Ysgol Stanwell School

Archer Road, Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, CF64 2XL


Head of Science
Dr H Roberts
Head of Chemistry
Dr H Roberts
Head of Biology
Mr I Spilsbury
Head of Physics
Dr J Thomson
Head of Applied Science
Miss J Gaitt
Mr C Ashton
Dr D Browne
Mrs K Dean
Mr P Doyle
Mrs N Frost
Miss C Jenkins
Miss H Jenkins
Mr P Johnson
Mr L Murphy
Mr M Stephens
Mrs G Thomas
Mr R West
Miss D Worrall

The Science Department consists of 17 specialist teachers who are dedicated to teaching pupils of all ages and abilities. Pupils are taught in specifically designed teaching laboratories that are equipped to a high standard, with all teaching areas having interactive white boards. All pupils study Science in Key Stages 3 and 4, while Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Medical Science are popular choices for AS and A Level.

All pupils study the WJEC GCSE Science specification in Year 9 and will follow one of the following courses in Year 10 and 11:

  • GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics
  • GCSE Science (Double Award)
  • GCSE Applied Science (Single Award)

A decision on the most appropriate GCSE course for pupils is taken based on assessment throughout Year 9. Pupils will sit external examinations in Year 10 and 11, dependent on the course they follow. The Department has an excellent record of examination success at GCSE and A Level and staff are continually adapting teaching methods to reflect modern developments in education.

Key Stage 3

Studying Science encourages students to be curious about the world around them and discuss issues that may affect their own lives, society and the future of the world. The skills and techniques taught throughout KS3 allow them opportunities to find explanations. The KS3 course follows the national curriculum and engages learners at many levels, linking direct practical experience with scientific ideas. Experiments and models are used to develop and evaluate explanations, encouraging critical and creative thought. Pupils learn how knowledge and understanding in science have developed from a foundation based on evidence. They discover how scientific ideas contribute to technological change – affecting industry, business and medicine and improving quality of life.

Pupils in Science are placed in mixed ability classes during Year 7 and Year 8.

All pupils follow the WJEC GCSE Science specification during Year 9. Pupils are set in groups based on prior attainment and teacher assessed levels. The cohort is divided into two halves with 6 sets in each half. Class sizes will be smaller in the lower sets to increase the teacher to pupil ratio. Regular assessment and monitoring of performance may result in pupils moving groups to ensure appropriate levels of support. No external examinations or decisions on tier entry will be taken during Year 9. Assessment data will be used to select the appropriate course that pupils will follow in Year 10.

Key Stage 4: GCSE

The GCSE Science course at Stanwell is accessible to pupils of all ranges and abilities. The courses currently on offer are the WJEC specifications for GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics, GCSE Science (Double Award) and GCSE Applied Science (Single Award).

GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Biology

The Separate Science qualifications in Biology, Chemistry and Physics each consist of two units with external examinations taken at the end of Year 10 and 11. One practical examination task for each qualification is taken in the spring term of Year 11 and is externally marked. No examinations are available in January, but pupils are able to resit the first unit at the end of Year 11.

This will result in three GCSE qualifications in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

GCSE Science (Double Award)

Candidates entering for the WJEC GCSE Science (Double Award) qualification will complete six units (two Biology, two Chemistry and two Physics) plus two practical examination tasks. Three external examinations (for Biology, Chemistry and Physics units) will be taken at the end of Year 10, and a further three external examinations will be taken at the end of Year 11. The practical examination tasks will be completed in the spring term and are externally marked. No examinations are available in January, but pupils are able to resit any of the units from Year 10 at the end of Year 11.

This will result in a double grade in Science.

GCSE Science (Single Award)

Candidates following the Applied Science (Single Award) course will sit an external examination at the end of Year 10 and Year 11. The examinations cover Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics. During the autumn term of Year 11 pupils sit a task-based assessment that is externally marked. Pupils will also sit a practical examination in the spring term of Year 11 that is externally marked. No examinations are available in January, but pupils are able to resit the Year 10 examination at the end of Year 11.

This course is intended for pupils who find written examinations more challenging, and will result in a single grade.

Key Stage 5: A Level


The staff within the Biology department all have an enthusiastic approach to the teaching of the subject and are always willing to help students with problems they may encounter in their studies. There are five specialist staff in the department with a wide range of interests and expertise within the subject.

The AS and A Level Biology courses are based on the WJEC examination board specifications and include the following topic headings.

AS Level
  • Unit 1: Basic Biochemistry and Cell Organisation
  • Unit 2: Biodiversity and Physiology of Body Systems
A Level
  • Unit 3: Energy, Homeostasis and Environment
  • Unit 4: Variation, Inheritance and Options
  • Unit 5: Practical Examination


There are six specialist Chemistry staff within the department who are all fully qualified to teach the Advanced Level course. This provides a wealth of experience and diversity of backgrounds which students are able to draw upon both within and outside the formal framework of their lessons. The AS and A Level Chemistry courses are based on the WJEC specifications and include the following topics:

AS Level
  • Unit 1: The Language of Chemistry, Structure of Matter and Simple Reactions
  • Unit 2: Energy, Rate and Chemistry of Carbon Compounds
A Level
  • Unit 3: Physical and Inorganic Chemistry
  • Unit 4: Organic Chemistry and Analysis
  • Unit 5: Practical Examination


The Physics department prides itself on the approachability of its staff and their enthusiasm for the subject. There are five specialist Physics staff with a wide range of backgrounds including engineering, medicine and academia. The AS and A Level Physics courses are based on the WJEC exam board specification and include the following topics:

AS Level
  • Unit 1: Motion, Energy and Matter
  • Unit 2: Electricity and Light
A Level
  • Unit 3: Oscillations and Nuclei
  • Unit 4: Fields and Options
  • Unit 6: Practical Examination

Medical Science

If you have a strong science background you will find the course intellectually stimulating and enjoyable, compounding learning from the other science subjects you take. A significant proportion of career opportunities in this sector are at degree level. When supported by other appropriate qualifications, the WJEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Medical Science will enable progression to higher education in a range of Applied Science programmes, such as biomedical science, life sciences, and physiology.

The units we will follow are:

AS Level
  • Unit 1: Human health & disease
  • Unit 2: Physiological measurement techniques
  • Unit 3: Medical Science research methods
A Level
  • Unit 4: Medicines and treatment of disease
  • Unit 5: Clinical laboratory techniques
  • Unit 6: Medical case study
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