KS3 NC Current Vs Proposed

Current curriculum (KS3 Science)

Proposed new curriculum (KS3 Science)

Range and content

Range and content

Energy, electricity and forces

a energy can be transferred usefully, stored, or dissipated, but cannot be created, or destroyed. (this includes the properties and behavior of light and sound, renewable energy resources and emerging technologies such as fuel cells

b forces are interactions between objects and can affect their shape and motion (this includes pressure effects, linear motion and turning moments).

c electric current in circuits (this includes current and voltage in series and parallel circuits) can produce a variety of effects (electrical devices are designed to make use of a variety of effects caused by electric currents, including heating, chemical changes and magnetic effects).

Physics (energy)

Changes and transfers

·  examples of processes that cause change,

with forces

(work = force x distance;

levers and gears reducing force by increasing distance, changing motion,

dropping an object,

turning a dynamo to produce light);

with matter

(releasing a compressed spring,

igniting fuel,

putting hot and cool objects in contact,

metabolism of food);

with vibrations and waves (warming by radiation);

and with electricity (completing an electrical circuit)

Energy and fuel

·  calculations comparing ratings of appliances in kilowatts (kW) and amounts of energy from different foods (from labels)

·  fuel, fuel sources and heating

Auditing change

·  audit calculations using measures of change in the energy associated with elastic deformation, moving and/or vibrating objects, heating materials, and chemical changes involving fuels

·  rates of change measured in kW.

Physics (motion and forces)

Describing motion

·  speed and the quantitative relationship between average speed, distance and time (speed = distance ÷ time)

·  the representation of a journey on a distance-time graph

· relative motion: trains and cars passing one another; the movement of the sun, moon and Earth


·  forces as pushes or pulls, arising from the interaction between two objects

·  moment as the turning effect of a force: torque and rotational effects

·  forces: associated with deforming objects; stretching and squashing – springs; with rubbing and friction between surfaces, with pushing things out of the way; resistance to motion of air and water

·  forces measured in newtons, measurements of stretch or compression as force is changed

·  Hooke’s Law as a special case

·  work done and energy changes on deformation

·  gravity forces acting at a distance on Earth and in space

Pressure forces

atmospheric pressure, decreases with increase of height as weight of air above decreases with height

pressure in liquids, increasing with depth; upthrust effects, floating and sinking

pressure measured by ratio of force over area – acting in all directions

Balanced forces

·  opposing forces and equilibrium: weight held by stretched spring or supported on a compressed surface

Forces and motion

·  forces being needed to cause objects to stop or start moving, or to change their speed or direction of motion

·  change depending on direction of force and its size.

Physics (waves)

Observed waves

·  waves on water as undulations which travel through water with transverse motion; these waves can be reflected, and add or cancel – superposition

Sound waves

·  frequencies of sound waves, measured in hertz (Hz); echoes, reflection and absorption of sound

·  the speed of sound in air

·  sound produced by vibrations of objects, in loud speakers, detected by their effects on microphone diaphragm and the ear drum; sound waves are longitudinal

·  auditory range

Energy and waves

·  sound waves carrying energy: for cleaning and physiotherapy by ultra-sound; for carrying energy and information for conversion to electrical signals by microphone

Light waves

·  the similarities and differences between light and waves in matter

·  light waves travelling through a vacuum; speed of light

·  the transmission of light through materials: absorption, diffuse scattering and specular reflection

·  the refraction of light, action of convex lens in focusing (qualitative) and the human eye

·  light transferring energy, leading to chemical and electrical effects; photo-sensitive material in the retina and in cameras

·  colour and the different frequencies of light, white light and prisms (qualitative only); differential colour effects in absorption and diffuse reflection.

Physics (electricity and electromagnetism)

Current electricity

·  electric current, measured in amperes, in circuits, series and parallel circuits and the domestic ring main

·  current as flow of charge

·  potential difference, measured in volts, battery and bulb ratings; resistance as the ratio of potential difference (p.d.) to current measured in ohms

· differences in resistance between conducting and insulating components

Static electricity

·  separation of positive or negative charges when objects are rubbed together: transfer of electrons, forces between charged objects

· the idea of electric field, forces acting across the space between objects not in contact


·  magnetic poles, attraction and repulsion

·  magnetic fields by plotting with compass, representation by field lines

·  Earth’s magnetism, compass and navigation

· the magnetic effect of a current, electromagnets, D.C. motors.

Chemical and material behaviour

a the particle model provides explanations for the different physical properties and behavior of matter.

b elements (this includes the development and organization of elements in the Periodic Table) consist of atoms that combine together in chemical reactions to form compounds (this includes the different properties of compounds due to the number and type of atoms and their arrangement).

c elements and compounds show characteristic chemical properties and patterns in their behaviour. (this can be exemplified by the reaction of metals and non-metals, and acids and bases)

Physics (matter)

Physical changes

·  conservation of material and of mass, and reversibility, in melting, freezing, evaporation, sublimation, condensation, dissolving

·  similarities and differences between solids, liquids and gases

·  brownian motion in gases

·  diffusion in liquids and gases driven by differences in concentration

· the difference between chemical and physical changes

Particle model

·  the differences in arrangements, in motion and in closeness of particles explaining changes of state, shape and density

·  atoms and molecules as particles

· the anomaly of ice-water transition in terms of unique structure change

Energy in matter

·  changes with temperature in motion and spacing of particles

·  internal energy stored in materials.


Pure and impure substances

·  mixtures, including dissolving

·  techniques for separating mixtures: chromatography, filtering, evaporation and distillation

·  the identification of pure substances

The particulate nature of matter

·  the properties of the different states of matter (solid, liquid and gas) in terms of particle kinetics, including gas pressure and diffusion

·  changes of state in terms of particle kinetics and energy changes

Atoms, elements and compounds

·  the nature of atoms, elements and compounds

·  chemical symbols and formulae for elements and compounds

·  conservation of mass in chemical and physical change

Chemical reactions

·  chemical reactions as the rearrangement of atoms

·  representing chemical reactions using formulae and using equations, including state symbols combustion, thermal decomposition, oxidation and displacement reactions


·  exothermic and endothermic chemical reactions (qualitative)

Acids, alkalis and neutralisation

·  defining acids, bases and alkalis in terms of neutralisation reactions

·  the pH scale for measuring acidity/alkalinity; and indicators

·  reactions of acids with bases and metals to produce a salt, plus water

The Periodic Table

·  the Periodic Table: periods and groups; metals and non-metals

·  how patterns in reactions can be explained and predicted with reference to the Periodic Table

·  the varying physical and chemical properties of different elements

·  the chemical properties of metals and non-metals and metal and non-metal oxides with respect to acidity


·  the order of metals and carbon in the reactivity series

·  the use of carbon in obtaining metals from metal oxides

·  ceramics, polymers and composites

Organisms, behavior and health

a life processes are supported by the organization of cells into tissues, organs and body systems.

b the human reproductive cycle includes adolescence, fertilisation and foetal development.

c conception, growth, development, behavior and health can be affected by diet, drugs and disease. (this includes the importance of healthy eating complemented by regular exercise and the effect of drugs such as alcohol, tobacco and cannabis on mental and physical health. It also includes the effects of bacteria and viruses, such as those associated with sexually transmitted infections)

d all living things show variation (this includes inherited and environmental variation and variation through genetic engineering and selective breeding), can be classified and are interdependent, interacting with each other and their environment.

e behavior (this includes human and animal behavior; phycology and ethology) is influenced by internal and external factors and can be investigated and measured.

Biology (structure and function of living organisms)

Cells and organisation

·  cells as the fundamental unit of living organisms, including how to observe and record cell structure using a light microscope

·  the functions of the cell wall, cell membrane, cytoplasm, nucleus, vacuole, mitochondria and chloroplasts

·  the similarities and differences between plant and animal cells

·  the role of diffusion in the movement of materials in and between cells

·  the structure of Amoeba and Euglena

·  the hierarchical organisation of multicellular organisms: from cells to tissues to organs to systems to organisms

The skeletal and muscular systems

·  the structure and functions of the human skeleton, to include support, protection, movement and making blood cells

·  biomechanics – the interaction between skeleton and muscles, including the measurement of force exerted by different muscles

·  the function and antagonistic actions of major muscle groups

Human nutrition and digestion

·  content in a healthy human diet: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and water, and why each is needed

·  simple food tests for starch, simple (reducing) sugars, protein, fat

·  calculations of energy requirements in a healthy daily diet

·  the consequences of imbalances in the diet, including obesity, starvation and deficiency diseases

·  the tissues and organs of the digestive system, including adaptations to function and how the digestive system digests food (enzymes simply as biological catalysts)

· the importance of bacteria in the digestive system

The breathing (gas exchange) system

·  the structure and functions of the gas exchange system in humans, including adaptations to function

·  the mechanism of breathing to move air in and out of the lungs, using a pressure model to explain the movement of gases, including simple measurements of lung volume

·  the impact of exercise, asthma and smoking on the breathing system


·  the effects of drugs (including as medicines as well as substance misuse) on behaviour, health and life processes such as conception, growth and development.

Biology (energy flow and material cycles)


·  the dependence of almost all life on Earth on the transfer of solar energy to plants and algae in photosynthesis

·  the relationship between the structures and functions of leaves, including chloroplasts and stomata

·  reactants in, and products of, photosynthesis, and the word equation for photosynthesis

·  mineral nutrition in plants, to explain the role of nitrates

·  chemosynthesis in bacteria and other organisms

Cellular respiration

·  aerobic and anaerobic respiration in living organisms, including the breakdown of organic molecules to enable all the other chemical processes necessary for life

·  the word equation for aerobic respiration

·  the process of anaerobic respiration in humans and micro-organisms, including fermentation, and the word equation for anaerobic respiration

·  the differences between aerobic and anaerobic respiration.

Biology (interactions and interdependences)

Relationships in an ecosystem

·  the interdependence of organisms, including food webs and the accumulation of toxic materials

·  how organisms affect, and are affected by, their environment

·  niches and the role of variation in enabling closely-related living things to survive in the same ecosystem.

Biology (genetics and evolution)


·  reproduction in humans (as an example of a mammal), including the structure and function of the male and female reproductive systems, menstrual cycle (without details of hormones), gametes, fertilisation, gestation and birth, to include the effect of maternal lifestyle on the foetus through the placenta

·  reproduction in plants, including flower structure, wind and insect pollination, fertilisation, seed and fruit formation and dispersal, including quantitative investigation of some dispersal mechanisms

·  the importance of plant reproduction through insect pollination in human food security

Inheritance, chromosomes, DNA and genes

·  heredity as the process by which genetic information is transmitted from one generation to the next

·  a simple model of chromosomes, genes and DNA in heredity, including the part played by Watson, Crick, Wilkins and Franklin in the development of the DNA model

·  the variation between individuals of different species

·  the variation between individuals within a species being continuous or discontinuous, to include measurement and graphical representation of variation

·  the variation between species and between individuals of the same species leading to competition which can drive adaptation

·  changes in the environment that leave some species less well adapted to compete successfully and reproduce, which might lead to extinction

·  the use of gene banks to preserve hereditary material before a species becomes extinct.

The environment, Earth and universe

a geological activity (this includes the rock cycle processes, rock formation and weathering) is caused by chemical and physical processes.

b astronomy and space science provide insight into the nature and observed motion of the sun, moon, stars, planets and other celestial bodies.

c human activity and natural processes can lead to changes in the environment.

Earth science (within Chemistry)

·  the composition of the Earth and the atmosphere

·  changes to the Earth’s atmosphere since its formation

·  the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the impact on climate

·  the efficacy of recycling.