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Science CURRICULUM 2020-21

 

“If it disagrees with experiment, it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science.

It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are; who made the guess; or what his name is… if it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. 

That’s all there is to it.”

Richard Feynman (Nobel Laureate in Physics)

INTENT STATEMENT

Our students will develop the skills and confidence to form ideas and theories of their own to resolve challenges, beyond life at Fortismere.  Our alumni will evaluate the evidence and critically challenge the theories and preconceptions presented to them by the media and other sources both reliable and unreliable.

We aim to instil in our students the same passion for science that we as teachers have.  Teaching materials are designed to both lay a firm foundation to a lifetime of scientific thinking and to enthuse this passion. We aim to integrate the key concepts in all of the sciences as well as the idea of ‘working scientifically’ to develop alumni who are: inquisitive; able to balance the strength of evidence and be confident in their scientific guesses.

The Key Stage 3 Science program of study is planned as a spiral curriculum that re-visits Big Ideas in Years 7 and 8:  Energy; Forces; Electromagnets; Matter; Earth; Reactions; Organisms; Ecosystems; Genes.  Our curriculum is based around these big conceptual ideas that provide an deepening understanding of the sciences; it helps students define the individual disciplines and supports them recognising and understanding their interconnectedness.

Each idea is divided into four smaller topics that are the building blocks of the Big Ideas. Within lessons we will teach knowledge and skills in the context of their application outside the laboratory and with reference to their impact on other subject areas of the school curriculum.

In seeking to transform lives, our curriculum has other aims: to understand and apply the nature of the scientific principle; develop the skills required to engage in scientific activity; appreciate the impact and relationship to other subjects in the curriculum (for example, engineering and mathematics); supporting our students’ mastery of debate through the power of accurate scientific vocabulary and application of an evidence based approach.

Scientific Enquiry

The teaching of Scientific Enquiry is integrated into the Big Ideas and sub-topic principles with identified ‘key practicals’ to ensure equality of opportunity for students.  

Working scientifically is broadly categorised as:

Analyse

Communicate

Enquire

Solve

Analyse patterns

Discuss limitations

Draw conclusions

Present data

Communicate ideas

Construct explanations

Critique claims

Justify opinions

Collect data

Devise questions

Plan variables

Test hypotheses

Estimate risks

Examine consequences

Review theories

Interrogate sources

All aspects of scientific enquiry are studied throughout Year 7 & 8 but each half-term has a scientific enquiry theme where key concepts of that enquiry theme are revisited often.

Mastery of Ideas

Mastery is the secure understanding of the Big Ideas.  This is not only “Knowledge” of the skills and facts, but also the flexibility to “Apply” the knowledge across different contexts and situations.  The power of fluency in scientific vocabulary is a knowledge/skill considered necessary for mastery.

KS3 CURRICULUM

KS4  ‘Combined Science Trilogy’ and ‘Separate Sciences’


There are two possible routes that you will follow for your GCSE course in Science.  You will either follow the Combined Science Trilogy course or the Separate Sciences route. If you are on the Separate Science route you will study towards a separate GCSE in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, meaning you will have three science GCSEs at the end of year 11. For Combined Science Trilogy you will study towards a qualification worth two GCSE grades, which will cover Biology, Chemistry and Physics content.  No decision is made by the Science Department regarding the pathway a student follows until the end of Year 9.  All students in Year 9 study the same topics..

KS4 SEPERATE SCIENCES CURRICULUM

Biology

Our aim is to encourage learning in Biology to be stimulating and exciting for all students. We foster independent study and use exciting cutting edge practical work such as genetic transformation of bacteria. We also provide more well known practical experiences like dissection of mammalian hearts and eyes. We find students are naturally very inquisitive and learn quickly by experiencing at first hand the biology in the world around them.  

CURRICULUM MAP

AQA Biology Specification

Chemistry

Practical work underpins learning in the majority of our lessons, whilst thinking skills and application of knowledge are always emphasised.  Students graduate from our chemistry courses with a firm grasp of the theory and with confidence in their practical skills. A dynamic subject, Chemistry is very popular in the Sixth Form, with many students going on to pursue related courses at university, particularly Medicine. 

CURRICULUM MAP

AQA Chemistry Specification

Physics

Throughout the key stages we encourage students to develop their knowledge and understanding of Physics through practical experience, observation and data analysis, combined with open-ended investigative approaches. Our GCSE course provides effective support for those students who progress their studies to the AQA A Level Physics course where we also teach the Astrophysics Option Block.  This provides a contemporary, dynamic view of the subject with substantial use of ICT resources and modelling software.

CURRICULUM MAP

AQA Physics Specification

KS4  COMBINED SCIENCE TRILOGY CURRICULUM

CURRICULUM MAP

In Combined Sciences Trilogy students follow the AQA Specification.

KS5 CURRICULUM

BIOLOGY

CHEMISTRY

PHYSICS

Extra Curricular

Year 7 Science club is very popular amongst the younger students. The emphasis is on understanding and loving science without the need to write it down. At Science Club there are many activities that are not part of the taught curriculum. These include; making slime, fire writing, eye dissection and igniting methane bubbles to name but a few. Such experiences inspire our youngsters and get them really enthused about the wonderful world of science. Some of our older students are often eager to be involved in facilitating this club because it is so much fun.

Students in older year groups are encouraged to be part of the British Olympiads in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Astrophysics.  These competitions are facilitated within the school and certified by the national bodies that run them.

Sixth form students are encouraged to visit lectures and events at university colleges such as Imperial and the UCL science lecture series on Friday nights, where physics staff will accompany students initially.  Outside speakers are invited into school to discuss their research and  Ecology field trips remain a firm favourite with our Biology students.

GCSE and A Level homework groups run regularly in Biology, Chemistry and Physics after school as well as support sessions for those who want it.  

Contact the Science Department

Mr A Hann  Head of Science 

ahann@fortismere.org.uk

Ms A Hall

Science Teacher ahall@fortismere.org.uk

Mr N Commons

Physics Lead - Science Teacher

ncommons@fortismere.org.uk

Mr A Ward

Science Teacher award@fortismere.org.uk

Dr L Charalambous

Science Teacher

lcharalambous@fortismere.org.uk

Ms J Cox

Science Teacher

jcox@fortismere.org.uk

Ms S Kalantari

Science Teacher skalantari@fortismetre.org.uk

Ms H Gwyn-Jones

Science Teacher

hgwyn-jones@fortismere.org.uk

Mr K Holt

Science Teacher

kholt@fortismere.org.uk

Mr D Huxley

Science Teacher

dhuxley@fortismere.org.uk

Mr S Manhare

Science Teacher

smanhare@fortismere.org.uk

Mr R McKay

Science Teacher

rmckay@fortismere.org.uk

Mr R Saleem

Science Teacher

rsaleem@fortismere.org.uk

Dr A Shah

Science Teacher

ashah@fortismere.org.uk

Mr S Ozakan

Science Teacher

sozakan@fortismere.org.uk

Mr L Obosi

Science Teacher lobosi@fortismere.org.uk

Mrs R Jethwa

Science Technician

rjethwa@fortismere.org.uk

Mr K Khan

Science Technician

kkhan@fortismere.org.uk

Mr S Wagle

Science Technician

swagle@fortismere.org.uk