Curriculum Statement - Science
‘Genius is 1% talent and 99% hard work.’ – Thomas Edison
Our students will have a comprehensive knowledge and a deep understanding of the key principles and theory that are required to succeed in science at each key stage and to lay the foundations for further study. We offer a broad and deep curriculum that focuses on powerful knowledge and threshold concepts as we believe that mastery of threshold concepts is integral to students accessing powerful knowledge and gaining a deep understanding and appreciation of science.
Our curriculum is ambitious and challenging, providing students with strong substantive knowledge whilst also gaining an awareness of the disciplinary knowledge of the subject. Students will develop their literacy and numeracy skills and build their cultural capital.
Our students will develop their passion and enthusiasm for science through science lessons and our electives program. Students will have the resilience, confidence and oracy skills in order to discuss challenging scientific concepts and current issues within science.
We have identified key threshold concepts of our three disciplines below. Our curriculum is designed to teach, revisit and build on these concepts throughout the key stages.
Threshold Concepts in Science
- Science is taught in three disciplines; Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
- The science curriculum covers the national curriculum but focuses on identified threshold concepts (see above). More time is devoted to these concepts and a mastery learning philosophy is promoted.
- There is a large focus on understanding concepts through;
- Retrieval. Formative assessment
There is always at least one of the following foci to practical work;
- Improve knowledge.
- Practice procedures and techniques.
- Learn about scientific enquiry.
The marking and feedback of threshold concepts are identified within individual schemes of work. This make take the form of:
- Low stake testing.
- 6-mark questions.
- Practical/data questions.
- Educake quizzes.
- Exam Questions.
Students will also be tested during the academic year using:
- Periodic Tests for Assessment.
- Ad hoc Tests for Learning.
We provide a variety of enrichment for a number of reasons;
- To promote a love of the subject.
- To increase a student’s cultural capital.
- To teach powerful knowledge specific to science.
- Increase at uptake at KS4, 5 and beyond.
- Narrow attainment gaps.
- Promoting STEM Careers.
- Stretch / Challenge / Aspirations.
- Promote oracy.
Key Stage 3
Year 7 Students will learn the fundamentals of forces and motion, including what happens when the forces on an object are balanced and unbalanced. Students will learn how to calculate the speed of an object and how to interpret distance-time graphs. Students will learn about stores of energy and how energy can be shifted between these stores by doing work. Students will learn about electrical circuits and the differences between simple series and parallel circuits. Students will learn about the properties of magnets and investigate the factors that affect the strength of an electromagnet. Students will learn in detail about the properties of waves and investigate the behaviour of sound and light. Students will also learn about the Solar System, including the dynamics of the Earth and the Moon and the differences between planets in our Solar System.
Year 8 Students will extend their knowledge of motion and will learn how to interpret both distance-time and speed-time graphs. Students will also learn about electrical circuits in more depth and investigate factors that affect the resistance of a wire. Students will learn in detail about energy transfers and investigate the efficiency of simple energy transfers. Students will also learn about the methods of thermal energy transfer and investigate methods of reducing heat loss from objects.
To continue to broaden and deepen student’s substantive and disciplinary knowledge at KS3, in Year 9 they will study a range of topics in order to start to prepare them for GCSE Science in Year 10 such as Newton’s laws of motion and how to apply these laws to a range of situations. Students will also be introduced to methods of electricity generation and how electricity is distributed using the National Grid, with a particular focus on the role of generators and transformers. Students will also be introduced to nuclear physics and will learn about the properties of the different types of nuclear radiation, including their uses and dangers. Students will also learn about simple machines such as levers and hydraulics, and investigate how the extension of a spring is related to the applied force. Students will build upon their prior knowledge of waves from year 7 and 8 and learn about the electromagnetic spectrum and the properties of its waves. Students will learn how studying electromagnetic waves from stars and galaxies can help further our understanding of the universe.
Year 7 Students will be able to interpret particle models and recognise the difference between elements, compounds and mixtures. Students will develop their laboratory skills through practical work, using a range of techniques and apparatus. Students will be able to state both word and symbol equations and balance them. Students will learn in detail about the importance of acids, bases and neutralisation, and will be able to define the terms acid and bases and apply these definitions to everyday examples. Students start to look at trends and patterns within the Periodic Table of Elements.
Year 8 Students will study and carry out a variety of chemical reactions with metals, such as combustion, thermal decomposition, oxidation and displacement reactions. Students will design experiments regarding these chemical reactions, implement them and explain them. Students will be able to understand the implications of burning fuel and explain how this process can affect the atmosphere. Students will be able to recognise the difference between compounds and mixtures and use this knowledge to explain processes such as distillation and chromatography. Students will learn how to distinguish differences in rocks and apply this to the rock cycle and learn the structure of the earth and explain its structure.
To continue to broaden and deepen student’s substantive and disciplinary knowledge at KS3, in Year 9 they will study a range of topics in order to start to prepare them for GCSE Science in Year 10 such as the history of the atom and the structure of the atom. Students will be able to predict the patterns of reactions in the Periodic Table and understand the properties of metals and non-metals. Students will be able to explain the concepts of rate of reactions and how different circumstances affect the rate of a reaction, such as the addition of a catalyst to a reaction. Students will use practical skills to demonstrate separating techniques and be able to explain how certain mixtures can be separated to identify pure substances. Students will also learn complete various chemical reactions and use their scientific knowledge to explain and evaluate the reactions.
In Year 7 students will learn to interpret cell structure and understand the simple functions of different cells, using microscopes to study them. Students will be able to explain why we need a balanced diet and understand the importance of each food group. Students will study the importance of the digestive system and be able to explain how it works. Students will study human fertilisation and be able to describe the structure and function of the male and female reproductive systems and the stages of pregnancy. Students will also study photosynthesis and transport in plants. This will then build on KS2 knowledge to study the environment and feeding relationships between organisms.
In Year 8 the learning that will take place will build on concepts that the students have learnt in Year 7. Students will learn about the process of Respiration and the factors associated with being ‘Fit and Healthy’. Ecology will be studied in more depth, specifically looking at the environment different organisms live in and how they are adapted to survive there. The study of plants will take place in more detail and the chemical processes that take place inside plants are introduced. The importance of plants will also be considered.
To continue to broaden and deepen student’s substantive and disciplinary knowledge at KS3, in Year 9 they will study a range of topics in order to start to prepare them for GCSE Science in Year 10. The human body is studied in more detail so that students have an understanding of how specific body systems work and how genes and enzymes are of central importance to the body. The theory of evolution and natural selection are introduced and the impact that humans have on the environment is also studied.