Key Stage 3

During Key Stage Three, our programmes of study ensure that all pupils have a wide experience using different Art mediums and looking at Art work from different cultures.

Currently in Year 7 we teach the basic elements of Art and study Botanical Art, Gargoyles and animation, and insects. In Year 8 we develop ideas based on Architecture, different viewpoints, and Environmental Art. In Year 9 we complete work based on different cultures, self-portraits and still life.

GCSE Art Textiles

At GCSE level we currently follow the Edexcel Art Textiles syllabus which allows for work in various ‘Fine Art’ mediums and Textile techniques. Coursework constitutes 60% of the total marks. The final exam constitutes 40% of the marks. For this, a preparation period is given in advance of a ten hour exam. The Exam is set externally and a theme is suggested for all pupils to follow. The aim is that pupils should develop their creativity through researching into the work of other artists, exploring ideas and developing a personal response.

Possible careers in Art and Design

Pupils may use the skills learnt for a number of career paths in the future such as:

  • Animation
  • Interior Design
  • Architecture
  • Industrial Design
  • Artist in Residence
  • Jewellery maker
  • Art Historian
  • Landscape Architect
  • Computer Graphics Design
  • Lecturer
  • Costume Design
  • Museum Curator
  • Creative Director
  • Photography
  • Fashion Design
  • Product Design
  • Film Making
  • Sculptor
  • Freelance Artist
  • Special Effects makeup
  • Gallery Curator
  • Teacher
  • Graphic Design
  • Textile Design
  • Illustration
  • Theatre Set Design
Design and Technology

Key Stage 3

KS3 Design and Technology is a “Foundation Subject”, which provides an enjoyable range of experiences for pupils. These develop problem-solving skills whilst working safely, skilfully and independently in practical settings. All pupils in Key Stage 3 spend approximately 18 hours learning about the processes and materials used to design and manufacture products in Food, Textiles and Product Design. Pupils incorporate environmental responsibility, creative thinking, planning, product analysis and research in response to the design challenges set.

Year 7

In Food Technology pupils are taught a range of skills to create a variety of hot and cold foods. In Textiles pupils design and make textiles products using a range of textile and modelling techniques. In Product Design, pupils develop their hand and CAD graphic skills to design and manufacture 2D and 3D outcomes including dye-sublimation products.

Year 8

In Textiles pupils design and make a bag decorated using a variety of textile techniques. In Food Technology pupils design a healthy eating supplement, for a magazine, using four main healthy eating guidelines. In Product Design, pupils design and manufacture a prescribed 3D product using a range of hand tools, workshop equipment and specialist CAD-CAM equipment.

Year 9

In Product Design, pupils design and manufacture their own choice of 3D product using a wide range of resistant materials, workshop tools and CAD-CAM equipment including a Laser Cutter. In Textiles, pupils research, design and develop a garment of their own choice. In Food, pupils design and make a range of healthy dishes to encourage teenagers to eat a healthy diet.

Key Stage 4

Three GCSE courses are offered:

1. GCSE Catering

In this 2 year GCSE course in Catering, pupils learn about healthy eating, nutrients, different food commodities and their significance in our diet. A major emphasis is placed on the development of practical skills through cooking a variety of different dishes. In year 10 pupils choose a research project from:

  1. ‘Fruit & Vegetables’
  2. ‘Dairy Products’
  3. ‘Afternoon Teas’

Based on their research findings, pupils prepare 4 dishes in a set 2 hour practical assessment, which is worth 20% of the final GCSE. In year 11, pupils continue to learn about special diets and roles within the catering industry as well as learning essential exam techniques for the written exam. Y11 pupils also undertake a research project on “International Cuisine”. Based on their research findings, pupils prepare a 2 course meal within a 2 hour practical assessment. This project is worth 40% of the final GCSE.

2. GCSE Child Development

The 2 year GCSE course in Child Development focuses on the development of children from conception to the age of 5. Pupils learn about family structures, responsibilities of parenthood, conception, the development of the foetus, antenatal care, labour and birth. Pupils are taught about the practical aspects of bringing up a baby, including feeding and bathing. It encompasses work on the social, emotional, physical and intellectual development of the child as well as the needs of the child during the development process. Assessment for this GCSE course is 40% written paper and 60% Controlled Assessment. At the beginning of Year 11 pupils undertake a small research project on Creative Play. This is part of the Child Study, which is worth 40% of the Controlled Assessment.

3. GCSE Product Design

This recently introduced 2 year GCSE course provides pupils with a strong foundation for progress to the well-established and successful A-level course in Product Design here in Bellerive. Pupils are based in a specialist workshop environment and use a variety of skills and techniques to produce an A3 portfolio of work and a range of 3D manufactured models and products. Each pupil chooses one Controlled Assessment design brief from a range set by the examination board. They then produce their own 3D product reflecting independent research and clear development of design ideas. High standards of folder presentation, 3D modelling and CAD CAM generated products are required throughout the course. Assessment is 60% coursework and 40% examination in the form of a two hour written paper.

Key Stage 5

AS Product Design (Y12)

In AS Product Design students are examined on their knowledge of Materials, Components and their Applications. This is done through a two hour written examination paper in both January and May. This examination is worth 50% of the total marks for the AS qualification. The remaining 50% of the AS marks are available through ongoing portfolio and practical coursework. Recent student projects have included the research, design and manufacture of a new style electrical plug, a small wooden storage box and precious metal jewellery accessories.

A2 Product Design (Y13)

In A2 Product Design students are examined on their knowledge of ‘Materials and Components’ as well as ‘Design and Market Influences’. This is done through a two hour written examination paper in May and is worth 25% of the total marks for the A2 qualification. The remaining 25% of the A2 marks are available via an A3 portfolio supporting the design and manufacture of individually determined 3D products. Opportunities to improve AS marks are available through the resitting of the AS examination and resubmission of AS coursework.

English Language and English Literature

Key Stage 3

In KS3 pupils will develop the skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing that they will need to participate in all aspects of school and wider society. Pupils learn to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others confidently and effectively. They will study a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, which they will respond to in written and oral form. They will learn how to work productively in groups and to improve their skills of independent learning. We have introduced more challenging texts have been introduced to the curriculum, by authors such as Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy. We strongly emphasise reading for pleasure.

Key Stage 4


Students follow one of two pathways. They will either undertake the WJEC English GCSE or the WJEC English Language and English Literature GCSEs. We aim to enable students to communicate effectively in spoken and written form and to appreciate a range of literary and non-literary texts. These include a Shakespeare play, a modern novel, pre-1914 works, media texts, modern drama and selected poems. The majority of students study English language and Literature. We try to provide students with a number of enrichment opportunities, including theatre trips and performances by visiting production companies. We believe strongly in fostering a life-long love of reading.

Key Stage 5


AQA Specification B is designed to encourage candidates to develop an enjoyment of English Literature through reading widely, critically and independently. It is made up of two units. For the exam component, Aspects of Narrative, candidates will study four texts. For coursework, Dramatic Genres, students will produce two pieces of coursework; one will be on a Shakespeare text, the other on a modern play.

The A2 course aims to broaden and deepen the knowledge, skills and understanding developed at AS level. It is made up of two units. For the exam component, candidates will study three texts related to ‘Elements of the Gothic’. For coursework, ‘Further and Independent Reading’, candidates must study at least three texts and will write two essays. English Literature A-level is a rigorous course, which is valued by prestigious universities.

Possible career routes include the civil service, teaching, law, management and the media.

A-level English Language

Exam Board AQA Specification B

The specification is designed to encourage students to explore how it is used to communicate through spoken and written texts, ranging from marketing and television to children’s books and magazines. The different variations of the English language will be analysed, from how children learn to speak to modern language influenced by technology. Students will also create their own texts. A mix of coursework and exams will help develop your skills both as a writer and interpreter of language.


This department aspires to be an environment where the curriculum comes alive; where students’ experiences and curiosity are valued; in which teaching and learning fascinates and deepens understanding; where learners are inspired and equipped to progress to the next stage of their geographical journey; where learners can fulfil their potential in discovering their world.

Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 Geography aims to develop pupils’ knowledge, understanding, and an appreciation of topical subjects. The curriculum has been fully updated to conform to new government changes, covering both human and physical geography. A brief topic outline is given below:

Year 7

Topic 1: Making Connections – Geographical skills and different types of Geography.

Topic 2: The UK, my home – weather and climate, population geography and migration, geology (limestone scenery).

Topic 3: Africa – human and physical geography aspects of this fascinating continent; with a focus on Kenya.

Topic 4: Fragile planet – Antarctica (cold polar environment) and resources.

Year 8

Topic 1: Asia – focus on India and China; population, urbanisation, physical features and world development.

Topic 2: Ecosystems – features and exploitation of the Amazon Rainforest.

Topic 3: Physical Processes – rivers and flooding, hydrological processes and the impact of human activity, and weathering.

Topic 4: Food for the future – the interaction between humans and the environment (farming), organic farming and Fair Trade.

Year 9

Topic 1: Dangerous Planet – the causes, impacts and management of volcanoes and earthquakes.

Topic 2: Global Fashion – globalisation and its impacts; Fairtrade and economic activities.

Topic 3: Russia – Physical and human geography of the country that spans two continents; importance in world affairs.

Topic 4: Glacial landscapes in the UK: We begin the AQA GCSE course; glacial processes, landforms, associated economic activities and conflicts.


Work is regularly assessed in line with the school’s marking policy. Topics are assessed with at least two levelled assessments (middle and end of topic), using adapted grade descriptors from KS3 assessment guidance from the Geographical Association (linked to expected standards progression for GCSE 9-1); both skills and specific knowledge and understanding are assessed.


Key Stage 4

Geography GCSE at Bellerive FCJ Catholic College is popular. Pupils opting for geography currently follow the new AQA Geography GCSE specification.

Studying geography gives students the opportunity to travel the world via the classroom, learning about both natural and social sciences along the way. They will understand how geography impacts everyday life and discover the key opportunities and challenges facing the world. Students will also develop academic and life skills from writing, teamwork and communication to analytical skills.

The transferable skills which geography fosters are an asset in the complex world of employment today. Geography is about the future and encourages flexible thinking.

Assessment will consist of three components:

Unit 1: Living with the Physical Environment

  • The study of physical processes and patterns:
  • The challenge of natural hazards – tectonic hazards, tropical storms, extreme weather in the UK, climate change.
  • Physical landscapes in the United Kingdom – river landscapes and glacial landscapes.
  • The living world – ecosystems, tropical rainforests, and cold environments
  • Assessment (35%): 1 hour 30 minutes

Unit 2: Challenges in the Human Environment

  • The study of human geography themes and issues:
  • Urban issues and challenges
  • The changing economic world
  • The challenge of resource management-general overview, and a focus on energy.
  • Assessment (35%): 1 hour 30 minutes

Unit 3: Geographical Applications

  • Section A – Issue Evaluation: Based on a pre-release Sources Booklet – to be issued to students in advance.
  • Section B – Fieldwork: Compulsory questions based on candidates’ enquiry work and the use of fieldwork materials in an unfamiliar context
  • Assessment (30%): 1 hour 15 minutes


GCSE students are encouraged to attend the weekly study support should they need it, and targeted revision sessions at crucial points in the year.


Key Stage 5


Students follow the new AQA Geography A-level specification. The two-year course offers students the opportunity to develop a range of research and analytical skills, highly valued by employers and Higher Education institutions.

Students are issued with a student handbook at the beginning of the course that provides an overview of content, assessment and command words, and the expectations of the department.

Assessment will consist of three components:

Component 1 – Physical Geography

  • Water and carbon cycles
  • Hot desert environments
  • Ecosystems
  • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

Component 2 – Human Geography

  • Changing Places
  • Global systems and global governance
  • Contemporary urban environments
  • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

Component 3 – Geographical Investigation

  • Students will complete an individual investigation report which must include data collected in the field.
  • 3,000 – 4,000 words
  • 35 marks
  • Marked by teachers; moderated by exam board.


If students go on to specialise in geography at higher education (or use your Geography A Level as a stepping stone to study geology at university) they could find themselves doing things like charting oil wells or exploring rock formations throughout the world. And because geography is about the interaction between people and our planet, this fascinating subject is valid for a number of different career paths, like advertising, environmental management, teaching, law or social services.


The aim of our Key Stage 3 History Curriculum is to provide pupils with an appreciation of a range of British, European and World history.

Pupils study a series of enquiry questions, which aim to develop key skills in source analysis and evaluation, an understanding of interpretation, as well as the ability to confidently organise information and make reasoned judgments. This is achieved through a range of teaching and learning styles.

We look for opportunities to exploit Liverpool’s rich local history where possible. Furthermore, pupils are assessed regularly via a range of formative and summative assessment.

Year 7 Programme of Study

  • Introduction: What is History?
  • Unit 1: What has been the impact of foreign settlers on Britain?
  • Unit 2: How did the Normans establish their rule in England?
  • Unit 3: How important was Medieval Religion?
  • Unit 4: What challenges did the Crown face in Medieval England?
  • Unit 5: How different was life in the Middle Ages?
  • Unit 6: What were the social and economic effects of the Black Death?

Year 8 Programme of Study

  • Unit 1: Why was King Henry VIII such a controversial historical character?
  • Unit 2: How successful was Queen Elizabeth I in dealing with problems during her reign?
  • Unit 3: What was the impact of the English Civil War?
  • Unit 4: To what extent did life change during the 17th Century?
  • Unit 5: How did society change during the industrial Revolution?
  • Unit 6: Why was Transatlantic Slavery abolished in Britain in 1807?

Year 9 Programme of Study

  • Unit 1: Was the Great War a ‘great’ war for Liverpool?
  • Unit 2: Did the First World War win women the vote?
  • Unit 3: Why is Adolf Hitler such a significant figure in History?
  • Unit 4: How do we remember the Holocaust?
  • Unit 5: How far had life improved for Black Americans by 1975?
  • Unit 6: How did the Cold War threaten world peace?


Homework tasks are set regularly, which have been designed to engage pupils and inspire them to explore topics beyond the classroom. Tasks tend to either build on learning from lessons or encourage some preliminary study to inform on a lesson to come.

Enrichment Activities:

The History department aims to provide enrichment activities for all year groups:

  • In Year 7 students have the opportunity to visit Caernarfon Castle, which supports work on Edward I and castles.
  • In Year 8 students can go to the Royal Armouries in Leeds, which supports work on the English Civil War.
  • In Year 9 students can visit the Imperial War Museum North, which supports work on conflict in the 20th Century.

The following resources will help you to support your child:

  • Horrible Histories books
  • BBC History
  • Liverpool City Libraries
  • Liverpool’s historical attractions; Museum of Liverpool, World Museum, Merseyside Maritime Museum and the International Slavery Museum.

Key Stage 4


History GCSE at Bellerive FCJ Catholic College is very popular. Pupils opting for history will follow the AQA syllabus:  Assessment will consist of three components:

Unit 1 Section A: Germany 1890-1945

Unit 1 Section B: Conflict and tension 1918-1939

Unit 2 Section A: Health and the People c1000 to present day

Unit 2 Section B: Elizabethan England 1568-1603

Useful websites:

Key Stage 5

Edexcel A-level History

In Year 12 we study :

Unit 1 Option H: Britain transformed 1918-1997

Unit 2 Option H: The USA: boom, bust and recovery 1920-1955

In Year 13, we study :

Unit 3 : Rebellion and disorder under the Tudors 1485-11603

Unit 4 Historical Enquiry: This is in the form of an extended essay based upon independent research. (Approx 4000 words, 20% of total GCE marks)

At both GCSE and A-level we seek to extend and enhance students’ studies with educational visits and academic lectures on related topics.

In recent years students have gone on to pursue careers in law, journalism, teaching and the civil service.

Information Communication Technology (ICT)

Key Stage 3

At KS3 the entire ICT scheme of work is based around a fictional town and has an applied nature. Pupils are encouraged to see how ICT is used in a number of different settings e.g. restaurants, hospitals, travel agents etc. Pupils are taught a variety of applied ICT skills using different software packages to aid learning. Topics covered in the ‘My Town’ scheme of work develop skills in using ICT, data & information sources, spreadsheet modelling, public information systems, desktop publishing, website design, word processing, databases and control systems.

Key Stage 4

The subject of ICT is a popular and successful option at Bellerive at Key Stage 4. Students are required to complete four e-portfolios to gain the full Diploma in Digital Applications. Students can also gain a certificate or ‘extra certificate award’ if fewer units are completed. This course covers a compulsory module: Using ICT and optional units in Multimedia, Graphics, Gaming and ICT in Enterprise. The qualification has no external examination. Instead, students complete a Summative Project Brief, set by the examination board, for each unit. They present their evidence in an e-portfolio, which is internally assessed and externally moderated.

Key Stage 5

The Key Stage 5 Advanced GCE Applied ICT course operates at the following Levels: AS Level = 3 Unit Award; A2 Level = 6 Unit Award. All units studied are assessed through examinations and e-portfolio work. The Edexcel GCE in Applied ICT has been developed to provide a broad educational basis for further training, further education or for moving into appropriate employment within the ICT sector. Units have been designed to be delivered in a work-related context and to allow learners to develop an understanding of the ICT sector. AS Level units followed are: The Information Age (Internally Assessed); The Digital Economy (Internally Assessed) and The Knowledge Worker (Externally Assessed). A2 Level units followed are: Using Database Software (Externally Assessed). Managing ICT Projects (Internally Assessed) and Using Spreadsheet or Multimedia Software (Internally Assessed).


Key Stage 3

Years 7 to 9 follow schemes of work supporting the national curriculum using a variety of resources such as task cards, games, worksheets, group work tasks, as well as access to MathsLinks. Key stage three provides pupils with a range of skills allowing them to gain proficiency in solving mathematical problems in real life, facing increasingly complex problems over time.

They receive 4 x 60 minute lessons per week in year 7 and 3 x 60 minute lessons per week in years 8 & 9. Pupils are setted according to their mathematical ability and needs. Students are allocated extra support if needed

KS3 Maths topics per half term – (click to download)


The GCSE course provides a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study. All pupils are encouraged to develop confidence in and recognise the importance of mathematics in their lives and society.

Year 10 and Year 11 follow the AQA Linear GCSE course, which covers:

  1. Number
  2. Algebra
  3. Ratio, proportion and rates of change
  4. Geometry and measures
  5. Probability
  6. Statistics

Pupils will sit either the Higher or Foundation course. They receive 4 x 60 minute lessons per week in Year 10 and 5 x 60 minute lessons in Year 11. Homework is set regularly and each piece should last for approximately 30-40 minutes.

The department subscribes to a range of mathematical websites, such as MyMaths, MangaHigh and MathsWatch. These are all accessible to the pupils from home and are full of resources such as video clips, worksheets, games and online lessons designed to help pupils with their mathematical studies.

KS4 Maths overview – (click to download)
Maths Watch
Manga High

Key Stage 5

Students who wish to take A-level Mathematics follow the Edexcel modular course in Year 12 and Year 13. The course comprises six modules of which four are Core Mathematics and two are Applied Mathematics. A-level Further Mathematics can also be offered if there is sufficient demand.

Modern Foreign Languages

Key Stage 3

Pupils will study either French or Spanish. They will be given opportunities to develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in the target language and to express themselves with increasing confidence, independence and creativity. They explore the similarities and differences between other languages and English and learn how language can be manipulated and applied in different ways. The development of communication skills, together with understanding of the structure of language, lays the foundations for future study of other languages and supports the development of literacy skills in a pupil’s own language.

Key Stage 4


At GCSE French and Spanish pupils follow the WJEC framework over a two year period. Pupils are assessed by examination in the skills of reading and listening, each worth 20% of the final mark and by coursework in speaking and writing, each worth 30% of the final mark. Pupils develop language skills in a variety of contexts. As the pupils progress linguistically they will be expected to cope with a greater degree of unpredictability, understand and use more accurately a widening range of vocabulary and structures and discuss issues and opinions. Pupils will improve their linguistic proficiency through a variety of contexts like lifestyle, leisure, holidays, environment, work and education.

Key Stage 5


Students study the WJEC framework and are examined by a speaking examination worth 40% of the final mark and a listening, reading and writing examination worth 60% of the final mark. Students cover a number of relevant, current topics such as leisure, travel, customs, youth culture, unhealthy living, gender issues, future education and careers. In Year 13 some of the contexts used to enhance pupils’ proficiency and linguistic ability include environmental, social and political issues. Pupils also study a cultural topic in Year 13 based on French or Spanish literature, cinema and theatre.

Career prospects include translation services, civil service, commerce, travel and tourism industry and the media.


Key Stage 3

All pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 receive one music lesson per week. Units of work include Samba, African Music, Song Writing, Film Music, The Orchestra, Classical Music, Popular Music, Singing and Keyboard Playing. The music curriculum is delivered through performing, composing, listening, reviewing and evaluating. Pupils frequently work in musical groups of different sizes and as a whole class.

Key Stage 4

Pupils currently follow the AQA GCSE Music syllabus. The course contains four units: Listening and Appraising, Composing and Appraising, Performing and Composing. Pupils study a diverse range of music during the course and produce two compositions and one composition appraisal. Pupils also have to perform one solo piece and one group piece of music on an instrument of their own choice (including voice). There is a one hour listening examination at the end of the course in Year 11.

Physical Education

Key Stage 4

Core Physical Education

All pupils study Physical Education at Key Stage 4 in line with statutory requirements. The pupils actively participate in units from a variety of sports in Years 10 and 11 including; games, fitness, dance, gymnastics, urban adventure and athletics. Pupils can have some input into the units that they study. Pupils will receive feedback and guidance to maintain and develop a healthy, active lifestyle.

GCSE Physical Education

In addition to pupils studying Core Physical Education, pupils can opt for GCSE PE. We follow the Edexcel course which is 60% controlled assessment (practical activities and written coursework) and 40% theory (1 hour examination). In the practical element pupils will be assessed in a range of activities such as netball, rounders, athletics, fitness and football. Provision can also be made for pupils who participate in activities which cannot be taught during curriculum time such as horse riding, golf and swimming. In the theory element, pupils will study a range of aspects including; the benefits and reasons for participation in physical activity, training methods and principles, target setting and anatomy and physiology.

Key Stage 3

All pupils follow a wide and diverse curriculum, which meets the requirements of the National Curriculum. Pupils will study activities from games, dance, gymnastics, athletics, urban adventure and fitness. Pupils are assessed according to the departments’ assessment matrix and over the course of the academic year, they will receive feedback from the following titles:

  • Performance
  • Leadership
  • Knowledge
  • Health & Fitness
  • Mindset

Pupils are guided by their teacher to set meaningful and challenging targets based upon their individual feedback so to progress through the assessment matrix.

Religious Education

Key Stage 3

We are currently implementing the new Archdiocesan syllabus. Our aim is to deliver a syllabus that is clearly rooted in the Catholic faith, in a creative and reflective way. Pupils are assessed 4 times per year using tasks which are in line with the Archdiocesan Levels of Attainments. Pupils are taught in mixed ability form classes.

Key Stage 4 – GCSE

We follow the Edexcel GCSE course – Units 3 ‘Religion and Life with reference to Roman Catholic Christianity’ and Unit 16 ‘St Mark’s Gospel’. One unit per year is studied in depth and students are prepared thoroughly for the examination via rigorous assessment.

Students sit examinations for both components at the end of Yr 11 and their final GCSE grade is a combination of both marks.

Key Stage 5

All Sixth Form students study General Religious Education for one hour per week. This is an accredited course endorsed by NOCN. Year 12 students work towards a Level 2 qualification and Year 13 work towards a Level 3 qualification.

A-Level Religious Studies

We follow the AQA specification.

At AS level, students study two key areas: Ethics (RSS01) and Philosophy of Religion (RSS03). At A2 level, students study a further Ethics unit (RST3A) and a unit in Religious Experience (RST4A).


A high quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils at Bellerive FCJ will be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science.

Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, our pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

Key Stage 3

The national curriculum for science as revised in September 2013 aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
  • are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

At Bellerive FCJ the national curriculum for science is delivered using our new Key Stage 3 course which we have developed to match the demands of the new national curriculum programme of study and is based around the ‘Exploring Science’ scheme. The pupils study science for 3 hours each week and build on the work introduced at primary school. They will cover the following subject areas: (1) Biology (2) Chemistry and (3) Physics and through these subject areas will develop the knowledge and skills needed to work scientifically.

In years 7 and 8 this content is delivered through short units of work of approximately 6 weeks in length and end of unit tests are taken at the end of each unit. The pupils will also sit an end of year assessment in the summer term which covers all the topics covered.

The units of work studied in year 7 are: Introduction to Science, Cells, Reproduction, Chemical substances, The Earth, Forces and Matter & particles.

The units of work studied in year 8 are: Food & energy, Environment, Particles, Chemical patterns, Waves and Forces & space.

In year 9, our pupils have one lesson each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics taught by specialist teachers. They will study six units of work (two for each subject) and again they will sit assessment tests after each unit of work. The units of work studied in year 9 are: The healthy body, Genetics & evolution, Metals, Chemical reactions, Energy and Electricity & magnetism.

Pupils in year 9 complete their Key Stage 3 studies around Easter and sit internal assessment tests in school which allow an accurate assessment of their progress. Results of all the assessments enable us to direct our pupils to the most appropriate science course for their Key Stage 4 studies.

After their end of year assessments, pupils in year 9 will start their preparation for their GCSE science course and a GCSE Transition Unit will be delivered.

A range of enrichment activities are offered including visits to Chester Zoo, The Catalyst Discovery Centre, Liverpool University and our pupils are regularly offered the chance to take part in science competitions at both local and national level.

Key Stage 4


Most pupils take at least two GCSEs in pure sciences, which contribute to the Ebacc qualification. A small number who find sciences challenging take a route where they study for one GCSE in Science. Many pupils study for three separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics and results for all of these courses have been above the national standards in recent years.

The courses followed are AQA GCSE Core Science (worth one GCSE), which is studied during year 10 and AQA GCSE Additional Science (worth one GCSE), which is studied in year 11. External examinations in these subjects are taken in year 11.

AQA Separate Science GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics are taken by high ability girls who attain very high levels of attainment in the assessments taken in year 9 and that we feel will be able to cope with the pace and intensity of the separate sciences course.

Girls in year 10 and 11 are offered the opportunity to take part in science activities run by Liverpool University and some work on extracurricular projects in physics and engineering.

We encourage as many of our students as possible to continue their science education here at Bellerive FCJ and we also welcome pupils from other schools in the city.

Key Stage 5

We follow AQA courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Applied Science.


This course involves the study of a wide range of topics including molecular biology to the study of ecosystems and from micro-organisms to mammoths. It is never far from the headlines with gene therapy, DNA fingerprinting, AIDS, conservation, obesity and diabetes regularly in the news. It is one of the most popular A-level subjects in the country and attracts students studying a wide range of other subjects. The course is assessed mainly by examinations. From September 2015, all A-level external examinations will be taken in year 13. Practical assessment accounts for 20% of the qualification for current year 13 students but practical work will be assessed as part of the external examination from September 2015.


Chemistry greatly improves the quality of life for people and the A-level shows how chemists work as innovators and problem solvers. Students cover basic concepts like atomic structure and bonding. Students learn about topics such as burning fossil fuels, which may lead to global warming and consider alternative energies, such as bio-diesel and fuel cells. The use of polymers and plastics is studied, as is the role of chemistry in their disposal and recycling. The importance of the pharmaceutical industry is addressed and students learn the benefits and associated risks to humans from medicines. Chemistry is inherently a practical subject and the development of practical skills will be a feature. The course is assessed mainly by examinations. From September 2015, all A-level external examinations will be taken in year 13. Practical assessment accounts for 20% of the qualification for current year 13 students but practical work will be assessed as part of the external examination from September 2015.


Physics helps us understand how our world works. It explores questions like: How did the Universe start? How will it end? What is a black hole? Is time travel possible? Physics forms the basis of most modern technologies and holds the future to global well-being. The course is assessed mainly by examinations. From September 2015, all A-level external examinations will be taken in year 13. Practical assessment accounts for 20% of the qualification for current year 13 students but practical work will be assessed as part of the external examination from September 2015.

Applied Science

This course emphasises the vocational nature of science and therefore links strongly with the way science is used in the workplace. During the course, students spend a great deal of time in the laboratory or doing fieldwork and work on the kind of practical projects that may be undertaken by employees working in science based industries. The course is assessed mainly by portfolio work, which accounts for 66.6% of the final qualification. There are four portfolios and two examinations which are all equally weighted.

Science teachers also contribute to the delivery of units in Health and Social Care at Key Stage 5.

Bellerive FCJ students are supported in their applications for higher education by the department and a number have taken part in Higher Education STEM activities run by Liverpool University. In recent years a number of our students have been successful in their applications for Nuffield Bursaries and have worked on research projects with academics during their year 12 summer holidays and gained considerable experience from these.

Our students attain good A-level passes in sciences and many of them go on to study sciences at university. In recent years students have gone on to study on undergraduate courses such as chemistry, physiotherapy, nursing, biomedical sciences, astrophysics, and chemical engineering.

Travel and Tourism

Key Stage 5

Currently we offer the OCR specification in Travel and Tourism. The course offers students the opportunity through practical investigation to reach an understanding of the ways in which the travel and tourism industries attempt to satisfy people’s demands for holidays and travel.

The qualification, which is a combination of coursework and exam units, offers students the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of travel and tourism and its component industries.

The Travel & Tourism A-level course is full time and is supported by independent work outside of the lessons. The course combines well with several AS and A2 level subjects. For example, taken with Business Studies or ICT it supports applications for a wide range of university courses like Travel and Tourism Management or Marketing. The course has a customer service element which helps students develop essential employment skills such as using information technology, communication, working with others and problem solving. Students also gain confidence by developing independent learning skills, working with their peers and the support provided within the lessons.

Students who leave with an A-level in Travel & Tourism have access to a wide range of career and higher education opportunities. They will have developed a variety of transferable skills, such as analysing and interpreting data and communicating findings in different ways. These skills are in great demand and are recognised by employers, universities and colleges as being of value. They can lead to further training in areas such as tour operations, airlines, accommodation providers, events management and travel services.

WordPress Image Lightbox