Our vision is to deliver a Science curriculum that secures the knowledge, outcomes, benefits and opportunities afforded to those that attend the most selective and prestigious educational institutions in the world.
We are ambitious for all of our students. As a department, we work to ensure our students’ progress is not restricted by their previous attainment or background and that when they leave, they are in a position to compete in real terms with students of all backgrounds.
The overarching intentions of our Science curriculum are as follows:
- Students will embrace Science as a fluid and changing subject, understanding that the general governing principles remain constant.
- Students will develop a sense of wonder and awe by having an in-depth, high – level understanding of the world around them.
- Engagement through mastery. Students become increasingly competent in Science and are intrinsically motivated to commit to further progress through the recognition of rewards of the hard-work, persistence and resilience.
- To build Science Capital. Pupils will gain the fundamental problem solving and critical thinking skills to make informed decisions in order to actively participate and engage in a democratic society (exploring the idea of the human role in climate change, scrutinising evidence on the safety of vaccinations, evaluating the next generation of sustainable energy resources). This is an essential skill in Science which is rooted in subject knowledge. Once the subject knowledge is secured, we expect students to engage in more challenging aspects such as the application of their knowledge in unfamiliar contexts i.e. problem solving.
- To provide a high-quality knowledge based curriculum that provides academic rigour. We share the best Science knowledge that has been thought and said throughout human history, not limiting our curriculum to content within the exam specification.
- Hinterland knowledge is integral to our curriculum. We teach beyond exam content. This depth of knowledge gives context to scientific phenomena. Students will understand Scientific content at a deep academic level as well as the wider social and personal implications of Science.
- All students are taught to the highest level. Teachers use their expertise in scaffolding and deconstruction to enable all abilities to access the highest content.
- To provide students with the knowledge, skills and therefore the confidence to be able to articulate their views, fully express themselves and engage in meaningful debate as scientifically literate citizens.
The implementation of our curriculum is underpinned in principles of cognitive science and expert subject knowledge.
- Unit planning by subject experts. We use collaborative planning where teachers plan their subject specialism for the department. As subject experts we are able to best include and break down the best knowledge into a logical learning sequence into bitesize chunks to avoid cognitive overload and embed skills and retrieval of prior learning for the best success.
- Specified subject time for teachers to meet using data driven instruction to identify misconceptions and further develop the curriculum to meet the needs of students. Teachers work collaboratively as a department to share knowledge and best practice as well as useful Hinterland knowledge to allow students to relate content and scientific processes to real-life situations especially with areas students may be struggling with.
- The curriculum has been constructed as a spiral curriculum so fundamentals of science are embedded throughout KS3 and KS4. Regular interleaving and retrieval practice is implemented in low stakes questioning, quick quizzes, progress checks in lessons for instant feedback. PAUSE lessons are targeted to different classes to address misconceptions and further develop deep understanding of scientific content following the theme of a spiralling curriculum.
- All lessons are targeted to the highest grades but very much scaffolded by individual teachers to meet the needs of every student. Teachers feel comfortable explaining the reasons for different revision/retrieval practices within the school and the importance of knowledge retrieval and long term memory. Targets for all students are aspirational.
- Regular low-stakes Knowledge Organiser and knowledge tests.
- Deliberate practice in every lesson with exam-style questions. Scientific habits of discussion encouraged in lessons. Students are explicitly taught to be able to answer exam questions and also to use this information to articulate their view in a wider context.
- Questioning – misconceptions are frequently assessed and addressed. This happens systematically within individual lessons and over the longer-term. High challenge questioning assesses students prior learning and requires students to have a sound understanding of concepts required to progress.
assessment journeys: ♦ Biology ♦ Chemistry ♦ Physics ♦ BTEC Applied science
The measures we use to assess the impact of our curriculum are:
- Outcomes in terms of external examination results against national benchmarks for both attainment and progress
- Through dialogue with students, teachers will ascertain students understanding of
- ability to engage with Habits of Discussion
- recall and understanding of Hinterland knowledge
- Student destinations after Y11 or 6th form
- Understanding shown in our range of low stakes testing.