of project work to do on other areas of the curriculum that are not extended at GCSE but that are stimulating and of interest. The topic and outcome is down to the student to allow for own interests and creativity to be explored.

In Year 9 all students start the AQA GCSE course where the first two units are covered in all disciplines. Common content is taught so that students are able to state their preference for pathways alongside their option choices during the Spring.  Pathways are decided by the department after two key assessment points covering Unit 1 content and then Unit 2 content.

The units taught in Year 9 are outlined below:


  • Unit 1 Cell Biology
  • Unit 2 Organisation


  • Unit 1 Atoms and the Periodic Table
  • Unit 2 Bonding


  • Unit 1 Energy
  • Unit 2 Electricity

Inbetween the teaching of Unit 1 and Unit 2 content, all students take part in the FameLab competition run by the Cheltenham Festival to enable them to develop their independence and ability to research deeper into a scientific question of their choice.