The science curriculum at Corpus Christi is designed to develop inquisitive minds and encourage pupils to ask ‘why?’, and then support in learning about and understanding the world around them. It provides pupils knowledge about biology including the basic structure of the body from cells up to the workings of the whole organism, chemistry which focuses on a macroscopic level study of particles and physics where students will learn how the world works and the mathematical side of science. The curriculum will build on pupils’ key scientific knowledge and create an enquiring mind giving the confidence to ask searching questions about life, our planet and beyond. Pupils should understand that science is about working objectively, modifying explanations to take account of new evidence and ideas and subjecting results to peer review. Pupils should decide on the appropriate type of scientific enquiry to undertake to answer their own questions and develop a deeper understanding of factors to be considered when collecting, recording and using data. They are taught to evaluate their results and identify further questions arising from them.
Learning facts is important in science to allow students to progress, but understanding why something happens is even more vital. Discussion between pupils is fundamental to our teaching. It allows pupil’s to verbally develop answers, with a critical friend, that are structured to answer important scientific concepts, in an eloquent way using the correct scientific terminology. This is followed by skilled questioning by the teacher to clarify to the class the detail of knowledge required to answer a question. This builds confidence and develops scientific vocabulary that can then be used appropriately.
“The science curriculum is ambitious for all pupils and covers the entire National Curriculum in science.”Science Subject Review March 2023
The national curriculum for Science aims to ensure that all pupils:
The science curriculum in key stage 3 is designed to build a pupil’s knowledge from the fundamentals of each discipline up to more complex concepts, by following and exceeding the national curriculum. For example, in biology pupils begin studying with the essential units of life, which are cells. Then progress to the organisation of whole organisms which then seamlessly leads to detailed study of individual parts of the organism. This process is replicated in chemistry by studying the periodic table first and in physics, initially studying particles. Throughout the whole of key stage 3, pupils’ skills in ‘working scientifically’ are skilfully integrated with their subject content to allow pupils to interpret and analyse key information.
The key stage 4 topics have been structured, to mirror the KS3 topics. Again, starting at a microscopic level and build up the complexity, but continuously referring to past knowledge and creating the links to enable a deeper understanding.
Reading and literacy skills are a vital component in science. Numerical skills are needed but a pupil’s ability to read and interpret information has a huge impact on progress. In science, pupils regularly read complex information, about key concepts. For example – the human genome project. Once a month pupils read a scientific article about a science topic, from current affairs. There also needs to be a deep understanding of command words to allow pupils to progress and for them to be able to define key scientific terminology. To build on this there is a reading challenge in year 7 based on the Horrible Science books.
Science Subject Review March 2023
“The pedagogical approaches being adopted, particularly around effective questioning are very effective and should be commended.”
In science, all pupils are being continuously assessed, whether it is informal teacher led questioning, revision or homework tasks or formal assessments. This is to track the progress of every pupil and intervene when it is required. We believe in science, that high quality summative assessment must primarily enable pupils to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding acquired throughout the implementation of the scheme of work. Assessments have been created that enable pupils to show their level of knowledge and understanding of topics they have been learned in the current academic year and from previous academic years. The assessments cover a broad range of styles of question, including initial diagnostic testing to check for understanding prior to an assessment. The formal part includes knowledge tests, extended questions, key words and practice GCSE questions in Years 10 and 11. The results of these assessments allow teachers to measure the progress of all pupils, which can then be used to identify gaps in learning and inform of future teaching and planned interventions.
In science all assessments are challenging whilst meeting the needs of all pupils. In key stage 3 and 4 pupils will complete formative assessments at the end of each unit to check their knowledge and understanding. Assessments are differentiated to ensure all academic groups can demonstrate their understanding and have the opportunity to make outstanding progress through the curriculum. All teachers of science will ensure their classes are suitably ready for assessments and all content has been covered thoroughly, considering the needs of all pupils.
An additional key aspect to assessment and progress is the revision and recap of learning. This is completed prior to assessments and in particular the final end of year exams. In science we have set up a detailed program of revision, designed to structure and direct students to the best way of learning allowing long term progress. This can be seen by following the link below.
The impact of our curriculum is clearly demonstrated by our exceptional results and progress scores.
“Across the department staff have very high expectations of learning, often posing challenging composite questions, relying on a collection of component knowledge.”Science Subject Review March 2023
Pupils who achieved a grade 9-4 in science increased by 17.5% from 2019.
43.4% of all pupils in science performed better than the national expectation of them.
40% of pupils in each discipline attained higher grades than the national expectation. 20% of pupils achieved an 8 or 9.
The impact is also evident through our extra-curricular provision. We run the STAN Science Academy for year 7 and 8 where up to 60 pupils experience additional science to build on their knowledge and skills. MEDVET for year 9 and 10 is attended by up to 30 students where they learn about possible future careers in the medical field and what their next steps could be. Numbers are always high in the year 9 options process as pupils realise the importance of science in their careers of the future. Trips to the Young Scientist Centre at UCLAN are also regularly run for all year groups.
“Pupils are very positive about their experiences in science.”Science Subject Review March 2023
For further information regarding the Science curriculum please contact:
Mr Leek, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone school reception: (01772) 716912.