In science lessons we aim to exploit our students’ natural curiosity for the world around them, and prepare them to progress confidently into their GCSE studies with the right core knowledge and skills. The national curriculum provides us with a clear view of the content and skills that our students should encounter, where our job as a science team is to convey the scientific knowledge in stimulating and relatable ways, and develop every students ability to explore links between different aspects of the curriculum, model key ideas and develop an understanding of the social and economic implications of science, in addition to knowing how to work like a scientist.
Our key stage three programme is a spiral curriculum, as this supports our students in becoming resilient in being able to connect seemingly discrete ideas to unfamiliar contexts and more challenging content. It enables students to develop confidence in using the specialist language of science, such as the correct use of technical vocabulary, including scientific nomenclature and units, and mathematical representations. We ensure that practical work is a regular feature of our course, as it:
- Develops the investigative skills including investigation questions, and analysing, interpreting and evaluating data
- Enhances practical skills such as confidently using equipment to make measurements and assessing risks
- Improves knowledge and understanding, giving an insight into how scientists think
- Our classes are usually taught by two teachers, where each teacher focusses on a different topic within science. To allow students to truly gain a deep understanding of knowledge and be able to develop higher-order skills through mastery, our topics are approximately 10 weeks in length. Every lesson contains content and skill objectives.
- Students will be assessed using a range of checkpoint tasks, with different topics utilising a combination of the following:
- Examination questions: sat in lessons under examination conditions, focussing on content and application of knowledge;
- Multiple choice questions: completed online, with immediate feedback due to auto-marking;
- Method writing: students choose apparatus to enable them to test a hypothesis, including planning control variables and estimating risks;
- Analysis: students present and analyse data, draw conclusions, discuss limitations of results, critique claims, justify opinions, examine consequences, and interrogate sources;
- Mathematical questions: students perform calculations linked to the topic, applying mathematical knowledge to understanding of science.