Science at Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science."
Edwin Powell Hubble

Science is a wide-ranging subject and we aim to support students to become inquisitive learners.

Durham Johnston recognises the key contribution practical work makes in science and include experiments in lessons whenever possible, allowing students’ to link their understanding of the key concepts to the observations they make.

This model supports the development of students to recall scientific ideas, apply key ideas to unfamiliar circumstances and evaluate date gathered by observation and experiment.

Key Stage Three in science follows the content of the national curriculum and has an academic focus using experiments to highlight key concepts and ideas to prepare students for key stage four.

At Key Stage Four we offer Combined Science and separate Biology, Chemistry and Physics GCSEs. Courses are offered to best meet the needs and ability of students.

At Key Stage Five we offer Biology, Chemistry, and Physics A level.     


When covering biology students study all aspects of life from simple cell to complex organ systems that sustain life in plants and animals. Key ideas are revisited at each key stage allowing students to build a detailed view of how organisms adapt, survive and interact with their surroundings.

Students follow the Edexcel GCSE in science; more information on this course, and the syllabus can be found at this link 

Biology is a challenging A level, with a large amount of knowledge to learn and difficult concepts to understand.  We place a big emphasis on practical work as an important part of the learning experience in preparation for further study at University.  As well as practical skills, Biology develops a range of other skills, including mathematical skills such as basic statistics, written expression and IT. 

Biology is a useful A level for progressing into careers such as medicine, dentistry, nursing and the health professions, research, agriculture, veterinary sciences, pharmacy, environmental sciences, forestry, teaching and sports science

At A level we study the OCR exam board specification which can be found by at this link. 



Chemistry investigates the interaction of tiny particles on a sub atomic scale and views the effects of these interactions in the real world. Throughout key stage four practical work is used to highlight how the observations we make links to the scientific models of what is happening on an atomic and sub atomic scale. 

Students follow the Edexcel GCSE in science, more information on this course, and the syllabus can be found at this link. 

Chemistry is a challenging, yet rewarding subject, and although we work hard, we endeavour to make the learning experience as fun as possible. There is always lots of support on offer.

Chemistry is an essential A-level for any student wanting to pursue further study in the fields of medicine, dentistry or veterinary science and is widely valued for other subjects such as Law as well as Chemistry-related courses. As a multi-disciplinary subject, students will develop employable skills across a range of topics – a real bonus for today’s society.

At A level we study the OCR exam board specification; you can find more details at this link



The word ‘Physics’ comes from ancient Greek, literally meaning ‘knowledge of nature’. Using a few basic principles, theories and laws, you will become capable of explaining events and occurrences that you have never come across before.

Students follow the Edexcel GCSE in science; more information on this course, and the syllabus can be found at this link


Physics is undoubtedly a challenging A-level, but rewarding in equal measure. An A-level in Physics is useful when applying for virtually any higher education course whether arts or science based and is a requirement of the majority of physical sciences and engineering courses. Physicists find employment in many scientific areas, such as engineering, renewable energy, astronomy, space exploration, meteorology and climate change, aeronautics, the automotive industry, electronics, laboratory work, radiography, medicine, veterinary science, telecommunications, forensic science, armed forces and nanotechnology. Outside of science, physicists are valued in many other careers because of their skills in analysing information and solving complex problems, and their high levels of numeracy and computer literacy. Many physicists find employment in banking, insurance, accountancy, software and computing.

At A level we study the OCR exam board specification, which can be found at this link.