Curriculum Intent – Science

Key aims for students at Haywood Academy in Science

Our key aims are that:            

  • All student in Science are valued and nurtured to enable them to develop the resilience that will be essential for them to meet their potential now and in the future.
  • All students understand why Science learning is relevant to them in their daily/future lives.
  • All students are given the opportunity to develop the depth and breadth of knowledge in Science that, not only prepares them for future exam and career success, but crucially enables them to develop as a person with a wide range of experiences and skills.
  • All students develop the disciplinary knowledge and practical skills necessary to enable them to investigate the world around them successfully both within a lab setting and safely in their everyday lives.
  • All students understand the STEM/STEAM careers that are available to them and challenge gender stereotypes that might otherwise limit their potential in future.
  • Students understand PSHE concepts and British values within the context of the Science curriculum.

Why do we want this for them?

An understanding and love of Science is crucial for all aspects of the future lives of our students. This ranges from understanding basic, yet essential, concepts including nutrition and safety (such as household chemical safety) to presenting students with the opportunity to thrive in their future careers. Building Science capital enables students to understand the world around them and to develop enquiry skills that will facilitate their study of other curriculum subjects and their ability to solve problems throughout their lives.  

How do we ensure equity for all to allow all to succeed in Science?

Every student, regardless of their starting point has the right to receive a high quality Science education that enables them to meet their potential in all aspects of their lives. To ensure this all students in KS3 participate in a curriculum that meets all National Curriculum objectives but it differentiated to meet their needs. At KS4 all students are placed on a curriculum pathway that is appropriate to their needs including tier of entry and either a trilogy or separate Science course. Learning is again differentiated to meet their needs and enable them to make the progress that they deserve to make. At KS5 students who choose to study Science are supported to develop the depth of knowledge that is essential for success but also, crucially, to develop the practical skills (in line with CPAC) necessary for Science study at Degree level or beyond. 

Data is used as a tool in the Science department to allow timely and effective intervention both within the ‘review’ phase in lessons but also during after school revision. Data is also used to identify groups of learners including SEND, Pupil Premium, EAL etc. This data is used by the teacher to plan lessons that are appropriate to meet the needs of all groups of learners.

What are our curriculum objectives? What do we want pupils to be able to know and do by the time they leave?

At KS3 our curriculum is intended to meet all National Curriculum objectives (being designed around the AQA KS3 scheme of work document) and to teach the disciplinary/skills knowledge that are essential for students to not only build their Science knowledge and Science capital but to also truly understand how Science works. During KS3 students develop the skills required to plan investigations and solve problems that are essential in a Science context but are applicable across subjects including Mathematics. Study at KS4 deepens and extends that broad experiences at KS3, aiming to develop deeper understanding of concepts and to make links across subject areas. An example might be understanding how organelles including Mitochondria are linked to process including respiration and how the reactants required for aerobic respiration are obtained. At KS4 disciplinary knowledge is further developed through both required practical’s and teacher design practical experiments throughout the course. At KS5 students who choose to study Science develop the knowledge and problem solving skills that are essential to deeply understand Science. A further crucial aim for all students is that they develop secure understanding of core concepts that are essential for their future wellbeing and success including health and nutrition, causes of/treatments for disease and safe use of equipment and sex and relationships.

How does our curriculum plan set out the sequence and structure of how we’ll implement it?

At KS3 and 4 our curriculum plan is sequenced to ensure that concepts develop in a logical way that facilitates understanding and allows concept to build over time. We implement a ‘spiral curriculum’ in that concepts are reviewed regularly in the review phase of lessons to enable students to practice skills and encourage students to understand that all topics are interrelated and never in isolation. Disciplinary knowledge is taught throughout the curriculum to ensure that skills are developed and reinforced over time. Students are taught, where possible, by subject specialists to ensure that they are facilitated to develop the deepest possible knowledge of the subject and also that they benefit from different teaching styles that add variety to their learning. In year 7 students receive 9 hours of Science learning per fortnight, this falls to 8 hours per fortnight in year 8 and 9. At KS4 in years 10 and 11 students receive 9 hours of Science learning per fortnight. At KS5 students in Biology and Chemistry students receive 10 hours of lessons per fortnight. CPD within the Science department focuses on key teaching and learning priorities for the whole department and also for individual teachers. These priorities are identified through formal observations and learning walks that are designed to measure progress throughout the academic year.

How does our curriculum reflect national policy (for example, British values, or PSHE)?

Throughout the study of Science at KS3, 4 and 5 there are a wide range of opportunities available for studying PSHE related concepts including relationships and sex education at KS3 and giving consideration to issues including the ethics of STEM cells research at KS4. Key opportunities are identified as part of the curriculum plan for Science.

How does our curriculum cater for disadvantaged and minority groups? How do we make sure these pupils aren’t ‘shut out’ of pursuing subjects they wish to study because of too sharp a focus on exam results?

All students, regardless of prior attainment, are presented with the opportunity to study the full Science curriculum at KS3 and 4 with class teachers differentiating as appropriate to meet their needs. At KS4 all students study Science to GCSE standard, either on the Trilogy or Separate Science pathway. The tier of entry is decide based on the progress the student is making and the pathway that best meets their needs in future. After school intervention is available for all rather than purely being focused on students that make the greatest difference to results. All students deserve support to enable them to meet their potential. All staff are expected to demonstrate relentlessly high expectations of all students in Science, regardless of their prior attainment or predicted grade.

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