The primary intention in the structuring of the program of study of KS3 science is to evolve a profound sense of understanding of scientific notions in the disciplines under the subject, viz., physics, biology, and chemistry. Students are expected to comprehend the relationship between these subject disciplines and be informed of the key notions which explain scientific understanding and knowledge.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum: Science

KS3 is an integral part of the National Curriculum of England which has been introduced with the Education Reform Act. When the National Curriculum was first introduced, legally, it was valid for both England and Wales. It was later that England alone was subjected to the British National Curriculum. The terminology pertaining to the stage has been specifically elucidated in the Education Act of 2002 as “the period beginning at the same time as the school year in which the majority of pupils in his class attain the age of twelve and ending at the same time as the school year in which the majority of pupils in his class attain the age of fourteen.”

The Objective of the Study

Students should understand that science is based on the notions of precision, facts, data, the ability to perform the tasks objectively, alter narratives in order to understand newly gathered information and evidence as well as evaluate conclusions through peer reviews. Students are required to be competent enough to decide upon the nature and type of scientific inquiry, be it in the genre of physics, biology, and chemistry. They should also develop the ability to identify the influential variables which are needed while gathering, storing and interpreting data. They should be able to conduct an impartial and unbiased assessment of their own results.

Students should be instructed about

The inherent notion of ‘working scientifically’ is pursued to be build up as a consistent point of concern through the successive years. It is should be taught thoroughly and should be precisely linked to substantive science content as stated in the curriculum. Students should be made to be thoroughly acquainted with scientific theories and the use of mathematical representations and scientific terminology.

The program of study has been laid down for all three disciplines of biology, chemistry, and physics. These pertain to:

  • Working Scientifically
    • Scientific attitudes
    • Experimental Skills and Investigations
    • Analysis and Evaluation
    • Measurement
  • Biology
    • Structure and function of living organisms
      • Cells and organization
      • The skeletal and muscular systems
      • Nutrition and digestion
      • Gas exchange systems
      • Reproduction
      • Health
    • Material cycles and energy
      • Photosynthesis
      • Cellular respiration
    • Interactions and interdependencies
      • Relationships in an ecosystem
    • Genetics and evolution
      • Inheritance, chromosomes, DNA and genes
  • Chemistry
    • The particulate nature of matter
      • Atoms, elements and compounds
      • Pure and impure substances
    • Chemical reactions
      • Energetics
    • The periodic table
      • Materials
    • Earth and atmosphere
  • Physics
    • Energy
      • Calculation of fuel uses and costs in the domestic context
      • Energy changes and transfers
      • Changes in systems
    • Motion and forces
      • Describing motion
      • Forces
      • Pressure in fluids
      • Balanced forces
      • Forces and motion
    • Waves
      • Observed waves
      • Sound waves
      • Energy and waves
      • Light waves
    • Electricity and electromagnetism
      • Current electricity
      • Static electricity
      • Magnetism
    • Matter
      • Physical changes
      • Particle model
      • Energy in matter
      • Space physics

Target group

Key Stage 3 follows Key Stage 2 and encases three years of school teaching in maintained schools in Wales and England. This corresponds to years 7, 8 and 9, with the age of the students ranging from 11 to 14.


These key notions require understanding the forces of interaction, relation, and functions in the domains of physics, biology, and chemistry. It would be important to evolve a model wherein students would be able to apply their theoretical knowledge by using them as explanations of life phenomenon and thus evolve the habit of using abstract ideas to assess and develop explanations.