Staff Contact Details

Mr G Soldi (Head of Faculty/Chemistry)

Mr A Abdar (Chemistry)

Mr T Brown (Chemistry)

Mr M Wright (Chemistry/Physics)

Mrs L Lightfoot (Head of Biology)

Miss R Church (Biology)

Mrs Shilpi Prasad  (Biology)

Miss E Wood (Biology)

Miss Maria Khan (Biology)

Mrs Pooja Kothari  (Biology)

Mr P Fatania (Head of Physics)

Mr David Brown (Physics)

Miss E Firme (Physics)

Mrs Jane Marfleet (Biology)

Department Overview

Soon after arriving at Herschel Grammar School pupils will have their first science lesson in the laboratories and will begin to become used to using scientific apparatus such as microscopes and Bunsen burners. Pupils are encouraged to find out things for themselves and carry out many of their own experiments. Emphasis is placed on the understanding and enjoyment of science, its importance in everyday life, and on learning how to work in a scientific way. Pupils can join Science Club and enter national competitions.

The Science Department is well equipped with a wide range of resources that includes computers with access to the Internet, data logging equipment, videos, films, posters and worksheets as well as apparatus. All pupils are issued with a text book which they need to bring to every lesson. Homework is set every week and often requires pupils to research topics for themselves.

Careers In Science

See where a career in science can take you.

Curriculum Overview

Year 7

  • Biology: Cells, Classification, Life processes, Reproduction and Keeping Healthy
  • Chemistry: Acids and alkalis, Particles and Separating techniques
  • Physics: Energy, Forces, Magnetism and Heat Transfer

Year 8

  • Biology: Life and Death, drugs, behaviour and disease
  • Chemistry: Atoms, mixtures and compounds, reactions of acids, rocks and metal displacement
  • Physics: Light and Sound, circuits and the Solar system

Year 9

  • Biology: Interdependence and the Environment
  • Chemistry: Chemical reactions and Displacement
  • Physics: Pressure, Moments, Speed and Space

We follow an accelerated Key Stage 3 course which is completed in just over two years.

Revision Websites

Curriculum Overview

The faculty follows the AQA specification: Biology 8461, Chemistry 8462 and Physics 8463. Teaching starts in Y9 and pupils receive a separate GCSE grade for each course.

Pupils have four lessons every two weeks in each of the disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students regularly go on to successfully study science A-levels at Herschel.

Assessment for each GCSE is two written papers of 1 hour 45 minutes. Practical work is an essential feature of the course and students will carry out many experiments in addition to the 8 practical activities required by AQA.

Useful Websites

Curriculum Overview

Studying A level Biology provides an in-depth look at the study of living organisms, from a molecular level when studying respiration through to how organisms interact with each other on a large scale within ecosystems.  

The Biology department are passionate about their subject, often using their own experience of Biology beyond the classroom to help students fully understand how Biology fits in with the world around us.  

Over the two years students will study a full range of topics that cover both human and plant Biology. Practical skills are developed throughout the course which not only are designed to build confidence when answering practical exam questions but also to equip students with skills that may be needed beyond A levels.

We study OCR Biology A which is delivered over 5 hours of teaching per week. Students are expected to study for at least another 5 hours per week in addition to the weekly teaching schedule. Due to the demands of the course they are actively encouraged to seek support from staff when difficulties arise.

Independent research tasks will be set throughout the year to encourage students to read beyond the specification and develop more knowledge in an area of biology that interests them.

There are many career paths following A level biology including medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, physiotherapy, marine biology, research, engineering, environmental sciences and conservation.

Year 1

Foundations in Biology

Exchange and Transport

Biodiversity, Evolution and Disease

Year 2

Communication, Homeostasis and Energy

Genetics, Evolution and Ecosystems


Contact us:

Lucy Lightfoot:

Emma Wood:

Rebecca Church:

Jane Marfleet:

Pooja Kothari:

Shilpi Prashad:


Recommended Websites:

Live Science :


Biological Sciences Review:

Revision Websites

Enrichment Strategies

Curriculum Overview

Students are encouraged to develop an enthusiasm for the subject and their learning. We aim to create an environment where students ask ‘Why?’ and develop their scientific enquiry.

Teachers are passionate about their subject and aim to instil an appreciation of Chemistry in the world today that will take students further than just the specification. 

We follow the OCR Chemistry A course, delivered in 5 hours of teaching per week. Students’ development of practical skills is spread over both years. Lessons allow students to apply their understanding to complex problems as well as providing students transferable skills such as problem solving and analysis.

Students are expected to participate fully in lessons and to seek help from their teachers as soon as difficulties arise. To do well on this course students are expected to spend at least 6-8 hours per week on the study of this subject outside of lesson time.

A-level Chemistry is possibly one of the most challenging subjects students are offered. At Herschel the subject is very popular and the entry requirement is a minimum of a 7 in Chemistry (Triple Science) or 7 7 for Combined Science. The subject is highly sought after by many universities and expected to be taken for people wishing to pursue a career in science and is a must for courses like medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and many other challenging degrees in this line.

Year 1

Foundations in chemistry   
Periodic table and energy  
Core organic chemistry and analysis       

Year 2

Physical chemistry
Organic chemistry
Transition elements

Contact us:

Giorgio Soldi:

Taiwo Brown:

Ali Abdar:

The course is delivered in 5 hours of teaching per week.

Students are also strongly encouraged to participate fully in lessons and to seek help from their teachers as soon as difficulties arise. To do well, students are expected to spend at least 6-8 hours per week on the study of this subject outside of lesson time.

Recommended Websites:


Chemistry Explained:

Careers in Chemistry

Click on the image below to visit 'A Future in Chemistry', the perfect place to explore every opportunity, with advice on universities and vocational routes, course information and career inspiration. 


Curriculum Overview

A-level Physics is taught in two well-equipped laboratories, by two specialist teachers and involves a mixture of theoretical and practical work. A mathematical background is desirable, although the study of A-level Maths is not a requirement.

The subject covers many of the subjects taught at GCSE but at a much higher level. Vectors, Mechanics and Nuclear Fusion are just some of the topics covered. The entry requirement for the subject is a grade A at GCSE.

This subject is very valuable to those students wishing to continue study in physics or engineering. Chemical, Environmental and Civil are just some degrees pursued by the A level students.

The department follows the OCR ‘A’ syllabus and this can be found on the OCR web-site.

The course is delivered in 5 hours of teaching per week. Four units are taught in Year 12 and the remaining two units in Year 13.  Practical work is assessed internally, with students completing six formal practical tasks each year.

At the end of Year 12, students sit the AS exams.  These consist of two written papers with a combined three hours of assessment.  At the end of Y13, students sit the A-level exams.  These exams consist of three written papers with a combined six hours of assessment.  The final A-level grade is based solely on the Y13 exams and will also include a pass or fail assessment of practical work.

During the course students are expected to maintain a ring binder folder containing all their class notes, worksheets, practical experiments, tests and any other information gleaned from their wider reading around the subject. Folders are taken in by staff and advice is given on how to improve organisational skills. Students are also strongly encouraged to participate fully in lessons and to seek help from their teachers as soon as difficulties arise. To do well on this course students are expected to spend at least 4-5 hours per week on the study of this subject outside of lesson time.

Revision Websites

Enrichment Strategies


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