In Science our objective is for pupils to have the scientific understanding to act with; responsibility to protect our planet, humility to understand our place within the universe and determination to actively make positive changes (this is our vision statement). To reach this objective we aim to develop learners who are inquisitive both in terms of their scientific knowledge and understanding. Across all 3 key stages practical skills will be developed to allow students to access practical based learning, how science works scenarios and develop skills required for a future career in research.
In our Core Curriculum pupils gain a rounded base knowledge in science; levelling the playing field from KS2, providing the basis to build GCSE knowledge on and raising awareness about how the world around them works. There is also a focus on both the literacy and numeracy skills required and we work alongside the mathematics department to ensure that maths-based skills are taught in tandem. The units studied are: Introduction to practical skills, Particles, Reactions, Cells, Body systems, Forces, Space, Reproduction, Atoms, Acids, Sound, Light, Ecosystems, Adaptations and inheritance, Earth, Separating techniques, Energy, Motion and pressure, Health and lifestyle, Electricity and magnetism, Periodic table, Metals and acids.
In our Focused Curriculum, pupils continue along their knowledge journey in science, building upon their Core foundations whilst working towards achieving their GCSE qualifications with similar themes and focuses to the Core Curriculum. The units studied cover the following themes: Biology – cell and organism systems, ecology and inheritance; Chemistry – particles, chemical reactions – their products and control; Physics – Matter and forces, electricity and magnetism, waves, energy and radioactivity. All three sciences cover global challenges material based in their subject area to provide students with a wider world view including social responsibility and change. Practical Assessment Group (PAG) activities are embedded throughout the three-year learning in KS4 to enhance practical skills and scientific understanding.
In our Specialised Curriculum, students pursue their interest in a more specialist way in either Biology, Chemistry or Physics and are building on their previous knowledge from the Focused Curriculum in each area. Biology covers both plants and animals looking at Biodiversity, Exchange and Transport, Genetics, Homeostasis and other associated areas. Chemistry covers both organic and physical areas also looking at the Periodic Table, Energy and analytical techniques within those areas. Physics covers Forces and Motion, Electrons and Waves, Newtonian world and Particle and the Medical aspect plus areas associated with these. All three sciences also focus on the practical aspect of the subject via Practical assessment (PAG) with a view to independent work. The whole course in each subject is geared towards independent learning and the ability to process and apply the knowledge gained with a view to the next step in a student pathway.
We implement a spiral curriculum to build knowledge whilst regularly reviewing prior learning to ensure retention and understanding. We cover the national curriculum, in full, whilst making time for areas we feel are of great importance such as climate change. We use mixed groups, and all pupils are taught the same examinable content. Our highest achievers are stretched to consider what would traditionally be considered contexts suitable for the next phase of study. We use multi-sensory approaches including practical demos, practical work and modelling. We believe that the decisions we have made regarding our curriculum structure ensure that it encourages not only accessibility but also success for all. We have a clear structure for both pupils and staff to follow. To support pupils with accessing their science learning we try to contextualize the learning as much as possible drawing on the wide range of local successes such as the strong agricultural heritage, John Innes plant science research centre, Earlham Institute gene sequencing centre and many others on the University of East Anglia research park alongside the Norwich & Norfolk University hospital and Lotus car manufacturing to name just a few.
We believe that our science curriculum works well within the wider priorities of the whole school. For example, our curriculum is ambitious and coherent in order to secure the success for all learners with staff implementing challenging lessons to achieve this with high expectations of all learners. It is our belief that science is crucial in ensuring that pupils are equipped for life beyond school as represented in our vision statement.
We continue to work as a department on ensuring that all staff are clear on our objectives and working towards them. Our curriculum vision was created collaboratively by the whole team, and we have had thorough discussions on the sequencing and suitability of our curriculum to meet them. We have made contact with local industry through staff continued professional development and will be working hard to pass that contextualized knowledge onto our pupils in the coming year.