All students study Science in years 7-11. We believe that students deserve a broad, progressive and ambitious Science curriculum, rich in skills and knowledge, which stimulates curiosity and a wonder of their world and prepares them well for future learning or employment.
The science curriculum for the students of The Vale Academy has been designed to provide students with a deep understanding of the scientific knowledge and ideas that impact them as individuals within a local and globalised context. As they move through the curriculum, students will be increasingly made to develop their curiosity, provide insight into working scientifically and appreciate the value of science in their everyday lives. Our curriculum provides a platform for more advanced science based study, providing a gateway into a wide range of career opportunities. It also delivers a framework for understanding the natural world and supporting students to become scientifically literate participants in society.
At The Vale Academy we support the learning in lessons with many enrichment opportunities. We endeavour to show the links between Science and other subjects as well as links with the local area.
At KS3 we have a spiral curriculum with threshold concepts being revisited at the beginning of every topic. This gives students firm foundations upon which to build deeper knowledge. We have a focus on practical skills throughout KS3 to ensure these are fully embedded for further study. We also strive to give lots of real-life examples of science in action, this allows students to be able to communicate their learning with other people and to explore careers in the science industry.
At GCSE we follow the AQA combined science route for most students. The students will study topics that cover Biology, Chemistry and Physics knowledge. Some students will follow the separate science route where they will deepen their knowledge further in each topic. These topics build on the concepts first met at KS3 and develop understanding further to ensure students become fluent in their scientific understanding.
In Biology we tackle core concepts such as cells, bioenergetics and ecology and these allow us to study recent developments in areas such as infection, inheritance and evolution. Working scientifically is an important skill for all students so we ensure we embed experiments throughout the biology topics.
In Chemistry we begin by developing a deep knowledge and understanding across the three key building blocks of Chemistry: the atom, the periodic table and chemical reactions. We use these concepts as a starting point for all chemical knowledge and students are able to find answers through investigation and an understanding of developing scientific models. Our aim is for students to be able to work like an expert chemist.
In Physics our curriculum revolves around the central themes of Energy, Particles and Forces. Through the study of these larger themes, other associated fields are interwoven and provide practical context. Magnetism, particles, states of matter, waves and electricity are presented cyclically throughout KS3 and return in at GCSE. These topics provide insight and knowledge about the cornerstones of our everyday world and the role of our common day technology. They also provide insight about larger-scale phenomena and the grandeur and power of mankind’s most sophisticated technological achievements.