Key Stage 3 Curriculum Guide
During the first term pupils learn about Anthropomorphism and study a variety of artists who use this in their work. Pupils then explore a variety of mixed-media techniques including working on the computer in Photoshop, as well as conventional drawing and collage. This project can be extended into the second term.
During the second and third term, pupils concentrate on different drawing techniques and use a range of materials to express light, shape and three dimensional form. Students then look at the work of Kurt Jackson and respond to his still life work in colour and mixed media. This then forms the basis for assessment in the end of year exam.
In the first term, pupils study the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico and learn how to analyse and annotate imagery.
A. Pupils rework personal imagery and manipulate both traditionally and digitally gaining valuable Photoshop skills.
B Pupils are then encouraged to personalise the Day of Dead mask with representations of themselves, which are then developed further in colour. This project can be extended into the second term.
C During the second and third term, pupils study the academic principles of a measured drawing relating to portraiture. Students are introduced to a wide rainge of painting techniques and medium. The portrait then forms the basis for assessment in the end of year exam.
The first term is devoted to studying Urban Art and the work of Shepard Fairey. Pupils create a personal response to his work and expand their Photoshop skills from Year 8. Students work with a variety of media including acrylics, print-making and collage to create a personal response. This project can be extended into the second term.
During the second and third term, pupils concentrate upon expanding their knowledge of perspective by looking at one and two point perspective. Pupils will work towards a ‘room set’ composition, whereby a figure can be integrated into their composition in Photoshop, if appropriate. Alternatively, a ‘street scene’ can form the basis of their outcome. Either option then forms the basis for assessment in the end of year exam.
The Careers department works to ensure that the needs of each individual student is addressed. That each student has the tools to make choices that will enable them to achieve their full potential and realise their own happiness. Our careers education programme is delivered to all students from Years 7 to 13 and is supported by a number of outside agencies including the Education Business Partnership, Morrisby and a large number of local and national businesses. Our aim is for all students to be aware of the opportunities available and foster good self-awareness so they can make their own well informed decisions,
The overall aim of an effective Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance programme is to help pupils to:
Understand themselves better and develop their capabilities
Acquire the skills necessary for making realistic decisions
Make choices about their own career paths, continuing education and training
Be aware of education, training and career opportunities Post-16 and Post-18
Manage transitions to new roles and situations
At Lincoln Minster School, all students will have:
Access to a planned and structured careers education programme to help develop key skills around self-awareness and informed decision making
Access to up-to-date, impartial and comprehensive careers information covering educational, vocational training and career opportunities
Access to individual impartial advice or guidance interview with a qualified professional Careers Adviser
Through the delivery of Lincoln Minster School’s Careers, Education, Information, Advice and Guidance programme, each year students will:
Have careers lessons which are incorporated into the PSHE programme to enhance pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the World of Work
Gain a better understanding of themselves (personal characteristics, abilities, interests, potential, weaknesses and limitations)
Receive a Careers Education brief given by the Head of Careers in assembly or during the PSHE Programme
Link their areas of academic interest to careers
Have access to Careers Education, Information, Advice or Guidance in school through the Head of Careers or an independent career adviser
Have careers lessons which are incorporated into the PSHE programme to enhance pupils' knowledge and understanding of the World of Work
Build upon self-awareness and how it relates to the World of Work
Gain a greater understanding of the World of Work and basic employment laws
Receive a Careers Education brief given by the Head of Careers in assembly or during the PSHE programme
Link their areas of academic interest to careers
Have access to Careers Education, Information, Advice or Guidance in school through the Head of Careers or an Independent Career Adviser
Have careers lessons which are incorporated into the PSHE programme to enhance pupils' knowledge and understanding of the World of Work
Receive dedicated lessons focusing on options and choices available to them at the end of Key Stage 3 and beyond
Link their areas of academic interest to careers
Have discussions about how different subjects can enhance/affect career choices
Receive a briefing/assembly by the Head of Careers during their PSHE Programme
Have the opportunity to meet with the Head of Careers at Year 9 Options Consultation Evening and Parents' Evening, to discuss their options and choices in greater detail. To receive their copy of "Next Steps: A Careers Guide to GCSE Options"
Have access to Career Education, Information, Advice or Guidance in school through the Head of Careers or an independent Career Adviser
Be introduced to the Work Experience Programme completed in Year 10
In Computing we follow our own programme of study which is designed to provide students with opportunities to develop a wide range of digital products, to gain an understanding of how computer systems work and how software gets created.
As pupils progress through the key stage they are encouraged to become independent users of computing tools and information sources. They should gain a better understanding of how computing can help their work in other subjects and develop their ability to judge when and how to use computing devices and where they have limitations. By the end of the key stage they should become more focused, efficient and rigorous in their use of computing, and be able to carry out a range of increasingly complex tasks.
The topics covered in each year are as follows:-
Introduction to the school network
Modelling – using formulae to produce results, modelling situations and producing data in graphical form
Understanding computers - introduction to the fundamental operations of a computer including hardware, software and binary.
Computational thinking – learning to construct logical sequences of instructions to make things happen including making computer games
Sound – digital representation of sound, recording and manipulating sounds
Computing concepts – more in depth understanding of computer hardware, software and networks
HTML and website design - understanding how websites are constructed using both html and graphical design tools.
Databases – relational database structures, developing data interrogation techniques
Stop-frame animation – storyboarding and creating a small-scale animation
Computational thinking – developing computational thinking skills while learning the basics of Python, a popular high-level programming language
Networks – a more in depth look at the technologies that support the world’s computer networks.
Computer crime and cybersecurity - understanding how computers can be used to commit crimes and what measures can be taken to keep data safe
Computational thinking – continuing to develop both programming and computational thinking skills using the Python programming language
Computing in the real world – looking at how commerce and industry use current and emerging technologies to manage business and engage with customers. Also how the digital divide affects society
Key Stage 3 pupils are formally assessed throughout each year via end of topic tasks.
All pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 have a separate double lesson of Drama per week. Students explore a variety of subjects that cover topical issues, historical subjects and events, and cultural, social and moral issues. Students are encouraged to use and develop their communication and social skills as well as how to present themselves confidently through performance work.
Extra-curricular opportunities are offered through Drama clubs in the Lent and Trinity term and there is chance to participate in Year Group productions.
Year 7 - The Trojan Horse – Mime, movement and gesture
The Quest – exploring tension, conflict and narrative
Developing Drama Skills – Structuring Drama, Voice work, Lighting and Sound
The Journey to Oregon in 1840
Year 8 - ‘Jo’ - A theme which considers teenage pressures
Spontaneous Improvisation and Status
Reportage : Theatrical Staging Forms, Text and Performance Work
Building A Character
Scripted work/Abstract theatre
A Family at War
‘Making A Stand’ – historical and political figures
Symbolism in Drama – including Text Work
Approaching Monologue work
Presenting Yourself – learning specific presentation skills to build confidence
Devising from a stimulus (This module leads to a year group presentation)
In addition to Vocational Acting Courses - Jane Eyre (National Theatre), War Horse (Nottingham Theatre Royal) and Network (National Theatre)
Design and Technology encompasses a range of disciplines that enable learners to develop their practical skills. Electronics as a subject is extensive and utilised in all aspects of life, from making a cup of tea to texting and of course completing school work.
During years 7 to 9, pupils will look at the origins of electronics and consider how it is used in a variety of devices and equipment. Pupils will then identify the components and their function during the individual projects that they will construct. All this is linked in with Health & Safety, especially when using electrical supplies and the safe use of tools and soldering irons. Throughout Key Stage 3 pupils will also work with multimeters to test their projects and begin to solve any potential faults in their practical work.
This is the introduction module to the Key Stage, where pupils begin to use a variety of practical applications and hone basic component identification skills. The aim is to construct a fully functioning night light.
Using prior knowledge and understanding from last year’s module, pupils construct a game with several functions. This project uses further components to those they were introduced to during Year 7. Further knowledge and understanding of components and their function will be developed, as well as further soldering and construction skills to complete a functional device.
Pupils construct an audio amplifier and look at the interaction of components and how they work together to make a working circuit that directly demonstrates an input, process and output. Further work on fault finding and problem solving utilising multimeters enables pupils to build upon their knowledge and understanding of how their electronic projects function.
Our aim in the English Department is to build strong skills, knowledge and understanding that will lay the best possible foundations for GCSEs in English Language and Literature when pupils reach KS4 as well as preparing them for adult life.
We seek to enable pupils to become enthusiastic readers, accomplished writers and speakers with an excellent knowledge of English Language which translates into a high level of technical accuracy but also fosters a love of playing with words. The study of English Literature will see pupils exploring plays, poetry and prose from both before and after 1900 and in addition, pupils will investigate and emulate a range of non-fiction texts including advertising, travel writing and speeches.
Recent changes to the KS4 curriculum mean that there is now an increased focus on the close analysis of writers’ methods, with pupils being able to explain not only what techniques, structures and forms have been used but also for what specific purposes.
Our new KS3 schemes of work aim to further develop the greater levels of knowledge and understanding of grammar that pupils now bring with them from Key Stage 2, and aims to help them apply this to the production of a wide range of their own texts.
The main aspects followed in the KS3 Curriculum also reflect the requirements of the National Curriculum in giving pupils the chance to learn about reading for meaning; writing for a range of purposes and audiences; having technical accuracy and making imaginative use of grammar and punctuation; and, having an effective and commanding grasp of spoken English.
The topics of study for KS3 are as follows:
20th Century Prose - Novel
Poetry Anthology – Weird Creatures, Sinister Tales, The Hunters and The Hunted
Shakespeare – ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’
Prejudice – including 20th Century Drama
19th Century Prose – Short Mystery Stories
Poetry Anthology – Secrets, Loves, the Dying and the Dead
Shakespeare – ‘Twelfth Night’ or The Tempest
Crime and Punishment
20th Century Prose – Novel
Poetry Anthology – War, Loss, The Imprisoned and The Free
Shakespeare – ‘Macbeth’
Literary Non-Fiction – Travel Writing, Descriptive Writing
Preparation for KS4
Since the government’s move away from National Curriculum Levels at Key Stage 3, United Learning schools have developed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for all Year 7, 8 and 9 pupils. These cover four main aspects for English: Reading, Writing, Grammar and Spoken English.
In many ways the new KPIs are more rigorous than the previous Levels. There are at least 15 in each year and each Key Performance Indicator (such as being able to write accurately and fluently) has to be demonstrated across a range of types of writing and in different contexts, such as in timed assessments as well as in supported class work.
KPIs offer a thorough breakdown of pupils’ specific areas of strength and identify those aspects that need improvement which enables teachers and pupils to know what they have already mastered and what they have yet to learn.
At least two formal assessments will be made of pupils in Key Stage 3 each half term, using the Key Performance Indicators. Pupils’ attainment in these will be recorded in their Assessment Books and these will be sent home during the year so parents may see their child's best work and comment on their application and progress.
We are very proud of our Food Technology department at Lincoln Minster School and we pride ourselves on the standard of work produced at Key Stage 3. There is an emphasis on practical work and at the end of Year 9 all pupils within our care are capable of carrying out many practical skills to a very high standard.
The Year 7 course covers the basics of food hygiene, safety and equipment. Students go on to study healthy eating and the foundation of nutritional knowledge with a focus on protein. It is envisaged that students will participate in practical work and/or food handling every week. Areas covered include:
Food hygiene and safety
Skills and use of kitchen tools and equipment
Weighing and measuring
Healthy Eating – 5-a-day
The course continues to emphasise hygiene, safety and healthy eating. Students will take part in practical food work together with the necessary supporting theory. The nutrition focus will concentrate on carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Staple foods will also be visited. Areas covered include:
Essential nutrients for children
The course offers an insight into the food industry – batch baking, HACCP, etc. Students also gain the skills and knowledge needed to prepare and present food using a variety of cooking methods. The nutrition focus will be fats. Multi-cultural and fusion cookery will also be introduced. Practical work includes:
Sources of nutrients
Dishes cooked by different methods e.g. frying, grilling, microwaving, etc.
A multi-cultural dish
The word Geography literally means ‘writings of the earth’ and the current Key Stage 3 Geography course tells a vivid, varied and detailed story of the planet on which we live. The course closely mirrors the revised National Curriculum and takes the student on a journey through traditional and contemporary geographical issues and places.
Year 7 begin their geographical journey by reinforcing some of the map and atlas skills acquired in Key Stage 2 Geography. These include Direction, Grid references, Latitude/Longitude and scale. The topic will see pupils create a report based on their location and where they are from. Several human topics including 'Africa & Development' and 'The World of Work/Industry' will allow Year 7 to explore Geography from a different point of view. Physical topics of 'Rivers & Flooding' and 'Shaping the Land' are also covered during the year. Knowledge and understanding is reinforced with field visits within Lincoln.
Year 8 Geography continues to build on the skills learned over Year 7 and puts into practice the pupil's map and analytical skills through a number of human and physical topics. 'Weather and Climate' is the first topic where pupils explore both local and international weather, learning how to interpret climate graphs, how to measure the weather and how weather affects human lives, both for the better and worse! This links into the exciting 'Rainforest and Desert' topic where pupils explore location, characteristics and threats. The 'Tectonics' topic sees pupils explore earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis and is always an anticipated one! The year finishes with two topics found on the GCSE syllabus - 'Population ' and 'Coasts'. Both of these topics lead into our fieldwork which sees us visit the east coast to look at Coastal Protection and Tourism.
The Year 9 syllabus is a 'pre GCSE' course and sees pupils lay the foundations for both the skills and topics later covered. 'Urbanisation' and 'Climate Change' both follow a sustainable theme and allow pupils to study many international case studies. Two new topics to the course are 'Glaciers' and 'Emerging Superpowers of Asia', both allowing pupils to explore human and physical interactions and to look at the concept of economic development in more depth. The course finishes with an introduction to the new GCSE Fieldwork Investigation; all pupils tackle an investigation question and write up a report based on two different locations within the city.
In Key Stage 3 we aim to:
Enthuse our pupils with a love of history through varied and exciting teaching approaches
Give pupils a broad knowledge and understanding of key events in British, European and world history over the last 1000 or so years to give them the “cultural literacy” - vocabulary and knowledge - to recognise, understand and, consequently, partake in contemporary debates
Help our pupils acquire those historical skills – enquiry, analysis, evaluation, judgement, and communication - which are universally relevant.
We follow a broadly chronological approach using enquiry questions to help focus our investigations.
Why did William win the Battle of Hastings?
How effective were William I and the Normans at taking control of England?
To what extent did England change as a result of the Norman Conquest?
How significant was the Church in medieval society?
How similar were challenges to medieval kings/how well did they deal with them?
To what extent was medieval life dirty, diseased and chaotic?
Did the Arabs improve life in Spain?
What was the greatest discovery in the Middle Ages?
Why did Henry VIII break away from the Catholic Church?
Why did England become so hostile to Catholicism by the early-C.17th?
Why did the English Civil War break out in 1642?
Why did Britain end up with a German monarchy by 1714?
Why and how did the British economy change in the C.18th/19th centuries?
How far did working conditions change in the C.18th/19th centuries?
How far did living conditions change in the C.18th/19th centuries?
Why have historians disagreed about the abolition of the slave trade? (Interpretation)
How far did the British Empire change between 1760 and 1960?
Why did so many men join the army to fight in World War I?
To what extent was the Second World War “Hitler’s War”?
How far did the nature of warfare change between 1899 and 1945?
What does propaganda tell us about life in the Soviet Union?
When were the most significant steps for equality after 1945?
Overall, the History Department aims to produce pupils with a good overview of British and world history and detailed knowledge about some of its most important events and trends as well as an awareness of how the world in which they live has been shaped. We seek to develop transferable skills and an enjoyment of history which will continue long after their formal studies have ended.
The delivery of Mathematics at Key Stage 3 follows the National Curriculum closely. Each year group is divided into a number of sets. This is to provide differentiated learning environments best suited to the ability of individual pupils.
Parents should not be overly concerned if their child is moved from one set to another from time to time, as this is done to ensure that adequate provision is made in order to maximise achievement at any given time throughout the key stage. Typically, lower sets are usually fewer in number allowing more teacher time to be given to pupils who experience difficulty. Special support may also be given to those pupils in lower or top sets in order to provide even greater differentiation as necessary.
New entrants in Year 7 are generally tested during the first half term to determine an appropriate starting set. The placement of pupils in sets is reviewed regularly to ensure each child can achieve to their maximum potential. Wherever possible, pupils are targeted to achieve grade 5 or above in the IGCSE examinations at Key Stage 4.
It is important to remember that placement into a set is based on a number of factors. Some pupils achieve more highly because of the increased confidence they feel in a lower set as opposed to the competitiveness experienced in a higher level. Whatever the case, pupils are encouraged to seek out further help as necessary during after school periods from any member of the Mathematics Department.
The school enters some pupils for the United Kingdom Mathematics Challenge and a growing number of pupils have achieved certificates for their performance in these competitions, adding to their confidence, enjoyment and sense of achievement in this vital subject.
It is the philosophy of the department to actively communicate the importance of mathematics in the real world – it underpins most of technology, financial planning and modelling, decision/risk analysis and the pure sciences.
Finally the laws of physics, at a fundamental level, are based on mathematical patterns, symmetries or representations, which can only be properly expressed in the language of mathematics – even the universe itself follows mathematical rules! It is hoped therefore that by communicating the value of mathematics in this way, pupils are encouraged to study this subject to a high level, and at the same time enjoy the challenge of searching for solutions.
The school has a policy of diversification of language provision. Currently, pupils in Years 7-9 study French and Spanish.
The delivery of Modern Foreign Languages at Key Stage 3 follows National Curriculum guidelines, and our philosophy is to make language learning meaningful and fun through a wide variety of teaching and learning styles and stimuli.
At the end of Key Stage 3 in both languages, pupils will have begun to develop sound language learning skills and to become familiar with the grammar underpinning the language. With increasing confidence and competence in both written and spoken forms of the language, they will be able to listen and respond to role-play and conversations and to express opinions about a range of topics from their family to holidays or even to environmental concerns!
Pupils will also be able to read short texts or stories and respond at some length using at least two tenses. Equal attention is given to all four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. As a department we encourage the use of the target language as much as possible in the classroom and beyond, both by teachers and pupils. This we believe provides a stimulating environment where languages are experienced in a relevant and enjoyable context.
In addition, the Key Stage 3 course provides a very strong foundation for GCSE and post-16 language study. All pupils are required to continue with a Modern Foreign Language to GCSE level.
Our own Preparatory School, indeed Pre-Preparatory, as well as many of our feeder schools have French on their curriculum. Therefore, after a few weeks we set pupils in Year 7 to fast track those who have successfully learnt French for several years.
Each year group is divided into a number of sets. Setting is regularly reviewed throughout Key Stage 3. They have 3 (30 minutes) lessons a week. Pupils in Year 9/10 are offered the opportunity to participate in a 5/6-days trip to France in the summer term.
Spanish is offered from scratch in Year 7. We will assume that pupils have little or no previous knowledge of the language. Each year group is divided into a number of sets. Setting is regularly reviewed throughout Key Stage 3. They have 3 (30 minutes) lessons a week. Pupils in Year 9/10 are offered the opportunity to participate in a 5/6-days trip to Spain in the summer term.
Modern Foreign Languages
Music is an important part of life at Lincoln Minster School. From the beginning of Year 7 when all pupils perform in an informal concert to parents, children are immersed in performance.
There are a range of co-curricular activities at lunchtimes and after school for musicians of all abilities. In lessons pupils are encouraged to develop not only their musicianship, but also key skills such as communication, problem solving, self-awareness, team work, application of number and aural awareness.
Those pupils that choose to learn an instrument will be able to bring these skills to the course as well as experiencing the immense personal satisfaction that playing an instrument brings.
Pupils will develop their skills in composing and performing music, and their ability to appraise both their own work and that of others. They will work in a variety of genres and develop the ability to use a variety of instruments including the voice.
Pupils will also develop their ability to work co-operatively with others. They will be encouraged to view their work from the perspective of a professional composing musician.
Music from a variety of genres and cultural backgrounds are explored. All topics studied prepare the pupils for the GCSE syllabus should they wish to continue with music after Key Stage 3.
Music and Me, Theme and Variations, The Voice, Recycled Rhythms, Keyboard Masters, 4-Chord Pop Song
Programme Music, Arts Fusion, Coundown Theme Tunes, Jazz and Blues, Chinese Music, Musicals
Swing Music; Film Music Soundtracks, Ground Bass, Samba Celebration, Minimalism; Indian Music and Fusions.
Each year some pupils are invited to join the GCSE Express Stream. This is an intensive and challenging course, which enables some of our most gifted musicians to take GCSE music at the end of Year 9. Pupils are selected towards the end of Year 8 and their progress is reviewed regularly throughout Year 9.
There is a flourishing co-curricular programme within the school with ensembles for everyone from the beginner to the experienced performer. All pupils are encouraged to participate in our ensembles which include orchestra, symphonic wind band, chamber choir, string orchestra, jazz band, Jazz Train (Mixed Voice Choir), Elastic Band, Percussion Ensemble and Flashy Flutes.
There are about twenty peripatetic specialist instrumental teachers, covering a wide range of instruments including flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, French horn, trombone, violin, viola, cello, double bass, voice, piano, organ, guitar and percussion. All pupils are encouraged to start an instrument if they so wish.
The Music department aims to create a supportive and vibrant environment which encourages all pupils to achieve their best. Through both classroom and extra-curricular music the department promotes spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. We are lucky to have a large number of extremely talented musicians, however we endeavour to make music an enjoyable experience for all pupils, regardless of their previous level of experience or expertise.
Physical Education is a foundation subject within the National Curriculum and therefore an entitlement for all pupils.
At Key Stage 3 we aim to help all pupils experience achievement, success and enjoyment in their Physical Education activities.
The aims of Physical Education at Key Stage 3 are:
To deliver a rich and comprehensive sports programme
To develop both excellence and grass roots in a wide variety of sports
To promote a positive learning environment with a culture of confidence, ambition, creativity, determination and respect
To enter competiton at all levels from local to National
To allow pupils to do well if they can - ensure all avenues are made available in all learning environments
At Key Stage 3 pupils follow a programme which consists of one quadruple games lesson and one double PE lesson. There are also two ‘enrichment’ periods each week where pupils can choose from a range of sporting and non-sporting activities. After school clubs and training sessions are also run throughout the year.
Sporting activities include::
PICTURE OF FRANKIE LIGHTFOOT
Cross Country Running
Health Related Fitness
Football (5 and 11-a-side)
Track & Field Athletics
Throughout Key Stage 3 the aim of the syllabus at Lincoln Minster School is to enable pupils to acquire the skills of religious knowledge, understanding and evaluation. Pupils should know the beliefs, practices and attitudes of Christianity and other major world religions. The Key Stage 3 syllabus assists pupils in acquiring skills of analysis and insight related to the components of the syllabus. This is a subjective procedure involving pupils’ own attitudes, beliefs and practices.
The four concepts, which are present in the syllabus, are:
Religious Belief and Lifestyle
These constitute the framework for the study of Christianity and of other religions. As a Church School, more emphasis is afforded to Christianity, but it is important that non-Christian Religions and traditions are studied with respect and understanding.
Topics studied include:
Signs and Symbols of religion
Belonging to a community
Rites of Passage
What do people find sacred?
Belief in the divine
Spiritual and Moral Development
Pupils need the opportunity to learn, respond and reflect on various issues under this heading. It is appreciated that Religious Studies is not the only transmitter of these values, but it clearly has a major part to play. Pupils need to be guided in these areas where skills and attributes such as listening; respect, discussion and reconsidering are all encouraged.
Social and Cultural Development
Religious Studies contributes to this area by examining issues of multi-culturalism, minorities, human rights and responsibilities. Religious Studies at Lincoln Minster School aims to broaden significantly the outlooks of pupils and encourage thought at greater depth. Consequently, during Key Stage 3, pupils are introduced to distinctive historical, artistic and cultural achievements of differing faiths through visits, videos and speakers. In Year 9 for example, all students visit Beth Shalom, the Holocaust Centre near Newark where they also have the opportunity to listen to the story of a survivor of the Holocaust.
At Key Stage 3, students follow the AQA Key Stage 3 Science Syllabus using resources known as Activate. This has been designed to equip students for success at GCSE using Big Ideas and a mastery approach, promoting teaching for understanding rather than covering fragmented content. The AQA Key Stage 3 Science Syllabus is split into two parts where part 1 is taught in Year 7 and part 2 is to be taught in Year 8. It prepares students for following the AQA 9-1 GCSE specifications which they will start in Year 9.
The Big Ideas principle puts generalizations, principles and models which connect concepts at the heart of the syllabus, seeking to provide students with the understanding to appy their knowledge to unfamiliar contexts. The AQA Key Stage 3 Science syllabus complements the Key Stage 3 Programme of Study by exploring the links between ideas at KS3, providing an alternative approach to Key Stage 3 content that better prepares students for the AQA 9-1 GCSEs. There are 10 big ideas: Forces, Electromagnetism, Energy, Waves,Matter, Reactions, Earth, Organisms, Ecosystems and Genes.
Mastery is defined as gaining a secure understanding of the big ideas. Understanding means both 'knowing' - having an accurate mental structure of the concepts and skills - and 'applying' - being able to use the knowledge flexibly across different situations. The AQA Key Stage 3 Science Syllabus provides clear statements of what it means for students to know and apply, as well as extend. The 'Extend' band provides more challenging objectives for those students that extend the mastery goals 'Know' and 'Apply'.
Each Big Idea contains four smaller topics that build in complexity. For example, Waves topics are ordered from simpler, more concrete topics 'Light' and 'Sound,' to more abstract ones, 'Wave properties' and 'Wave effects.' These have been created to avoid repetition, draw on various scientific skills and use different contexts.
Practical work is a very important and engaging aspect of the curriculum in Science. Our students particularly enjoy the 'hands on' nature of the subject. The Key Stage 3 course provides many practical opportunities to ensure comprehensive coverage of these aspects working scientifically. Effective lessons in Science should have two aspects to them; content and process. Working scientifically should be taught through and clearly related to the Science content. The AQA Syllabus divides enquiry into four areas:
Analyse, consisting of presenting data, analysing patterns, drawing conclusions and discussing limitations
Communicate, consisting of constructing explanations, communicating ideas, critiquing claims and justifying opinions
Enquire, consisting of devising questions, testing hypotheses, planing to control variables and collecting data
Solve, consisting of estimating risks, examining consequences, interrogating sources and understanding how scientific ideas change over time
Throughout the course, Big Ideas Checkpoints provide intervention and extension to ensure students enter Key Stage 4 with the required proficiency. Exams are held towards the end of each year and AQA command words and exam-question skills are embedded throughout. The assessment model also extends to Key Stage 4 and the new 9-1 grades, to ensure seamless transition and progress to GCSE.
Outside the classroom, Key Stage 3 Science students enjoy many opportunities in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). We have STEM clubs running CREST awards, lego robot competitions and engineering problems solving. We have had forensic Science activity days, an RAF STEM event, an Army STEM day and a rocket car building day just in the last couple of years. All this prepares our students well for GCSE Science courses and many then continue further with Science both into and beyond sixth form.
Students look at the work of Eduardo Paolozzi and respond by creating the letters of their own name on calico fabric through the manipulation of materials, thread, fabric paint and embellishment. Pupils work through a series of highly structured tasks that involve learning to use templates, patchwork, printing, stencilling on fabric and different stitching techniques. Designs are planned on paper first. Students can explore more complex stitching techniques to add interest and to further their skills and knowledge.
Students look at the work of the famous Illustrator Roger Hargreaves and the 'Mr Men/Little Miss' series. Students then generate a series of character-based illustrations on paper linked to a personal characteristic from themselves, eg: 'Mr Sporty'. The chosen formalised design is then translated onto fabric through the use of templates and cut fabric shapes. Skills acquired include designing, fabric painting, stencilling, sponging, drawing with fabric pens, stitching and embellishment. The end design can be made up into a cushion or 3D piece by hand or on the sewing machine.
This year group respond to the Graffiti style of lettering and tag designs. Students generate a series of ideas on paper based on one of the styles that they like and their research, which is then hand painted onto fabric and embellished. Students can also explore stencilled imagery using fabric paints and acrylics, by making a link with the Artist Banksy. All responses are then stitched onto a canvas backing and then constructed into a pencil or storage case with the insertion of a zip. This can be done by hand or on the sewing machine.