Every child admitted to Derby Pride Academy has been on a unique educational journey. Pupils are, therefore, with us for varying amounts of time: some individuals will have a very short time on our roll, while others will remain with us until the end of Y11.
Because of this, our Science curriculum offer needs to be flexible, personalised, and designed to allow pupils to progress to the next stage on their educational journey.
The aim of our Science curriculum is to :
- Inspire learners to become confident, resilient scientists who develop a love of learning science.
- Provide a stimulating environment that integrates discovery and exploration into learning and which takes into account individual needs, strengths and starting points.
- Develop successful learners who are able to apply scientific knowledge and understanding correctly to both familiar and unfamiliar contexts in the world.
- Enable learners to understand how science fits into society and thereby encourage them to make a positive contribution to their local and wider community.
- Enable learners to use a range of mathematical skills that can be applied to the world in which they live.
- Develop digital skills to remove all barriers to learning that enable learners to critically evaluate and refine methodologies and judge the validity of scientific conclusions that are presented to them in the media.
- Enable learners to critically analyse qualitative and quantitative data to draw their own logical, well-evidenced conclusions.
- To enable learners to use their knowledge and understanding of science to further their science education beyond Derby Pride Academy and/or to further their career.
Ensure pupils are challenged and stretched by developing their leadership, organisation, resilience, initiative and communication skills in order to provide foundations for every aspect of school life
Key Stage 3 Science focuses on refining the observation and hypothesis-testing skills started in primary to provide a foundation of scientific knowledge, practical, mathematical and scientific literacy skills. The pupils will study topics in Biology, Chemistry and Physics and develop essential laboratory skills.
Key Stage 4 will undertake AQA GCSE Biology as a single science qualification.
Pupils find it very difficult to learn with understanding from tasks which have no meaning that is apparent to them. They learn more effectively when they can link new experiences to what they already know and are motivated by curiosity to answer questions. Activities should therefore enable pupils to engage with real objects and with real problems. Therefore, it is important to make Science relevant by linking the topics to real life situations so that pupils can discover how science learning relates to the real world. It follows that being able to see the connections between different ideas in science, as in the understanding of scientific ideas and how they were developed, is an important part of preparation for work and life.
Traditionally, pupils at the academy struggle to fully engage with summative style assessments but it is important that they do develop and practise the skills that will allow them to become more successful at summative assessment, particularly with GCSE Science now being a 2 year terminal assessment. It is also important to be able to track pupils’ progress and apply interventions when necessary. End of topic assessments are given to KS3 and mock exams are undertaken in year 10 and year 11 at the completion of each discipline. Feedback is an important part of the assessment process as it allows the pupil to see what they need to do in order to improve.
Formative assessment also plays a key role. It is an ongoing process in every lesson using techniques such as plenary quizzes, group discussions, self- assessment, lessons starters such as true/false quizzes at the beginning of the lesson that check comprehension from previous lesson. Changes can then be made based on the classroom research results and pupil feedback.
Pupils’ progress is evaluated using their baseline upon entry to the academy and the progress they are make. This allows necessary intervention to be put in place in order to give pupils the best chance of obtaining their expected outcomes.
The ultimate goal of evaluating the Science curriculum is to ensure that it is effective in promoting the quality of pupil learning. Assessment of pupil learning is the driver for how and what is taught. Strategies for evaluation use assessment of pupil learning, which could be summative or formative. A lot of the evaluation comes down to knowing the individuals and making a judgment on whether they can access the current content of the curriculum or making the necessary adjustments so that it can be accessed at some level.
Although Science is a practical subject, it is vitally important that pupils are able to express their views and ideas in a clear and grammatically correct manner. Good literacy is necessary to understand, respond to, and use a range of specialist language to describe the natural world and represent and communicate ideas and this is common to all areas of the curriculum
Events people places
The contributions of famous scientific figures and/or events from the past, as well as present, are not just related to Science but society as a whole; therefore, it encompasses all areas of the curriculum. It allows the study of people, places and events from different angles and can put these various subjects into perspective in relation to each other.
It is essential that pupils become thinkers and problem solvers, not just memorisers of facts. Science is a process of studying and finding out. These are skills that are applicable to all areas. Learned concepts can be applied in other areas of the curriculum e.g. pupils can take part in fun and lively physical education lessons that incorporate science concepts in a unique way.
Many procedures in Science are common to all aspects of the curriculum. These include: Child Protection, Health & Safety, Confidentiality and Data sharing. In- house training as well CPD courses ensure that that these procedures are consistent throughout the curriculum.
Teacher Teaching Assistant
Veterinarian Veterinary Tech
Science Key Stage 3
At Derby Pride Academy, the KS3 curriculum is delivered in stage, not age teaching groups and will be delivered on an annual basis.
Our intent is to strengthen student confidence in applying their knowledge to new situations and being sufficiently adept in transferring of those skills that adequately reflects their understanding of subject and topic content. There is a focus on practical work to build interest in science and a strengthening of Math and English skills to help students make sense of the concepts in science that they are learning. Particularly in drawing conclusion and learning how to evaluate their work. Our aim is to prepare our pupils for KS4, but also enthuses and motivates them to want to study science further. Our KS3 curriculum will introduce and develop the Big Ideas, working scientifically – practical skills and the scientific method, scientific vocabulary and writing
Our KS3, pupils are taught using a bespoke scheme based on Oak School Academy KS3 Science units. The following units will be taught:
Unit 1 Particles
Unit 2 Cells tissues and organs
Unit 3 Energy
Unit 4 Chemical reactions
Unit 5 Plants and photosynthesis
Unit 6 Electricity and magnetism
Science Key Stage 4
Pupils will follow the AQA Biology GCSE course which will result in a single GCSE.
The KS4 biology curriculum is sequenced to allow for scientific ideas to be clearly explained and assessment is used to carefully to check what pupils have learned. This included disciplinary knowledge (knowledge of how to work scientifically) as well as substantive knowledge (established factual knowledge). An important part of the sequencing is allowing time to be built in for questioning to check for recall and understanding.
All pupils have enough opportunities to take part in high-quality practical work that has a clear purpose in relation to the curriculum. Opportunities are also provided to take in practical work that may not be directly connected to the GCSE Biology curriculum but enhance their disciplinary knowledge and broaden their scientific knowledge outside of the span of the curriculum.
The pupils study a range of topics which all link to the seven life processes (Movement, respiration, sensitivity, growth, reproduction, excretion and nutrition). Pupils understand from KS3 the structure of a cell; in KS4 they now look at how substances move in and out of cells. This moves into the idea of how these substances are actually transported around multicellular organisms to the cells i.e. the circulatory system. Having some knowledge of how a healthy organism function. Pupils then move onto the idea of disease both communicable and non-communicable, including the role of the immune system in protecting us from infections. Pupils then move onto plants biology, understanding the process and importance of these process to all life on earth. This is followed by the delivery of respiration, a process carried out by all living organisms. The following topics; nervous system, hormones reproduction and DNA are delivered in Year 11. These topics are more academically demanding and therefore delivered later in the course. Pupils then continue the course with the idea of how the variety in life on earth came to be, evolution and speciation, and how all life is interconnected through ecosystems. Included in these topics are man’s use of knowledge to manipulate nature i.e. selective breeding and genetic engineering. The final topics within ecology look at humans' effects on the environment.
Year 10 & Year 11 – GCSE Biology
1. Cell biology
3. Infection and response
5. Homeostasis and response
6. Inheritance, variation and evolution
Pupils will also complete a number of required practical assessments throughout the course. This course will be graded in line with the new GCSE 9-1 structure and examinations will take place at the end of Year 11.
Exam Board Specifications
Visit the website (http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/biology-8461).