Every child admitted to Derby Pride Academy has been on a unique educational journey. Pupils are, therefore, with us for varying amounts of time: some individuals will have a very short time on our roll, while others will remain with us until the end of Y11.
Because of this, our Science curriculum offer needs to be flexible, personalised, and designed to allow pupils to progress to the next stage on their educational journey.
Our over-arching aim is to provide a Science curriculum that enables each child to shine: to nurture their individual talents and raise aspirations.
Our goal is to systematically develop and sustain pupils’ curiosity about the world, enjoyment of scientific activity and understanding of how natural phenomena can be explained. The Science education that they receive should provide every pupil equally with opportunities that enable them to take an informed part in decisions and to take appropriate actions that affect their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others and the environment. The aims can be summarised as follows:-
- To ensure pupils develop scientific knowledge and understanding of science in the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
- To develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
- To relate their scientific knowledge to its uses in society today and in the future.
Key Stage 3 Science focuses on refining the observation and hypothesis-testing skills started in primary to provide a foundation of scientific knowledge, practical, mathematical and scientific literacy skills. The pupils will study topics in Biology, Chemistry and Physics and develop essential laboratory skills.
Key Stage 4 will undertake AQA GCSE Biology as a single science qualification.
Pupils find it very difficult to learn with understanding from tasks which have no meaning that is apparent to them. They learn more effectively when they can link new experiences to what they already know and are motivated by curiosity to answer questions. Activities should therefore enable pupils to engage with real objects and with real problems. Therefore, it is important to make Science relevant by linking the topics to real life situations so that pupils can discover how science learning relates to the real world. It follows that being able to see the connections between different ideas in science, as in the understanding of scientific ideas and how they were developed, is an important part of preparation for work and life.
Traditionally, pupils at the academy struggle to fully engage with summative style assessments but it is important that they do develop and practise the skills that will allow them to become more successful at summative assessment, particularly with GCSE Science now being a 2 year terminal assessment. It is also important to be able to track pupils’ progress and apply interventions when necessary. End of topic assessments are given to KS3 and mock exams are undertaken in year 10 and year 11 at the completion of each discipline. Feedback is an important part of the assessment process as it allows the pupil to see what they need to do in order to improve.
Formative assessment also plays a key role. It is an ongoing process in every lesson using techniques such as plenary quizzes, group discussions, self- assessment, lessons starters such as true/false quizzes at the beginning of the lesson that check comprehension from previous lesson. Changes can then be made based on the classroom research results and pupil feedback.
Pupils’ progress is evaluated using their baseline upon entry to the academy and the progress they are make. This allows necessary intervention to be put in place in order to give pupils the best chance of obtaining their expected outcomes.
The ultimate goal of evaluating the Science curriculum is to ensure that it is effective in promoting the quality of pupil learning. Assessment of pupil learning is the driver for how and what is taught. Strategies for evaluation use assessment of pupil learning, which could be summative or formative. A lot of the evaluation comes down to knowing the individuals and making a judgment on whether they can access the current content of the curriculum or making the necessary adjustments so that it can be accessed at some level.
Although Science is a practical subject, it is vitally important that pupils are able to express their views and ideas in a clear and grammatically correct manner. Good literacy is necessary to understand, respond to, and use a range of specialist language to describe the natural world and represent and communicate ideas and this is common to all areas of the curriculum
Events people places
The contributions of famous scientific figures and/or events from the past, as well as present, are not just related to Science but society as a whole; therefore, it encompasses all areas of the curriculum. It allows the study of people, places and events from different angles and can put these various subjects into perspective in relation to each other.
It is essential that pupils become thinkers and problem solvers, not just memorisers of facts. Science is a process of studying and finding out. These are skills that are applicable to all areas. Learned concepts can be applied in other areas of the curriculum e.g. pupils can take part in fun and lively physical education lessons that incorporate science concepts in a unique way.
Many procedures in Science are common to all aspects of the curriculum. These include: Child Protection, Health & Safety, Confidentiality and Data sharing. In- house training as well CPD courses ensure that that these procedures are consistent throughout the curriculum.
Teacher Teaching Assistant
Veterinarian Veterinary Tech
Science Key Stage 3
At Derby Pride Academy, the KS3 curriculum is delivered in stage, not age teaching groups and will be delivered on an annual basis.
Pupils often may complete KS3 with knowledge of individual concepts but lack the understanding to apply their knowledge to unfamiliar contexts. Our objective is to empower our pupils to acquire useful and interesting knowledge which they can recall over time. It doesn’t matter what their ability is – every child should have the opportunity to acquire the same knowledge and feel included in their learning. Our thematic approach provides all pupils with the necessary knowledge across the different subject areas so they fully understand the content they are learning to apply in the classroom and beyond.
Our KS3 syllabus provides an alternative approach to KS3 content and a key range of scientific ideas in the subject disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics will be covered under themes common across all subjects. These being:
- Ancient Greece
- Old England/Anglo-Saxon
- Middle England
- The Renaissance
- The Victorians
- The Modern World
Assessment will be based on three bands matched to the national curriculum statements: the middle band indicates that pupils have a secure grasp of the content or skills specified in the Programme of Study. The band working towards secure is developing, and the band moving past secure is extending.
Science Key Stage 4
Pupils will follow the AQA Biology GCSE course which will result in a single GCSE.
Biology is the science that studies life and living organisms, including their physical structure, chemical processes, molecular interactions, physiological mechanisms, development and evolution. Despite the range of different areas of Biology, there are certain unifying concepts that consolidate it into a single, coherent field. Pupils should recognise the cell as the basic unit of life, genes as the basic unit of heredity and evolution as the engine that propels the creation and extinction of species. Living organisms are able to survive by exhibiting specific characteristics and being adapted to their environment. Pupils should appreciate these ideas and apply them in order to question whether humans could and indeed, should manipulate them to our advantage whilst also evaluating their impact and use.
Year 10 & Year 11 – GCSE Biology
1. Cell biology
3. Infection and response
5. Homeostasis and response
6. Inheritance, variation and evolution
Pupils will also complete a number of required practical assessments throughout the course. This course will be graded in line with the new GCSE 9-1 structure and examinations will take place at the end of Year 11.
Exam Board Specifications
Visit the website (http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/biology-8461).