Why do we learn applied science?
At AJK, we aim to provide pupils with scientific knowledge and concepts that will enable them to engage, and understand the world around them, as well as to inspire a new generation to pursue STEM careers in the future.
We follow the ARK Network Mastery Curriculum to deliver a rigorous curriculum. As part of this, we use schemes of work to identify high leverage knowledge, that is important for pupils’ further scientific study, and structure our curriculum to revisit topics over time with greater depth. Regular low-stakes quizzing and revisiting of key content in future units aims to embed this knowledge into long-term memory, so that pupils can draw upon it fluently when engaging with this disciplinary aspect of the subject. In addition, we believe strongly in the power of carefully sequenced practical work to embed and deepen understanding.
Our curriculum aims to:
Critically consume data (including media sources) and draw valid conclusions
Be curious about their surroundings
Undertake practical work safely and skilfully
Communicate ideas and opinions scientifically
Develop optimism and excitement for what science can do for people and the planet
Understand the impact science can make on communities and society for social justice
How we teach science at AJK
Pupils in Years 1-6 study science for one hour a week. They study five topics per year, covering a mixture of biology, chemistry, and physics. Units provide pupils with opportunities to work scientifically, including by carrying out experiments and drawing conclusions from their data.
Pupils in Years 7-11 will study science for at least four hours a week. In Year 10, they will have the option to study separate science as an additional GCSE option.
All pupils at AJK begin their study of GCSE content in Year 9. Our core offer is the ‘AQA combined science trilogy’, which gives pupils 2 GCSEs in science. However, all three disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics are taught and examined. There are 21 required practical activities which are also assessed in the examinations with questions relating to these practical’s accounting for 15% of marks.
Pupils who choose to pursue additional science will receive an extra GCSE, in the ‘AQA GCSE science’ course. Pupils will study all three disciplines of biology, chemistry, and physics, and receive a single GCSE for each. They will carry out 28 required practicals, which are assessed in the examinations with questions relating to these practicals, accounting for 15% of marks.