Science Curriculum

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Curriculum aim

Science, by its nature is changing daily. A Cowleian Scientist looks very different from one who left the College 10 years ago. As our Biosphere changes with technology it brings about advances in society but also the environmental issues of a bulging population.

It is our intent as Science teachers to embrace changes in the technological world to allow our students to be able to face Scientific problems created in the past and present and address them in their daily lives at a local level, and appreciate the international element.

We are committed to enable our students to improve their personal development by appreciating the powerful, but provisional nature of Scientific knowledge, along with an explanation that Science is always developing by giving students access to see Science beyond a specification and classroom.

To foster a love of the Natural, Physical and Chemical world and engage within students an interest and curiosity, balanced by an awareness of health and safety matters and a respect for our Biome.

Our curriculum gives students the opportunity to become conscientious, compassionate learners, who develop into informed citizens.

Curriculum structure

Key Stage 3 Science

Year 7 and 8 both follow a scheme of work based around QCA , lessons have been developed by staff to complete Key Stage 3 in 2 years, leading to the new Combined GCSE. Pupils complete their Key Stage 3 Science in the Autumn term of Yr 8. During the Spring term of year 8 student will take their option choices.

Setting for Yr 9/10/11 is based upon both ability and option choices

Key Stage 4 Science

3 current routes are available. Students can study Separate Sciences, Combined Sciences (Trilogy) or Btec Science (Level 2)

Key Stage 5 Science

Biology, Chemistry and Physics are available at A Level. Btec Science (Level 3) is also available.

In all key stages there has been recent changes in the sequence of the content delivered. Reasons for this include –

Improved flow of content from topic to topic

Removal of duplicated material students completed at an earlier Key Stage

Some content with more adult themes placed at a part of the programme when students are older and more mature.

Weaknesses in mathematical skills have move some content into later in programmes after (with discussion with Maths department)

Our schemes of work for all key stages have a range of pedagogical approached to support the learning, these are evidenced through work scrutiny and departmental monitoring procedures.

Independent work is set to enhance learning and understanding. As a department, we encourage staff to use a range of techniques to enhance memory recall, skills, analysis, interpretation and application of Scientific concepts. Homework is no different to any learning experience and is differentiated to meet the needs of the ability of all students.

Curriculum in action

Curriculum Beyond the Classroom
We have a very active Science Club delivered by the KS3 co-ordinator, which meet weekly and engages the students with alternate experiments and activities. An Eco club – run by a Science teacher, has been recognised by the TES as making an impact on the College as a whole in environmental issues discussed above.

We have been a participant in the Royal Society of Chemistry “Chemistry for All” project – aiming to boost students love of Chemistry which has involved frequent trips to John Moores University along with lecturers visiting college to deliver sessions.

Close links with Manchester Met University has led to KS5 visits to undertake DNA Technology sessions involving undergraduate teaching sessions.

Other Trips have included –

  • Science Live speakers and Chester Zoo with an entire Year Group!
  • Salters Festival of Chemistry
  • Liverpool John Moores Chemistry visit to labs (YR12 Applied Science)
  • Medical Mavericks – for 250 students expressing careers intention in the Health Care Industry
  • Planetarium visits (Liverpool)

Subject Expertise
As a department we collaborate with The Institute of Physics  giving  insight into the delivery and language to be used, with classroom delivery strategies to be in line with new Physics specification

Using the examination board the department has obtained feedback from the new linear examination in 2018 and how our delivery can be adjusted (to be repeated 2019)

We are an active part of the Teacher Support Network (St.Helens / Liverpool) – which uses regular meetings on key issues eg Maths in Science

The HOD / aHOD attend AQA HUB meetings termly – which are then disseminated and best practise shared at departmental meetings

Several staff mark Summer examinations and feedback from Team Leaders/ Principal examiners on expectations and key points

KS5 delivered by subject experts – to specific first degree capabilities. We have no non experts in the department.

KS4 out of specialism staff have a “buddy” with whom to spend time with and discuss potential concerns.


Destinations
We are proud that large numbers of leaving 6th Form students go on to study Science based University degrees, throughout all key stages students are exposed to external agencies and further education opportunities through a series of designed activities.

Department delivers “taster” sessions to new student in the Summer term of KS2. An introduction to a Science lab, with elements of safety.

The HOD discuses Separate Science as an option to the top 2 sets in both strands in Yr8 before option choices. Students are aware of an average percentage grade necessary to be able to access this course.

Outside college activities are planned to support transition including ; Big Bang Event  – organised by STEM in Liverpool M and S arena. Attended annually – with links to many STEM based organisations

Operating theatre Live visits for future medics as a programme starting in Year 10. Visiting academics speak to small groups of students and we regularly visit Daresbury laboratories to engage in aspects of Physics and Chemistry careers