The intent of the science curriculum at RPCC is to prepare students to deeply explore, critically question and intellectually engage with the phenomenon in the world around them. To build a thirst for learning and develop their natural curiosity, to unpick the magic of the universe and to question ‘what would happen if’ and ‘why’.
It is our aim to develop their disciplinary and scientific knowledge and to challenge them to apply that knowledge in different contexts to demonstrate understanding. For students to explain and evaluate ideas using this knowledge, to formulate and question conclusions, investigate hypotheses and problem solve. It is also the aim to not only ensure our students are equipped for future science careers but also have a balanced scientific understanding applicable to their forthcoming lives.
Our curriculum is ambitious, inclusive and coherently planned to ensure that not only our student’s knowledge, skills, literacy and numeracy are developed but also their cultural capital.
RPCC scientists build long term retention of this knowledge by making links between the main key ideas within the sciences, which they continually build upon during their time here and as such develop into scientifically literate and critically thinking individuals who are ready for the next steps in their lives.
All students receive lessons in the three foundation scientific principles: Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The curriculum is mapped from Year 7 to Year 11 and is designed to build on prior learning. In Years 7 and 8 students have four lessons per week and in Years 9, 10 and 11 this increases to five weekly lessons. The AQA specification is currently followed in both Key Stage 3 and 4 and schemes of learning follow AQA guidance to ensure students are prepared, as best as possible, to sit final examinations.
All students at Regents Park have the opportunity to study the separate science specification, giving them a specialised experience of science and the best opportunity to achieve GCSE success. We have revised this provision for our current Year 10 pupils, to also offer the combined science curriculum dependent upon where the students will be most successful in and matches each student's strengths. This decision regarding specifications is made in conjunction with the student and home. The structure of the science curriculum is an integral part of the schools EBacc offer and gives all students, regardless of their starting points, the chance to succeed academically.
Home learning is an essential part of the science curriculum offer and every student has access to the low stakes testing software Tassomai. Tassomai is an intelligent online learning program which helps students at all levels achieve outstanding results. Using Tassomai builds knowledge, boosts confidence and reduces exam stress. Content is broken down into bite sized chunks and tailored to each user, as Tassomai’s intelligent algorithm works out what students know and where they need to focus their efforts.
Student progress is measured using multiple methods of summative and formative assessments. This happens in every lesson and at key summative points thought a student's career with us. This includes bell work, recall quizzes, diagnostic and hinge questions, whole class questioning and feedback, cold calling/hands down questioning, think-pair share, talk tasks, marking points and application tasks. For example, the first topic in Year 7 (How to be a Scientist) includes a baseline assessment produced by AQA. From this a clear indication is given of students’ starting points and knowledge levels regarding science skills.
In Key Stage 3, students sit end of term assessment covering whichever Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics they have learnt that term. In Key Stage 4 students complete end of unit tests which are produced using AQA exampro to ensure the questions are reflective of those on the GCSE exam papers. Results from all tests are recorded centrally and are monitored by both the Curriculum Leader and Assistant Curriculum Leaders. Students in Key Stage 4 complete mock and pre-public examinations. The Curriculum Leader and Assistant Curriculum Leaders - in conjunction with all department members - monitor assessment journals regularly throughout the academic year. Lessons are evaluated during formal lesson observation by the Curriculum Leader and members of the school’s Senior Leadership Team.
The Curriculum Leader meets with a linked member of the leadership team every week. Assistant Curriculum Leaders are invited to these meetings periodically to present current projects and interventions as a way of monitoring the work of the Assistant Curriculum Leaders. The Curriculum Leader presents the department position to the full Senior Leadership Team three time an academic year.