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Every child is known and loved

Science

Intent:

  • At St Gregory’s Catholic School, the science curriculum from Year 7-13 provides all students with an opportunity to develop a greater understanding of the ‘big ideas’ within Biology, Chemistry and Physics. In Biology this includes, Organisms, Ecosystems and Genes. In Chemistry students will study, Matter, Reactions and the Earth. In Physics students will learn about Forces, Electricity, Magnets, Energy and Waves.
  • Our engaging lessons will expose students to the key knowledge scientists have developed over time via a mixture of theory and practical based lessons. Through the build-up of knowledge and key scientific skills such as planning, recording, analysing and evaluating data, our curriculum seeks to build curious, inquisitive, scientifically literate and knowledgeable students across all 3 key stages. They will have the information and skills to not only be successful in other curriculum areas, but will also be our scientists of the future.

Purpose:

At Key Stage 3, our lessons are based on the national curriculum and tailored to our learners to include the aspects of science that we feel are the most important to embed the key knowledge that the students will need later.  We are seeking to build the foundations for future success by:

 

  • Following a progression model where key concepts are revisited with an additional layer of complexity added.
  • The opportunity to practice applying their knowledge on a regular basis to embed the ideas using knowledge organisers.
  • Live modelling by teachers to effectively scaffold the acquisition of complex concepts for all students.  This also reduces cognitive load.
  • Retrieval practice in every lesson to move information from short term to long term memory.
  • Planned links made wherever possible to bring prior knowledge to the front of their minds in order to facilitate successful schema formation by connecting the new content to the previous ideas.
  • Teachers are encouraged to reteach core concepts having marked an assessment – if our students have shown us that they don’t understand something then we need to ensure we act upon that invaluable information.

 

The broad themes are as follows:

  • Scientific skills - Topic taught at the start of Y7 and then fed into each of the separate themes. 
  • Biology  – The structure and function of living organisms including cells; photosynthesis and respiration; relationships in an ecosystem; genetics and evolution
  • Chemistry – The particulate nature of matter; atoms, elements and compounds; pure and impure substances; chemical reactions; energetics; the periodic table; materials; Earth and atmosphere
  • Physics - Energy; Motion and Forces; Waves; Electricity and electromagnetism; matter; space physics.

 

Scientific Skills

Practical. Investigative and data presentation

 

At the beginning of our curriculum, students are taught the fundamentals when working in a science laboratory. They learn about hazards and risks when using different chemicals and begin to learn the names of all the different types of equipment they will use throughout their time studying science. Students will begin to develop key scientific skills such as, presenting scientific data, identifying patterns in results and drawing different types of graphs from a range of data. They will understand the importance of a detailed step by step method in a plan which would allow them to collect valid data. The knowledge gained in this topic, will allow students to become competent scientists and will help them prepare for the required practical’s they will carry out at GCSE and at KS5. Scientific enquiry and skills are developed throughout the curriculum through well thought through practical work which further deepens students understanding and knowledge in science.  

 

Biology

The structure and function of living organisms including cells; photosynthesis and respiration; relationships in an ecosystem; genetics and evolution  

 

Understanding the basic structure and function of cells is so fundamental to the study of Biology and an understanding of the biotic world that we start to embed this knowledge from the very beginning of year 7. Students will learn about specialised cells, the organisation of multicellular organisms and how to use a microscope. As part of their ecology lessons students will investigate photosynthesis, learn about predator/prey relationships and the effects of extinctions and climate change. We also explore the meanings of key genetic vocabulary in the context of reproduction and adaptation. This again builds on KS2 knowledge of competition and basic adaptations but moves onto look at the causes of variation within a species, how sexual reproduction is an essential part of this and how maternal lifestyle can impact the development of children.

 

Chemistry

The particulate nature of matter; atoms, elements and compounds; pure and impure substances; chemical reactions; energetics; the periodic table; materials; Earth and atmosphere

 

Understanding the structure of the atom is a fundamental topic in chemistry as atoms are the building blocks of life. Students will learn about the particle model and the states of matter; elements, compounds and mixtures and separating techniques. The Periodic Table is discussed and broken down into its groups and periods. This is linked to atomic structure and electron arrangement. Students are shown the importance of chemical reactions in everyday life. They study numerous different types of chemical reactions building on their KS2 knowledge of properties and changes of material. Links are made with other chemistry topics to consolidate learning, helping students build the bigger picture within their minds. Students gain valuable practical skills and areas from the scientific skills in year 7 are revisited. The bonding topics build on both areas of atoms and elements and chemical reactions. Students are taught how about how mass is conserved in a chemical reaction. 

 

Physics

Energy; Motion and Forces; Waves; Electricity and electromagnetism; matter; space physics

 

Our lives are so influenced by our access to technology and electricity that is it important that students understand where this comes from and the issues that can arise from our dependence on fossil fuel powered electricity generation. It was very important for us to link energy and electricity at a very early stage in our learning journey. Students will learn about what current, potential difference and resistance, series and parallel circuits and electromagnets. Ensuring students make the link between their own personal energy use, the electrical devices that they depend on and the possible impact it can have on the planet that students will have an awareness of the impact they can make on the future of our energy supplies and the state of our planet.  

 

Putting forces into contact by relating them to our place in the solar system is a way that will help students to really grasp the effects of forces in a concrete manner. In year 7 we build up core knowledge of what forces are but then use the solar system as a way to bring these concepts to life. We can encourage a love of all things physics by linking physical principles to the fascinating topic of the solar system and knowledge of the ‘night sky’ gives students and teachers the opportunity to explore how scientific theories are developed over time.  

 

After Year 8 students continue their science journey starting the GCSE curriculum in Year 9.  They will start with the key concepts of each of the three science disciplines inclusive of all separate science content.  After Key Stage 3 students can then either choose to continue to study the Separate Sciences or complete the Trilogy course.  We endeavour to provide subject specialists wherever possible across the Sciences.  The Key Stage 4 and 5 curriculum is based on the examination board specifications. Students can either follow the Advanced Level pathway or the BTEC pathway at KS5.

Our Values

Ambition Rooted firmly in Catholic teachings, we aim to nurture and guide our students to fulfil their God-given potential so they may achieve success.

Leadership We strive to be a community of servant leaders, where individuals gain a clear sense of self and purpose, knowing their values and using these to guide how they enrich the community in which they belong.

Integrity We teach our students to value honesty and have strong moral principles, using their discernment to govern their actions and take responsibility for their choices.

Vigour Inspired by the life of St Gregory, we empower our students to work with vigour, so they approach all activities and opportunities with effort, energy and enthusiasm.

Empathy We aim for our students to understand and value the feelings of others and for them to know they are loved and celebrated irrespective of their differences.

Awards

Trust Information

St Gregory's Catholic School is an academy, and part of the Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership. The Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership is an exempt charity and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales under company registration number 08176019 at registered address: Barham Court, Teston, Maidstone, Kent, ME18 5BZ. St Gregory's Catholic School is a business name of Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership.

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