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Science

Science Education at the Polygon School

 

Ethos

 

At the Polygon School we operate a strong ethos of inclusion and enjoyment in all subjects, whilst building confidence and raising the self-esteem of our pupils. We believe our pupils can learn many valuable transferrable skills through participation including teamwork, problem solving, communication and resilience. Our department aims to provide pupils with many opportunities to build these skills as well as the subject knowledge that they will be able to use to inform the choices they make and to enrich their environment.

 

Intent

 

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

In Key stage 3 pupils follow our scheme of work that is based on the ‘Exploring Science’ course that guides pupils through years 7, 8 and 9. The course is comprehensively resourced with tasks that are differentiated to the needs of the pupils at the level at which they are working. There are many tasks throughout the course that aid students in improving their individual skills in literacy and numeracy.

 

The overall aim is to give pupils an understanding of the world around them whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them to think scientifically, to gain an understanding of scientific processes and also an understanding of the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future. At The Polygon School scientific enquiry skills are embedded in each topic the pupils study and these topics are revisited and developed throughout their time at school as well as incorporating cross-curriculum themes such as PE, PSHE and British Values.

 

The course is taught in manageable chunks that allow students to focus on particular topics for a period of time and then an end of topic test/assessment is completed to see if students have understood the topic. Using these results, we can then plan further tasks and set targets.

 

Key Stage 3 pupils have two forty-minute science lessons per week so we try and cover a balanced spread of the topics during Years 7, 8 and 9 that prepare them for their planned course of study in Key Stage 4.

 

If successful during Years 7 and 8 of the Science curriculum, pupils will be able to access AQA Entry Level in order to prepare them for possible access to the AQA Foundation Trilogy in Years 10 and 11.

 

Though the specific content of the course that the pupils will follow is dependent on ability, all pupils will engage in core topics on:

 

            Biology

•             Cells, genetics, inheritance and modification

•             Health, disease and the development of medicines

•             Plants & Ecosystems

•             Human Biology

 

            Chemistry

•             Atoms, compounds and states of matter

•             Separating mixtures

•             Acids & Metals

•             Elements & Chemical reactions

•             Fuels and the Earth’s atmosphere

 

            Physics

•             Forces, movement and energy

•             Waves & Radiation

•             Electricity & Magnetism

•             Energy & Particles

 

Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)

 

Previously Science has not been taught to Key Stage 4 across the board; however, since September 2021, all Key Stage 4 pupils have Science lessons, during Year 9, they have 2 x 40-minute lesson a week, this increases to 3 per week in Year 10 and Year 11. Due to Science staffing issues and Covid-19 issues, large gaps exist in subject knowledge across the years. If successful during Years 7 and 8, pupils will study Entry Level Certificate Science during Year 9 with the ambition of following the Combined Science Trilogy Course at Foundation Level for Years 10 and 11 for those who complete ELC successfully. Groups can and will be split to cater for strengths of groups or those who need extra support via the Assistants. The Long Term Plan for Key Stage 4 is to drop the Entry Level during Year 9 in place of the Combined Science Trilogy apart from those pupils who have struggled with Key Stage 3 Science. 

 

Qualifications

 

AQA-Entry Level Qualification in Science

AQA-Combined Science Foundation Course

 

Implementation

 

  • Enjoyment and experience success in science
  • Learn in a safe environment
  • Planned, structured and sequenced lessons
  • Utilising both on and off-site resources
  • A broad range of equipment and experiences
  • Qualified and experienced staff
  • Consistent marking and feedback using PIXL marking policy
  • A range of assessment techniques including the use of ICT
  • Consistency in approach to behaviour management in line with school policy

 

Impact

 

As a department, we expect positive outcomes for pupils and expect to see progress and engagement across the school. Positive progress can be monitored through emotional literacy data, progress in class books and achievement of accredited awards.

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