Science Curriculum Intent
In Science at Grace Academy Darlaston we aim to provide a high-quality science education providing the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
Our curriculum intent for science is underpinned by the Grace Values of Grace, Excellence, Potential, Integrity and Respect. The curriculum is ambitious and challenging to all year groups and continuously builds upon prior knowledge and skills; including those developed when studying science at Key Stage 2. The curriculum is designed to promote literary and mathematical fluency throughout their journey from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4. The Key Stage 3 curriculum is designed in-house to meet all statutory requirements of the National Curriculum and encompasses a wide range of activities for students to elicit a passion for Science, with an emphasis on practical work and contexts that are relevant and up to date with the world around them. We prepare students to sit the AQA Combined Science qualification in Key Stage 4 with a number of students opting to study separate sciences. Our curriculum constantly revisits prior learning to increase confidence and sustain the retention of knowledge. By the time students reach Key Stage 4, they will have the resilience and the confidence to apply their knowledge to more unfamiliar contexts and are able to see how science can relate to their adult lives.
In year 7 we look at building students’ science capital and extending the concepts and skills acquired in Key Stage 2. We will do this through the extensive use of practical activities to introduce key pieces of equipment and to experiment safely. Year 7 will develop core scientific ideas and develop the ability to accurately and clearly describe and explain scientific concepts. Students will be challenged to start developing their analytical and evaluative skills. Throughout this year students will study equal parts Biology, Chemistry and Physics and aim to embed fundamental mathematics techniques throughout these topics.
In year 8 we look at building on the students’ descriptive and explanatory skills they developed in year 7 and stretch all students to develop their analytical and evaluative skills. Challenge is embedded throughout the year. Practical work in year 8 involves deconstructing the methodology of scientific inquiry. Throughout this year students will study equal parts biology, chemistry and physics and continuously develop their mathematical skills throughout the year. The scientific content covered in year 8 builds upon the foundational ideas laid down in year 7 and those are constantly revisited throughout year 8.
In year 9 we deepen students’ knowledge and link ideas together from year 7 and year 8. More complex scientific concepts are embedded into explanations and students begin to apply their knowledge to different contexts. Practical work in year 9 develops students’ ability to independently plan and construct a scientific investigation which will begin to prepare them for the investigative challenges they will face in KS4.
Key Stage 4
Combined Science at Key Stage 4 uses all the skills that students have developed over years 7 to 9 and challenges them to apply their knowledge to unfamiliar contexts more independently. Our KS4 curriculum covers all the national curriculum at this level and prepares students for their external examinations in year 11. Practical work in Key Stage 4 focuses on the investigative side of science and the practicals required by the national curriculum. Literacy and mathematical fluency continue to be embedded throughout the KS4 curriculum as with the KS3 curriculum. We also offer the option of undertaking separate sciences in KS4 instead of combined. This allows those students who are particularly passionate about science to push themselves even further as the separate sciences go into more depth than combined science. The practical work required for triple science is also broadened to include several more advanced practical activities.
Key Stage 5
In Key Stage 5 we offer a curriculum which covers the theory of all three scientific disciplines reviewing and building on the content from Key Stage 4. Our Key Stage 5 curriculum broadens to include an in depth look at the field of forensic science and human anatomy. Practical techniques are developed in the context of working in a science technical position to prepare students for future employment in a science setting. At this stage students are assessed via a mix of coursework and external examinations.