Science Curriculum - Introduction

Intent

  • To provide our students with a bespoke curriculum that is unique to students at Sirius Academy West and citizens of Hull and the surrounding area
  • To provide students with an expertly sequenced curriculum that takes what they already know, builds upon it and then applies it to their context
  • To prepare students with the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to progress to the next stage of their Science education
  • To show our students the daily relevance of the many different aspects of Science and how it will affect the rest of their lives, regardless of their intended career pathway
  • To enable students to make educated & informed choices about their diet, lifestyle and how they interact with other living organisms, as well as the planet and the Universe as a whole

Key features and narratives

  • Science curriculum now refers to three ‘strands’- Biology, Chemistry and Physics. These strands are referred to on curriculum literature and sequencing documents
  • Strands are a narrative through the Science curriculum- they are sequenced to establish, build upon and then apply new knowledge, re-visiting previous work and then building in complexity
  • Strands are interleaved & intertwined – there is a strong evidence base that correlates interleaving to increased levels of retrieval and long -term retention. The strands are colour coded on the sequencing document
  • Strands have been sequenced by discipline specialists- led by a lead teacher in 3 working parties that meet and update weekly. This exploits the key subject knowledge of specialist teachers- with the rationale that ‘they know what works best for our students’
  • Collaboration with the Maths leaders has enabled us to discuss when key Mathematical skills are taught in their curriculum and where this supports our teaching and vice versa
  • Curriculum is less ‘content heavy’ at KS3- focus is on the key underpinning knowledge and skills required to progress further. On average at KS3, students will study 1.8 topics per half term (assuming 2x 100 minutes per week) illustrating there is an increased opportunity to really explore and ‘get to grips’ with their learning. Topics that we feel are irrelevant or are not engaging for students have been removed at KS3
  • Students will begin in Year 7 with a 3- week ‘working scientifically’ base unit. This will be to bridge the experimental skills from KS2 to KS3 and establish the starting point of each student. This unit will be standardised across all classes. Students will be trained to write a full experimental write up at this stage so this can be referred back to at any time. This unit will set the minimum benchmark going forward
  • Working scientifically themes are then re-visited regularly- each unit and strand gives opportunities for working scientifically skills to be revisited and built upon- they increase in complexity throughout the curriculum with expectations of what students can do practically increasing
  • The context of our school and students is being added to all strands of the curriculum. We want students to see the relevance of everything we are doing in the classroom- we feel strongly that with the continuing development of Science, engineering and renewables in Hull and the surrounding area, students should be able to apply the curriculum to the experiences happening around them and their families. This is what will make our curriculum unique to our school
  • Curriculum lessons follow the agreed format with emerging, secure and mastered objectives. Assessment grids are being updated with more explicit hierarchical statements. Any ‘standalone’ statements are being removed. This will show progression through the sequence more clearly
  • Demonstrate tasks are included in all lessons so that connect marking can be embedded across the whole department
  • The curriculum will be supplemented with STEM enrichment opportunities- with our extra-curricular provision increasing in strength primarily through the work of Cheryl Welch and her contacts in a range of industrial and scientific settings. We are committed to giving students of all backgrounds these extra opportunities

View the Biology page
View the Chemistry page
View the Physics page

 

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