The Science Department, as stakeholders, have had input into the design of the curriculum and share its vision and rationale.
The intent of the science curriculum is to inspire and challenge students of all abilities and backgrounds and to prepare them for the next stage of science education. We aim for our students to be resilient problem-solvers with an interest in the world around them and an understanding of their impact on it.
The science curriculum is designed in such a way that students of all abilities and backgrounds can steadily develop practical, personal and intellectual skills whilst building new knowledge alongside revisiting prior learning.
Prior knowledge is revisited regularly throughout the curriculum through starter activities, home learning, and regular assessment opportunities. End of unit tests and examinations all include a section of revisited work to assess the impact of re-visit activities and to identify gaps in students’ knowledge. These gaps are then addressed with individual students through a range of interventions. These include high-quality PIT tasks, small group/individual help and support, and online resources and tasks that can be completed outside of lessons but monitored and supported by teachers.
The Science Department recognise that different students have widely different prior knowledge, experiences and opportunities outside of school and so teachers regularly include information relating to science in the news in their lessons, provide a range of trips, external visitors, and enrichment opportunities, include lots of experimental work and other activities that allow students to learn about and experience real-world science whilst developing cultural capital.
We have adopted the 7 recommendations from the “Improving Secondary Science Guidance Report” Education Endowment Foundation 21/9/2018 in order to ensure that our pedagogical approach is evidence-based and will help all students to progress.
The Science Department believes that parental engagement is a vital way to support students in making the best possible progress. As a result, we regularly contact home to praise students who have made excellent progress in a particular area, as well as contacting parents/carers with information regarding work that students can do at home to fill gaps and improve their progress if they are not yet meeting or exceeding targets.
Helping students to develop a growth mindset through teacher modelling, language, and feedback is another way that we help students to develop the attitude and skills for success.
Progress is assessed through home learning tasks, end of unit tests, and examinations, alongside a wide range of assessment for learning techniques that are implemented in lessons. These feed into future lesson plans and student interventions as well as giving teachers the opportunity to assist student progress by providing high-quality feedback. The science department has high expectations of students, and assessments that show that students are not yet meeting or exceeding targets are followed up with the aforementioned interventions.