Key Stage 3

Science [Years 7-8]

Year 7 Outline

Students are taught in mixed ability groups. They follow a scheme of work that introduces the Science National Curriculum for Key Stage 3 by developing key ideas and enhancing practical and problem solving skills.

The topics covered are:

Cells and Systems

Ecosystems

Atoms, Particles and Behaviour of Matter

Introduction to Chemical Reactions

Energy

Forces and Pressure

 

Scientific Investigation is embedded in to the topics and students are given opportunities to develop their skills in planning and carrying out practical investigations. All teaching takes place in fully equipped laboratories by specialist staff. At the start of the year students learn safety rules for the laboratory that they must subsequently follow.

Year 8 Outline

Students follow a scheme of work that builds on what is taught in Year 7. Key ideas are developed and extended. Students complete the KS3 curriculum in Year 8, which allows them to start preparation for their GCSEs a year early; hence high ability students can be extended at an earlier stage.

The topics covered in Year 8 are:

Plants, Photosynthesis and Respiration

Genetics and Evolution

Elements, Mixtures and Compounds

Reactions of Metals

Earth and Space

Waves

Electricity and Magnetism

 

Scientific Investigation is embedded in to the topics to give the students background for the ISA Controlled Assessment section of GCSE Science. All teaching takes place in fully equipped laboratories by specialist staff.

Grouping & Teaching/Learning Style

In Year 7 the students are taught in their mixed ability Tutor Groups. In Year 8 the students are set into upper and lower ability bands for Science. This is based on the students’ assessment results from Year 7 and the opinion of their teachers. We take every care to ensure that each student is placed in the correct band for them, so that they can continue to make progress at an appropriate pace.

In lessons the students are encouraged to work independently. Regular feedback from the teachers ensures that the students are aware of their short-term and long-term targets in the subject. We do as much practical work as possible and so accommodate different styles of learning.

Assessment

In Years 7 and 8 assessment is done formatively, assessing both knowledge and skills and through the use of topic tests. In January of Year 8 the students take a ‘Scientific Skills Test’, and at the end of each year the students take an exam which covers several of the topics taught in that year as well as their scientific skills. The students use ‘tracking sheets’ so that they can track their own progress and ensure that they are on course for any targets that have been set. Parents are encouraged to also look at these sheets so that they are informed of their child’s progress. Students are always given the option to review all their tests and assessments in detail so that they can set targets and give feedback on their performance.