The science department consists of 8 highly qualified and enthusiastic teachers with a genuine passion for the wonders of science. Not only will we challenge you to think and appreciate scientific phenomenon, but we will encourage you to be critical of scientific procedures and results from investigations. The department is well resourced and staff are encouraged to try out experiments and demonstrations.
To embed scientific thinking and language:
The curriculum is designed to enhance students’ ability to perform investigations logically and safely and to obtain accurate and valid results. Students will reflect critically on methods and analyse results carefully to identify and explain any errors. Students are encouraged to use correct scientific terminology when making a hypothesis, writing methods, displaying data and analysing results.
To learn and remember scientific theories and ideas:
During the 5 year plan students will be taught 48 different topics (50 if they choose triple science as an option) and although there is some overlap and revisiting prior learning this is a very broad and diverse curriculum. From learning about the fundamentals of science with cells, atoms and energy transfers to the bigger picture content of outer space, chemical reactions and evolution. There is something that will spark interest and foster the desire to learn more. Knowledge is checked regularly and support with learning is purposeful and swift so students can move on to the next topic knowing they were successful in the last.
To make science relatable and accessible
“Why do I need to know about longitudinal and transverse waves?” Explaining the importance of what is being learned is equally important to us in science as knowing the content. We use the generous curriculum time to show how science is used in the real world and have an excellent STEM provision including competitions, recreational science clubs and inspiration days featuring organisations like iRail. Careers are also embedded throughout the curriculum for all levels of learners in each of the topic area. This demonstrates how science knowledge taught in lessons can be applied in a variety of different professions.
The five year plan:
Careers in science
The breadth of the curriculum allows students to explore a wide array of different areas of further scientific study. Students will explore the first steps into a variety of topics which could lead to A-levels and even university courses in:
- Computer science
- Forensic sciences
In addition we aim to instil an ability to think critically to make balanced decision and evaluate their impact which would be of benefit in any career
At Da Vinci, the KS3 curriculum covers a variety of topics from the National Curriculum and further, in fact 40% of students’ learning in year 7 and 8 is beyond the National curriculum.
Each topic looks at the fundamentals in science and introduces concepts which are built on later in the 5 year plan. We have interleaved the key principles of thinking scientifically with each topic having a specific skills focus which best accompanies the content.
In year 9, students build on the broad knowledge they have acquired during year 7 and 8 and begin to explore it in more depth with reference to the AQA separate sciences syllabus to prepare students for KS4.
At Da Vinci, we have taken the ambitious step that every year 10 student in September 2021 will continue with the separate sciences GCSE pathway. Our aim is that every students leaves Da Vinci with a separate GCSE in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
Our current year 11 cohort follow the AQA Trilogy science specification, and will receive two GCSE grades from a combined score from their Biology, Chemistry and Physics exams.
Students who chose to study triple science in year 11 (and all students in year 9 and 10) will follow the AQA Biology, AQA Chemistry and AQA Physics specifications and will receive three GCSEs, one from each discipline.
Inspiration days occur three times a year at Da Vinci and we are very fortunate to have links with iRail and other providers to dedicate some of these days purely to STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). Students spend the day solving science based problems to inspire them to be innovative in the future.
We are very fortunate to run two different STEM clubs. The official STEM club embarks on projects such as designing rockets and hydraulic arms. Our STEM club has a very high pedigree having been crowned champions and runners up in an iRail national competition (beating many private schools to the title).
We also run a ‘just for fun’ science club called Boomtown where students participate in engaging practical’s.
Science week is celebrated extensively in science. During the week we have dissections, demonstrations, lectures and competitions around the school to demonstrate why science is so important for all students.