Science

KS3 Science

KS3

Intent

The science key stage three curriculum aims to develop an excitement and curiosity about scientific phenomena, alongside the knowledge, concepts and skills that students require to understand and thrive in the modern world. The curriculum is designed to cover a broad range of content, with particular focus on the key concepts necessary to develop a secure understanding of the foundations of biology, chemistry and physics. The key stage three curriculum will prepare our students for success in key stage four science.

Curriculum sequence (TBC)

 

Biology

Chemistry

Physics

Year 7

B1 – Cells

B2 – Body Systems

B3 - Reproduction

C1 – Particle Model

C2 – Elements, Atoms and Compounds

C3 – Reactions

C4 – Acids and Bases

P1 – Forces

P2 – Sound

P3 – Light

P4 - Space

Year 8

B1 – Food and Digestion

B2 – Photosynthesis and Respiration

B3 – Genetics

B4 - Ecology

C1 – The Periodic Table

C2 – Solutions

C3 – Reactivity Series

C4 – The Earth

C5 – Materials and the Environment

P1 – Electricity and Magnetism

P2 – Energy

P3 – Motion, Pressure and Moments

National curriculum links

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-science-programmes-of-study/national-curriculum-in-england-science-programmes-of-study#key-stage-3

Meeting the needs of SEND and Pupil Premium students

In accordance with our whole school policy, science teachers place SEND and Pupil Premium students at the heart of their lesson planning.  

In science we provide for the progress of SEND and Pupil Premium students by using inclusive strategies that benefit all students and are particularly supportive for vulnerable learners. These include:

  • Delivering a curriculum with a clear and deliberate structure that aims to secure knowledge and build confidence
  • Providing knowledge organisers that describe the knowledge needed for each unit
  • Teaching in mixed ability sets and delivering the same content to all students, so that none are excluded from any aspects of the curriculum
  • Delivering a broad and diverse curriculum that develops the cultural capital of all students
  • Developing inquiry-based skills that will benefit students throughout their academic education and beyond
  • Explicitly teaching revision techniques and encouraging students to reflect upon strategies that are most effective for them
  • Ensuring all students have access to regular practical activities, ICT and the school library
  • Providing an outstanding programme of extra-curricular activities and ensuring that PP/SEND students are prioritised for these opportunities. 
  • **Targeting differentiated questions at PP/SEND students
  • **Clearly identifying PP/SEND students in our seating plans and mark books
  • **Marking PP/SEND students’ books first giving clear actions for improvement which necessitate student response

Retention

Our curriculum is taught to be securely learnt. Regular low stakes testing is embedded in all lessons, which begin with a retrieval activity that probes retention of learning from recent lessons and those earlier in the course. Each chapter also includes an online homework quiz, and a lesson designed to consolidate long-term retention of key knowledge from that topic.

Assessment

Each chapter contains two formalised assessment opportunities.

  • An online homework quiz split into two sections. The first part tests recall of content from the knowledge organiser. The second part requires the students to apply their knowledge and is targeted at threshold concepts and common misconceptions for that chapter. In the consolidation lesson at the end of the chapter, the teacher will respond to common mistakes or problems highlighted by the quiz.
  • A teacher-assessed task that focusses on a threshold concept or key skill for that chapter. This will be marked by the teacher, and students will be given feedback followed by a specific, individual action for improvement.

Each chapter also contains a revision lesson designed to teach students how to retain knowledge and prepare for an assessment.

In addition to the above, a variety of assessment activities will be used by science teachers in lessons. These activities are designed to probe student understanding and retention of knowledge and will be used by the teacher to respond to the needs of individual students.

Three times per year the students will complete a larger assessment. These papers will be synoptic, and cover all content taught so far. Students will receive feedback on these papers, and specific actions for improvement.

Contact details:

Key Stage Three Co-ordinator: Miss Powell – spowell@didcotgirls.oxon.sch.uk

Head of Science: Dr Naylor - anaylor@didcotgirls.oxon.sch.uk

GCSE Science

GCSE

Our key stage four curriculum aims to build on the excitement and curiosity about scientific phenomena first developed in key stage three and continue to develop the knowledge, concepts and skills that students need to understand and thrive in the modern world. We teach the three sciences (biology, chemistry and physics) separately, and each curriculum has been carefully designed by specialist subject leaders. We also encourage our students to make links between the sciences, and develop the ability to think critically, evaluate evidence, and consider the role that science plays in both our everyday lives and a global context.

There are two pathways through GCSE Science, called Single Science and Combined Science. Single Science students will achieve 3 GCSE grades at the end of year 11, while Combined Science students will achieve 2. Consequently, there is more content to learn on Single Science, and more to revise, than there is on Combined. On either pathway students will have three specialist teachers, can access the full range of outcomes (from 9 to 1) and are eligible for A-level science assuming they meet the entry criteria. For more specific details about each pathway, please read the sections below.

Single Science

How it’s assessed

6 Exam Papers, each 1 hour and 45 mins long.

There are two papers for each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

We split content into Chapters in line with the Oxford University Press GCSE Science Textbooks. The chapters covered by each exam paper are:

Biology Paper 1:

B1 to B9 – Cells and Organisation and Disease and Bioenergetics

Biology Paper 2:

B10 to B18 – Biological Responses, Genetics and Reproduction, Ecology

Chemistry Paper 1:

C1 to C7 - Atoms, Bonding and Moles, Chemical Reactions and Energy Changes

Chemistry Paper 2:

C8 to C15 – Rates, Equilibrium & Organic Chemistry, Analysis & Earth’s Resources

Physics Paper 1:

P1 to P7  – Energy and Energy Resources, Particles At Work

Physics Paper 2:

P8 to P16 - Forces in Action, Waves, Electromagnetism and Space

Examination Board:   AQA

Grading system: 9 to 1, with a separate grade for each of three sciences. These three grades can be completely separate so, for example, a student could achieve a grade 5 in Biology, a grade 7 in Chemistry and a grade 9 in Physics.

Progression to Post-16:

A-levels in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Applied Science, as well as links to many more vocational and academic courses in fields as diverse as Psychology, Engineering and Sport Sciences.

Future career links:

Science GCSE is an empowering qualification that will open many doors

Contact:

Head of Biology: Miss Kyriakides - akyriakides@didcotgirls.oxon.sch.uk

Head of Chemistry: Miss Eccleston - aeccleston@didcotgirls.oxon.sch.uk

Head of Physics: Mr Briggs - ibriggs@didcotgirls.oxon.sch.uk

Head of Science: Dr Naylor - anaylor@didcotgirls.oxon.sch.uk

 

Combined Science

How it’s assessed

6 Exam Papers, each 1 hour and 15 mins long.

There are two papers for each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

We split content into Chapters in line with the Oxford University Press GCSE Science Textbooks. The chapters covered by each exam paper are:

Biology Paper 1:

B1 to B9 – Cells and Organisation and Disease and Bioenergetics

Biology Paper 2:

B10 to B11, B13 to B18 – Biological Responses, Genetics and Reproduction, Ecology

Chemistry Paper 1:

C1 to C7 - Atoms, Bonding and Moles, Chemical Reactions and Energy Changes

Chemistry Paper 2:

C8 to C9, C12 to C14 – Rates, Equilibrium & Organic Chemistry, Analysis & Earth’s Resources

Physics Paper 1:

P1 to P7 – Energy and Energy Resources, Particles At Work

Physics Paper 2:

P8 to P11, P12 to P13, P15 - Forces in Action, Waves, Electromagnetism

Examination Board:   AQA

Grading system: Students achieve a double grade, which is equivalent to two GCSE grades. For example, if a student achieved a 6-5 this would be equivalent to one grade 6 and one grade 5 GCSE. The double grade is calculated using an average of student performance across the 6 exam papers.

Progression to Post-16:

A-levels in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Applied Science, as well as links to many more vocational and academic courses in fields as diverse as Psychology, Engineering and Sport Sciences.

Future career links:

Science GCSE is an empowering qualification that will open many doors

Contact:

Head of Biology: Miss Kyriakides - akyriakides@didcotgirls.oxon.sch.uk

Head of Chemistry: Miss Eccleston - aeccleston@didcotgirls.oxon.sch.uk

Head of Physics: Mr Briggs - ibriggs@didcotgirls.oxon.sch.uk

Head of Science: Dr Naylor - anaylor@didcotgirls.oxon.sch.uk

Biology Knowledge Organisers

Chemistry Knowledge Organisers

Physics Knowledge Organisers

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