Skip to content ↓

Poynton High School

and Performing Arts College

01625 871811



Director of Learning - Mr D Tarmey Email

The Science Team delivers the three sciences of Biology, Chemistry and Physics through a dedicated team of teachers with experts in all three fields.  Lessons develop key life skills in science, practical skills, a comprehensive understanding of the subject and prepare students to achieve their full potential in qualifications and as scientists in the future!

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

At Key Stage 3, the school follows the National Curriculum.  Students build upon the work that they have done at primary school and we are working in 2019-20 on developing stronger links with feeder primaries to ensure an even more effective transition.  Students follow a general Science course in Years 7 and 8.  In Year 9, the sciences are taught as Biology, Chemistry and Physics by subject specialists in those subjects.  This enables students to benefit from the deep subject knowledge of staff. Key Stage 3 learning also focuses upon 'How science works' where students are encouraged to plan, analyse and evaluate with a scientific approach.  In this Key Stage it is essential that students develop the skills as well as knowledge of a scientist.

The outline of the KS3 Curriculum in Science is below.   Topics such as cells are introduced in Year 7 and this learning is then built on in Year 9 when specialised cells are studied.  This works well to reinforce the students'.







  • Introduction to cells
  • Animal & Plant Reproduction
  • Variation
  • Environment
  • Particles
  • Solubility and separation techniques
  • Acids & Alkalis
  • Atoms, Elements, Compounds & Mixtures
  • Magnets
  • Energy 1
  • Forces
  • Space


  • Food & Digestion
  • Gas Exchange & Respiration
  • Plants
  • The Body
  • Gas tests & Environmental issues
  • Reactivity of metals and metal extraction
  • Reactions of acids
  • Rocks
  • Energy 2
  • Electric Circuits 
  • Waves 1: Sound
  • Waves 2:  Light


  • Specialised cells
  • Photosynthesis
  • Ecology
  • Elements, compounds and equations
  • Separation techniques
  • Atomic Structure
  • Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • Energy
  • Particle Model of Matter
  • Radioactivity
Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)

At Key Stage 4, students develop further their 'How science works' skills. The courses followed at Key Stage 4 are:

  • GCSE in Combined Science which is studied as 2 GCSEs in Year 10 and Year 11.  9 hours of Science are taught in Year 10 and Year 11 with examinations at the end of Year 11
  • Separate Science GCSEs studied across the Key Stage with examinations at the end of Year 11 in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  14 hours of Science are taught in Years 10 and 11.

All the Science GCSEs are AQA and this consistency enables shared approaches to be developed across the team. 




  • Plants
  • Disease
  • Enzymes and digestion
  • Exchange
  • Respiration
  • Microscopy and cells
  • Impact of humans on the environment
  • Homeostasis and control
  • Reproduction and inheritance
  • Evolution and variation
  • GM and cloning
  • Bonding
  • Quantitative Chemistry
  • Chemical changes
  • Energy changes
  • Rate and extent of change
  • Organic chemistry
  • Chemical analysis
  • Using resources
  • Energy
  • Gas Laws
  • Radiation, Fission and Fusion
  • Forces
  • Waves
  • Electromagnetism
  • Space
Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form)
There are four popular A levels offered in Science:
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Psychology

All the A levels are from the AQA board.

Further information about the subjects can be found below.

Biology, Head of Department - Mr J Lambert

The department is committed to helping students acquire a solid understanding of the subject in addition to the skills needed to analyse and communicate biological facts.

This is a very popular subject where students achieve extremely high grades at all key stages.

A level Biology is an enjoyable and stimulating course relevant to everyday life. The department follows the AQA course which follows on from GCSE and aims to develop knowledge and understanding of biological concepts with an emphasis on the application of knowledge. The course is delivered using a variety of teaching and learning styles to involve and cater for all students. This includes interactive lessons, practical lessons and assessments and student presentations.

The Biology A level course helps students develop an understanding of scientific methods alongside the scientific theory.  There are 12 key assessed practical activities which enable the students to gain a practical endorsement with their A level qualification. At the end of Year 12 students have the opportunity to attend a two-day residential field course where they can experience a practical application of the theory covered in class.

Course Description:

There are 8 topics which cover the full A level specification.

1. Biological molecules

2. Cells

3. Organisms exchange substances with their environment

4. Genetic information, variation and relationships

between organisms

5. Energy transfers in and between organisms

6. Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments

7. Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems

8. The control of gene expression

Further information from AQA can be found at

The Biology Department

Head of Department

Mr J Lambert

Teachers of Biology

Mrs D Howells

Mr G Kenyon

Mr D Tarmey

Mrs R McDonald

Miss N Stoney

Miss K Wetenhall

Chemistry, Head of Department - Mrs C Smeaton

The Chemistry department has a team of dedicated subject specialists who enjoy inspiring our students. We have an excellent uptake of students to triple science and then on to A level studies

Learning takes place in a variety of forms ensuring all students are engaged and involved in lessons. Typical lessons can involve practical investigation and group work. Chemistry is a challenging, stimulating subject and we work hard to ensure that all students progress well and enjoy their lessons.

The department follows the AQA specifications at both GCSE and A level.

There is high uptake into A level Chemistry with good results to support this.

The department runs a club at Key Stage 5 to support Sixth Form students and to encourage the skills required for independent learning.

Findings from student voice questionnaires have always been positive with students speaking highly of the department and many students progress on to University to study related subjects such as medicine, biochemistry and geology as well as chemistry itself.

The Chemistry department aims to mix academic rigour with subject enjoyment to get the best out of all students from Y7 to Y13.

Course Description

The A level consists of 3 Units exploring Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry. Further information from AQA can be found at


The Chemistry Department

Head of Department

Mrs C Smeaton

Teachers of Chemistry

Miss H Dovey

Mr J Ingham

Physics, Head of Department - Miss M Drumer

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” Carl Sagan

 Physics is a complicated subject, best taught by specialists.  It requires accurate recall, mathematical skills and abstract analysis to describe events from the dramatic birth of stars in nebulae thousands of light years away, to the absurd quantum behaviour of the tiniest particles. 

At Poynton High School, all the Physics teachers are specialists with a passion and commitment to encouraging our young people to feed their youthful curiosity which Richard Feynman called “the pleasure of finding things out”.

Our examination results are much better than national averages, in terms of grades and progress.

We are proud to send our physicists to study Physics, Engineering and Computing at prestigious institutions such as the Universities of Manchester and Lancaster, Oxford University, and Imperial College London. We are just as proud of our students who go on to study Architecture, Law, PPE, Design, Art, Textiles… we provide knowledge and develop analytical skills that apply across many disciplines.

Course Description

A Level Physics covers a broad range of topics including measurements and their errors, particles and radiation, waves, mechanics and materials, electricity, periodic motion, thermal physics, fields and their consequences and nuclear physics. There is one optional topic chosen from a range of courses and students at Poynton study Turning Points in Physics.

Further information from AQA can be found at

The Physics Department

Head of Department

Miss M Drumer

Teachers of Physics

Mr P Hales

Mr M Meakin

Miss L Cockitt

Mrs K Pitt (Sabbatical)

Psychology A level 

“Give me a dozen healthy infants and my own specified world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take anyone at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select – doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief”. J B Watson

A popular though demanding course, Psychology is the study of the brain and mind.  It explores the roots of human behaviour from several different perspectives, explaining a variety of different phenomena. Why do humans think differently? Why do we act differently? Why did the Holocaust happen? What causes mental illness? What is mental illness?

Following the AQA specification, the Psychology department is dedicated to delivering the course with an integrated approach.  Consequently, students acquire evaluative, reasoning, and independent study skills as well as learning psychological theories and concepts. Psychological studies are examined, evaluated and even conducted in lessons whenever possible.

Psychology courses are increasingly popular, not just because of their intrinsic appeal.  A good grade at Psychology A level indicates higher-order thinking and critical reasoning and can lead to careers in the health professions and any other employment sector that relies on people skills and communication. A high proportion of students go on to study Psychology at university.

Course Description

Students study the topics below:

  • Social Influence
  • Memory
  • Attachment
  • Psychopathology
  • Approaches in Psychology
  • Biopsychology
  • Research methods
  • Issues and debates in Psychology
  • Schizophrenia
  • Aggression
  • Cognition and Development

Further information from AQA can be found at

The Psychology Department

Teachers of Psychology

Mr G Kenyon

Mr J Lambert