This study explored two under-researched areas on students’ attitudes towards science, that is, the structural models representing these attitudes and the role played by school bands in moderating the gender differences in such attitudes. The participants were 360 ninth graders in Hong Kong from 3 school bands. The structural equation modelling method was adopted to compare four hypothetical models for students’ attitudes towards science. Results reflect that (i) the data supported the three-factor structure of the behavioural domain of students’ attitudes towards science; (ii) the four lower level dimensions of the attitudes towards science (i.e. value of science to society, self-concept in science, anxiety towards science and enjoyment of science) could be further integrated into broader categories; (iii) male students demonstrated significantly more positive attitudes towards science in five dimensions (i.e. self-concept in science, enjoyment in science, learning science in and outside the classroom and future participation) and (iv) school bands played a prominent moderating role in gender differences in students’ attitudes towards science. Implications for studying and developing students’ attitudes towards science are discussed in the paper. Copyright © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.