Our belief is that students should know the prerequisites for any science subject in order to learn more complex subjects, for example, students study atoms and molecules in year 7, not particles. Students in year 8 know the differences between atoms and ions before they study the pH scale in year 10.
Our science team are proud of the 5 year curriculum that we have developed, which secures the fundamentals of science in a logical manner to allow students to access a much higher level of subject knowledge towards the final stages of school.
Students do not need to make any decision about science courses as part of the yr8 options setup as all students are taken through the triple science route. When we arrive at the year 11 mocks, we can make a more informed decision about the qualification a student will sit, based upon the most up-to-date and accurate information (choices would be to move to a foundation paper for all three sciences or opt for a combined science route that only gives 2 GCSE qualifications). Even if students do opt for a foundation paper, they have still been exposed to high level science content, which is a right of theirs, and not one we should make for them in year 8.
During the course, our students will focus on retaining the basic knowledge of each subject through the continued use of the knowledge organisers. We also provide all of the lesson notes for students by using lesson scripts, which they annotate – long gone are the days of scruffy exercise books. Intertwined in the knowledge-focused lessons will be the development of key scientific, mathematical and literacy skills, as well as exposure to practical experiments to improve precision of readings, accuracy of measurements, processing of data, drawing conclusions and analysis of results. There are no controlled assessments in AQA GCSE science, instead students will be expected to recall specific practical experiments and apply their knowledge in the final examinations.
A wide and deep bank of subject knowledge will allow our students to leave Saint Martins with the ability to ask better questions of the world, make more informed decisions and apply their knowledge to unfamiliar situations. We want our students to leave knowing how scientific discoveries are hypothesised, tested and peer reviewed. We want our students to have a scientific understanding of the world so they can comprehend developments in the news, study at A’ Level or degree, become an expert tradesman, engage in scientific conversations at any age of their life, appreciate the impact they have on the environment even help their own children with the homework!