“What I love about science is that as you learn, you don’t really get answers. You just get better questions.”
Science is powerful; it is an ever-changing subject and affects us all. To understand and explore the world around us provides us with the power to improve our lives; from biodiversity, to space exploration, to the internet, to weaponisation of science in warfare, to sustainability, to developments in medicine, we should all have the opportunity to understand and appreciate our beautiful world and the Universe in which we exist.
Through their study of science, our students are provided with opportunities to experience a personal sense of awe and wonder when describing and explaining the world around us. We aim to generate a passion for science in all students and develop inquisitive and curious learners, by making the content equally relevant to students who want to pursue a career in science and engineering, as it is for those who want to live with an appreciation for the subject. Students will not only develop the knowledge to understand observations around them, but will be encouraged to question, investigate and communicate ideas effectively. Students will learn that careers in science extend way beyond those involving a ‘white-coat’.
We have purposely stepped away from traditional Key Stage 3 curriculum models and, instead, have interleaved science disciplines around several carefully selected themes. This approach provides numerous opportunities to draw upon prior learning, further embedding core and ambitious knowledge. Our curriculum design is based on big scientific questions; these are then made relevant through focusing on how human activity and ambition affects the world whilst building schema across subjects. For example, Year 7 begin with the big question “Why understand the world below water?” Through an exploration of these big questions students will cover the National Curriculum in a new but familiar context making it more relevant to them serving to foster engagement and pique curiosity. We provide pupils with opportunities to test their understanding of scientific concepts through modelling, investigative skills and questioning. Students experience high quality instruction from subject specialists who challenge and support them throughout their study of science at Key Stage 3 and beyond. We encourage students to take risks and accept that success comes as a result of failure through a process of improvement time to re-shape their learning.
The Newark Academy science curriculum is therefore designed to:
- Engage students with current scientific research and how it impacts them
- Equip students with a deep understanding of the natural world so that they can apply their knowledge to unfamiliar scenarios
- Guide pupils to challenge the ethical issues that can surround scientific developments
- Explore the socio-economic factors and how they impact scientific developments
- Celebrate the key moments in scientific history that have led to our understanding of the world today.
- Promote high levels of oracy and practical skills by encouraging students to think, investigate and communicate like a scientist.
- Embed and apply knowledge and understanding of important scientific concepts, such as ‘cause and effect’, ‘change’ and ‘structure and function’.
- Practice knowledge and understanding of the skills that underpin science, such as ‘observation’, ‘analysis’ and ‘evaluation’.
Links to useful resources
- KS3 Bitesize - http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/levels/z4kw2hv
- KS4 Bitesize - http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/levels/z98jmp3
- Seneca Learning - https://senecalearning.com/en-GB/