In Science at Ashlyns, we aim to give all students the opportunities to develop skills and knowledge of Science. We believe that this will help to improve their confidence in practicing and engaging with Science at both an academic and citizen level. We want our students to be able to analyse and be critical of Scientific information and ideas and to gain practical and investigative skills. Our curriculum is engaging and inclusive and it demonstrates the importance of tolerance and diversity via collaborative work. We stretch and challenge our students to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding at all levels, whatever their starting points and aims.
Key Stage 3
Our aims at KS3 are to offer students opportunities to deepen their understanding of Science gained at KS2 while ensuring that they gain practical, investigative and analytical skills. We want them to move on from natural wonder and curiosity towards using Scientific models and applying Mathematical and Literacy skills. We challenge them to work safely in a laboratory setting, understand the safe use of scientific equipment including measuring devices, to develop their ability to identify hazards and follow safety rules.
Students learn new topics in all 3 Sciences and how to work and behave in a laboratory. They meet key Science equipment such as Bunsen burners, electronic balances, dataloggers and microscopes for the first time. The Year 7 topics are chosen to provide an introduction to the study of Biology (cells, variation and adaptation, reproduction); Chemistry (elements, compounds and mixtures; metals; separating mixtures; acids); Physics (magnets, kinetics, forces, earth and space). They will build on these key ideas throughout their Science careers. Students study the evidence for these theories, how they are demonstrated experimentally, what prior evidence they build on and what their every day and groundbreaking applications are.
The skills gained in Year 7 are further developed and additional topics covered which expand students’ knowledge and understanding of Science. Specifically: Biology (photosynthesis, digestion, respiration and habitats); Chemistry (patterns of chemical reactions); Physics (electricity and electromagnetism, pressure, skeletons and levers, energy). They are introduced to a wider range of equipment and measuring devices and learn about techniques such as chromatography and distillation.
During Year 9 the students consolidate the Science skills that they have attained over their time in KS3, extending them into those needed for Science GCSEs.
The Physics topics are waves, light and sound, Hooke’s law, forces, convection, conduction and radiation. The Chemistry topics are atoms and the periodic table, particles and properties, chemical analysis. The Biology topics are cell biology and ecosystems.
In these topics they use their existing skills and ideas in Years 7-9 but go further as these are put into the context of applications, careers and their importance for further study at GCSE and beyond.
Key Stage 4
Students start KS4 with a toolkit of skills and ideas about Science developed gradually at KS3. We deliver the AQA specifications in Combined Science Trilogy (double award) and Biology, Chemistry and Physics (single sciences) 3 separate GCSEs. Students follow either the double or triple award, both of these leading to the knowledge and skills needed for A level Sciences, Science careers and a citizen’s level of scientific literacy.
At KS4, students apply their more developed Literacy and Numeracy skills to Scientific applications, collection of data, planning and analysing and evaluating results. They learn to be critical of information and data using Scientific ideas and Numerical tools. Students learn more about ethical considerations which are developed further in the A level Sciences.
Key Stage 5
At KS5, students are given the opportunity to study all 3 Sciences and Psychology. We offer Biology (SNAB), Chemistry and Physics A level with Edexcel and Psychology (A) with AQA. They broaden their knowledge further within these disciplines and gain further experience of applying theory and investigative skills. Students are aware of how their knowledge builds on work done at KS4 and they are given a range of opportunities to dip in to studies at the next levels be it University or relevant careers by means of face to face and online events and visits.
Learning beyond the classroom
Students regularly gain enriching opportunities to learn about how Science is used, to meet or hear from working Scientists or those using Science as part of their careers via talks visits or online events. We offer student visits to relevant sites including field trips, museums and laboratories when opportunities arise. The parallel curriculum makes the most of all activities currently available online and in the future via physical visits to talks, open days and museums. They provide access to national level institutions often with a changing programme of talks or themed activities throughout the year.
At Ashlyns, we believe that the development of students’ love of learning is of central importance in our curriculum. In order to give students every opportunity to develop this, we have developed a Challenge Curriculum which provides the opportunity for students to enhance their learning across the subjects. The activities contained within the Challenge Curriculum are for students to undertake independently, and take lots of forms, including watching films or clips, visiting museums, conducting independent research, listening to podcasts, and watching lectures online. They are by no means exhaustive, and we encourage all activities that enable students to engage with subjects beyond the classroom and further their learning. Students should let their teachers know which activities they have completed, and are able to earn merits for doing so.