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High challenge interactive resources enabling KS3 science students to explore the central ideas of life science


Key stage 3 science students working at level 6 and beyond.


Deep Cells was written by experts from the Secondary National Strategy to deliver directly into the KS3 Science Framework and support the compacted KS3 curriculum.

This resource was designed to approach one of the key scientific ideas – interdependence – from two complementary directions: adaptation and energy transfer. The objective is for students to learn that adaptations allow organisms to survive and reproduce in their natural environments, that energy is transferred between organisms in food chains, and that organisms and resources in an environment are closely linked.


Each of the two learning routes is divided into three parts: starter, main and plenary sessions.

In the adaptation section, students use animations, video and interactive simulations to frame and test their conjectures about how Darwinian selection fits living things to their ways of life over time.

In the energy transfer section students use interactive diagrams, role play activities and dynamic modelling software to explore and make sense of the complexities of ecosystems and predict the consequences of human intervention within the context of the Canadian taiga.

Key skills developed:

  • Generating scientific questions and hypotheses.
  • Critical thinking skills, evaluating viewpoints.
  • Using and interpreting analogies/models to understand important principles in science.
  • Developing the ability to critically examine scientific analogies/models.


Interdependence was developed in partnership with DCSF and the Science Enhancement Programme.

Online resource