Science asks students to observe the evidence of the world around them, to follow a line of enquiry and seek a valid conclusion and ultimately, truth. By working scientifically students must think critically, analyse and interpret data; they can recognise bias while acknowledging ethical viewpoints. Our students should be able to choose appropriate equipment using rationale and use that equipment safely and technically to collect data. In their practice students evaluate risk and pay close attention to accuracy, precision, reliability, and reproducibility. It is this process of working scientifically that unites the big ideas of our three disciplines: Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
Science education within Heathfield community school aims to equip students with the rich and powerful knowledge of the curriculum alongside the skills of working scientifically. We believe this best prepares our students for understanding the world around them, achieving their best at examinations, prepares them for the next stage of education and kindles a love for the subject.
The curriculum is designed to revisit the big ideas periodically through the journey from KS3 to KS4. We seek to enthuse with practicals which allowing students to experience the scientific process. We revise key skills and topics regularly to build confidence and long term learning. By learning in context of the natural world and the local community students can apply their knowledge and become contributors to the world of research and industry.
During Key Stage 3, students will explore various scientific disciplines, enhancing their understanding of the natural world and developing key scientific skills. The curriculum is divided into six half-terms, each focusing on specific topics and skills.
In Year 7, students begin by learning about scientific inquiry and developing skills such as asking scientific questions, planning investigations, and analysing data. They then delve into topics such as particles and their behaviour, forces, cells, elements and compounds, light, sound, acids and alkalis, reproduction, and more. Students will be encouraged to use models, conduct investigations, and record their findings.
Year 8 builds upon the foundational knowledge acquired in Year 7. Students study topics including the periodic table, health and lifestyle, energy, separation techniques, space, electricity and magnetism, the Earth's cycles, motion and pressure, ecosystem processes, and more. They will develop skills such as evaluating risks, interpreting data, and analysing scientific models.
Year 9 focuses on deepening students' understanding of scientific concepts and developing higher-order skills. Topics covered include the structure of the atom, cells and transport, motion and forces, chemical bonding, genetics and inheritance, energy stores, exchange surfaces, electricity, evolution, electrolysis, waves, photosynthesis, and more. Students will engage in activities involving scientific communication, probability calculations, accurate scientific techniques, and pattern recognition.
During Key Stage 4, students have the opportunity to pursue the sciences at a more advanced level. The curriculum prepares students for external examinations and provides a solid foundation for further study or employment in scientific fields.
Building on the knowledge and skills acquired in Key Stage 3, students deepen their understanding of scientific concepts and develop their analytical and evaluative abilities. The specific content of the Key Stage 4 curriculum may vary based on examination board and pathway choices, covering topics such as biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science, and more. Students engage in practical experiments, data analysis, scientific investigations, and research projects to enhance their scientific competence and critical thinking.
Overall, the science curriculum at Heathfield empowers students to develop a solid understanding of scientific concepts, acquire practical skills, and cultivate a passion for inquiry and discovery. Through a combination of theoretical study and hands-on experimentation, students gain the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate and contribute to the scientific world around them.