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The Science curriculum at Park Academy West London aims to ensure that our students develop their understanding of scientific concepts and make sense of the world around them. It develops transferable skills including problem solving, reasoning and enquiry, alongside reinforcing learning in core subjects such as English and Maths. We understand how science qualifications open the door for young people to a rich range of fulfilling careers, and at a societal level it is vital to the UK’s future prosperity.
Our curriculum is designed to provide a framework which looks more widely at student’s experiences beyond their results. Science needs to be taught in a rounded manner, across the different disciplines and with due consideration of knowledge and skills and the links between them.
We have a specific focus on investigations and experiments. Given that science is inherently a practical subject, an emphasis will be placed on practical work in order to allow our pupils to develop good scientific enquiry skills as well as the knowledge they need to understand and apply. It draws a link between opportunities for illustrative and investigative scientific enquiry and achievement.
The overall aim of the science curriculum at Park Academy West London is to develop students who have a love of science. Through this, they will learn the following key concepts which underpin the study of the subject and how science works:
- Using scientific ideas and models to explain phenomena and developing them creatively to generate and test theories. This will enable students to look outwards and exercise curiosity in the world around them.
- Critically analysing and evaluating evidence from observations and experiments
- Examining the ethical and moral implications of using and applying science. This enables students to use science to act responsibly in the real world.
Key Stage 3
At Park Academy West London the introduction of the No Limits Curriculum allows students to gain a deeper understanding of concepts by utilising the assignment’s core principle and apply their knowledge to real life contexts. This will help our students deal with unfamiliar content and the higher demand they will face with the new and more challenging GCSEs. In addition, students will develop their practical skills to conduct a range of investigations where results will be analysed and findings discussed.
In Years 8 & 9, students follow the Key Stage 3 AQA Activate. This gives all students a firm understanding of the knowledge and skills needed to be successful at Key Stage 4. Each unit is made up of taught lessons, compulsory practical lessons, revision sessions and an assessment lessons. Practical proformas will be used for every investigation done, that focuses on working scientific skills
Students also carry out computing lessons every fortnight in Year 8. This develops scientific skills through practical work i.e data analysis or even focusing on independent learning through research tasks. In Year 9, students focus will be specifically on literacy and numeracy in science. We also introduce certain topics from the AQA GCSE specification early in order to develop the depth of understanding that will enable students to apply the knowledge to unfamiliar contexts and make links with other science disciplines.
Key Stage 4
Students at Park Academy West London follow the AQA combined Trilogy GCSE specification. The curriculum design enables students to:
- Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics;
- Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science, through different types of scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them;
- Develop and learn to apply observational, practical, modelling, enquiry and problem solving skills, both in the laboratory, in the field and in other learning environments;
- Develop their ability to evaluate claims based on science through critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions, both qualitatively and quantitatively.
We aim to teach science at Key Stage 4 in such a way which develops curiosity about the natural world, insight into how science works, and appreciation of its relevance to their everyday lives. The scope and nature of each subject is broad, coherent, practical and satisfying, and thereby encouraging students to be inspired, motivated and challenged by the subject and its achievement.
Key Stage 5
At Park Academy West London, A levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics following AQA specification are offered. Again, the No Limits Curriculum is incorporated into Year 12 to offer a breadth of opportunity beyond the core A level subjects. Our curriculum encourages students to:
- Develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods
- Develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills
- Develop their interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject
- Understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society.
We believe at Park Academy West London, our curriculum has to ensure students are ready for the challenges they will face when entering further study and the world of work. The curriculum is designed in a way which ensures students take ownership of their own studies i.e being resilient and self independent.
Learning outside of the curriculum
At Park Academy West London, Stem Club is offered to further engage our students. These sessions are fun and exciting, allowing all involved to explore STEM subjects in innovative and inventive ways outside of the curriculum. Also, annually, the department organises a range of activities to celebrate British Science Week.