The science curriculum is designed to build on knowledge gained at key stage 2. Developing skills within Biology, Chemistry and Physics whilst being assessed as a whole science topic. Students are expected to progress through content using 4 key skill sets throughout their 5 years in science.
After a 2 year key stage 3 the cohort will continue studying science at key stage 4 in combined science. Students will be taught Biology, Chemistry and Physics by specialist teachers and will be assessed using the AQA grade boundaries (Years9&10) and Edexcel grade boundaries (year 11) We’ve ensured that the biology, chemistry and physics content is presented clearly, in a logical teaching order, with opportunities for skills development throughout the course. The subject content and required practical’s in all our science qualifications provide opportunities for progression. Combined Science: Trilogy gives students the option to progress to A-levels in science or other subjects. Where appropriate student can opt to study for separate qualifications in Biology, Chemistry and Physics as is in the case of our current year 11. These qualifications are again delivered by specialist teachers and again give opportunities to progress to A-levels in science or other subjects.
Science is compulsory core topic at KS3 and is delivered using specialist science teachers in 7 x 1hr lessons delivered two weekly
Topics covered in KS3 are.
These topics are designed to facilitate a smooth transition to KS4 content in year 9. During year 7 and 8 students will be assessed by formative and summative methods that will assess knowledge and understanding as well as key skills to develop resilient learners as they progress into KS3.
Engagement in science is developed by extracurricular activities in forensic science, CREST awards and space topics.
Current year 11 are completing the Edexcel GCSE framework. They are taught in subject specialism for 9 x 1hr lessons per fortninght. Those students following the triple separate science option are taught using 14 x 1hr lessons to ensure that additional content is delivered in detail.
Year 9 and 10 students are following The AQA combined science SoW. They are taught in year 9 and 10 with 8 x 1hr lessons per fortnight.
Subject content covered in KS4
- Cell biology
- Infection and response
- Homeostasis and response
- Inheritance, variation and evolution
- Atomic structure and the periodic table
- Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter
- Quantitative chemistry
- Chemical changes
- Energy changes
- The rate and extent of chemical change
- Organic chemistry
- Chemical analysis
- Chemistry of the atmosphere
- Using resources
- Particle model of matter
- Atomic structure
- Magnetism and electromagnetism
- Space Physics (GCSE Physics only)
The courses (Both AQA and Edexcel) are both linear qualifications and are assessed as follows:
6 x 70 minute examinations (Biology 1 & 2, Chemistry 1&2, Physics 1&2)
Biology 2 x 105-minute examinations
Chemistry 2 x 105-minute examinations
Physics 2 x 105-minute examinations
During the course pupils will develop skills during Year 9 and 10 which build upon each other and link to the specific units on the AQA specification. They will also be given examination skills through WTMs and PPEs to enable the pupils to transfer their knowledge into examination practice. Year 11 will be focused on completing the topics and ensuring that the knowledge gained in Years 9 and 10 is secure, through examination techniques and assessment practices.
Teaching and learning will be focused on delivering the academy Quality First Teaching Principles, ensuring that knowledge and understanding is secure and revisited and that pupils are able to perform long term recall of topics
The impact of teaching and learning will be assessed using formative and summative methods. The departmental aim is to develop the engagement in science to increase the number of pupils studying science post key stage 4 and to increase the attainment and progress of students whilst studying at the academy.
How grades are decided for input; what are the grades based upon?
Assessments will take a variety of forms, but will primarily focus on developing the practice required to recall knowledge and demonstrate understanding linked to the examination. summative assessments will take the form of written examination questions/papers, whilst formative assessment will be delivered in forms such as online, q&a, revision tests.
Assessments will be graded according to the AQA / Edexcel grade boundaries as appropriate with a wide range of assessments used to validate the data. Each topic will be given a grade to assist with the profiling of pupils to improve performance.
Assessment maps will also be used to enable profiling of pupils to identify areas of development.
The evidence base for assessment input; where do we find the students work?
Summative assessments will be found in student books with appropriate DIRT activities following up from the assessment as evidence of assessment for grading.
Pupils formative work will be in books or stored electronically using Office 365 for revision materials/notes where appropriate.
A tracker for each class can be found on the OneDrive detailing the grades given for each assessment and overview grades for the course.
Faculty Assessment Maps
Assessment maps are regularly used by teachers in their assessment of students’ work during lessons. These assessment maps are used to track the progress of subject specific skills, providing students with clear next steps.
- Ensure that students have access to their own assessment maps and explain that the maps help staff to assess student attainment in lessons, tests, exams and homework against GCSE criteria. The maps help us to plot current attainment and, more importantly, outline what progress steps are needed to improve further. The maps may be stuck into books/folders or held electronically
- Allow students to assess their work against the maps. Students or teachers should highlight which aspects of the map they think they have achieved and then tick when this skill is secured – the starting point for this process is their most recent CWG (Current Working Grade) and EAP (Expected Attainment Pathway) target. The CWG gives an indication of the level/grade at which a student is working taking into account assessments, tests, classwork and homework.
- In conversation with students verify or amend the self-assessment.
- Ensure that by the end of this process all student copies of the assessment map which are available to both students and teachers during every lesson
- In situations, staff may utilise mini-maps to aid the teaching of specific aspects or outcomes of the assessment map.
As can be seen, this process is best undertaken via individual learning conversations with students. As part of this a target setting process is undertaken whereby next steps for improvement are agreed.
Not only does this process highlight GCSE/BTEC skills throughout Y7-11, it also clearly maps out what a student needs to do to improve. Teachers will use this information to plan subsequent lessons and assessments. This approach to assessment and feedback is a common one across all subject areas, providing a consistent pattern for students.
Standardisation is completed before each data collection week and follows this process:
- All staff attend the meeting
- Staff bring a requested sample of books
- HoF ensures subject Assessment maps and any KS4 Mark Schemes are available
- Staff look at books from another member of staff to agree or request amendments to assessment marks, then to comment on amount of work and consistent use of school policy
Any other faculty specific standardisation?