Curriculum

Science

RCawthorne Science

Mr Cawthorne

Faculty Leader – Science

Subject Staff

Mr Cawthorne – Head of Biology

Mr Stanley – Head of Physics

Mr Morley – Head of Chemistry

Mr Conlin, Mr Askew, Mr Green, Mrs Hazzard, Miss Padgett, Miss Drew, Mr Ellis, Miss Harrison

Exam Board

AQA

Revision

The Subject Way

Our subject has a ‘Subject Way’ at the heart of it. Our Subject Way is designed to help students become young subject specialists. The Subject Way has two main purposes:

Firstly, to teach students the vital skills they need to achieve their full potential and gain the very best grades they can. Secondly, to teach students how each subject relates to the wider world, incorporating the life skills they will learn.

It is our belief that knowing how what you learn links to the wider world brings a subject to life and therefore improves overall understanding and engagement.
 

Intent

At Rawmarsh Community School we aim to ensure our Science Curriculum is designed to allow our students to have the knowledge and skills to be able to engage fully with their local and wider environments, enabling them to be able to make critical decisions regarding factors that have an effect on their individual futures.

Our curriculum allows students to develop an understanding of a wide range of themes throughout the Scientific world. Current themes from the news and the world of science are explored at appropriate junctures, allowing pupils to see how science can have an impact on both their lives and the wider society.

We have adopted a curriculum which hinges around the Big Idea of science. This allows us to look at themes which run through the curriculum, and develop understanding over a period of time; building on prior learning and identifying where areas overlap and link with each other. We feel the curriculum allows pupils to have a deeper understanding and a greater fluency in the use of the skills needed to pursue the scientific values we impart.

 

How we intend to remove barriers

Literacy

In Science we support literacy in a number of ways. We expose pupils to texts which are suitable to their ability, and give them time to read and understand the text by using the Reciprocal Reading model. Pupils are encouraged to take their time reading texts, and then identify key words, command words and any words which they are unsure of. By addressing these areas, pupils are more confident in their reading abilities.

We support pupils’ writing by helping pupils to plan their work and providing scaffolding for those pupils who require this. We encourage pupils to annotate questions, picking out key information and key/command words, and we also use storyboards to help pupils sequence long descriptions and processes. Pupils are encouraged to plan their answers, and we regularly model how to structure extended answer questions. 

Numeracy

Numeracy plays an important role in Science. We introduce ideas at an early stage, with data handling being a key part of our curriculum. We work in conjunction with the Maths Department to introduce maths skills at an appropriate stage with a consistent approach to teaching throughout the curriculum. 

A major part of the Science curriculum is based around mathematical skills and their application. These include representing data in graphical form, handling data and analysing and calculating magnification.

Oracy

Oracy plays a vital role in Science lessons, allowing us to assess knowledge and challenge deeper understanding. We support Oracy within lessons by encouraging students to speak about their ideas, prompting students to use the correct scientific vocabulary and speak in a formal manner.Within lessons, we often allow pupils to work in pairs to share their ideas, allowing them to verbalise their thoughts prior to writing them down. Verbal questioning within lessons is often used to allow for the development of ideas, and we encourage all pupils to participate in this. Key words are often displayed and highlighted within lessons to help encourage pupils to use them.

Vocabulary

Within lessons, there is a strong focus on vocabulary, specifically scientific vocabulary. Science is heavily dependent on the use of the right terms, and to help this we encourage pupils to define and use keywords. Word Walls are used with some groups to help to support their use of scientific vocabulary, and provide a database which students can refer to at any point in the lesson. We pay particular attention to trying to link Scientific words to the words we use every day, highlighting common roots for words and identifying common prefixes and suffixes. For example, pupils are taught that the term Liposuction links directly to the word Lipids – the scientific term used to describe fats and oils.

 

How we foster personal attributes

Science requires students to master numerous practical skills and techniques, and to stretch and develop key attributes such as problem solving, analysing and evaluating information, teamwork, numeracy, and data handling skills. In studying science, students develop their curiosity, and learn to apply it in practical, productive ways.

We also ensure students are equipped to learn the nature of Science and the Scientific Method, providing a strong foundation to enable them to continue studying Sciences beyond Y11. The challenging nature of the curriculum encourages the students to become more resilient, helping them to reach aspirational goals through learning from their mistakes. At the heart of this are our efforts to promote communication and collaboration, as part of the Rawmarsh Way.

 

How we intend to enrich student experiences and broaden the horizons of students 

Studying Science allows students to explore real-world problems with recognisable applications in everyday life. Students have the opportunity to complete exciting investigations both inside and outside the classroom, and to discover solutions which have direct relevance in job roles across the private and public sector. We allow students to take part in out of school activities including trips to; indoor skydiving to show how forces interact to cause motion, AMRC to give students experiences of engineering, University of Sheffield exploring DNA sequencing and attending any open days and events which are relevant to our students. 

Within school we also run two Science clubs, which aim to support our students outside of lessons. The KS3 Science club aims to enthuse students, allowing them to conduct practical work and make observations. The KS4 Science Club is designed to stretch and challenge pupils, giving them the opportunity to look at practical work which supplements their learning and prepares them for the next stage in their Scientific journey. 

Our Curriculum

Key Stage 3

Students have two 80 minute Science lessons each week in Y7 and Y8, which increases to 3 lessons in Y9. Science is delivered in topics which cover the KS3 national curriculum and act to bridge the gap between KS2 and GCSEs. There is a focus on the Big Ideas which run through the Science curriculum, allowing pupils to not only see how their lessons link to prior learning but also to other areas in science. The department uses regular assessments and ‘sticker tasks’ to assess the understanding that students have developed, thus allowing us to plan their next steps and meet their needs more effectively.  Each assessment will be followed by a bespoke intervention task for each pupil, allowing them to work on and improve in any areas they may have struggled with.

Key Stage 4

All students have 4 lessons per week in Science, with specialist teachers delivering Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics. We carefully consider the route each student takes through science, with AQA Triple Science and AQA Combined Science being offered to pupils. Both courses are examined through 6 terminal exams. 

Our KS4 provision is carefully designed to build upon the knowledge and skills gained in KS3 to make sure pupils are able to fully access their GCSE studies. Further to this, we aim to link Science studies to everyday life so that science has a greater context and meaning.

Students have regular topic tests and assessments and these, alongside homework, allow staff to check the ongoing understanding of the students.  The use of mock exams in both year 10 and 11 allows the students to be comfortable and confident in an examination setting as well as helping them to target their revision more effectively.