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Welcome to the Science Department: Curriculum Information 2019 - 2020

Julian Dance

Curriculum Leader

The Team:                   

Alex Moon                      Assistant Curriculum Leader
Timothy Roach            Lead Science Practitioner
Anthony Carter            Classroom Teacher
Mark Cumner               Classroom Teacher
Paula Balch                  Classroom Teacher 
Tom Cartwright          Classroom Teacher
Alice Carter                   Classroom Teacher
Emma Cartwright      Classroom Teacher
Fleur Riall                      Technician

Introduction to the Department:

In the Science Department we aim to help all students build up their knowledge and skills in  Chemistry, Physics and Biology. Science allows children to begin to make well informed choices about the environment and society they live in, and begin to understand how all the components of the Universe are interrelated.  We endeavour to help make the transition from primary to secondary school as smooth as possible.  Learning in Years 7 & 8 builds upon the foundations of Science put in place during Primary school and begins to add more detail and complexity. We work with children to support them in their thinking about Science and how to plan, design and implement scientific investigations to answer key questions.

The BIG IDEA 5 Year Curriculum:

Science is taught on the basis that most ideas about the Universe, and the interactions within it can be explained by relatively few Big Ideas about Science. For the 5 years that children are with us, our science Curriculum hinges on 10 key ideas that develop in complexity and demand as children progress through the School. Our Curriculum Map shows how the children progress through these ideas. The new GCSE’s in Science require children to have a strong and extensive knowledge of Science so that they can apply what they know in new contexts and undertake effective analysis of data and information. Recalling knowledge accounts for 40% of the marks at GCSE, whilst application and analysis accounts for the remaining 60%. We believe that teaching a 5 Year curriculum that flows consistently and helps children develop understanding will equip them with the knowledge and skills to flourish at GCSE.

Key Stage 3 Information:

In Key Stage 3 we are constantly developing our curriculum to make it dynamic and relevant to the students we teach. By blending together assessment of what our students know, and how they investigate phenomena, we produce life-long learners who have an interest in the natural world and the ability to explore it further.

Course structure through Key Stage 3

Year 7

Year 8

Key Stage 4 Information:

In key stage 4, students enter one of two pathways based on their potential and their endeavour throughout key stage 3. Decisions about which pathway pupils will follow do not have to be made at the beginning of Year 9, when we commence GCSE. All pupils are taught the fundamental content during Year 9 and will be taught to a high level of demand, to provide the solid foundations for the GCSE qualifications. We look to identify those pupils who have the potential and desire to follow the GCSE Separate Science course during Year 9 and work towards having the pupils in the Separate Science groups by the beginning of Year 10. Pupils need to recognise that to achieve the higher grades in Separate Science (7 to 9) they will need to develop their skills of independent learning and be able to reflect, review and revise the course outside of the classroom.

Separate Science

For students intending to follow a science based career or those that are curious and interested in Science, we offer GCSE’s in the Separate Sciences allowing students to gain three GCSE’s in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Each course explores content ranging from purely theoretical to the applications of science.

Each separate GCSE involves two summative exams totalling 3 ½ hours. There is no coursework with this course, but practical skills are assessed and knowledge of a set of 28 Required Practical activities is required and can be assessed in the summative exams.

As well as this there are new Maths guidelines for each course, where there will be a certain percentage of questions related to mathematical calculations; 10% in Biology; 20% Chemistry; 30% Physics. There will also be formula which the students will need to learn and be able to recall as the list of equations given has been reduced.

Combined Science

This course offers two GCSE’s in the new Combined Science GCSE, and explores the main disciplines (Chemistry, Physics, Biology), with the content ranging from purely theoretical to the applications of science. The content is also similar to Triple Science but explored in less depth.

Combined Science will have a total of 7 hours of exams. There is no coursework with this new course, but practical skills are assessed and knowledge of a set of 22 Required Practical activities is required and can be assessed in the summative exams.

As well as this there are new Maths guidelines for each course, where there will be a certain percentage of questions related to mathematical calculation; 20% across all papers. There will also be formula which the students will need to learn and be able to recall as the list of equations given has been reduced.

Steps to Success

The increasing demand of the final GCSE qualifications has reaffirmed the need for children to develop their skills of independent learning and resilience. Many pupils find Science a challenging subject, and we are committed to ensure that we help children navigate their pathway through Science, regardless of their plans for when they leave Secondary School.

Our experience in teaching Science has shown that children who are willing to complete homework to a high standard and in a timely fashion, and who are willing to read around the subject in their own time usually secure the higher grades at the end of Year 11. Being willing to try and have a go, and accepting that at times they will not get everything correct at their initial attempts is an important facet of learning about Science.

Support for Science

We use the Doddle (www.doddlelearn.co.uk) platform extensively to help us deliver engaging and relevant content for all our lessons to all ability levels. The interactive nature of the platform allows pupils to access the lesson content that they are being taught and the revision and review resources that are essential to making good progress in Science. We encourage all children to access the platform regularly to augment their learning, and will set homework tasks that use the platform. Where IT access at home is a problem, children can attend Homework Club at school and complete tasks here.

For homework, we set regular practice tests on Educake (www.educake.co.uk) that we expect all children to attempt. The tests are designed and set by the teacher and can test content that pupils are currently working on or can allow pupils to develop their retrieval skills by testing on a previous topic. We also use the platform diagnostically to ascertain prior understanding before setting out on a new topic. The platform provides teachers with very detailed information about how children are progressing and allows us to adapt and focus our teaching on the areas where children require the most support.

Finally, we also recommend that children get into the habit of using BBC Bitesize (https://www.bbc.com/education/levels/z98jmp3) to review and revise Science. The resources provided are excellent and allow pupils to test themselves and identify what they need to revise and focus on. Teachers will frequent refer pupils to Bitesize in order to deepen their learning and we can link from Educake to specific BBC Bitesize topics.

Course structure through Key Stage 4

Year 9

Year 10

Year 11

Examination Board used

We follow the AQA exam board for Separate Science and Combined Science.

Qualification to be obtained

GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry, GCSE Physics or GCSE Combined Science Award

Other Information:

Students will be provided with the opportunity to purchase a suitable GCSE revision guide and workbook to help guide and focus their work outside of school to augment in-class learning.

Crest Awards. The Department are looking to offer places for pupils to sign up to the Crest Awards scheme. https://www.crestawards.org/. This will be offered as part of our Eggar’s Experience and can lead to students being awarded nationally recognised awards in Science.

TEENTECH – a STEM project run locally in Basingstoke, where 10 students from year 9 get a chance to experience presentations and work on challenges as groups.