Science Curriculum Intent

The science curriculum area’s vision is to engage young people in science and develop scientists of the future. We wish to create a stimulating and exciting learning environment where the teaching is both challenging and supportive. By empowering students to learn independently, we allow them to flourish and achieve to the very best of their ability. We only offer the highest standards including a bespoke curriculum, quality resources and a safe, comfortable environment.

The science department aims to educate our students to become citizens of a scientific world and perhaps inspire some to become future scientists and engineers. We hope to motivate students to consider the social, cultural and moral issues related to science. We aim to teach them to use scientific knowledge and skills with confidence and accuracy and to enhance their education with an array of enrichment opportunities.

Our science curriculum area is one of the largest in school with ten teaching staff, eight well equipped laboratories and three supportive technicians. 

For further information please click on the headings below:

1. Teaching Staff

2. The KS3 Curriculum

3. The KS4 Curriculum

4. Supporting Literacy and Numeracy Skills

5. Assessment

6. Homework

7. Academic Track Record

8. Careers Progression and Enrichment

9. GCSE Course Information


1. Teaching Staff

Curriculum Lead:             Mrs L Petts
Second in the Curriculum Area: Mrs A Holden
Lead Teacher of Physics: Mr B Needham
Lead Teacher of Chemistry: Mr B Willis
   
Teachers of Science: Dr W Aston
  Dr E Evangelopoulou
  Mr T Kennedy-Sutton
  Mrs H Bonner
  Mrs V McShane
   
KS3 Science Coordinator: Mr D Tye
   
Lab Technicians: Miss A Rushworth
  Mrs W Gibbons
  Mrs C Heighton

 


2.  The KS3 Curriculum

We deliver a 2 ½ year Key Stage 3 programme of study, incorporating fully the national curriculum. Our curriculum is written in-house and bespoke to the needs of our learners. Our curriculum provision is frequently, critical reviewed and improved with specialist teachers leading the development of units of work at both KS3 and KS4. In Year 7 we hope to build on prior learning at KS2 and start with a skills’ unit of work to ease transition and promote enthusiasm and safety. KS2 data is used to ensure gaps are identified and various intervention strategies can be engaged. 

An online learning platform called Kerboodle is used to access an additional resource called ‘Activate’.  Activate is an exciting KS3 science course designed to spark curiosity in science and support students on their learning journey through KS3 to KS4 success. Students finish KS3 at Christmas of Year 9 with a solid foundation of the knowledge and skills of science.  All students have access to an online textbook and digital learning resources.

Students in Year 7 and Year 8 will usually have one science teacher for all three lessons a week. They are taught a variety of biology, chemistry and physics topics. The KS3 curriculum plans and skills maps can be found via the links below; they set out the order and length of each topic and key summative assessment dates. 

The students’ knowledge is assessed regularly throughout Key Stage 3 with the use of assessments after two topics and access to online exam questions. The questions are differentiated and will allow access to all abilities. Scientific skills such as are also assessed at KS3 using core practicals.


3.  The KS4 Curriculum

At KS4, science is a core subject and must be studied by all students until they leave school. There are two routes of study at KS4 science, both routes follow AQA specifications. 

  • Separate science GCSEs (3 GCSEs)
  • Combined science GCSE- trilogy (2 GCSEs)

In Year 9, students will start their GCSE studies after Christmas, having spent the autumn term further developing the necessary practical and mathematical skills they require for KS4 science study. We are very privileged to have a highly qualified team of biology, chemistry and physics teachers; therefore, we can offer all our pupils specialist teachers in each subject area.

The KS4 curriculum plans can be found via the links below. They set out the order and length of each unit of work. Combined science students have 15 assessments over 2 ½ years. Biology has 7 assessments; chemistry has 10 and physics has 7. Skills are also assessed via required practicals.


4.  Supporting Literacy and Numeracy

Teachers of science are mindful of the strong links between academic success and literacy and numeracy skills. Literacy is promoted at every opportunity by the use of ‘word of the week’, oracy strategies such as ‘stand and speak’, reading strategies such as pop corm reading, MR CONE method writing support, ‘no hands up’ and EVRA to aid the use and rearranging of equations in science. At all key stages, mathematical fluency is promoted. Skills in arithmetic, data handling, algebra, graphs, geometry and trigonometry are embedded in to our schemes of work and are monitored through formative feedback tasks and core required practicals. Furthermore, pupils experience a rich practical experience throughout both key stages to develop scientific thinking, experimental skills and strategies, analysis and evaluation skills and improve scientific vocabulary and correct use of nomenclature. 


5.  Assessment

All students at both key stages have regular assessments of their knowledge and skills, as indicated in the curriculum plans. This information is used to inform teachers’ planning and intervention where necessary. It is the science curriculum area policy to provide written feedback to students on their knowledge assessments and practical skills however, classwork and homework will not routinely be teacher assessed. Live marking and peer and self-assessment are widely used with students reflecting on their work and making improvements, in-line with the whole school green pen policy. 


6. Homework

Students will be given a varied diet of science homework tasks dependent on their year group. Examples of science homework may include questions to support classwork, past examination questions, spellings, revision, research or an extension piece of literacy/maths/creative work. Students will regularly be set science homework to complete online at www.kerboodle.com and www.educake.com. Homework will usually be peer or self-assessed in class. Students will receive verbal feedback on their homework where appropriate.


7. Academic Track Record

The science curriculum area has a very strong academic track record. In 2023, 80.1% of all students achieved a standard double pass or above. The number of students going on to study the sciences post-16 is well above the national average. Attendance at science enrichment and revision activities is high. Regular learning walks, work scrutinies and student voice surveys provide on-going evidence of the quality of teaching and learning and inform further development of the curriculum implementation and curriculum area provision.


8.  Careers Progression and Enrichment

Every opportunity is taken to highlight and discuss the variety of science-based career paths that students may wish to follow. Starting in Year 7, we breakdown misconceptions about a typical scientist and emphasise that not all scientists wear ‘white coats’. Biannually, all students attend an in school human careers’ library event called ‘What can science do for me?’ The students meet with over fifty invited adults to discuss their careers and educational routes.  In addition to the whole school careers’ programme, the science department regularly attends events at post-16 providers such as the Horizons Masterclasses at Runshaw College and The Science Summer School at West Lancashire College. Both academic and vocational science courses are a popular choice for our students post-16. The number of students going on to study the sciences post-16 is well above the national average.

In science lessons, we like to give students the opportunity to take science away from the classroom, through various trips, clubs and activities. We do this to provide students with unique opportunities to see different aspects of science, ones that may not be covered or seen in a standard teaching classroom. These activities are design to enrich and enhance students' understanding and participation in science. Regular enrichment activities include investigations club, dissection club and astronomy club. In addition, during National Science Week, we host a variety of games and activities for students to get involved with including our famous science literacy Mr CONE hunt.  


9.  GCSE Course Information

For more details on each of the GCSEs we offer including specification (knowledge and skills needed) and final assessment details, please use the links below.