At Longsands, our Science KS3 curriculum begins at the start of Year 7 and completes at the end of Year 8 (a two year KS3 course).
Aim of our KS3 Syllabus
Our Key Stage 3 (KS3) Science Syllabus is designed to deliver engaging lessons and using a logical order of objectives, our KS3 uses big ideas and mastery goals to equip students for success at GCSE. It also provides a method to follow student progress as their understanding develops during KS3.
Relationship between the KS3 Science Syllabus and GCSE Sciences
The Science GCSEs we offer describe content and processes that students need to demonstrate competence in. These areas are developed in KS3 so that students enter Key Stage 4 (KS4) with a level of proficiency. To reach their potential, our students need to study the examined content with a mastery of ideas and skills.
The big ideas principle
Students may complete KS3 with knowledge of individual concepts but lack the understanding to apply their knowledge to unfamiliar contexts. Our KS3 course provides students with this understanding. Using the big ideas principle, the generalisations, principles and models which connect concepts are at the heart of our syllabus. We believe this is how students learn to see the world analytically, to explain phenomena and make predictions – all skills they need for their next stage of scientific learning.
Our syllabus complements the programme of study by exploring links between the ideas at KS3. Taught content is under 10 big idea headings:
Forces, Electromagnetism, Energy, Waves, Matter, Reactions, Earth, Organisms, Ecosystems and Genes. Each idea contains four smaller topics: the building blocks for the big ideas.
The Science faculty consists of fourteen laboratories and one dedicated ICT computer lab. We have a large uptake of students studying the Separate Sciences (formally known as Triple) and A-Level is a very popular subject choice post 16. We have a diverse range of subjects and our course provision is increasing year on year to ensure we continue to meet all of the needs of our Science learners.
We run a number of trips and visits spanning across the subjects. Some include:
A trip to the Natural History & Duxford Museums (KS3). A visit to Donarbon waste reclamation site & Little Barford gas turbine power station (GCSE Science), Guest speakers (KS3, 4 & 5), Forensics Day (Year 8/9), Science Week activities (KS3, 4 & 5), Spectroscopy in a Suitcase (KS5 Chemistry), Biology fieldtrips (KS5 Biology), and a trip to CERN (KS5 Physics). Our sixth formers are also actively involved in the ERASMUS Plus project in biotechnology.
We run a number of extra-curricular activities designed to support our Science learners:
Every Thursday after school, we run the ‘Science Clinic’, which is a drop in arrangement for students in any year to come along and receive help with homework, or any other aspect of their Science learning. At times a Science teacher may ask a group of students to attend in order to cover a specific topic that they have been identified as needing to be developed.
Throughout the week, we run regular scheduled after school tutorials for A-Level Biology, Chemistry and Physics. In additional there are also sessions for the level three Applied Science course.
Every Friday after school, we run our Science & CREST Club. This is very popular with more than fifty students regularly attending and last year all fifty were awarded their CREST bronze certificates and we are currently starting to develop many of our Science learners to succeed with their silver awards.