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The Palmer Catholic Academy

The Palmer Catholic Academy


The Science department aims to provide students with an interest and understanding of science and how science works, as well as developing their practical experimental skills.

The department has ten dedicated science laboratories. There are six laboratories on the ground floor in Bede House, two in Heenan House and two on the first floor in Mother Teresa House. Each building has a science preparation room for the technicians to use, the main preparation room being in Bede House. ICT and multimedia resources are used frequently in lessons with each laboratory having an overhead projector connected to the computer network.

Head of Department

Mr J McCarville



Teachers of Science

Ms R Nelligan - 2 i/c of Dept

Mrs C Osuji

Mr M Larkin

Mrs M Allitt

Mr R Slack

Mrs J Waterhouse

Mr L Hayden

Mr R Miller

Mr S Wiles

Mr N Idris


Science Technicians


Senior Science Technician
Ms N Bridger


Science Technician

Miss M Marshall





All students follow the Science National Curriculum at KS3 throughout Years 7 and 8. Students are assessed regularly through end of unit tests, examinations and ongoing formative assessment.

The Year 7 and 8 course is a unique course with all the sciences taught through the concept of space. Units of study include Astrobiology, Material for Space and Space Travel.


At KS4, the Science Department provides different pathways to GCSE, enabling students to maximise their particular strengths and interests.

In years 9 some students opt to take 3 GCSE’s in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. However the majority of students will take 2 GCSE’s in Combined Science.

Both GCSE options follow the AQA exam board and over the 3 years students will regularly be assessed at the end of each teaching unit. Required practicals will also be assessed by the teacher as an ongoing basis.


In Years 12 and 13 students can choose to take the following 4 science subjects:




Applied Science

Biology, Chemistry and Physics courses follow the OCR A specifications and involve 100% written examination papers at the end of year 13.  Required practicals form part of the course and these will be assessed thought out the two year course.

The Applied Science course follows the AQA specification and involves a strong emphasis (66.6%) on portfolio work although there are still some written examinations as well (33.3%).