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St Thomas Aquinas

Year 6 Transition


Introduction to Prospective Students


About the Faculty

Students are taught in groups of up to 32 across our 8 well-resourced laboratories, with technician support providing a wide range of practical experiences, something which is encouraged in every lesson. 

Lessons are one hour long but the timetable does afford Science some double periods which are a fantastic opportunity to study practical investigations.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-8)

Key Stage 3 is delivered in a two year programme that prepares students for their GCSE course.   This closely follows the National Strategy guidelines.  We place particular emphasis on our students developing investigative skills and a ‘scientific mind’.  Whilst teachers follow a rigid curriculum structure, there is plenty of scope within this to adapt the delivery of lessons to suit the needs of their students.  We have recently introduced the use of booklets in lessons to make every moment count.

Key Stage 4 (Years 9-11)

In Key Stage 4, students follow the new Edexcel GCSE courses.  The majority study ‘Combined’ Science whilst there is an option for those suitable, to study ‘Separate’ Sciences.  Science is a popular subject and students achieve well on the courses thanks to their strong preparation for public examinations.

Key Stage 5 (Post-16)

Within the Science faculty, we deliver A Level courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Psychology.  A Level uptake numbers have increased year on year for the past four years with a number of students wishing to study Science related courses at universities.  We often provide students with the opportunity to visit local universities for specialist lectures/practical skill development and generally get a feel for life in higher education.

Primary School Links

The Science faculty has been working closely with the primary schools within our MAC to allow younger scientists the opportunity to conduct investigations in their primary schools but also to visit St Thomas Aquinas School and use the practical laboratory equipment.  These masterclasses usually involve around 30 year 4 and year 5 students and are half-day sessions.  The knowledge-based curriculum we deliver in KS3 Science has also been linked to our feeder school’s program of study to enable more efficient transition. 

Extra-Curricular Activities

Students have the opportunity to participate in a number of extra-curricular activities to support the Science curriculum. This includes STEM Club for Key Stage 3 where students complete the CREST award.  We also arrange for the whole of year 9 to visit the Big Bang Fair event at the NEC every March during British Science Week as well as a number of other projects we run at this time of year.