To view the Key Stage 3 Assessment Criteria for Science – please click here
To view the full curriculum overview for Science – please click here
Key Stage 3 Curriculum
The science department at St. Crispin’s redeveloped their KS3 program in 2018 to help students make greater progress. These changes encompassed three main objectives; to provide students with greater opportunities to develop skills required for success at GCSE; to integrate assessment methods which support and improve teaching and to develop a high level of confidence on key scientific themes. Students are grouped according to ability and these sets are regularly reviewed and adjusted, however, all students receive the same opportunities for success.
Students in year 7 will study 6 main units, 2 for each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Throughout these schemes of work, students will have numerous opportunities to develop and gain an understanding of the 5 Big Ideas – Cells, Interdependence, Particles, Forces and Energy.
We have taken the opportunity to build the foundations for a successful GCSE journey, but have been clear that we do not want to simply start teaching GCSE much earlier, we want to spend our first years engaging students and building a love of science.
In Year 7, the scheme of work that we teach has been created by us with the aim of:
Increasing engagement with science
Developing key scientific investigation skills
Developing independent learning skills through both short and extended projects
Developing skills in communication of science and working with information
Setting science learning in fun and engaging real world contexts, such as how bridges work with our bridge building challenge or the impact of using too much plastic.
Our new assessment will focus largely on information gathered in class using a little and often approach. Additionally, students will demonstrate their understanding and longer term retention in 2 tests each year. Prior to each exam, extra support materials will be sent home. These support materials are available all year round at www.tiny.cc/eb2
In Year 8 students are grouped according to ability based on their Year 7 progress. The scheme of work, again developed by us furthers the skills gained in Year 7 and:
- Sets science in more real world contexts, such as the science of theme parks, working outside, use of light and sound at festivals and producing a display at the Natural History Museum
- Prepares students for study at GCSE both in terms of skillsets, knowledge and approach to work
- Further developing literacy and numeracy skills
Assessment in year 8 is focused on exam results and observations in lessons. There will also be 2 formal science exams each year and revision resources are sent home as well as being available at www.tiny.cc/eb2
In 2015 Year 9 will be making the transition to the NEW style GCSEs. Students will first study the core GCSE concepts such as the structure of the atom and the cell. Following this induction course, students will then study the structure of the cell, organs and organ systems in Biology, Forces and Energy in Physics and Atomic structure and bonding in Chemistry.
In science in Year 7 and 8 we set personal study every 2-3 lessons. Each teacher adapts their work setting to match the ability of their class, so some may set a slightly larger project to deepen knowledge whilst others may choose to set a little and often task to build good habits.
Many of the personal study set at KS3 are on Doddle – www.doddlelearn.co.uk. Students can log in with their firstname – surname – year of entry in the format danielrose18 (if I started in 2018). Their password is by default password and the institution code is St Crispins. The majority of the tasks are formatted for tablet and all are at least viewable on a tablet (or PC etc).
In addition, as we approach each test, we would expect around 2 hours of revision. Whilst this clearly would not be enough to cover every last aspect of the course, it is manageable, but more importantly, encourages students to focus on their weakest areas.
Revision checklists can be found on the following website – www.tiny.cc/eb2
How can you help at home:
There are lots of ways you can help as a parent in supporting your child.
Revision Guides –At the start of the year we will offer students the chance to buy discounted revision guides which are really for revision. If you missed this opportunity, you can purchase from any bookshop or amazon for a few pounds. We recommend the CGP revision guide AND work book.
To make best use of these we recommend the Dr’s surgery approach.
Key word support
Another great way you can help your child is to test them on key science words. For each unit, the student will be given a key word map. Both in class and at home they should update this with definitions and be able to use the words in the right context. Testing on these words can be really useful.
Get in touch
We love to hear from parents, especially if you have feedback on how your child has enjoyed our approach to KS3. We have put in masses of development at KS3 and still have more to do, but if you feel that there is anything missing that you would like to see, then please do not hesitate to let us know.