In Years 7 & 8 students are exposed to a broad range of science concepts that aim to reinforce and extend prior knowledge and to also prepare them for GCSE study which begins in Year 9. A variety of exciting and innovative teaching methods are used to deliver the curriculum. These aim to engage and ignite an interest for the subject in all students. Where possible, links to science in the real world are used so that students are more aware of the benefits that ‘mastery’ of the subject can bring. To support their study all students are registered with the Seneca Learning website where they can use the learning modules to enhance their learning and complete online homework materials.
Students are assessed termly across the year to enable students’ progress to be closely monitored. Through this assessment and tracking students are then placed in to more ability orientated groups but can move freely between groups if their assessments and ethic are seen to warrant a move.
Every science laboratory is suitably equipped with the necessary resources to facilitate the successful delivery of the full curriculum. Teaching staff often meet to discuss and share teaching strategies to further enhance the educational experience that is offered to all students.
Students begin their GCSE study of science at the start of Year 9 and complete their course in Year 11 through the sitting of the formal public examinations. The Department delivers the new AQA Combined Science Trilogy course at both Foundation and Higher level, and the AQA Separate Sciences at Foundation and Higher level for selected students. The content of the new GCSE has grown and these changes are designed to help students emerge from GCSE Science with a level of confidence and fluency that will provide a genuine foundation for the rest of their learning and working lives. The AQA linear science programme offers a traditional route through GCSE Science, with no coursework. It is assessed through six examination papers at both levels.
Throughout the duration of the course students will be closely monitored to assess their progress and ensure that they are moving towards fulfilling and exceeding their potential. Where necessary, additional support will be offered in a format that is most suited to the individual to assist in realising this potential.
As with Years 7 & 8, the course is well resourced and delivered through a range of teaching styles including an emphasis on working scientifically which is at the heart of the new GCSE. The teaching staff meet regularly to discuss teaching strategies and support that can be offered to students to enable success.
We also aim to help students develop by providing extracurricular clubs and activities will allow pupils to further enjoy a subject which we hope they will have a keen interest in. We currently run a David Attenborough club and Space Club, with a Bright Sparks Club launching in the near future.
Intent statement: Guiding students to become responsible citizens who are able to make informed decisions and valid choices throughout their lives.
We aim to transform the lives of our students by helping them to understand aspects of the world around them so that as individuals they are better informed with their personal decisions that affect their health, their diet, exercise, use of energy and care of the environment and enjoyment of the natural and physical environment around them. The scientific practice of questioning, seeking evidence and answers, and sharing views with others also contributes to building confidence and respect for themselves and others. This will allow our students to become confident and successful individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives.
Furthermore, global issues, such as climate change, health and population growth, create an urgent need for young people to have a basic understanding of the relevant scientific ideas, technological and ethical issues and powers of reasoning, so that they are better prepared to consider and face these issues. Our science curriculum will help our students to become responsible citizens who know how to make a positive contribution to society.
Our curriculum will develop cultural capital by giving them the opportunity to engage in activities that develops their knowledge of threshold concepts of science, alongside skill development, to give students the capacity to grasp the essentials of diverse problems, to recognise meaningful patterns, and to retrieve and apply relevant knowledge across the big ideas of science. The cultural capital developed across the science curriculum will ensure students develop the critical spirit of the independent thinker—as a force for challenging orthodoxies not only within science but also in other subjects.
We will ensure our curriculum is broad and balanced by providing local contexts such as sampling local wildlife in ecology topics, and interacting with Pfizer at Sandwich Discovery Park who have adopted us as their local secondary school link. We will provide opportunities for students to consider national science issues such as the 2050 carbon neutral debate, and to also explore international science projects such as the international space programs. We will provide a rich hinterland to wrap around the powerful knowledge we have identified in our curriculum to ensure that students become responsible citizens with an informed knowledge of science.