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Ivybridge Community College

Ivybridge Community College


Head of Department: Denise Smith

Welcome to the Science Department at Ivybridge Community College.

Science is exciting, innovative and one of the most fundamental subjects that our students study.  It fascinates them, whilst teaching them valuable life skills that allow them to evaluate their world.  At the core of our Department is excellent teaching by highly skilled teachers, coupled with strong relationships and a deep passion for our subject.  We are proud of the scientists we are helping to create.  In 2018, our year 13 leavers included students who were embarking on their journeys to study Robotics, Animal Behaviour and Welfare, Biomedical Sciences, Equitation Training and Behaviour, Chemistry, Optometry, Marine Biology, Exercise and Sport Science, Geophysics, Renewable Engineering and Aerospace Engineering.

Our Science Department has received the Prices Trust Institute Mark for seven consecutive years, in recognition of our innovative work.  We also have strong relationships with the Institute of Physics, who held their South West Physics CPD Day at our College in 2018 and will again in June 2019, the Ogden Trust and the Stimulating Physics Network.  The extensive programme of STEM activities, visits and events offered by our Department have been recognised, along with the range of quality and challenging Science programmes available to our students and our Sustainability Group are gaining huge respect for their work in planning to make our College more sustainable. Our Science Week is one of the most enthusiastically awaited events on the College Calendar.

The Director of Science is Mrs Denise Smith.  We have three Deputy Heads of Department; Kiri Wilson, the Head of Biology, Richard O’Hara, the Head of Chemistry and Richard Barry, the Head of Physics.  They each lead a team of specialist teachers.  We have five Assistant Team Leaders; Jon Lyall, the Assistant Head of Biology, Ben Stancombe, the Assistant Head of Chemistry, Jon Hargreaves the Assistant Head of Physics, Jon Shellard, responsible for Applied Science and Jo Wright, responsible for PACE.  We also have a well-qualified and experienced team of eight Science Technicians and a Resource Assistant to support the teaching. Many of our team hold whole College responsibilities.


The Department has twenty-one well-equipped laboratories and a Sixth Form Projects Room.  Each laboratory is equipped with class sets of a good range of frequently used apparatus items, to facilitate effective practical and investigation work.  Every laboratory is equipped with a data projector and interactive whiteboard.  Our Science Technicians are based in four Prep Rooms.

Current provision for students also includes a Science Computer Room with a suite of twenty-six full PCs, three laptop trolleys for use in laboratories, an Optics Room, a wildlife pond and a Greenhouse. 


Science at Key Stage 3 

Our Key Stage 3 course, to our own design, is called '2020 Science' and is regularly updated to ensure our students understand the most modern scientific concepts.  All students have six hours of Science per fortnight in Years 7 and 8, based in our Science laboratories, with the additional use of our computer suite.


Three modules of Biology, Chemistry and Physics are studied throughout each year.  All classes study the same modules, but at levels appropriate to the ability range of the students in the class.  This achieves a balanced coverage of the KS3 Science National Curriculum subject matter over the two years.

2020 Science Year 7




TB1 - What are you made of?

TC1 - Solids, Liquids and Gas

TP1 - Energy and Motion

TB2 - The Birds and Bees

TC2 - The Chemistry of Stuff

TP2 - Light and Sound

TB3 - Respiration


TP3 - the Solar System


2020 Science Year 8




TB4 - Diet and fitness

TC4 - Acids and Alkalis

TP4 - Electrical Circuits

TB5 - Healthy mind and body

TC5 - Metals and their Reactions

TP5 - Energy and Heat

TB6 - Genes and the Environment


TP6 - Machines

The skills needed for investigative and exploratory Science are an important part of scientific work in primary schools during Key Stages 1 and 2.  We build on these essential skills during every module.  In some lessons, students develop specific skills such as wiring a circuit or using a biological key for identification.  In other lessons, they learn more general skills such as planning and conducting an investigation.  Woven into the work of the modules, they learn how to work safely with a widening range of scientific equipment.

Science at Key Stage 4 

Our GCSE Science Options are either AQA Combined Science (Trilogy), resulting in two GCSE for Science based on a total score of exams taken in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, or AQA Separate Sciences, from which students will gain one GCSE in Biology, one in Chemistry and one in Physics. Both courses are taught by specialist teachers and either course can lead to the student being able to study Science at A-Level.

Our Key Stage 4 modules are as follows:


  • Cell Biology
  • Organisation
  • Infection and Response
  • Bioenergetics
  • Homeostasis and Response
  • Inheritance
  • Variation and Evolution
  • Ecology


  • Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table
  • Bonding, Structure and the Properties of Matter
  • Quantitative Chemistry
  • Chemical Changes
  • Energy Changes
  • The Rate and Extent of Chemical Change
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Chemical Analysis
  • Chemistry of the Atmosphere
  • Using Resources


  • Energy
  • Electricity
  • Particle Model of Matter
  • Atomic Structure
  • Forces
  • Waves
  • Magnetism and Electromagnetism
  • Space Physics - GCSE Physics (Separate Sciences) only

Science at Key Stage 5   

At Key Stage 5, we offer OCR AS and A-Level Biology, Salters (OCR) AS and A-Level Chemistry, OCR AS and A-Level Physics, and the AQA Level 3 Certificate in Applied Science.

We offer many opportunities alongside these courses, to allow our students to put their learning in to context and inspire them to consider a career in Science, including field work and University trips. In 2018, our year 13 leavers included students who were embarking on their journeys to study Robotics, Animal Behaviour and Welfare, Biomedical Sciences, Equitation Training and Behaviour, Chemistry, Optometry, Marine Biology, Exercise and Sport Science, Geophysics, Renewable Engineering and Aerospace Engineering.

AS and A Level in Biology A

  • Cell Structure
  • Biological Molecules
  • Nucleotides and nucleic acids
  • Enzymes
  • Biological Membranes
  • Cell division, diversity and organisation
  • Exchange Surfaces
  • Transport in Animals
  • Transport in Plants
  • Communicable diseases, prevention and immunity
  • Biodiversity
  • Classification and evolution
  • Communication and Excretion
  • Nerves and Hormones
  • Plant and Animal responses
  • Photosynthesis
  • Respiration
  • Cellular Control
  • Patterns of inheritance
  • Manipulating Genomes
  • Cloning and Biotechnology
  • Ecology

AS and A Level in Chemistry B (Salters) (H033)

  • Development of practical skills in chemistry throughout the following topics:
  • Elements of life
  • Developing fuels
  • Elements from the sea
  • The ozone story
  • What’s in a medicine?

AS and A Level Physics (AQA 7407, 7408)

  • Development of Practical Skills
  • Foundations of Physics
  • Forces and Motion
  • Electrons, waves and photons
  • Newtonian worls and astrophysics
  • Particles and medical physics


AQA Applied Science

  • Unit 1 – Key concepts in science
  • Unit 2 – Applied Experimental Techniques
  • Unit 3 – Science in the modern world
  • Unit 4 – The human body
  • Unit 5 – Investigating science
  • Unit 6 Medical Physics