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Key Stage 3

During Key Stage 3 students are taught a mixture of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics units throughout each year. The course follows the recently updated Key Stage 3 curriculum, and includes a range of practical activities which aims to provide students with the skills needed in their GCSEs. Students are taught in mixed ability groups in Year 7 and 8, and are set in Year 9 when they start their GCSE course.

Year 7 topics: Cells, particles, Atoms Elements and Compounds, Forces and Motion, Chemical Reactions, Photosynthesis, Plant and Animal Reproduction.

Year 8 Topics: Periodic Table, Respiration, Inheritance and Evolution, Adaptations, Drugs and Health, Heat transfer, Reactions of Metals, and Extracting Metals.

Students are assessed formally, and in an extended writing answer once a half term. We use this data to track the progress of students towards their target level throughout the year. Students are also assessed at the end of the year in a practical investigation in Years 7 and 8, and by mock GCSE exams in Year 9.

Purpose of study

An education in science provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.

Science is changing our lives and is vital that our students in Friern Barnet School are taught the essential aspects of science: remembering, understanding, analytical processes, evaluating and creating and its application to the world around us.

Aims

The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all students:

Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.Develop understanding of the analytical processes and methods of science, through different types of scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them. Are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the application and implications of science, today and for the future.

The Programme of Study

Key Stage 3 is delivered to Years 7 and 8, students start GCSE at the beginning of Year 9.

Our programme of study has been specifically written for Friern Barnet School and meets all of the objectives that have recently been stated by the National curriculum of 2015. Literacy and numeracy plays an integral part of the science curriculum across each key stage. All of our students are encouraged to recognise the power of evidence based explanation, as well as developing a sense of excitement and curiosity.

How are students assessed?

Summative assessments

Students are assessed every half term using steps; Friern Barnet School’s strategy to identify progress and attainment. Assessments are written by the science faculty and steps allows for better differentiation in lessons, catering for all students’ needs and abilities. All test papers are marked by the teacher who awards a step, followed by constructive feedback for their student to work towards. Students are then given the opportunity to correct their work, and focus on the areas for development using our ‘feed forward’ sheets.

Formative assessments

Students are assessed in every lesson via self-assessment or peer assessment. This involves “green pen marking”; whereby students are given a green pen to mark either their own work or their peers’ work using success criteria that is provided by their class teacher. Students are then encouraged to write constructive feedback and a target to help aid their progress.

Students’ exercise books and home learning is marked using red pen marking and coloured stickers that have targets for the students to work towards. Students are required to respond back to the comments made and/or make corrections in green pen.

Monitoring

Targets and current attainment are shared with all students every half term and intervention strategies are being provided for to ensure sufficient progress of all students. Both targets and progress grades are recorded on target sheets stuck on the front cover of students’ books. Intervention strategies will include differentiated class work, differentiated home learning, targeted questioning and regular contact with home.

STEM Club

STEM club runs after school once a week, and gives students in Years 7 and 8 the opportunity to focus on science and maths related project work. Students have access to a range of fun, engaging and enquiry based activities designed to develop their skills. Students get the opportunity to take part in projects that they have hypothesised, investigated, designed and created something that is both relevant as well as of interest; students will develop skills that are very much applicable across all subjects.

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