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Science at Jesmond Park Academy

Science

Science, and its study, is the fabric of what makes us human. It’s empowering and enriching; It allows us to observe the furthest reaches of space; enables us a medium for this very document and gives us the ability to hypothesise the origin of our existence.

Science Philosophy and Intent statement

The Science faculty at Heaton Manor are unashamedly passionate about all scientific matters and believe that this is evident in our day to day delivery of scientific content. We believe that science develops a set of specific skills that allow students to make informed decisions that help not only themselves to fulfil their own potential but also help those around them. We have very high standards and ask the same of our students, the more you put in, the more you get out.

We see the importance of Science everywhere: From the phone in your hand to the food that you eat. We strive to develop the essential scientific knowledge and understanding alongside the development of key skills, including those of numeracy, literacy and oracy, that enable our students to make up their own minds. The required practicals at GCSE and A-Level ensure that students develop transferable skills that allow them to go on and thrive in different sectors.

We do not see the sciences as distinct subjects to be mastered in isolation. We believe that it is important to link science with other subjects. For example, with PE in the development of exercise plans and to assess the impact of exercise on the human body. In the development of materials used in technology which helps to explain how it is possible to have a phone today that is more powerful than the technology that took the first astronauts to the moon. We believe that the collective mastery of these subjects allows for the development of a well-rounded student who can work independently, approach new challenges with curiosity, is committed to developing knowledge and, at all times, maintains the highest standards of self-discipline.

Science at Heaton Manor develops the knowledge and skills that allow students to create a hypothesis, test their theories and come to conclusions by themselves. We see the parallels with these scientific skills in everything; be it deciding on the next car to purchase to evaluating which medication is the most effective.  As Scientists we value the importance of research, which is used to back up our knowledge and understanding. Our science staff have a plethora of experience and they value the importance of evidence based-research to inform what they do and why they do it.

 


 

Science Curriculum Content statement

In science we believe that the acquisition of key knowledge allows students to develop a deep and embedded understanding of all areas of the science curriculum.

There are several key themes that form this broad base of knowledge. One example is the understanding of photosynthesis. Starting in Year 7, we look at basic plant structure and introduce the concept of plant adaptations which allow the plant to survive. In Year 8, we move onto factors that affect photosynthesis and investigate the impact of light on the rate of photosynthesis. In years 9 and 10 we apply our prior learning to the GCSE curriculum, looking at the impact of plant diseases on the rate of photosynthesis. The photosynthesis required practical in Year 11 is a more complex version of the practical covered at KS3 and our students have already acquired the basic knowledge and skills that allows them to flourish in this topic. The spiral is completed in KS5 Biology, where students have to look at the structures involved in photosynthesis at a microscopic level. These in addition to other key themes will be revisited as part of our spiral curriculum every year adding complexity and seeing where they fit in with other areas of study.

It is important that students see how key knowledge can be transferred between the three key disciplines, Chemistry, Biology and Physics and an example of this in the previous discussed example might be how different enzymes control the photosynthesis reaction.

Science at Jesmond Park Academy

We understand that a key aspect of long term memory creation requires regular recall and retrieval of key knowledge. We facilitate this through the use of frequent low stakes testing and practising of the key vocabulary throughout a topic.  We aim to ensure that the subject knowledge of science staff is as up to date as possible through regular cross discipline collaboration and external opportunities. Our teachers have an inherent desire to develop their expertise as a matter of course.

There are many core skills which we will regularly revisit through each key stage, building confidence and expertise in the students. They must understand how to conduct practical skills effectively including reliability of data, results tables, graphs, analysing data, writing and evaluating experimental results. Literacy shall be regularly reinforced through encouraging students to write extended responses and ensuring key vocabulary is accurately spelled and used in written work.

In addition to this it is important that we encourage students to demonstrate a creative approach to scientific problem solving and develop the character required to be resilient in their approach to grasping the challenging content that we will demand from our students.

 


Science curriculum offer

KS3 - students study separate topics in each of year 7 and 8 following the AQA scheme of work.
KS4 - students start GCSE content (AQA) in year 9 and continue in years 10 and 11.
KS5 - students can study the following A level courses:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • BTEC Applied Science (NCF)