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The Hereford Academy

'Seek to do good to one another and to everyone’. Thessalonians 5:15

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Science

Subject Department and Lead(s)

Subject: Science

Head of KS3: Mrs N Mooney

Head of KS4: Mr P Walker

Curriculum Area Vision and Intent

 

As a core subject, our aim is to inspire students with a real sense of wonder and awe at how the world works.  To teach an ambitiously academic curriculum that is challenging and robust enough to produce our next generation of scientists.  For those who don’t go on to study Science post 16, we aim to contextualise and provide students with the ability to think critically about Science and how it relates to them in their wider lives and to teach the language of Science to unlock words and understanding across all areas of their education and life beyond school.

The vision for Science at THA is to foster a culture that enables students to achieve through inspiration, exploration and imagination.   The Science curriculum area is comprised of a collaborative team founded on support, challenge and empowerment to ensure the delivery of a robust and rounded curriculum. This aims to develop above all the scientific thinking skills needed to access the challenging substantive and disciplinary knowledge that students need to be successful in this area. 

We understand the nuanced approach to teaching ‘substantive’ knowledge (key facts, phenomena, and threshold concepts) and ‘disciplinary’ knowledge (how scientists work, scientific approaches, investigations etc).  Within the substantive knowledge lies the ‘core’ knowledge (facts) and the ‘hinterland’ (a contextual approach to teaching understanding through a narrative - which is why we aim to use subject specialists at KS4).

We believe that this rich knowledge entitlement becomes the foundations to build students’ natural curiosity.  We achieve this through the development of knowledge and understanding of scientific phenomena and in extending students beyond this to develop a wide ‘Science capital’.

Powerful knowledge is delivered in a spiral curriculum and we use the progression model of teaching the 10 ‘big ideas’ in Science that interleaves key concepts to ensure that it is ‘knowledge connected’.  We also focus a lot on developing students scientific literacy and embedding the key vocabulary required to learn and communicate effectively.  Scientific vocabulary is largely built on Latin and Greek roots and we explicitly teach the morphology and etymology of key language.  This is beneficial as it connects knowledge to many other subjects (such as Maths and Geography).

 

KS3 provision summary

 

From September 2020 we are introducing a new curriculum in Year 7, 8 and 9 from which to build a strong platform for Key Stage 4 study. 

 

Our curriculum cover the 10 ‘Big Ideas’ as part of the AQA progression model. The big ideas are: Forces, Electromagnets, Energy, Waves, Matter, Reactions, Earth, Organisms, Ecosystem and Genes. These themes continue through to Key Stage 4 material.

 

The programme of learning also builds on the ‘10 Big Ideas’ and deepens the knowledge of key threshold concepts sequentially, as students move through Key Stage 3 and 4.

Key Stage 3 will be a robust preparation in developing the skills, knowledge and understanding required to progress onto either Combined or Separate Science GCSE courses.  Year 9 will become a transition year where some of the fundamental concepts for the GCSE will be taught alongside explicit preparation for the mathematical skills embedded within the learning.  New Year 9 will also do a baseline assessment reviewing prior learning and then progress into the content which provides the basis of the transition between Key Stage 3 content and GCSE work.  There will be an opportunity to consolidate Key Stage 3 work, review fundamental (but common) misconceptions and to learn and practice some of the basic numeracy skills needed for the GCSE.

We utilise our professional expertise when it comes to sequencing of topics.  They largely follow the big ideas, and the precursor teaching is rigidly adhered to, but we have been flexible in our sequencing of topics from different threads of the ‘big ideas’ (for example we have coupled the Chemistry ‘Earth and Universe’ topic with the Physics topic ‘Gravity’ as both include some of key threshold concepts).

 

KS3 Curriculum Maps

Year 7 Curriculum Map.pdf

Year 8 Curriculum Map.pdf

Year 9 Curriculum Map.pdf

KS4 provision summary

AQA Combined Science Trilogy:

Learning at Key Stage 4 is a progression on the development of the powerful knowledge and skills built from Key Stage 3.  The depth and breadth of learning is distinctly at GCSE standard but with ambitious links to Key Stage 5 within classroom discussions.  Paper 1 content is taught in Year 10 and Paper 2 is taught in Year 11.

In Year 10 and 11 (from September 2020) some groups will be taught with a rotation of subject specialists.  These subject specialists will share their best pedagogical approaches and will form a deliberate practise approach to the procedural elements (punnet squares, dot and cross diagrams etc) of content that can be practised, and the retrieval and application to novel concepts of the declarative knowledge (evolution, homeostasis etc). 

As in Key Stage 3, the development of scientific literacy skills for reading, writing and talking ‘science’ will underpin as one of the key pillars on which the subject is taught. 

Investigation work offers the students the opportunity to apply their understanding of scientific concepts to predict, make observations, use scientific method, analysis and evaluation reflect on their findings.

Elements of cognitive science (in particularly retrieval practice and interleaving) will capitalise on using research informed approaches to structure the learning.  Thinking will be challenged and stretched by pitching the right level of desirable difficulty.  Students resilience to desirable difficulty will be ramped as class / teacher relationships develop and confidence is gained.

The full ability range (including students who are disadvantaged and SEND) are supported and challenged within our curriculum offer.  Challenge will be embedded through application in context and use of novel concepts.  Support will be done through scaffolding as opposed to watering down the language or concepts to make the work easier.  Barriers to learning will be identified and timely intervention will be in place as an expectation.

 

The GCSE link to the AQA Trilogy Scheme of Work:

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/combined-science-trilogy-8464/teaching-resources?f.Resource+type%7C6=Schemes+of+work

 

KS4 Curriculum Maps

Year 10 Curriculum Map.pdf

Year 11 Curriculum Map.pdf

Staff

 

Mrs Mooney - nmooney@theherefordacademy.org.uk

Mr Walker - pwalker@theherefordacademy.org.uk

Mrs Mulkern - amulkern@theherefordacademy.org.uk

Mr Haines - jhaines@theherefordacademy.org.uk

Miss Jones - bjones@theherefordacademy.org.uk

Miss Williams - awilliams@theherefordacademy.org.uk

Extra-curricular activities

We have enjoyed success in the annual Salters' Science Festival, achieving second place, and provide numerous trips for our students to a wide range of activities. We have received a significant amount of funding to develop aspirations to study science at FE and beyond which has seen Y10 and 11 students visit Geneva to experience the cutting-edge science at CERN.

Exam information and any revision support

AQA GCSE 9-1 Combined Science specification and links to exam papers:

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/combined-science-trilogy-8464

Science learning platforms:

https://senecalearning.com/en-GB/

https://www.tassomai.com/

https://www.kerboodle.com/users/login

Key Stage 3 bbc bitesize:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/zng4d2p

Key Stage 4 bbc bitesize:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/examspecs/z8r997h

 

Message to Parents/Carers

 

Dear Parent/Carer
 

In Science we are using Seneca Learning for the majority of our Extended Learning tasks.  Students are given a link to each assignment and we are able to track student progress and then intervene in areas of weakness in lessons.  You are also able to view their progress by joining Seneca.  Follow this link that explains how to join and track your child’s progress. Seneca is usable on any mobile, tablet or computer. https://www.canva.com/design/DAEIidmXLz8/7lomLCUK3HslhQehOecDqA/view?utm_content=DAEIidmXLz8&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link&utm_source=sharebutton#8

 

If your child does not have access to a device or internet connection it is important that this information is passed to Mr Walker via their form tutor as soon as possible.

 

Kind regards

 

Mrs Mooney

Out of School Learning 

All Science work is now being set on Google Classroom

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