Science provides the foundation for our children to understand our World through the disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Explorative, practical and investigative learning are at the heart of our science curriculum, developing scientific knowledge and understanding in conjunction with key skills, such as questioning, problem solving and the ability to make informed decisions, necessary for our children to succeed in the World today.
The science schemes of work are developed to maximise opportunities for practical learning experiences, including an extensive range of activities, from making and excavating fossils to dissecting hearts to using flame tests to identify metals to making a speaker and investigating the effect of varying the number of coils. Schemes of work also highlight both cross-curricular and intra-curricular links to help build a strong narrative as the children progress through the curriculum.
Our Skills for Life students follow a bespoke science curriculum which is linked to their half termly theme. The weekly lessons are practical and explorative, centred around a scientific concept they facilitate the development of scientific knowledge and understanding whilst meeting sensory, OT and SaLT needs.
In Key Stage 2 and Year 7 our Skills for Work and Skills for Further Education students follow a highly adapted curriculum based around the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum programmes of study. Topics are linked with the lower school’s half-termly theme to provide additional background information and context to promote extended understanding and help embed key scientific concepts during the foundation stages. Key concepts introduced in Key Stage 2 are revisited in Year 7 with an increase in content detail and demand.
Students move on to study towards a science Entry Level Certificate in years 8 through to 11. The accreditation is composed of 36 topics focusing on key biological, chemical and physical concepts from the Key Stage 3 and 4 National Curriculum programmes of study.
Our middle and upper school curriculum is sequenced yearly taking into account student progression and appropriate challenge and demand, constructing a narrative which provides an interplay of familiar and strange for students on their learning journey.
We match the accreditation to the individual student so in addition to the Entry Level we also offer science GCSE as an additional option where appropriate.
The impact of our science curriculum is clearly evident in our accreditation results. It can also be seen in our students’ science folders and school displays and is apparent in the increased independence in which our students carry out their practical and investigative work, it is amazing to witness their progress as they move through the curriculum. We use the following ways to monitor and assess the impact of our curriculum: –
Assessment for learning questioning techniques in the classroom.
Student progress records which track progress of our Skills for Life students towards their individualised learning intentions.
Key stage 2 and year 7 baseline and end of topic progress tests, through our lower school science tracker.
Student progress conversations during our regular science departmental meetings
Upper school and sixth form students will complete an Entry level 1 through to level 3 Awards in Personal Development & Employability Skills
A small selection of students, who have demonstrated an aptitude for science during Year 9 and into 10 are given the opportunity to change an Upper school option choice to Science and complete the Cambridge Combined Science International GCSE.