Strategic Lead for Science: Miss Z. LeGray-Wise | (Based at Kirkburton Middle School)

Science is taught in two fully equipped laboratories which are well resourced and looked after by a full time technician. Pupils are normally taught Science by only one member of staff each year, each of whom are science specialists. All teachers follow schemes of work written “in house” and which follow closely the National Curriculum and which build on the science that is taught in the First schools (details below).

Throughout their time at Scissett Middle School, pupils are regularly assessed by open-ended tasks or by summative topic tests. Strategies to improve literacy and numeracy are incorporated into schemes of work and teachers look for opportunities to develop these skills in Science lessons. In addition, pupils take part in a wide range of activities such as practical work, using subject software, individual, paired and group work. Science has sets of Kindles for pupils to use in each laboratory. Throughout the course the skills needed to be an effective scientist are taught and link in with the National Curriculum strand of “Working Scientifically”.

Click here to see how British Moral Values are taught in Science.

Year 6

  Topic Brief overview of content
Autumn 1 Introduction to Science Pupils are introduced to a wide range of laboratory equipment and procedures including managing risks and dangers. Lots of hands-on experiments provide a stimulating start to the course!
  Animals including humans Exploring the structure of the heart & lungs. The double circulation through the lungs & the rest of the body is explained & children learn more about blood! How does exercise affect pulse rate? Why is exercise good for us & what can harm the heart & lungs?
Autumn 2 Forces Exploring different types of forces and how forces can combine to make a resultant force. How to use a force-meter and investigate a moving object such as a car rolling down a ramp. Revise the Solar System and the way the Earth moves in Space.
Spring 1 Properties and changing materials Revising the three states of matter & properties of materials. Introducing further properties: solubility & thermal conductivity. Separating materials using a range of methods & understanding that some changes are irreversible. Discussing the formation of new materials
Spring 2 Living things and their habitats Looking at the history of classification of living things from Aristotle to the present day. Studying the binomial system introduced by Linnaeus & the 7 levels of classification used today. Understanding why classification is important & use & create classification keys.
Summer 1 Electrical circuits Revision of simple circuits & then lots of hands on experience with symbols, diagrams & incomplete circuits. Two enquiries about the length of wire in a circuit & the use of cells. Compare series & parallel circuits then face some challenges!
Summer 2 Evolution and inheritance Discussion of fossils as evidence of life millions of years ago & study the life of Mary Anning. Comparing offspring with parents & seeing how plants/animals are adapted to habitats. Looking at Darwin, Wallace & Mendel’s contributions to our understanding of evolution


Year 7

  Topic Brief overview of content
Autumn 1 Particles States of matter, arrangements of particles. Pure substances and mixtures. Separating techniques
Autumn 2 Energy and Electricity Fuels and energy resources. Energy changes, conservation of energy. Electrical circuits, current including use of an ammeter. Series and parallel circuits. Short circuits and electrical safety. Introduction to resistance.
Spring 1 Cells and Reproduction

Microscopes. Plant and animal cells, specialised cells and unicellular organisms. Cells, tissues and organs.

Reproduction in humans. Fertilisation, gestation and birth. The role of the placenta. The menstrual cycle. Revision of plant reproduction.

Spring 2 Forces and Space (revision)

Balanced and unbalanced forces. Newtons as units. The effect of forces on stationary and moving objects. Gravity and magnetism as examples of non-contact forces.

Space revision to include, days, seasons. Sun as a star. Light years as a unit of distance.

Summer 1 Environment  Adaptations in plants and animals (focusing on polar bears and turtles). Ecosystems. The bee as an important insect pollinator. Food webs, pyramids of numbers.
Summer 2 Rocks Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. The rock cycle. Weathering and erosion. Introduction to acids, alkalis and indicators. Neutralisation.


Year 8

  Topic Brief overview of content
Autumn 1 Digestion and Breathing

Healthy diets. Food groups. The human digestive system. Importance of diffusion in absorption of nutrients.

The human breathing system including the effects of exercise, smoking and asthma.

Autumn 2 Sound and Light

Sound as a vibration, echoes, reflection and absorption of sound. Frequency of sound waves. The need for a medium. The loudspeaker and microphone. Auditory range of human and animals and the ear.

Speed of light. Ray model to explain reflection and refraction. The human eye. Convex lenses. The prism. Colours of light. Filters and how we see different coloured objects.

Spring 1 Heat energy Heat transfer by conduction, convection and radiation leading to the thermal equilibrium. Insulators. Revision of conservation of energy during transfers.
Spring 2 Elements and the Periodic Table

Atoms, elements and compounds. Chemical symbols and formulae. The Periodic Table – chemical groups and patterns in the table. Properties of metals, non-metals and their oxides.

Different types of chemical reactions including the energy changes involved. Chemical equations (word and symbol)

Acids, alkalis, pH, neutralisation in more detail. Salts.

Summer 1 Respiration and Photosynthesis

Aerobic and Anaerobic respiration in humans and micro-organisms.

Fermentation in yeast.

The importance of photosynthesis. The reactants and products involved. The need for minerals.

Summer 2 Forces and Pressure

Magnetism and magnetic fields.

Speed, distance and time calculations. Distance-time graphs. Relative motion.

Mass and weight. Equilibrium and opposing forces. Forces on stretched springs.

Pressure in solids, liquids and gases and calculating pressure


Pupils in Years 7 and 8 are set regular homework. The website is used to set on-line activities which link to the current topic, or to revise earlier work. The Seneca website can be accessed on most devices outside school and provides a score and instant feedback to pupils on their progress.


The Science department offer a full range of enrichment activities. Recent examples are:



The Year 6 Science club is based on the Salters Chemistry club and takes place in the summer term. Pupils carry out fun experiments in chemistry such as “bouncing bubbles”, “fire writing” and “bath bombs”!

The Year 7 Science club has fun with experiments that could be carried out at home such as dissecting fish, making sherbet and experimenting with eggs. This takes place in the autumn term.

The Year 8 Science club focuses on STEM activities (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). We learn how to build electronic circuits as well as take part in STEM challenges. Pupils learn how to solder and build circuits such as a moisture tester and electronic xylophone. This takes place in the spring term.

In addition each week, one lunchtime is set aside for pupils to get help completing their homework or class work.


Visiting speakers

The Kinetic Theatre Company and “Professor Brainstorm” have visited Year 6. A mobile planetarium “pole star” has visited Year 7 during Science Week.



Each year a group of pupils takes part in the Salters Festival of Chemistry at Leeds University. Also at Leeds some of our Year 8 pupils visit the Festival of Science during National Science week. This trip is a collaboration between Scissett and Kirkburton Middle Schools and Shelley College.


Science Fair

This Biennial event has proved very popular. It is run mainly by pupils and takes place in the school hall and laboratories around the time of National Science and Engineering Week in March. Scissett pupils supervise visiting year 5 pupils and their parents in a scientific extravaganza! Lots of interactive displays take place focusing on fun and exciting experiments.


Links (Homework) (BBC Bitesize Year 6) (BBC Bitesize Years 7,8) (British Science week)

Careers in this subject

  • Health
  • Engineering
  • Environment
  • Computing
  • Technological industries
  • Research and development
  • Academia
  • Media

Related News

17 April 2020

© Copyright 2019–2022 Scissett Middle School

School & College Websites by Schudio