Science stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. It links ideas and knowledge with direct practical experience and can engage learners at many levels. Scientific methods develop and support inquiry through experimentation and proposition. Science develops creativity in thought and analysis in practice. As Science is a methodology to enquire and find out truths of the world around us, it can inspire a love of learning that endures a lifetime.
In Science, we intend to:
The work covered at Key Stage 3 builds on the foundations that are set in the primary curriculum and cover content in a spiral model so that pupils are prepared and on a pathway that will allow them the best opportunity to succeed in their GCSE subjects. In KS3, we follow the AQA syllabus. This syllabus provides an alternative approach to KS3 content. Content is under 10 big idea headings: Forces, Electromagnetism, Energy, Waves, Matter, Reactions, Earth, Organisms, Ecosystems and Genes. Each idea contains four smaller topics: the building blocks for the big ideas. This content is a spiral design for understanding it’s easier for pupils to develop an understanding of a big idea through multiple interactions with the concepts within the idea. By connecting smaller ideas to more abstract ideas, pupils will be better prepared to apply these concepts when approaching an unfamiliar topic. Each big idea topic contains four smaller topics that build complexity. For example, in ‘Waves’, topics are ordered from simpler, more concrete topics, ‘Light’ and ‘Sound’, to more abstract ones ‘Wave properties’ and ‘Wave effects’. These have been created to avoid repetition, draw on various scientific skills and use different contexts. In KS4, pupils at Muntham are expected to achieve a combined GCSE award studying the AQA trilogy curriculum. Pupils will study the GCSE content in years 10 and 11, or if they are ready, then they will begin in year 9. The content of lessons follows the specification for this course, and pupils also complete the required practical activities in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, so they are prepared for the six terminal examinations in year 11. Lessons all have clear learning objectives, which are shared with and understood by our pupils. They are at all times aware of what they are going to learn through the activity, and what skills the teacher is looking for in their learning.
Pupils in KS3 have half termly assessments based on the topics they have studied. These assessments vary in their delivery and can be extended practical write-ups, levelled tasks, tests or extended pieces of classwork. The assessments are formative in nature and are used in conjunction with all available evidence to make a judgement once a term against the pupil’s KS4 terminal target. Pupils are judged to be on, above or below target. The main focus at KS3 is to provide the next steps in learning, so learners develop a growth mindset rather than just judging where they are in their learning at any given stage. In KS4, pupils are assessed against the AQA GCSE criteria and assessment objectives of the course. Pupils are assessed at the end of each topic they study and given targets to improve. Once a term, the science teacher takes all available evidence to make a statement if the pupil is on, above or below their end of KS4 target. Highlighting any areas of underachievement and making early intervention possible. When assessing pupils’ work in science, a variety of strategies, including questioning, discussion, concept mapping and marking, are used to assess progress. The information is used to identify the pupils’ needs and to inform planning. Ultimately, the impact in science is seen through the GCSE grades for Combined Science. These excellent outcomes for our pupils prepare them to be scientifically literate citizens that can navigate successfully in the modern world.
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