Our goal is to systematically develop and sustain learners’ 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.
KS3 are following “Activate” which is tailored to the latest KS3 curriculum, with a flexible assessment package and solution for KS3 science assessment without levels.
KS4 are following AQA Trilogy and is equivalent to two GCSEs, however from 2020, KS4 will be taking AQA GCSE Biology as a single science qualification.
Learners 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, the 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 pupil’s progress and put in 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.
Pupil’s 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. For example: if pupils are struggling with the GCSE science material, I will introduce the Entry Level Certificate material in order to scaffold their learning and, hopefully, they will be able to access the GCSE content at a later date.
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.
Science Key Stage 3
At Derby Pride Academy, the KS3 curriculum is delivered in stage, not age teaching groups and will be delivered over 2 years.
The principal focus of science teaching in KS3 is to develop a deeper understanding of a range of scientific ideas in the subject disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Students should begin to see the connections between these subject areas and Science. They should be encouraged to relate scientific explanations to phenomena in the world around them and start to use modelling and abstract ideas to develop and evaluate explanations. Students will be expected to develop their use of scientific vocabulary, including the use of scientific nomenclature and units and mathematical representations.
KS3 will be following the AQA Activate syllabus and assessment will be based on three bands matched to the national curriculum statements: the middle band indicates that students 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.
In Year 9, students will have the opportunity to undertake a 1 or 2 year Entry Level Certificates (ELC) in Science. This is designed for lower ability students who may not achieve a grade 1 at GCSE. The ELCs are also great as a progression to GCSE for students who are unmotivated or have low attendance.
Science Key Stage 4
Students are encouraged to investigate the world around them, and apply their knowledge of Science to explain real life phenomenon.
They plan how to investigate problems, deciding on the best method for collecting valid data. Students decide on the most appropriate way to analyse and interpret the data collected. Throughout this process, students are encouraged to use modelling as a process, to help them explain complex and abstract scientific theories. Where appropriate, ICT and investigational tasks are used to further develop understanding.
Students will follow the AQA Combined Science Trilogy course that will result in 2 GCSEs. This course will cover aspects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics and is divided into the following topics.
The Biology topics are:
Cell Biology, Organisation, Infection & Response, Bioenergetics, Homeostasis & Response, Inheritance Variation & Evolution, and Ecology.
The Chemistry topics are:
Atomic structure and the periodic table, Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter, Quantitative chemistry, Chemical changes, Energy changes, The rate and extent of chemical change, Organic chemistry, Chemical analysis, Chemistry of the atmosphere, and Using resources.
The Physics topics are:
Forces, Energy, Waves, Electricity, Magnetism and electromagnetism, Particle model of matter, Atomic structure, and Space physics.
Students will also complete a number of core practicals 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.