Our science curriculum is intended to provide the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. We are steered by the National Curriculum and use its guidance to ensure students are encouraged to ‘understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes’ (NC page 168).
We believe that a robust and valuable science curriculum gives students opportunities to develop their scientific knowledge and understanding through in-class, paper-based learning as well as through experimentation in the classroom and outside in the local area during field work.
Our intention is that during their time at the school, students will gain greater knowledge, skills and understanding of the following key scientific concepts and learning:
⦁ Biology: habitats and ecosystems; photosynthesis; the immune system; ethics about research and new medicines; skeletal and muscular systems; nutrition and digestion; heath; cellular respiration; inheritance, genetics and evolution;
⦁ Chemistry: materials; periodic table; acids, alkalis, pH scales and catalysts; formation of rocks, volcanoes; structure of the Earth; particulates, atoms, elements and compounds; evaporation, distillation and water purification;
⦁ Physics: electricity and magnetism; energy and fuel sources; changes and transfers; space physics; motion and forces; light and sound; particle matter model; solids, liquids and gases;
⦁ History of science: changing views about the Earth and the solar system; consideration of how scientific beliefs over powered religious teachings; exploration of Oxford University as an international leader on science.
In Key Stage 3, science is taught as part of our Thematic Approaches to Learning programme (please see the TAL Policy for more information).
At Key Stage 4, students have the opportunity of undertaking a science qualification via a BTEC or a GCSE programme of study.
We are keen to ensure that the teaching of reading is explicit in all areas of the curriculum: in science this includes learning about and using key scientific vocabulary which is related to the topic being studied.
We monitor the impact of our teaching of science through in-class assessments at Key Stage 3 and through exam board led assessments at Key Stage 4 as well as via our monitoring of the Quality of Education throughout the school.