“Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.”
– Carl Sagan
Science is all around us. A good scientific grounding is essential for all members of society. Our curriculum aims to achieve this, enabling all students to understand the science they see in the world around them from understanding their own bodies to being able to understand the science behind some of the major global issues.
The content taught at KS3 aims to inspire and motivate students for their GCSE studies and beyond. We encourage students to be curious, to question and to make links between the scientific concepts that they are taught, all useful transferable skills. Science helps students understand a lot about the world in which we live and will be at the forefront of advancements in the future by equipping students with the knowledge and also the methods, skills and processes of science they will be well prepared for this..
Students study topics overing Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Through high quality teaching we develop the following characteristics in students
The amount of prior science education can vary when students arrive at Millthorpe. The topics in Year 7 are taught in a way that supports all learners whilst also providing opportunities to challenge all. Year 7 starts with three topics on cells, forces and particles, atoms, elements and compounds. This enables students to grasp some of the big ideas before moving onto topics that rely on these big ideas in Biology- body systems and reproduction, in Chemistry – chemical reaction and rocks and in Physics – space and energy. Through the use of practical work students also gain an understanding of common laboratory equipment, collecting data and analysing it. At the end of the year – students complete a project on ‘Women in Science’, recognising the science and the achievements of certain individuals whilst also promoting STEM as a career path.
The year 8 curriculum builds on the scientific grounding that students have gained in year 7. This enables students to study more specific topics which require a greater depth of scientific understanding. In Biology- Health and Lifestyle, Ecosystem Processes and Adaptation and Inheritance. In Chemistry – Acids and Alkalis, The Periodic Table and Separating Mixtures. In Physics – Sound, Light and Electricity and Magnetism. As students now have a grounding in basic experimental procedures, more complex practical work is introduced and students are taught the importance of evaluating the effectiveness of their method and the validity of their results. At the end of the year students undertake a series of lessons about the science of diversity. This includes lessons on gender, homosexuality and race. This equips students with the knowledge to challenge prejudice within society and to celebrate diversity.
Year 9 acts as a gateway to GCSE studies, the topics studied require students to retrieve knowledge from the past two years whilst also introducing fundamental concepts in all three scientific disciplines which are essential for GCSE studies. Students will look at modern implications of science from all three areas. Towards the end of Year students begin their GCSE studies completing one GCSE unit from each area of science.
Students follow the AQA science specification for triple science or combined science synergy. Having completed 3 units in Year 9 students complete the units required for Paper 1 (B1-4, C1-5, P1-4). This order enables knowledge to build up sequentially and links and opportunities to retrieve knowledge from prior units are provided. The importance of correct scientific terminology is highlighted consistently. Required practicals specified by the exam board are embedded and students are encouraged to question the effectiveness of methods and the validity of data. Students sit a full Paper 1 in each science at the end of the year and receive personalised feedback and areas to improve to help them as they move forward into Year 11.
Students complete the Paper 2 units in each science B5-7, C5-10, P5-P7 or 8. Again this order enables knowledge to build up sequentially and links and opportunities to retrieve knowledge from prior units are provided. Prior to each PPE period students analyse and receive personalised feedback on their last paper and areas to improve. The aim is to improve their grade each time and improve their confidence in approaching external exams. Revision resources which have been developed and refined by the department are used to help achieve this.
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