Science - The Christ's School - Richmond -



‘Good teaching and learning’. That has been the Science Department’s focus in the last 8 years. We have achieved this – reflected in our continued success of the last 7 years. CORE Grades have averaged 80% A*-C (24% above the national average). Additional Science Grades have also remained high. We are continuing to attain our goal of ‘outstanding teaching and learning’.

  • We are the largest department in the School as Science is a CORE subject (with effectively 3 subjects combined – Biology, Chemistry and Physics). We have a Head of Department (KS4 Responsibility) and a Second in Department (KS3 Responsibility). We have heads of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. We have six experienced teachers (5 full time, 1 part time). We all have vast experience (and success) at delivering the GCSE Curriculum with three Biologists, two Chemists and one Physics specialist.
  • There are 4 large laboratories, which have Fume Cupboards and the standard equipment necessary for delivering Science to a GCSE Level, as a practical subject.
  • Our new 6th Form block has 3 laboratories, dedicated to AS/A2 Level teaching of Chemistry and Physics.
  • Pupils Study the ‘Exploring Science’ Framework - at KS3 (Years 7-9). This utilises Exploring Science although we have made our own SOW, adapting to our pupils and duration of teaching hours/week. We are looking to distribute CD-Roms for specific pupils within KS3, to help with revision.
  • We study ‘How Science Works’ GCSE at KS4.

Staffing and Facilities

The department has eight teaching staff and three technicians.

  • Mr Khodabacksh – Head of Department/ KS4 Coordinator
  • Mrs Mbanefo – Deputy Head of Science/ KS3 Coordinator
  • Ms Bell – Head of Chemistry
  • Mrs Hichson-Kucickova - Biology Specialist
  • Ms Knowles - Chemistry Specialist
  • Ms Jin - Biology Specialist
  • Mrs McKean - Chemistry Specialist
  • Mr Hartnett - Physics Specialist
  • Mr Gasparro – Senior ScienceTechnician
  • Ms Puri Rubio – Science Technician
  • Ms Tara Martin - Science Technician



Key Stage 3

In Years 7 - 9 we use ‘How Science Works’ schemes which are with resources from ‘Exploring Science’ - Pearson and Longman.

This links with a comprehensive interactive ICT programme

Years 7 - 9 have mixed ability classes. At KS3 students receive five science lessons over the two week timetable.

We have End of unit tests every 3-4 weeks, which we use to track progress and intervene when needed.

Topics covered

Year 7:

  • Biology: Cells, tissues, organs and systems; Sexual reproduction in animals; Muscles and bones; Ecosystems
  • Chemistry: Mixtures; acids and alkalis; particle mode; atoms, elements and compounds
  • Physics: Energy; current and electricity; forces; sound

Year 8:

  • Biology: Food and nutrition; plants and reproduction; breathing and respiration; unicellular organisms
  • Chemistry: Combustion; periodic table; metals; rocks
  • Physics: Fluids; light; energy transfers; earth and space

Year 9:

  • Biology: Genetics and evolution; plant growth; biology projects; transition to GCSE
  • Chemistry: Making materials; reactivity; chemistry projects; transition to GCSE
  • Physics: Forces and motion; force fields and electromagnets; physics revision; transition to GCSE

All homework is accessible via Show My Homework. Homework is set once per week.


Key Stage 4 - GCSE

In Years 10 and 11 Double Science we use the AQA Science – Oxford.

Science A’ (Year 10) Science = a combination of Biology/ Chemistry/ Physics plus Coursework (each aspect worth 25% of the ‘Science A’ GCSE).

Additional Science’ (Year 11) Science = a combination of Additional Biology/ Chemistry/ Physics plus Coursework (each aspect worth 25% of the ‘Additional Science’ GCSE).

With Further Additional (Triple) Science we use the AQA Science – Longman. This course is taken in Year 10 as an ‘option’.

  • Year 10 and Year 11 have setting to ability (5 classes each)
  • In Year 10 we have 9 lessons per 2 weeks ( x3 Biology x3 Chemistry and x3 Physics with separate teachers, according to their specialism).
  • In Year 11 we have 9 lessons per week ( x3 Biology x3 Chemistry and x3 Physics with separate teachers, according to their specialism).

We have Mock examinations in December and Examinations in May/June, with at least two pieces of assessed coursework/year. Thus, tracking of progress can be made with an accurate prediction of the GCSE (facilitating intervention).

Topics Covered - Combined Science

  • Biology: Cell structure; transport in cells; cellular and organ systems; infection and response; homeostasis; ecology
  • Chemistry: Atomic structure: periodic table; structure and bonding; chemical analysis; Earth's atmosphere
  • Physics: Energy and forces; energy; particle model of matter; forces; waves - properties and EM spectrum

All topics have required practicals and end of unit tests.

Topics covered - Separate Sciences

Students study one topic of either Biology. Chemistry or Physics each half term alongside students who have chosen that option.

For example:

Term 1: Biology = Ecology and Phyics = Light

Term 2: Chemistry and Biology

Term 3: Physics and Chemistry

During Year 11 students will study each aspect in greater detail.

Topics covered - Additional Science

  • Biology:
    • Part 1: Cells, organs and systems; ecosystems
    • Part 2: Proteins, enzymes, genetics and evolution
  • Chemistry:
    • Part 1: Structure of atom, equations, calculation and separation techniques
    • Part 2: Catalysts, rates of reaction, equilibrium, electolysis
  • Physics:
    • Part 1: Forces and acceleration
    • Part 2: Electricity and space


Key Stage 5 / Sixth Form - A Level

AS Biology

AS Biology is a challenging and fascinating subject that is relevant in our daily lives. During the AS course you will study cellular processes and structures, important molecules in living cells, enzyme function, transport systems in plants and animals, gaseous exchange, lifestyle and disease, classification and diversity of organism.

Progress will be checked via homework and testing, each week.

At A2, these units are further developed to include many physiological processes including respiration, photosynthesis, homeostasis and responses in plants, and the structure and function of the nervous system.  Additionally, work is done on protein synthesis, biotechnology, genetic engineering, ecosystems and animal behaviour.

  • AS: two written examinations plus coursework (research report)
  • A2: two written examinations plus practical based coursework

There are 9 lessons over the two week timetable taught by 3 Biology specialist teachers.

Both courses have practical components that are assessed in years 12 and 13.  This includes field work and the study of organisms in their natural environment.

AS Chemistry

Chemistry is about everything. It is the central science that explains how the world around us works.  It enables us to see patterns in the myriads of chemical reactions that occur in nature.  In this course you will see how the laws of chemistry and the skills of today’s chemists have been used to achieve our present high standards of living. AS Chemistry is an exciting course that places emphasis on the application of knowledge and the usefulness of laboratory research.

Progress will be checked via homework and testing, each week.

You will study the basic laws and principles of chemistry and learn how to predict the properties and the atomic structure of elements from their positions in the periodic table. Topics will also include organic chemistry, carbon compounds including fossil fuels, plastics and recycling.  You will learn how to control chemical reactions and the importance of chemistry in manufacturing processes. You will be introduced to modern analytical techniques such as mass spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance.

  • AS: two written examinations plus one practical examination.
  • A2: two written examinations plus practical based coursework

There are 9 lessons over the two week timetable taught by 2 Chemistry specialist teachers.

Your practical skills will be developed and you will solve real problems in chemistry.

AS Physics

Physics is about how things work, from the nano-scale to the cosmic - super massive black holes and galaxies within the universe. You will learn about forces in mechanics, waves, electrons and protons, gravitational, electrical and magnetic fields.  You will investigate nuclear energy and apply the fundamental principles you have learnt to solve real problems.  Practical investigations will be conducted in the Physics laboratory in addition to learning theoretical Physics.

Progress will be checked via homework and testing, each week.

You will be expected to bring together the principles and concepts from different areas of physics and apply them in a particular context which may be unfamiliar to you. High standards of work are essential and expressing your ideas clearly and logically using specialist vocabulary.

  • AS: two written examinations plus one practical examination.
  • A2: two written examinations plus practical based coursework

There are 9 lessons over the two week timetable taught by 2 Physics specialist teachers.

This course may provide opportunities for day trips and visit from external providers


Recently we allowed the BBC to trial their Christmas Science Lectures with our Gifted and Talented Year 10 and Year 12 students. We have run Trips to The Institute of Education in London, with lectures on specific topics that the pupils are studying.

  • Science permeates through ALL aspects of our society, from the recycling bins that our Department funded to the understanding of ‘reproduction’ – with social, moral and ethical Issues. It would be impossible to list specific relevance as it is an ‘over-reaching’ subject
  • We have a KS3 Year 7 Science Club.


Biology: The possibilities range from medicine to agriculture, forensics to zoology.  Almost any degree will accept A-level biology.

Chemistry: All manufacturing industries, pharmaceuticals, food processing, cosmetics and metal works.  Chemistry is essential for medicine, dentistry, chemical engineering and a whole host of health and environmental courses.

Physics: is essential for any engineering course or degree and is highly sought after for other scientific or technical careers. Physics is an advantageous subject for courses ranging from medicine to careers involving business and finance.


BBC Bitesize is a good source of information, however ‘the World’ is Science – you cannot miss it!

  • 12:57 PM - 16th August, 2018 Lots of very happy students as Christ's celebrates best ever A Level Results Read more Read more
  • 11:09 AM - 21st July, 2018 We are fundraising for a Grand Piano for music department. Take a look at our justgiving page: Read more
  • 11:08 AM - 21st July, 2018 End of term and farewell to some of our wonderful staff. Moving tribute paid to Mrs Blair who is heading off for a well earned retirement after 27 years of inspirational service. 👏🏻 Read more
  • 09:00 AM - 20th July, 2018 Please find below the link from Vicki Sharp, our official school photographer, for purchasable photos taken at the Sports Awards Evening on Wednesday 18th July. Read more
  • 08:49 PM - 18th July, 2018 We are very proud of the work that does. Lovely to hear from a visitor to the school! Read more