The Science curriculum at Irlam and Cadishead Academy aims to coherently embed knowledge within the students across the three scientific disciplines throughout Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. The purpose of our curriculum is to enable students to succeed both academically and vocationally by giving them the opportunities to broaden their science capital which they can take into the working world and will aid them in creating a STEM related career should they wish. Our curriculum focuses on developing the practical scientific skills required in order for students to excel and allows them to develop a curiosity for the world around them. We are committed to promoting STEM both within the school and the local community, and in doing so have developed strong links with organisations and individuals who are keen to provide our students with countless opportunities to further themselves.Our curriculum follows a clear pathway which develops the love of scientific discovery which students bring with them from KS2 and allows them to thrive as they move through KS3 into KS4. This passion for learning is evident in our increasing uptake size within our Triple Science cohort. Throughout our curriculum, students are given countless opportunities to ask questions, fulfil curiosities and delve deeper into the chemical, physical and biological wonders of the world around us. It is made clear to students when they are learning about each discipline in order for them to be aware of the different career paths they may take and how each one effects their lives in different ways. The capabilities for discussion, group work and varying methods of communication within our curriculum allow students to build confidence in themselves as well as solidifying their scientific knowledge. We are committed to promoting a good use of scientific vocabulary and aim to ensure all students are familiar with key concepts and ideas which underpin their learning throughout the curriculum. Students are encouraged to be ambitious, creative and analytical as well as dedicated to their studies, so we enforce the learning of definitions through the use of knowledge organisers and weekly checks.
To ensure that all students are able to successfully succeed in meeting the high demands of our curriculum, the embedding of KS4-style questions and the performance of a large number of the GCSE Required Practical’s is essential at KS3. In addition, we formatively assess students learning using KPI’s at KS3 and have introduced students to fluency tests at KS4 in order to focus on the key working scientifically skills which are becoming increasingly prevalent in GCSE assessments. In addition, KS4 students are assessed every lesson using past paper questions and biweekly using 6-mark questions. This allows students to adequately prepare for examinations and provides teaching staff with an insight into the potential attainment of the students. The timescale of our curriculum has been designed in order for there to be regular feedback and reflection within each topic to ensure that knowledge is fully embedded and misconceptions are regularly addressed. Staff and students regularly assess attainment within the subject and there is a clear review process in place in order for students to continuously make progress. The impact of our increased focus on STEM within our curriculum has led to, and will continue to allow, students to have countless opportunities, some of which include the chance to organise a Primary Science Fair, which promotes science in the community, host Operating Theatre Live, which gives the students a hands-on and extremely realistic view on life as a medic.