We believe that students deserve a broad and ambitious Science curriculum, rich in skills and knowledge, which ignites curiosity and prepares them well for future learning or employment. Our Science curriculum will give students the opportunity to:
- Develop practical skills by working scientifically;
- Articulate scientific concepts clearly and precisely;
- Remedy misconceptions;
- Understand the nature, processes and methods of Science;
- Understand the uses and implications of Science today and for the future;
- Accurately read and interpret technical terminology;
- See connections between subject areas and become aware of the big ideas underpinning scientific knowledge and understanding;
- Challenge received wisdom by taking into account new evidence and ideas;
- Use problem solving skills and numeracy within scientific concepts
Curriculum Intent Statement
The science curriculum for the students of Adelaide School has been designed to provide students with a deep understanding of the scientific knowledge and ideas that impact them as individuals within a local and globalised context.
As they move through the curriculum, students will be increasingly made to develop their curiosity, provide insight into working scientifically and appreciate the value of science in their everyday lives. Our curriculum provides a platform for more advanced science based study, providing a gateway into a wide range of career opportunities. It also delivers a framework for understanding the natural world and supporting students to become scientifically literate participants in society.
This is something supported by the Department for Education (DfE) who write that the curriculum should emphasise that knowledge should be something “to be remembered and constantly built upon, not merely encountered and fleetingly experienced” .
The key principles used when designing the new curriculum were:
- To develop a knowledge rich curriculum, supported by high quality teacher instruction, collaborative learning and the opportunity for students to demonstrate understanding.
- Effective use of models to explain concepts and critical evaluation of these models.
- Development, understanding and use of scientific language and commonalities in language between other curriculum areas.
- The sequence of learning, including prior knowledge and next steps.
- Retrieval of information over time.
- Reduction of a topic/end of term test, more frequent ‘low stakes’ checkpoints that feedback in to classroom planning.
- Links to other subjects as well as local and social context.
Our curriculum is split into 6 strands, which flow through from KS2 to KS4. When students revisit each strand, the opportunity is taken to revisit prior knowledge, provide intervention where appropriate and deepen students understanding and scientific skills within the strand.
Students follow the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3, which is currently (in 2020) Year 8 and Year 9, and move to ELC/GCSE/BTEC in Year 10.
As a result of the curriculum review, this has been changed with students now spending more time developing a broad understanding of the national curriculum content in Year 9 before commencing GCSE in Year 10. Our approach allows students to progress through the Key Stage 3 curriculum at a personalised pace, again allowing more time to deepen students understanding and develop language skills in each strand.
Key Stage 3 The intent was to create an overarching narrative for our curriculum strands. The rationale was to allow students to understand ‘what they are learning, why they are learning this now, what does this build on and where does it lead’. In our curriculum, we need to think about how we ensure that information moves from the short-term into the long-term memory and we need to provide opportunities for pupils to revisit the key concepts.
Practical skills are modelled for students with opportunities for students to develop the skills of enquiry and working scientifically.
Key Stage 4 Students experience a wide range of new topics and skills at KS4 whilst following the AQA Physics or Biology science specifications. Each topic strand is linked intrinsically to prior knowledge and skills from KS3 and builds in terms of complexity, skills and application.
To support the need for improving literacy and provide opportunities for retrieval practice, new key language is introduced, explained and modelled when building on prior learning within each strand. Assessment of students’ understanding of the curriculum is constant and low stake. This is done through multiple-choice checkpoints short tests, Q&A sessions and demonstration tasks. The aim of this assessment is to feed directly into planning so that lessons are personalised to meet the needs of all students.
Our aim is that all students should leave Adelaide School able to understand and explain the scientific world around them but more importantly are equipped with the skills to problem solve and critically evaluate the ‘big’ moral questions.
Science Curriculum Information
Key Stage 4
Science and Careers