science

KS3 Science Curriculum Intent

We want all students to enjoy Science lessons. We develop confident and resilient students, who are engaged with their learning and aspire to achieve their potential. We are focused on the development and retention of key knowledge and skills, whilst nurturing a curiosity about Science in the wider world.

Students will leave with a love of Science and an understanding of how it explains the world around them. We want them to have a rich knowledge of scientific concepts and theories, and to be able to use this to explain the phenomena they observe and experience every day. This will enable them to fully appreciate how amazing the world is, and empower them to share this with others they meet.

They will have developed the Science Capital required to engage with a changing world. We want them to have a clear understanding of the scientific process, and how this underpins decisions that are made at all levels of society. We want them to be able to apply their knowledge and skills to critically analyse information presented to them. This will enable them to make informed decisions relating to the issues they encounter, so they can play a role in solving the big questions we face, however big or small this role may be.

Knowledge

Units in Biology, Chemistry and Physics are studied, organised into blocks which cover a term. The curriculum is organised so that units build on and consolidate content covered in previous units, with each unit fitting into a particular strand within each science. Students knowledge is tested in mini tests at the end of each unit and in larger exams covering blocks of work. In the final term of Y9 students begin studying for their GCSEs.

Below is an outline of how units are organised within the key strands of each science.

BIOLOGY

Genetics

Organisms

Ecosystems & Energy Transfers

Y7 Block 1

 

Cells

 

Y7 Block 2

   

Interdependence

Y7 Block 3

Reproduction

Movement

 

Y8 Block 1

 

Digestion

 

Y8 Block 2

 

Breathing

 

Y8 Block 3

Evolution

 

Respiration

Y9 Block 1

   

Photosynthesis

Y9 Block 2

Variation & Inheritance

 

 

 

CHEMISTRY

Matter

Reactions

Earth &  Resources

Y7 Block 1

 

Acids & Alkalis

 

Y7 Block 2

Particle Model

   

Y7 Block 3

Separating Mixtures

   

Y8 Block 1

 

Metals & Non-Metals

 

Y8 Block 2

   

Earth Structure & Climate

Y8 Block 3

 

Chemical Energy

 

Y9 Block 1

Elements & The Periodic Table

   

Y9 Block 2

 

Types of Reaction

Earth Resources

 

 

PHYSICS

Forces & Energy

Electricity & Magnetism

Particles & Waves

Y7 Block 1

Energy Costs

   

Speed & Contact Forces

   

Y7 Block 2

   

Sound & Light

Y7 Block 3

Universe & Gravity

   

Y8 Block 1

 

Electricity

 

Y8 Block 2

Work & Energy Transfer

   

Y8 Block 3

   

Waves & Wave Properties

Y9 Block 1

Heating & Cooling

Magnets & Electromagnets

 

Y9 Block 2

Pressure

   

 

 

Skills

The learning of Working Scientifically skills is embedded into each unit within the curriculum. Each skill is revisited several times throughout the curriculum, and in each block of work there is a focus on particular skill areas. Students skills are tested in mini tests and in larger exams covering blocks of work.

Below is an outline of the Working Scientifically skills.

1a) Development of scientific thinking (theories and models)

Give an example of how theories or models have changed over time.

Explain, with an example, why new data or observations cause a theory or model to be changed.

Explain whether or not data or observations support a particular theory or model

Used models in explanations and link this to data from experiments or observations.

Make predictions based on a model.

Identify the limitations of a model.

Give examples of the ways in which a model can be tested by making observations or using an experiment.

 

1b) Development of scientific thinking (data and technologies)

Explain why data is needed to answer scientific questions, why there may not be much of it or why we might be uncertain about it.

Describe and explain examples of the uses of science in technologies.

Evaluate the personal, social, economic and environmental implications of the use of science and technology.

Evaluate risks and why people’s perception of risks can be different from the actual risk.

Explain the importance of peer review.

Explain the problems there may be with the reporting of scientific developments in the media.

 

2a) Experimental skills and strategies (hypotheses, variables and risks)

Create a hypothesis to explain data or observations.

Identify variables and explain why changing or controlling these is important.

Identify the main hazards in a practical and suggest how to reduce the risk of harm.

 

2b) Experimental skills and strategies (methods)

Choose the technique, apparatus or materials that should be used for a particular purpose and explain why it should be used.

Describe a practical method for a particular purpose.

Suggest and describe an appropriate sampling technique for a particular purpose.

Read measurements off a scale and record these properly, and state the resolution of apparatus.

Decide whether enough precise data has been collected.

Evaluate methods to decide whether they are valid.

 

3a) Analysis and evaluation (processing & presenting data)

Draw a bar chart, line graph, frequency table or histogram.

Interpret a bar chart, line graph, frequency table or histogram, and read off data from them.

Calculate the mean and range of repeat measurements.

Rearrange an equation and use this in a calculation.

Calculate the gradient of a line graph and determine the intercept.

Draw a tangents to a curve and calculate the gradient.

Explain what is meant by uncertainty of results and use the range of repeat measurements to as a measure of this.

 

3b) Analysis and evaluation (conclusions and evaluations)

Describe patterns and trends in data presented in a table, graph or chart.

Draw conclusions from data, and use it to make predictions and evaluate hypotheses.

Explain what it means if data is accurate and explain whether particular data is accurate or not.

Explain what it means if data is precise and explain whether particular data is precise or not.

Explain what is means if data is reproducible or repeatable, and explain whether data is either of these.

Explain what a systematic error is and identify whether a systematic error has occurred or not.

Explain what a random error is and how their impact can be reduced.

Identify anomalous results and explain what to do with them.

 

 

 

 

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