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Science

Intent

Science at St. Matthias aims to develop an understanding and curiosity about the world around them. It strives to encourage student to overcome barriers to learning, identify, and address any dysfluency or misconceptions, whilst gaining confidence in themselves. We aim to develop skills in scientific enquiry and problem solving which will help with science qualifications as well in their future career. 

KS3

The key stage 3 science curriculum follows the national curriculum.

This aims to: develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding, develop understanding of the methods and processes needed to conduct scientific enquiry, to be able to apply the scientific knowledge to situations in the wider world. The key skills developed include: experimental skills, analysis and evaluation, measurement.

The topics are strategically picked from the national curriculum to engage and ensure a solid science foundation. Topics covered in key stage 3 science include: structure and function of living organisms, material cycles and energy, interactions and interdependencies, the periodic table and reactions, acids and alkalis, the earth and atmosphere, energy, motion and forces, waves and matter.

The curriculum links into British values by discussions regarding respect of environment, the law and ethics of genetics, the responsivity to protect the earth and atmosphere.

The curriculum runs on a 2 year programme. The Biology, chemistry and physics topics are cycled through the year. The topics are chosen to embed key knowledge and to help build knowledge and skills to prepare them for their next steps as well as help to engage them. Misconceptions or gaps in knowledge can be identified due to small classes, changes to the lesson to ensure those gaps are filled are made to ensure pupils have clear understanding of the topics. Topics build throughout the term but also are linked with knowledge and skills learnt in previous weeks and terms. Practical tasks are used to engage learners. All learners have access to the same curriculum and topics but differentiation is used to ensure accessibility. A range of strategies are used to support literacy including spelling, comprehension and written tasks. Questions and curiosity are encouraged modelling of problem solving is used.

Consolidation of knowledge is ensured by using retrieval practice in formats such as low stakes quizzes  and games are used to embed knowledge and to begin to apply knowledge as well as to ensure understanding of key words. Topics are referred back to at regular intervals linking to the new topic.

KS4

The key stage 4 curriculum follows the Cambridge international GCSE single science award. This qualification aims to deliver content, which is interesting and engaging as well as providing the solid foundation of key scientific concepts. It develops practical and mathematical skills through the topics. This exam board consists of a written paper, multiple-choice paper and practical skills paper. This exam board was chosen to allow greater access for our pupils and an increased chance of success. Some pupils move to the school and are already working towards double science awards, if the referring school is willing; we try to support them to complete the double award where appropriate.

The topics are splits into the three sciences

  • Biology: The nature and variety of living organisms, structure and functions in living organisms, reproductions and inheritance, ecology and the environment, use of biological resources
  • Chemistry: principles of chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, organic chemistry
  • Physics: forces and motion, electricity, waves, energy resources and energy transfers, solids, liquids and gases, magnetism and electromagnetism, radioactivity and particles

All year 11 pupils and some year 10 pupils will have the opportunity to take the entry-level science qualification in addition to the GCSE course.

Accreditation Offer (with link to exam boards)

Science iGCSE

https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/programmes-and-qualifications/cambridge-igcse-science-combined-0653/

Science entry level qualification level 1-3

https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-entry-level-certificate/science-2016.coursematerials.html#filterQuery=category:Pearson-UK:Category%2FSpecification-and-sample-assessments

Impact

During the initial induction period at St. Matthias a baseline assessment is completed to gain a starting point and to identify gaps in knowledge. Impact is measured through the engagement of the pupils and regular assessments linked to a flightpath to track progress.