The science curriculum for the students of The Elland Academy has been designed to provide students with a deep understanding of the scientific knowledge and ideas that impact them as individuals within a local and globalised context. As they move through the curriculum, students will be increasingly made to develop their curiosity, provide insight into working scientifically and appreciate the value of science in their everyday lives. Our curriculum provides a platform for more advanced science based study, providing a gateway into a wide range of career opportunities. It also delivers a framework for understanding the natural world and supporting students to become scientifically literate participants in society.
The key principles used when designing the new curriculum were:
- To develop a knowledge rich curriculum, supported by high quality teacher instruction, collaborative learning and the opportunity for students to demonstrate understanding.
- Effective use of models to explain concepts and critical evaluation of these models.
- Development, understanding and use of scientific language and commonalities in language between other curriculum areas.
- The sequence of learning, including prior knowledge and next steps.
- Retrieval of information over time.
- Reduction of a topic/end of term test, more frequent ‘low stakes’ checkpoints that feedback in to classroom planning.
- Links to other subjects as well as local and social context.
Key Stage 3
Students follow content according to the National Curriculum for science using a clear strand-based approach, which reviews and builds on the understanding from KS2. Practical skills are modelled for students with opportunities for students to develop the skills of enquiry and working scientifically.
During Key Stage 3 students will also have the opportunity to experience areas of science beyond the National Curriculum, these are planned to include subjects such as astronomy, psychology, marine biology, geology. Using the expertise of the wider trust, we are able to offer our students the opportunity to experience short programs of study in these areas, with links to science locally and possible careers.
Key Stage 4: Entry Level Science & GCSE Biology
Students experience a wide range of new topics and skills at KS4 whilst following the AQA Biology specifications. Each topic strand is linked intrinsically to prior knowledge and skills from KS3 and builds in terms of complexity, skills and application. Our aim is that all students should leave the Academy being able to understand and explain the scientific world around them and more importantly are equipped with the skills to problem solve and critically evaluate the ‘big’ moral questions.
Key Stage 4 students are studying the new AQA Biology GCSE which will be graded 1 – 9 with 9 being the highest grade. The units studied are :
- Cell biology
- Infection and response
- Homeostasis and response
- Inheritance, variation and evolution
In Year 10, and again in Year 11, the students will study each of these units with increasing depth and challenge. This is to ensure that students joining The Elland in Year 11 are still able to access all of the curriculum that they need to know for the exam.