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Welcome to the Science Department


Mr Paul Greene

Head of Science

Mrs D Serafini

Head of Chemistry

Mx Em Smith

Teacher of Science

Mr L Humphries

Teacher of science and physics

Ms N Thornton

Head of biology and co-ordinator of KS3

Mrs B Morgan

Teacher of science/biology teacher

Mrs S Helme

Teacher of science/KS3 science club co-ordinator

Miss R Hollier

Teacher of science
/ biology

Miss S Reynolds

Head of

Mr D Hunt

Teacher of science/chemistry teacher

Mr D Jones

Teacher of science
Physics / chemistry

Ms K Moseley

Teacher of

Mr A Samuel

Teacher of science/physics teacher

Mrs J Segar

Teacher of science / Chemistry

Mrs K Hughes

Teacher of science/H&SC teacher

Mrs D Murphy


Mrs R Dale

Head science technician

Mr J Brown

Science Technician

Mrs D Done

Science Technician
About Our Subject

Science is an extension of everyone’s natural curiosity and permeates our lives. It has had a profound influence on human history and will have both a positive and negative influence on the future. At C.W.L.C. all science staff have a passion for science and aim to instil that into our students by making our lessons enjoyable but challenging.

Our department’s mission is to ignite scientific curiosity in students so that they:

  • question intelligently;
  • learn through discovery;
  • connect scientific knowledge to everyday life.
  • become innovative and prepared for future careers

To achieve this our department:

  • encourages the natural curiosity of learners at all levels;
  • develops schemes of work that have a strong practical element;
  • celebrates achievement;
  • aims to increase scientific literacy;
  • arranges visits to universities to engage in practical work;
  • organises science career fairs every two years
  • arranges scientists involved in current research to come to school to give lectures to inspire our students;
  • aims that every student at our school leaves with a recognised scientific qualification.

At CWLC, students can study either triple science; giving them the opportunity to achieve 3 GCSE’s in science (biology, chemistry and physics) or Combined Science which enables them to study all three sciences and achieve 2 GCSE’s.

KS3 science is delivered during years 7 and 8. Students follow a scheme of work based on the new science curriculum which prepares them for GCSE. Each unit is assessed with an end of topic test. In total they have 6 lessons of science a fortnight which are taught by 2 teachers where possible. At the end of year 7 and 8 all students sit an end of year test to give them the experience of organising some effective revision for all topics covered in the year. Students are encouraged to experiment with revision techniques throughout the course – a vital skill that will help in the next step at KS4. During year 7, students study topics that include material from biology, chemistry and physics. These topics are; Cells & Cell Processes and Biological Systems (biology); Mixtures & Materials and Elements & Compounds (chemistry); Energy, Forces & Space (physics). Students develop their practical and team working skills with a variety of experimental work throughout the year. The current year 8 students are studying more topics that include material from biology, chemistry and physics. These topics are; Plants & Ecosystems, Genetics & Evolution (biology); Acids & Bases, and Environmental Chemistry (chemistry); Electricity & magnetism, Sound & Light (physics).  These topics include a range of experimental work designed to further their practical skills and enhance their data analysis skills in order to prepare for GCSE. Also available to our KS3 students is Science Club. This club runs weekly and gives students the opportunity to take part in fantastic and exciting practical work that leaves them enthused for the rest of week.

At GCSE the students follow the OCR A Gateway syllabus with all studying combined science until the end of year 10. Moving into year 11, some will continue with combined science while for others it will be more appropriate to follow the triple science route. Those continuing with combined science into year 11 will be afforded more in class preparation time for the final exams due to there being less content to cover. GCSE science is a three-year course starting in year 9 and is geared towards the new method of grading 9-1.

The biology course is divided into 6 modules, which cover an array of biological concepts such as cells, microscopy, cell division, growth, organ systems, and ecosystems and health and disease. Students will study essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science that are vital for scientific understanding and ensuring the world’s future development. Learning about the nature, processes and methods of biology through various scientific enquiries and how this helps to answer scientific questions about the world around them. They will also apply observational, practical, modelling, enquiry and problem-solving skills in the laboratory, field and other learning environments.


The chemistry course is also split into 6 modules and will cover particles, elements, compounds and mixtures, chemical reactions including predicting, identifying, monitoring and controlling chemical reactions and global challenges.

The physics course is divided into 6 modules for combined science and 8 modules for triple science, with considerable overlap in content between the two. These help the students to understand how the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be understood in terms of a small number of key ideas which are of universal application. These are illustrated through topics on matter, forces, electricity, magnetism, waves, radioactivity and energy.

At the beginning of each module the students are given learning outcome booklets so that they can track their progress through the course. Students are exposed to several teaching methods that incorporate both theory and practical work. There is no coursework involved in the new specification, but students are expected to complete a range of practical work throughout the course which can be assessed in the final exams. Students are usually tested twice per module and this allows us to track progress and report this through the PMR.

Students have full access to the website; providing them with plenty of support from the online textbook and other interactive resources. Teachers often use Kerboodle to set the students assignments to enhance their progression in science.

Any intervention that is required may take place as either part of lesson, homework, or on some occasion’s students are asked to attend an intervention session after school. Students are always welcome to science club after school for extra help or support with lessons and homework.

The science department offers all three sciences at KS5, biology, chemistry and physics, taught by subject specialists. All three sub-specialities within the department follow the new OCR syllabus, (OCR Biology A, OCR Chemistry A, and OCR Physics A). The content for each subject is divided into 6 modules. Module 1 for each of the three sciences is focused on developing practical skills which are assessed throughout the written examinations and through the Practical Endorsement. All students are entered for the A level examination at the end of a two-year period and each science A level is assessed over 3 papers. The courses are delivered to allow students to take the AS level exam at the end of year 12, although this is not something we encourage, it is possible if requested. There is no coursework as such, but students will receive the Practical Endorsement at the end of the 2-year period. To pass the Practical Endorsement students will be expected to have demonstrated a number of different practical skills throughout the 2-year course. The Practical Endorsement will be reported as a pass or fail and this is independent of the grade attained in the science A levels and will appear on all students’ certificates as a separately reported result, alongside the overall grade for the qualification. From September 2108 we offer the vocational science qualification BTEC level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science. This gives students the opportunity to showcase their skills through practical assessments and is equivalent in size to one A level.

Students of year 12 biology will attend a two-day non-residential course to cover aspects of field work that include the statistical analysis of data they have collected themselves. There is an additional cost to this and whilst not compulsory does add a lot of value to their studies in aiding their understanding of field work in various habitats.

Many of the KS5 science students volunteer to support KS3 and KS4 science lessons as part of the enrichment programme. We also have KS5 science students supporting the KS3 science club, which is mainly done for fun, but helps to inspire the younger students to consider careers in science by letting them enjoy the fun of science. Our KS5 science students have also benefitted from the many Impetus science lectures in the last two years which included in February 2017, Professor Lord Robert Winston, as well as a wide range of inspirational speakers from both industry and British universities.

We have forged strong and growing links with Worcester University and our students have the opportunity to attend Taster Days there on curriculum content and wider interest. Last year, for example, the Taster Day on Forensic Science was well attended, and we hope to offer similar annually. Dr Mike Wheeler (Senior Lecturer in Biology) has been into the school to deliver several talks on such topics as Bioinformatics and Exobiology.

The science department is proud to boast the biggest uptake of A Level students and many of our students go on to study Medicine, Biosciences or Ecology related disciplines at university. We strive to ensure that we can offer not only excellent teaching with our own continued professional development but that we are always searching for new opportunities for the students so that they can add these to their UCAS applications


Biology is a fascinating subject, the study of which will see you learn about the natural world and all the living things within it. Gaining an A-level in this subject opens up a vast range of opportunities for both university degrees and career options, many of which can take you all around the world.

Students choose Biology for a number of reasons — perhaps they have a specific that requires a Biology qualification in mind, or maybe they are simply interested in the human body, or in the natural world around us. Biology covers a broad range of topics and has aspects to interest a wide range of students. Biology is a pre-requisite subject for many degrees in Biological Science and Medical related fields of study.

Biology is one of the Russell Group universities’ ‘facilitating’ subjects — so called because choosing them at A-level allows a wide range of options for degree study.

What will you study in A-level Biology?

Students study OCR Biology A with topics including molecules, cells, organisms and their environment, energy transfers, genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems.

What skills will you get from studying Biology?

Alongside in-depth knowledge of the biological world, biologists also develop skills and understanding of scientific methods, data analysis, observation, correlations and causal relationships.

As with the other sciences, the study of Biology also helps students to build up skills in research, problem solving, organisation and analytical skills. Given the group project work that occurs throughout the course, students also develop good teamwork and communication skills.

What careers can the study of Biology lead to?

Careers directly related to Biology include medical professions, pharmacy, physiotherapy, biomedical engineering, research science (life sciences), microbiology, marine biology, conservation, and ecology, environmental management, food science, agricultural engineering and zoology.

The transferable skills developed would also be useful in a diverse range of careers including: law, business analysis, psychology (Biology is a requirement for some Psychology degrees).

If you would like more information about studying Biology at CWLC, please contact Ms. Thornton, Head of Biology at


Christopher Whitehead Language College and Sixth Form,
Bromwich Road,

Phone: 01905 423906

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