Science

  • Mr S Cooke - Curriculum Leader, Science
  • Mr K Douglas - Assistant Curriculum Leader, Science
  • Mr P Armstrong - Head of Year 10
  • Mrs V Keegan - Teacher of Science
  • Mr N Muir - Teacher of Science
  • Mr K Hills - Teacher of Science
  • Mr G Gardner - Teacher of Science
  • Mr N Holmes - Teacher of Science

Download Learning Journey


"Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge."

Carl Sagan


Science

Intent

Scientific literacy has never been more important than it is now. Our vision is that through building up a body of key knowledge and concepts, all students are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They are encouraged to understand how Science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, analyse causes, encourage creativity and problem solve.

We ensure our curriculum raises aspirations, engages our students, and makes them aware of the numerous pathways into STEM based careers. Our lessons are engaging and relevant with a strong emphasis on practical skills. We develop the core principles of knowledge in Science, from the particulate nature of matter and structure of the atom, to the inner workings of a cell, to energy and its transfer. These provide the foundations for all scientific understanding.

Equipped with these scientific skills, our students leave us able to make informed decisions concerning their own wellbeing, the wellbeing of others and the environment. We are proud of the number of students who leave with a passion for Science, inspired to continue their studies into Further Education.

Design Rationale

Our curriculum is underpinned by the five big ideas in Chemistry, Physics and Biology. These fundamental ideas are revisited throughout the learning journey of the students.

  • In Biology - The Cellular Basis of Life, Heredity and Life Cycles, Organisms and their Environments, Variation, Adaptation and Evolution and Health and Disease
  • In Chemistry - Substances and Properties, Particles and Structure, Chemical Reactions, Earth’s Atmosphere and Dynamic Earth
  • In Physics - Matter, Forces and Motion, Sound, Light and Waves, Electricity and Magnetism, Earth in Space

Within each topic taught, there are practical opportunities that underpin the subject knowledge whilst developing the essential skills of scientific enquiry. We also develop the skills needed for thinking about scientific problems and those needed to process and analyse data (including mathematical skills). Literacy in Science is also developed across all disciplines, and is embedded into all units of the course, with the aim of students being able to write extended scientific explanations that have a well-developed structure that is clear, coherent and logical.

Delivery

From the start of the lesson, students are challenged to retrieve and apply previous knowledge. The teaching brings in real world examples to engage students and to make the work relevant. Students are encouraged to discuss problems and ask questions, helping to build confidence and independence. Practical work or active demonstrations are used whenever appropriate, to extend students’ knowledge and enhance their practical skills.

Teachers use a range of methods within lessons to deliver new content such as presentations, interactive whiteboards, video clips and teacher demonstrations. They also use a variety of questioning techniques, to gather whole class feedback to ensure that progress has taken place within the lesson. Purposeful practice is embedded into all units to ensure students can apply their knowledge with confidence to exam style questions.

Impact

The effectiveness of curriculum implementation is measured by student progress; progress means knowing, remembering and producing more and is the direct result of excellent learning.

To track progress, we follow a three layered assessment structure.

High Stake Testing

High quality summative assessments (twice or three times a year) interleave knowledge and skills to support students in developing long-term memory. Stand-alone lessons ensure that students reflect and respond to teacher feedback.

Mid Stake Testing

Typically purposeful practice tasks completed independently in lessons at least twice per half-term. These tasks are used to identify learning gaps prior to high stake testing. Students receive personalised written feedback to which they respond in lessons.

Low Stake Testing

To embed knowledge in long-term memory, every lesson starts with students quizzed on prior knowledge (Do Now Tasks). Student performance is then used effectively by teachers to identify misconceptions and plan accordingly to narrow knowledge gaps.

Download long term plan

Download knowledge organisers