Our curriculum intent
Albert Einstein said, “Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better”.
Science is fundamentally a practical discipline that has established a large body of academic knowledge - it has changed our lives and will continue to be vital to the world’s future prosperity. At the College, we intend to ignite a sense of excitement and wonder about natural phenomena through observational science. Practical application will be the driving force behind providing all our students with a broad and balanced science curriculum that is rich in powerful knowledge, whilst also meeting students individual learning needs and interests. Their learning experiences should allow our students to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse the causes. In addition, it should encourage open-mindedness, self-assessment, perseverance, independence and develop their investigative skills. Wherever possible we will make links to potential careers, create cross-curricular learning opportunities, and invest time into real life experiences for our students.
Here we study the 3 sciences: Biology, Chemistry and Physics. We learn about Biology to understand life and thereby understand ourselves. Biology allows us to understand the amazing complexity of many life processes and mechanisms. Biology encourages us to seek our reasons for strange, surprising and sometimes unusual observations within the living condition.
Chemistry enables us to understand the complexity of substances: how they are composed, their behaviour, and their physical properties. Chemistry allows us to identify unknown substances, monitor concentrations and make new chemicals. Above all Chemistry is about finding solutions to the problems that concern us and our surroundings.
Finally, we engage with understanding Physics to be able to grasp the fundamental principles that govern all energy and matter in the universe. Physics gives us the tools to understand nature from the scale of sub-atomic particles up to the inter-galactic scale of the universe.
It is important to us that our young people learn about the scientific knowledge in existence, methods and processes used to gain that knowledge and how we use it. This is with the desire that our students can develop an understanding of the world we live in today and for their futures.
What this looks like in practice
In Key Stage 3, students study a range of Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics.
When students join Year 7, they will start to develop their practical skills in science. They will start with one of the topics below and complete all twelve by the end of the academic year. Different classes will complete these topics at slightly different times. Students will start to build on their primary Science knowledge in the main topics such as Cells, Atoms, Forces and The Particle Model. They will start to think more independently about how the world works and why things happen in nature. We will start to tackle existing misconceptions in their understanding of the Sciences, develop their ability to solve problems and ignite their curiosity about the world. Curriculum time in the classroom will be divided into 25% working scientifically, 25% Biology, 25% Chemistry, and 25% Physics.
In Year 8, students will start with one of the topics below and complete all twelve by the end of the academic year. Students build on the common Scientific concepts learnt in Year 7, they will need to think deeply about how this knowledge then allows chemicals, matter and living things to interact with each other, and how this happened in the past to form the universe that we see today. They will need to develop their abstract thinking as we delve into the tiny quantum world and the vast expanses of space and universe. Curriculum time in the classroom will be divided into 25% working scientifically, 25% Biology, 25% Chemistry, and 25% Physics.
In Year 9, students’ understanding will be stretched by the Key Stage 3 topics below, laying the foundational ideals for some of the tricky concepts that they will encounter when they move on to Key Stage 4.
- Genetics and evolution
- Making materials
- Forces and motion
- Plant growth
- Force fields and electromagnets
- Biology - threat from disease; viruses; nervous and hormonal responses; testing medicines; ecological sampling techniques
- Chemistry - ions; conductivity and ionic compounds; energy in chemical and physical changes; rates of reaction; balancing symbol equations; equilibria; standard form
- Physics - making things happen (temperature, density, pressure); fields (energy, gravity, magnetism); cause and effect; variables; models
- Maths in science
In Key Stage 4, students follow the AQA GCSE exam specification across Years 10 and 11, covering topics which include:
- States of matter
- Methods of separating and purifying substances
- Cells and control
- Atomic structure
- Periodic Table
- Ionic and covalent bonding
- Types of substances
- Conservation of energy
- Natural selection and genetic modification
- Light and the electromagnetic spectrum
- Magnetism and motor effect; electromagnetic induction
- Acids and alkalis
- Calculations involving masses
- Health, disease and the development of medicines
- Electrolytic processes
- Obtaining and using metals
- Reversible reactions and equilibria; rates of reaction; heat energy changes in chemical reactions
- Plant structures and their functions
- Electricity and circuits
- Animal coordination, control and homeostasis
- Earth and atmospheric science
- Exchange and transport in animals
- The particle model; forces and matter
- Ecosystems and material cycles
Year 11 students will also spend time working on their exam technique, Maths skills and the required practicals.
Triple Science is an option subject for students in Years 10 and 11. We appreciate that many students enjoy learning Science and therefore Triple Science will be open to any student that has the passion and desire to study Science further. If selecting this subject, students will cover topics such as:
- Biology - infections, including monoclonal antibodies and plant diseases; homeostasis, including how the brain works to control different functions; human organs such as the eye and kidneys; ecology in more detail, including decompostion, speciation and natural selection
- Chemistry - transition metals; nanoparticles; quantitative chemistry; titrations; alcohols; carboxylic acids; condensation polymers; deoxyribonucleic acid; polymers; alloys; fertilisers; the Haber Process
- Physics - momentum and how cars are designed to reduce forces during a collision; sound; ultrasound waves; ray diagrammes; space and the solar system
Detailed information about the curriculum for each year group can be found in the document below.
- Herstmonceux Observatory & Science Centre visit
- Trips to the University of Sussex
- Stem Club
- "I’m a Scientist Get Me Out Of Here!" event
- Discovery CREST awards
- British Science Week
- Science Ambassadors
- University / College Trips
- Physics Challenge
Students will be given a log in to the website and App, Tassomai. Students will be given a Daily goal of questions to complete, they must do this at least 4 days a week. When they complete the daily goal more often the number of questions decreases. The idea behind this is little and often. Students can do more that 4 out of 7 daily goals and we recommend anyone taking Triple Science tries to complete it every day.