‘Due to COVID and a demand to balance POD learning, Student safety with the requirements of both the National Curriculum and the pace of external qualification the science department has been offering a bespoke package to students in science which we believe has been extremely positive and productive.’
The science team are currently in the process of revamping schemes of work in an effort to ensure that our student experience meets the latest Curriculum and OFSTED guidance and can place students on a learning journey that ensures that they are able to gain qualifications and helps them to relate their science learning to their opportunities in the work place.
We hope to have a brand new scheme of work and WEB pages to accompany it very soon; if you need any assistance or guidance feel free to contact the head of science Mr Hattersley is able to support your interactions with the science department.
Science Department Curriculum Intent
The science department has a curriculum that is ambitious and aims to give all learners the knowledge and capital needed to succeed in life and has a proven track record of helping students to experience success, ensuring that every child has the opportunity to gain formal qualifications by the end of key stage 4 at Alt Bridge. The science department prides its self on the high-quality science education it provides and the foundations for understanding the world that it offers via the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. The department has planned and sequenced learning which aims to prove sufficient knowledge and skill to support students in future knowledge and employment. In addition, Alt Bridge science students are constantly reminded of how science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity and these practical real life concepts are woven into the fabric of the Alt Bridge Science curriculum, with students being taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science both in lessons and beyond the classroom. We aim to build a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts and science students at Alt Bridge are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation, developing that wonderful sense of fun and excitement, ensuring that science is constantly helping to develop students’ curiosity about natural phenomena. Students are encouraged to consider how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. It is these analytical skills that the Alt Bridge Science Department take pride in developing as we believe that these have been instrumental in the department’s success in helping to develop confident and thought provoking young adults who can retain these skills and become better able to continue to make logical decisions regarding their future choices after they have left Alt Bridge. Learners in science study a full curriculum which prove opportunities for ‘specialising’ in an optional key stage 4 program of study in science.
Embarking on a journey of science education at Alt Bridge School; All students and families’ considering Alt Bridge School are encouraged to visit the school and its science department. Visitors are made welcome and can meet with the head of science who is happy to show case the schools specialist laboratories and discuss
some of the exciting opportunities the science department offers its students. Prospective students are invited to taster days and provided with a stimulating opportunity to explore and investigate in one of its specialist laboratories. The team use this time to make some informal diagnosis on students and use the information to support the schools transition team and year seven staff in help students to be placed on the right path to their learning journey at Alt Bridge.
Key Stage 3 units of study cover key expectations as set out in the national curriculum but units are designed to excite and stimulate students. Teaching is designed to help learners in the long term, integrating science knowledge in a way that learners can understand. Our units of study are written and presented in a way that expand knowledge not just in academic science but a knowledge of the world around them linking science to opportunities in later life. All of our units of study at key stage 3 from the outset are sequenced towards future skills and knowledge and employment and start by linking units to specific industrial opportunities in the work place and this is supported by field trips, visits and a science and industry workshop. We challenge students understanding and awareness of how the classroom activities relate to the real word and help students to consider how the units of study have direct relationship with industry and the real word. Students are constantly reminded that the skills that they exhibit in science can help them to become economically independent in the future. This logical and practical learning applicable to the real world happen from day one at Alt Bridge with year seven students first covering Health and Safety in a way that we hope supports learner’s understanding of safety both in school and other aspects of their life. Students learn that rules particularly in regards to their safety may differ from the rules of home, school or the wider community. Students are invited to conduct safety checks and consider is it safe for me to continue this task. These skills are not simply taught and forgotten and students would be invited to revisit those skills throughout their learning journey in science helping to imprint a level of knowledge and thinking that equips them for adult life.
key stage 4 Science students continue to build upon a deepening scientific knowledge and the understanding of ideas developed in earlier key stages and this continues to happen through the disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. For some Alt Bridge students our curriculum opportunities at key stage 4 such as GCSE
or Btec qualifications aim to provide a platform for more advanced studies beyond Alt Bridge which would help to establish the basis for a wide range of careers with Alt Bridge students moving on to destinations that meet their interests, aspirations and the intent of their course with students going onto university course, engineering apprentices, and ecological careers in game keeping and horticulture. For others, our key stage 4 program of study may be their last formal study of the subject and that is why it is vitally important to our science team that we aim to provide the foundations for understanding the natural world and will enhance their lives supporting students prospect to become economically independent in an increasingly technological society this knowledge base may mean students follow an Entry Level Qualification or even a more personalised unit award program of study. Whatever route is chosen we provide all students regardless of needs with access to a fully coherently planned science curriculum embedding those employability skills for use in adult life. Learners understand that science is changing our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity; all students are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. They appreciate the achievements of science in showing the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world.
Our Aim in Science
As a National Curriculum core subject, we aim to add to statutory requirements of study for our students and deliver a challenging and rewarding programme of study in science that provides individuals with the appropriate pathway for them.
The Knowsley Curriculum Policy Statement (2014) stated that: “Pupils should take part in learning activities that enable them to gain knowledge and understanding of a broad range of physical and life sciences”.
The importance of science in the Alt Bridge Curriculum is encapsulated in the aims of the School.
Achieving this Goal
All pupils in years 7 and 8 follow a traditional KS3 style science course building on Pearson’s ‘Exploring Science’. The aim is to give students the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts studying biology, chemistry and physics. Work is differentiated and presented in such a way that pupils make good progress across all levels. Pupil achievement in science at Alt Bridge has led to all pupils embarking on programs of study leading to fully recognised formal qualifications.
The science department has opted to follow national trends and embarks on a KS4 curriculum in year 9. All pupils follow the Edexcel Entry Level Certificate in Science and many follow GCSE for a range of Science qualifications. From September 2017 students can choose to follow their Entry Level Certificate with a BTEC Principles of Applied Science Level 1/2 qualification.
Additionally, a vocational option of Cambridge National ‘Child Development’ is introduced at year 10 for 2017.
Our operation should be a reflection of other secondary schools or ‘Centre’s for learning’ within the borough and the country to facilitate re-integration when appropriate.
The school should provide continuity of provision to enable youngsters with special needs to have equal opportunities with their mainstream peers post-school