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Science

Departmental Intent

At St Antony’s Roman Catholic School, a high-quality Science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Science is vital to the world’s future prosperity, therefore all pupils will be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of Science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils will be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They will be encouraged to understand how Science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. The main features of the Science curriculum are as follows:

  • The Science curriculum at St Antony’s is ambitious and sets out the knowledge and skills that pupils gain as they move from the end of KS2 into their post-16 path of choice. Pupils are introduced to the best that has been thought and gain an appreciation of human creativity and achievement. The curriculum provides pupils from all socio-economic backgrounds with the knowledge and skills required to take advantage of the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. In 2022/23, this will include the introduction of separate Sciences.
  • The Science curriculum at both KS3 and KS4 is in line with the National curriculum. The curriculum builds on KS2 prior knowledge and prepares pupils for two possible end points in Year 11 – GCSE Combined Science or GCSE Biology, Chemistry, Physics.
  • The curriculum is a journey that allows pupils to know more and remember more. It explicitly builds upon their KS2 experience in a progressive way that allows pupils to build knowledge via a spiral curriculum that visits and revisits the big ideas of Science. Pupils develop fluency and apply their knowledge of interconnected ideas and skill sets rather than learning long lists of disconnected facts. The curriculum builds through KS3 and KS4 to allow pupils to leave the school with a high degree of scientific literacy.
  • To take into account variations in KS2 scientific experience, the Science curriculum provides pupils with a deeper understanding of a range of scientific ideas in the disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Pupils build connections between these subject areas and become aware of the big ideas underpinning scientific knowledge and understanding. To overcome challenges posed by the pandemic, the Science curriculum has been reviewed and sequencing changes have been made in order to reduce potential cumulative dysfluency. A key feature of this review is to ensure the regular revisiting of key knowledge and skills.
  • Science provides a rich curriculum that is as broad as possible for as long as possible. Pupils study the full KS3 programme of study which allows them to understand the essential aspects of knowledge, methods, processes and uses of Science. All pupils undertake GCSE Science via GCSE Combined Science or GCSE Biology, Chemistry, Physics.
  • The Science curriculum at St. Antony’s is genuinely ambitious. All pupils study the national curriculum at KS3 and KS4, irrespective of their socio-economic background or SEND - there is no such thing as a reduced curriculum. Most KS4 pupils will follow the Edexcel GCSE Combined Science programme of study. However, we also offer separate GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics for those pupils who have an interest in pursuing that particular route.

Departmental Information

Key Stage Three

The principal focus of Science teaching in key stage 3 is to develop a deeper understanding of a range of scientific ideas in the subject disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Pupils will begin to see the connections between these subject areas and become aware of some of the big ideas underpinning scientific knowledge and understanding. Examples of these big ideas are the links between structure and function in living organisms, the particulate model as the key to understanding the properties and interactions of matter in all its forms, and the resources and means of transfer of energy as key determinants of all of these interactions. They will be encouraged to relate scientific explanations to phenomena in the world around them and start to use modelling and abstract ideas to develop and evaluate explanations.

Pupils will understand that Science is about working objectively, modifying explanations to take account of new evidence and ideas and subjecting results to peer review. Pupils will decide on the appropriate type of scientific enquiry to undertake to answer their own questions and develop a deeper understanding of factors to be taken into account when collecting, recording and processing data. They will evaluate their results and identify further questions arising from them.

‘Working scientifically’ will always be taught through and clearly related to substantive science content in the national curriculum. Teachers will feel free to choose examples that serve a variety of purposes, from showing how scientific ideas have developed historically to reflecting modern developments in Science.

Pupils will develop their use of scientific vocabulary, including the use of scientific nomenclature and units and mathematical representations.

Key Stage Four

Key ideas include:

  • the use of conceptual models and theories to make sense of the observed diversity of natural phenomena
  • the assumption that every effect has one or more cause
  • that change is driven by differences between different objects and systems when they interact
  • that many such interactions occur over a distance and over time without direct contact
  • that Science progresses through a cycle of hypothesis, practical experimentation, observation, theory development and review
  • that quantitative analysis is a central element both of many theories and of scientific methods of inquiry.

These key ideas are relevant in different ways and with different emphases in the three subjects as part of Combined Science.

Extra Curricular Activities

  • The Science department run regular after school enrichment sessions for Year 11 to assist them with reaching their potential.
  • The Science department organise enrichment trips for pupils to help foster a love for the subject.

Curriculum Enhancement: