The principal focus of science teaching at The Darley Centre is to develop a deeper understanding of a range of scientific ideas in the subject disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Pupils should begin to see the connections between these subject areas and become aware of some of the big ideas underpinning scientific knowledge and understanding.
Our curriculum aims to close the gap between pupils at the Darley Centre and their mainstream peers through topic based lessons. This facilitates their successful return to mainstream school or other appropriate provision.
To this end our aim is to provide pupils with the skills necessary to become confident scientists by developing their scientific attitudes, knowledge and understanding and their analysis, evaluation and measurement skills.
We achieve this by:-
- Creating a sufficiently safe environment to encourage risk taking, acknowledging that we can learn from making errors.
- Developing students’ confidence and competence in scientific knowledge, concepts and skills.
- Developing the skills required to select appropriate apparatus and materials during laboratory work.
- Encourage students to present observations and data using appropriate methods, including tables and graphs.
- Encouraging talk and discussion to explore ideas and enabling students to learn from each other.
- Developing students’ scientific vocabulary.
- Using games to present science in a fun and engaging way.
- Setting challenging targets with high expectations for all pupils.
- Offering a variety of approaches to teaching and learning to engage and motivate pupils and demand their active participation.
- Enabling students to apply their scientific knowledge and skills to other areas of the curriculum and real life.
Upon the commencement of their placement all pupils receive a baseline G.L assessment in science. This is consolidated further by pupils receiving an initial and end of modular assessment in each science topic.
Science lessons are taught for five, 45 minute lessons weekly. To demonstrate progression within each topic area, all pupils receive a summative assessment at the start of new topic one at the end which show their progress within each topic.
The aim of this approach is to equip pupils with the knowledge to enable them to understand that science is about working objectively, modifying explanations to take account of new evidence and ideas and subjecting results to peer review. In turn this will develop their ability to decide on the appropriate type of scientific enquiry to undertake to answer their own questions and develop a deeper understanding of factors to be taken into account when collecting, recording and processing data. In turn this improves their development of scientific vocabulary, including the use of scientific nomenclature and units and mathematical representations.
Teaching and learning is consolidated further by a rigorous system of AFL being encompassed in all lessons. This facilitates a greater pupil involvement in the learning process allowing them to gain confidence, take risks and achieve a higher standard of learning.
Cross curricular links: –
The science curriculum is designed to link to other subjects in a variety of ways, that include; mathematics – equations, distance and time, measure, conversion, charts and data. English- extended writing. Cookery – equations, measure and conversion. Art/physical education – human form. This pedagogical approach provides pupils with the opportunity to link concepts that they have studied to other subjects to science and vice versa. In turn this allows pupils to gain a greater appreciation of science by ensuring that science is relevant within all subject areas.
We believe that the benefits of this approach are twofold. Firstly, it provides pupils with the opportunity to develop and revisit skills that they have gained within science. Secondly, it deepens their understanding and appreciation of science by ensuring that science is coherent and meaningful within the wider context of the Darley Centre curriculum.
- Learning objectives are displayed, explained and referred to throughout the lesson
- A variety of teaching and learning styles are used
- Lessons are differentiated to meet individuals’ needs
- A rigorous system of AFL is used to inform teacher planning and pupil learning (See marking policy)
The Role of the subject leader
- To take the lead in policy development.
- To support colleagues.
- To monitor progress in science e.g. leading staff CPD, scrutiny of work, analysis of assessment data.
- To take responsibility for the choice, purchase and organisation of resources.
- To be familiar with current thinking concerning the teaching of science, and to disseminate to colleagues.
- The subject leader will be responsible to the Head teacher.
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