Science is the study of the world we are in and at Hartsdown our objective is that students are inspired by the beauty and complexity of the world. In chemistry we aim for our students to be responsible and aware of their impact on the environment. One of the many topics we study is environmental chemistry, which allows our students to understand the chemical basis behind many of the initiatives undertaken by governments and the business world. Biology is at the forefront of scientific research. The Covid19 research programme has shown the vital contribution of biology to society. Our objective at Hartsdown is to help the students of today understand biological concepts so that they can one day become the doctors and scientists of tomorrow. Physics has no limits: everything in life, all the way to the end of the universe and beyond, is related to Physics. We aim to inspire the next generation of physicists so they can surpass the limits of development and understanding and involve them in finding solutions to the problems we face in the 21st century. In physics, students develop practical skills that include planning and analysis of scientific research. Our department views Physics as something more than just a subject, and the objective is for students to understand the importance of research and the impact it has on our daily lives.

Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3 students follow the challenging International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme. This curriculum pushes them to understand scientific thinking Amongst other things students will learn:

  • How to conduct experiments
  • Forces
  • Electrical circuits

They will have lots of opportunities to investigate and analyse.

Key Stage 4

In Key Stage 4 students complete GCSE Science. This course is a great foundation for the sciences and allows students to go from Hartsdown to further studies and ultimately STEM based careers.




Key Stage 5

Hartsdown Academy Sixth Form IBCP Options

BTEC Applied Science

This qualification enables learners to acquire substantial scientific knowledge and practical scientific skills, including carrying out practical laboratory tasks, planning investigations, collecting, analysing and presenting data, and reviewing and refining the methodology of practical and laboratory-based work across biology, chemistry and physics topics which are linked to real-life applications of science.

In addition, you will be developing transferable knowledge and skills that will prepare you for progression to university to study subjects other than science. 

The transferable skills that universities value include:

  • the ability to learn independently
  • the ability to research actively and methodically
  • being able to give presentations and being active group members. 
  • reading scientific and technical texts 
  • effective writing 
  • analytical skills 
  • practical skills
  • preparation for assessment methods used in degrees.

The qualification is equivalent in size to two A Levels, and it has been designed as part of a two-year programme.



Learners will study six mandatory units:

  • Unit 1: Principles and Application of Science I
  • Unit 2: Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques
  • Unit 3: Science Investigation Skills
  • Unit 4: Laboratory Techniques and their application
  • Unit 5: Principles and Applications of Science II
  • Unit 6: Investigative Project. 

Learners choose two optional units, which have been designed to support progression to the range of sector-related courses in higher education and to link with relevant occupational areas. Optional units include:

  • Unit 8: Physiology of Human Body Systems
  • Unit 9: Human Regulation and Reproduction
  • Unit 11: Genetics and Genetic Engineering
  • Unit 12: Diseases and Infection
  • Unit 13: Applications of Inorganic Chemistry
  • Unit 15: Electrical Circuits and their Application
  • Unit 16: Astronomy and Space Science
  • Unit 17: Microbiology and Microbiological Techniques
  • Unit 20: Biomedical Science
  • Unit 22: Materials Science
This course is assessed through a combination of written exams, practical exams and coursework assignments.
Future Courses and Possible Careers
  • Biomedical Science
  • Nursing
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Environmental Science
  • Zoology
  • Physiology
  • Energy Industry
  • Forensic Science
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Education
  • Laboratory Science
  • Psychology
  • Paramedic Science



Kent University

We work with local universities to give students opportunities to work alongside scientists and understand science based careers.

Science Excellence

As part of work to ensure that children get top grades at Hartsdown we are involved in Excellence Days at Dane Court Grammar. During these days students have opportunities to compete with students from Dane Court and to work on Grade 8-9 work.


To encourage students to pursue scientific careers some students have the opportunity to visit Pfizer and understand the diversity of science careers.

Pfizer Science Club

Hartsdown runs a popular science club where students are able to explore their own scientific interests under the supervision of the science department.


Student Comments

“I found science difficult but I received amazing support including mentoring and achieved a grade 7. The science teachers really support you to achieve your potential.”

Year 12

“I am currently training to be a Paramedic and my experience at Hartsdown both in science and in Health and Social Care encouraged me to pursue this career.”

Ex Student

“Science is incredible we have got to make working electrical circuits and to experiment with chemical reactions.”

Year 8

“I have loved science at Hartsdown. I love experiments and getting to learn new things.”

Year 7