Science at The Isle of Wight Education Federation
Unapologetically Academic – Unashamedly Ambitious.
Everybody starts out as a natural scientist. As humans we have a fundamental urge to comprehend the world around us. Science enables us to question and interrogate what we see. It gives an understanding of what is on the inside of an atom and of the universe as a whole. It lets us see, and explore, the peculiar properties of chemical substances and of how genes duplicate in biology. In stimulating our natural curiosity to question why things happen and how they do, science sparks imagination and creativity. In the words of Albert Einstein, ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge’. Therefore, science in education needs to nurture and focus that imagination, whilst developing the critical understanding of the scientific concepts needed to overcome the challenges we face in this most important phase of human history.
The schemes of work in science are designed to ensure we build on prior knowledge from year to year and from Key Stage to Key Stage. We encourage students to think creatively and use their imagination to explore the world around them, but ultimately, to use their creativity to solve the problems posed in each topic. Critical thinking is key, but that is only possible when students are confident in their understanding of the key themes within science. We therefore base all study on embedding and using key themes and building on the complexity of these themes as we move through years 7 to 11 and beyond. We want our pupils to question the world around them and assert their opinions. But we seek to build the scientific literacy needed for them to be able to underpin their beliefs with a firm foundation in the key concepts of science. The wider aim is to produce students who are able to view the world with inspiration and enthusiasm, able to ensure the world we enjoy will still be a place of wonder for future generations.
At Key Stage 3 we introduce the key themes, which have been designed in line with the AQA ‘Big Themes Model’. This model aims to introduce the key concepts that will be followed all the way through to Year 11. The scheme of work is designed to ensure that students see the links between Biology, Chemistry and Physics and are able to use those key themes to solve the problems posed within the units. We aim to teach these themes once, but to continue to build on them via retrieval practice and constant application in different settings time and time again. Attacking knowledge from different directions enables students to gain confidence in their ability to apply their understanding. Importantly, to see learning as a journey rather than simply a preparation for exams in Year 11.
We offer both GCSE Trilogy Combined Science and GCSE Separate Sciences (leading to individual GCSE qualifications in Biology, Chemistry and Physics). All students follow the same programme at the start but have the opportunity to move to the individual science courses towards the end of the learning journey. Assessments are 100% Exam based and examinations models are as follows;
GCSE Trilogy 6 exams of 75 minutes. GCSE Separate Science 6 exams of 105 minutes each