Miss N Taylor: Second in department
Key Stage 3
Key stage 3 Science is about building an understanding of science in the world around us and the role that it plays in our everyday lives. Our curriculum is specifically designed for our students and draws on a wide variety of resources. It aims to give students the skills required to carry out basic laboratory practicals whilst developing an understanding of the underlying scientific principles such as the working of the human body, the nature of matter, energy and the environment. Our aim is to ensure all pupils are safe, confident in their skills, able to think analytically and apply knowledge and understanding. We encourage students to read around scientific topics, review historic ideas and to appreciate how scientific ideas change over time. The knowledge and skills acquired during KS3 prepare our students for the rigours of both combined and triple award GCSE.
Curriculum Implementation (see also Long Term Plans)
Our curriculum gives students a broad experience of science by drawing from a variety of resources and using multimedia approach. Students receive 3 hours of teaching per week and, where possible, stay with the same teacher for the whole key stage.
Science is assessed through a combination of formalised assessments and traditional tests. Each assessment is specifically designed to build on the required skills to be a successful scientist from the ability to use a Bunsen burner through to writing methods and analysing data. The traditional tests include questions drawn from a variety of sources and are designed to test knowledge recall, understanding of key concepts and analysis of information.
Students are roughly set within the subject areas initially. These sets are reviewed within the first half term of year 7 based on teacher observations and work completed. During the subsequent terms settings are reviewed frequently to allow support for those who may need it and whilst allowing students to flourish who are showing an aptitude for Science.
Key stage 3 learners achieve a broad knowledge base and gain experience in all 3 scientific disciplines that leads them into the complexities of key stage 4. They have an understanding of how science works and are able to apply good laboratory working practises. All students continue into GCSE combined science initially, with our most able students focusing in on triple science during year 10 and into year 11.
Key Stage 4
GCSE AQA Combined Science
GCSE AQA Triple Science
All students begin year 9 studying Combined science with the upper sets being taught higher tier content as appropriate. After year 10 midterm exams students will focus in on triple award if appropriate. The number of sets and tiers taking triple science is reviewed for each cohort.
The KS4 syllabus is structured to meet the AQA science specifications. Students will develop the skills, knowledge and understanding to be able to apply this to the world around them. Our students will be able to think logically and critically and will understand some of the challenges facing their own, and future generations. Lessons are structured to provide students with specialist teaching to allow them to progress from whatever their starting point. Students are ability set to provide an appropriate exam tier and to allow for intervention and support to individual learners.
We promote science careers through in class activities, department displays, as well as extra-curricular activities. These include a STEM day in year 9, visit from Medical Mavericks, trips to local businesses and a trip to Science Live!
Curriculum Implementation (see also Long Term Plans)
The yearly plan is designed to allow students to progress through the 3 subject areas covered in science building skills and knowledge. There is a strong emphasis throughout on “how science works” and the practical skills that students need to be able to fully access GCSE exams and to progress to further science studies. Staff share groups to allow specialist teaching within each staff members specialism. A wide range of teaching and learning strategies are used within science to give students depth of understanding. Students are encouraged to experiment with their learning styles and to challenge themselves both in and out of lessons
Pupils will be assessed after each taught unit and at other key milestones during key stage 4 using Exampro questions. This rigorous approach ensures that students become familiar with the variety of question styles. Assessment also means we can monitor individual’s strengths and weaknesses and trigger any necessary interventions.
As a result of the quality of the curriculum delivery across the department our students consistently perform in line or above national averages in all courses. In our 2017-2018 cohort 69% of all students achieved at least 1 level 4 in science with 57% achieving at least one level 5. Our triple award students achieved an average 96% 4 or above and 36% achieving 5 or above with a number achieving the highest level grade 9.
A substantial number of our students progress to specific science KS5 courses at local providers. These include traditional A- levels, IB course and BTEC courses. We have a number of former students have gone on to study science at Oxbridge and other top universities whilst others are involved in science based careers such as nursing and paramedics.
Science Long Term Plans & Assessment Plan