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Science is the study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. Science is continually refining and expanding our knowledge of the universe, and as it does it leads to new questions for future investigation. Science will never be ‘finished’. All students should gain a level of scientific competency allowing them to succeed in all areas of their life. We have created a curriculum that offers our students the opportunity to gain a depth and breadth of knowledge. Students will also develop a range of skills, including scientific enquiry, literacy, numeracy and evaluation. Students are encouraged to use and apply their knowledge to understand new and unfamiliar concepts and use logic reasoning to make informed decisions and form rational explanations.
Even more importantly, we teach about the world as it currently is, how populations and products are developed, real problems faced by humans and our moral obligations to the planet. Our curriculum is designed to teach from a positive perspective, to show how the development of scientific technology has saved lives and protects environments for future generations.
The Science curriculum must:
- ensure all students develop a deep knowledge and understanding across Biology, Chemistry and Physics
- ensure all students understand how to work like a scientist – able to plan an investigation that will allow valid conclusions to be drawn
- ensure all students can evaluate claims based on science through critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions, both qualitatively and quantitatively
- ensure all students understand how to collect, present and interpret data
- ensure all students understand that every effect has one or more cause and who can make informed decisions about everyday Science contexts e.g. evaluating side effects versus benefits of vaccines, understanding the need to recycle and cut down CO2 emissions, understanding the importance of energy efficiency when purchasing electrical devices
- ensure all students use Scientific vocabulary, including the use of scientific nomenclature and units and mathematical representations.
The aim of the key stage 3 Science curriculum is to spark an interest in Science from the beginning of Year 7, extend key stage 2 knowledge and support students throughout key stage 3 towards GCSE and A-level success. Our key stage 3 curriculum is designed to foster a love of Science and develop a breadth of scientific knowledge across Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students are taught to understand what it means to work like a scientist through practical tasks in which they a required to plan investigations and collect, interpret and evaluate data. Students are encouraged to use their scientific knowledge to describe and explain phenomena they notice in the world around them.
The key stage 3 curriculum is mapped in a spiral design. Topics are interleaved between year groups and get progressively harder. The curriculum builds upon the content taught at key stage 2 and prepares students for success at key stage 4. Working-scientifically-skills are taught across all topics and it is expected that lessons have a practical element when possible. A required practical is built into every topic to mirror the required practical elements found at key stage 4.
Lessons are not tiered despite some students taking the higher or foundation assessments. This is so all students will finish key stage 3 with the fundamental core knowledge needed to excel at GCSE. However, it is expected that higher ability students will have opportunities to deepen their understanding rather than accelerate through the curriculum.
The key stage 4 Science curriculum aims to build upon the breadth of knowledge gained at key stage 3 so a depth of knowledge and understanding across Biology, Chemistry and Physics is developed. Students are challenged to understand that every effect has one or more cause and are taught to evaluate scientific claims through critical analysis of methodology, evidence and conclusions. Students are encouraged to understand how to apply their scientific knowledge to make informed decisions about everyday Science contexts and should finish key stage 4 confident in the use of scientific vocabulary and nomenclature.
The key stage 4 curriculum builds upon the knowledge learned at key stage 3. The Science scheme of work follows the AQA Combined Science: Trilogy specification with approximately 60% of students in each cohort expected to follow the separate Sciences: Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Throughout Year 9 all students will be taught the higher content so they are not limited to the foundation tier of study. During Years 10 and 11 students will follow either the foundation or higher scheme of work, however students may move from one to the other depending on their progress.