Exam board: AQA
Science Scheme of Work
The Harris Federation Schemes of Work for KS3 Science have been written in line with the aims and ethos of the new national curriculum and assessments (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-secondary-curriculum)
Each year group has been allocated appropriate content to ensure all students have the opportunity to achieve the highest levels of progress and attainment at GCSE. There are generally 2-3 units each half term.
The changes made to the curriculum at KS3 will prepare our students in gaining the scientific knowledge and skills needed for life in modern Britain, secure access into and success in further education and raise standards to compete in a global job market.
Key differences in curriculum
The principal focus of science teaching in KS3 is to develop a deeper understanding of a range of scientific ideas in the subjects of biology, chemistry and physics. Pupils will begin to see the connections between these subjects and become aware of some of the big ideas underpinning scientific knowledge and understanding. The order of the units has been chosen by thinking deeply about the connections between topics in each subject area of biology, chemistry or physics. This has been mapped from the start of Year 7 to the end of Year 11 to ensure significant progression by all pupils. The knowledge and skills required for some of the content are at a higher level than the previous KS3 curriculum. This will prepare students for the new GCSE curriculum. The new KS3 curriculum aims to deepen scientific knowledge further than previously and if more time is needed to ensure that the key concepts are understood then the new curriculum is flexible to facilitate this. The scope and nature of the study describes a sequence of knowledge and concepts with a focus on developing a secure and deep understanding of the science rather than a superficial level of knowledge.
There are two sets of Schemes of Work – Standard and Nurture. The Standard Scheme of Work is aimed at Higher and Foundation levels of ability. For those students that find the curriculum a greater challenge the Nurture resources provide a highly differentiated curriculum to ensure sustained progress in Science. Teaching staff will ensure the delivery of the curriculum is appropriate for all students by using resources and strategies that have been created in addition to those provided by the Schemes of Work themselves.
Throughout the Schemes of Work students will be taught :
- Scientific attitudes
- Experimental skills
- Measurement skills
In addition, at the end of each half-term there will be a set of lessons where students have an opportunity to practise these key skills through set practical investigations which can be separately assessed and progress measured across the year.
There is a greater focus on practical skills throughout the entire KS3 curriculum.
Teachers will use work produced in books to assess progress and identify how students might improve. Homework will be set regularly and will be integral in assessing student ability to work and apply the knowledge and skills they have learnt independently. The teacher will use this assessment to inform their planning, support individuals and adapt lessons accordingly for their class. We will assess ongoing progress through questioning in class and assessment tasks in the classroom. Intervention will be targeted where it is needed.
There will be a half termly written paper which will assess students’ ability to apply the knowledge and skills they have studied in that half-term. The papers will also include questions based on previous units to test how deeply embedded the learning and understanding is i.e. cumulative assessment. The papers will include questions to assess the quality of written communication in science as well as numeracy skills. Results for these assessments will be reported to parents as percentages and we will use these scores to predict a student’s most likely grade (MLG) at the end of year 11 and to assess whether they are on track.
The new grading system for Science GCSE is 9-1 with 9 being the highest. The half-termly papers taken will be in two tiers, higher and foundation. Students taking the foundation tier can achieve a grade 5-1 and those taking the higher can achieve a grade 9-4. These tiers have been chosen to reflect the new GCSE. We will be able to change a student’s tier of entry as appropriate. The reported MLG will be given using the 9-1 scale.
If you require more information on the content of these units, please contact the Science department at your Harris Academy. The KS3 national curriculum can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-framework-for-key-stages-1-to-4.
- KS3 Biology: http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/z4882hv
- KS3 Chemistry: http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/znxtyrd
- KS3 Physics: http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zh2xsbk
Key Stage 4/5
At Key Stage 4/5, we will be following the GCSE/AS specification of our chosen exam board. At GCSE students study Trilogy (2 GCSEs) or else Separate Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics). At Post 16 we offer A levels in all three sciences. Biology: OCR. Chemistry and Physics: AQA.
Please click on the attachments to see our schemes of work.