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.
Science is at the heart of everything that we are and everything that we do. From understanding the basis of life from the smallest protein-based building block to the enormity of our place in the universe, Science can take students on a journey of discovery that underpins the very essence of humanity and the world around us.
Instilling Science Capital is fundamental to students’ experience of Science; from exploring the idea of the human role in climate change, scrutinizing evidence on the safety and efficacy of vaccinations to evaluating the next generation of sustainable energy sources. Students will gain fundamental problem-solving and critical thinking skills to make informed decisions in order to actively participate and engage in a democratic society.
We feel passionately that all students are entitled to a knowledge-based curriculum that provides academic rigour based on the best content that has been thought and said, as well as the opportunity to embrace Science as a fluid and changing subject by keeping up-to-date with new discoveries and fostering a sense of wonder and awe.
We aim to inspire students with a life-long love of Science and leave us as confident, independent global citizens of the future.
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 and persistence and resilience.
- To build Science Capital. Students 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. This is an essential skill in Science which is rooted in subject knowledge. (exploring the idea of the human role in climate change, scrutinizing evidence on the safety of vaccinations to evaluating the next generation of sustainable energy resources.) Once the subject – knowledge is secured, we expect students to engaging 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. The additional benefit of this is to underpin students with content they already know.
- 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 to 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 that 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 Grade 9
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 academy and importance of knowledge is power and long term memory. Targets for all students are aspirational.
Regular low-stakes Knowledge Organiser and knowledge tests.
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.
Misconceptions are frequently assessed and addressed. This happens systematically within individual lessons and over the longer term. High challenge in booklets questioning assess students prior learning and require students to have a sound understanding of concepts required to progress.
The measures we use to assess the impact of our curriculum are twofold. Firstly, outcomes in terms of external examination results against national benchmarks for both attainment and progress. Secondly, through dialogue with students, teachers will ascertain students understanding of their ability to engage with Habits of Discussion and recall and understanding of Hinterland knowledge
- Student destinations after Y11 or 6th form
- Understanding shown in our range of low stakes testing.