Head of Department: Miss L Murtha



Welcome to a sneak preview of what we offer in Science at Notre Dame Catholic College.

The Notre Dame Catholic College Science department is a highly successful department and is proud of the excellent results we achieve. We have enjoyed working with our pupils and sharing in their success.

Who to contact if you have any concerns regarding progress of your son or daughter

Mr S Bentley
Course and Exam entries at KS4 and KS5

Mrs H Serrels
Student progress and support 

Miss L Murtha
Student progress and support
Results data for each student KS4 and KS5

Teachers                     Subject specialism            Additional responsibility
Mr S Bentley                           Physics                                  Vocational Leader
Mrs H Serrels                         Chemistry                            Second in Department
Miss M Concannon               Chemistry
Mrs L Martin                          Biology                                  SENCO
Miss L Murtha                       Biology                                  Head of Department
Miss S Murtagh
Mr A Sweeney                        Physics                                  Head of Year
Miss R Howard                      Biology                                  MAT Co-ordinator
Mrs T Du Plessis
Miss H Dickson
Mr G Williams

Technical  Staff                 Area of responsibility
Mrs C Lyons                               Senior technician
Mrs M Gregson                          Technician

About the Key Stage 3 Curriculum Year 7 and 8
The Key Stage 3 course is now delivered over two academic years.  The pupils will study the following units of work whilst developing a wide range of scientific enquiry and thinking skills.

Year 7  will study the following programme:
Scientific skills and safe practice in the laboratory
Energy transfer and resources
Cells and organisation of living things
Acids and alkalis
Life processes
Interdependence of living things and the environment
Chemical reactions

Year 8 will study the following programme:
Food and digestion
Respiration and the Circulatory system
Separating mixtures
Particles theory
Atoms, Elements and Compounds
Drugs awareness
Health and Disease
Forces and Motion

How will the student be assessed?
Pupils in year 7 and 8 are assessed continuously within each unit of work, by assessment of scientific skills and short
formative tests. These form an important part of their learning experience since students will use these assessments to identify
targets and address any misconceptions they have about aspects of the topics taught.
They also complete two formal examinations at Christmas and the end of summer term.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum Years 9 to 11
All pupils in Year 9 will commence either a GCSE Level 2 or BTEC level 2 qualification. Each student will be guided to complete a course that meets their individual learning needs. This will allow them to achieve their maximum potential and naturally progress to level 3 courses.

Pupils will have opportunity to attain the following qualifications: GCSE Level 2 Qualification
Core Science GCSE single award (Year 9)
Additional Science GCSE, a second qualification (Years 10 and 11)
Triple Science GCSE award. This is equivalent to three GCSEs achieved over three years completed by the end of Year 11.

How will the student be assessed?
For each single GCSE qualification the pupils will complete three end-of-unit modular written tests and one internally assessed practical.

Exam entries
Pupils will be entered for either Higher or Foundation papers and will be awarded as follows:

Higher paper  A*- C Foundation paper  C – G

BTEC First Certificate Level 2
This is a qualification that covers three units of work that cover the three science disciplines Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

The First Certificate qualification is equivalent to two GCSE grades.
BTEC grade   GCSE equivalent
PP                       CC
MM                     BB
DD                      AA
P= pass   M= merit   D= distinction

How will the pupil be assessed?
Pupils will complete a portfolio of evidence containing Assignments for each of the three units. There are no external examinations.

The science department also provides 1:1 tuition, twilight sessions, holiday revision and Saturday morning catch up classes to ensure that pupils achieve their potential.

KS5 Courses Years 12 and 13
The Science Faculty offers a range of courses to all pupils achieving a Level 2 qualification in either GCSE or BTEC level 2

The options are as follows:

Level 2 Qualifications GCSE                         BTEC Level 2

Progression          A Level Courses           BTEC level 3 Applied Science
Year 12
                          AS GCSE                              Subsidiary Diploma *
Physics,                               Medical Science (over 2 years)


Year 13                        A2 GCSE                     Diploma **
Physics                        Medical Science (over 2 years)

*Subsidiary Diploma is equivalent to one A Level
**Diploma is equivalent to two A Levels

What is BTEC level 3 Applied Science (Medical Science)?
BTEC level 3 qualifications are designed to provide highly specialist qualifications related to work in industry and the public and private health sector.

How is it assessed?
Pupils will complete either six units for Subsidiary Diploma or twelve units for Diploma.  Each unit has a credit value of 10 which is then converted to UCAS points depending on the grade awarding i.e. Pass, Merit or Distinction.   This is a practical course.  Pupils are required to research and report their findings in a portfolio of evidence.  There are no written examinations.

The science department also provides 1:1 tuition, twilight sessions, holiday revision and Saturday morning catch up classes to ensure the pupils achieve their potential.

Science is Fun!!!!!!!

Creative Curriculum Projects
For the past several years our pupils have enjoyed taking part in the College Creative Curriculum week.
During their science sessions they have had the opportunity to create and design a range of products such as bath salts, lip balms, soap and kites.

Film Making
Pupils have had experience of making short stop motion animation using Digi Blue Software. These were projects aimed to develop pupils’ understanding of Predator and Prey relationships and physics concepts of sound and light.

Performing Arts Combined Projects
Learning through music, dance and drama has had a significant impact on learning.  It has allowed our pupils to develop a greater depth of understanding, embed learning whilst engaging and motivating them.

Our Year 8 pupils have taken part in the following projects:

Title                                                                  In Collaboration with
‘Hannah Montanna bone Dance’                               Dance
‘The Great Energy Factory’                                         Dance and Music

‘Sound effects’      Music

Pupils used the music Technical Suite to produce a piece of music and rhythm whilst gaining a greater understanding of wave and energy theory.

Interactive Science lessons

We aim to deliver lessons that engage the pupils and encourage them to learn in an interactive and safe environment.

Primary Liaison
Each year, Year 5 and 6 students visit our department to enjoy taster Science lessons.
Over the past years, our primary students have helped Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger to make Poly Juice potion in addition to accompanying Captain Jack Sparrow on a voyage to find The Black Pearl in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Sixth Form Field Trip
For the last few years the department field trip has taken place as part of a collaborative AS level Biology/ Geography venture.  We have spent five nights on the Isle of Arran, Scotland studying ecology fieldwork techniques.

Students learned how to perform random and systematic sampling in fields, rivers and along a rocky shore.  They learned how to identify plants and invertebrate animals using keys and they studied how these organisms were adapted to live in their environments.