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.
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.
Though the specific content of the course that the pupils will follow is dependent on ability, all pupils will engage in core topics on:
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 various issues as well as Covid-19 issues, large gaps exist in subject knowledge across the years. We have since September 2022 been following the Pearson Edexcel iGCSE Science (Single Award) course for years 9, 10 and 11. We plan to add ELC Science for some students who struggle to access the iGCSE course from September 2023. Groups can and will be split to cater for strengths of groups or those who need extra support via the Assistants.
In the last year we have successfully applied for and had a visit from the Royal Institute who presented their show ‘Energy Live!’ to our KS3 groups. We have also re-established links with and visited the LifeLab at Southampton University.
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.