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Head of Department: Mr. G Smith

subject intent

Science ensures students leave with secure knowledge and understanding of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Our curriculum is accessible to all and helps all who engage, gain an appreciation of how complex and diverse the world around them can be.  A love of learning is promoted throughout, and our students are encouraged to be the best scientist they can be.






Subject intent

Science at TRS ensures students leave with secure knowledge and understanding of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Our curriculum is accessible to all and helps all who engage, gain an appreciation of how complex and diverse the world around them can be.

A love of learning is promoted throughout, and our students are encouraged to be the best scientist they can be.

What skills and cultural capital do students acquire in your subject?

We encourage our students to ‘think like scientists do’ and critically think, in order to question the news and current affairs. Our schemes of work cover topics such as global warming, fracking, recycling, fossil fuel usage and stem cell research. We encourage pupil discussion around these topics so that our students can share their thoughts and ideas in a safe space.

How do you make Careers education explicit in your curriculum?

By encouraging our students to ‘think like scientists do’ we can then relate topics to relevant careers and pathways. We have a display in Science, which we update each year to demonstrate how the transferrable the skills learnt in Science, can be.

What additional experiences (including expeditions) do your students access in your subject?

  • A-Level BioMed Club – focuses on current trends in the field; as well as mock interviews and external speakers
  • STEM Club
  • KS3 Science club
  • Celebration of diversity in Science with special features in Black History
  • Y12 Physicists visit to CERN
  • External Speakers (Year 10 – Vaccines).
  • Year 7 Science Museum Trip


How do you support all learners to progress?

Our curriculum is designed to be inclusive, ensuring that learners of all types can make progress. This year we introduced knowledge organisers in all key stages to ensure that no matter the starting point of a young person, they can access the powerful knowledge in each topic. Our feedback cycles address misconceptions formed in both lessons and examinations and as practitioners we use this data to unpick these ideas and identify re-teach opportunities.

How is your curriculum designed?

Our curriculum is sequenced with our ‘Big Ideas’ in mind; these ideas are fundamental, stand alone, scientific facts. We then use these ideas to help interleave a previous topic with a future one. We also consider cross curricular links with Maths and English to help further deepen our students understanding.

Our curriculum has been designed in collaboration with the other E21c trust schools, making sure that our most difficult content is addressed at the right time. For example, topics such as exothermic and endothermic reactions are an abstract concept and therefore, we do not explore this topic until the beginning of Year 11, when our students understanding is more established.

What content do you cover and how is this delivered over time?

Fundamental concepts for each specialism are as follows:


- Cells and Control

- Body Systems

- Human and Plant Reproduction

- Plants and their Functions

- Health and Disease

- Human Evolution and Natural Selection

- Material Cycles and Ecosystems



- The Particle Model and Atomic Structure

- Earth Systems

- Atoms, Elements and Compounds

- The Periodic Table

- Chemical Reactions

- Structure and Bonding

- Separation Techniques



- Forces and Motion

- Forces and Forcefields

- Conservation of Energy

- Radiation

- Electricity


Which exam board do you use? Why?

Edexcel – a trust wide decision to promote the sharing of resources amongst trust schools

What are the Big Ideas in your subject? Why are they important?


- Cells are alive

- Bodies are systems

- Organisms are independent


- Ecosystems recycle resources

- Characteristics are inherited

- Species show variation



- Structure determines properties

- Reactions rearrange matter

- Earth systems interact

- Elements show trends in their physical and chemical properties



- Forces predict motion

- Fields produce forces

- Energy is conserved

- Electricity transfers energy

- Radiation transfers energy


These ideas are fundamental, stand alone, scientific facts.

How do you intelligently sequence your curriculum so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before? Planning the progression model - How does a certain topic (e.g. algebra / language analysis) progress across the key stage(s)?

Our curriculum is designed with cognitive load in mind, key concepts are introduced in chunks at Key Stage 3 and then built upon over time. Big ideas are encountered multiple times throughout the curriculum, with each revisit adding another layer of understanding.

How do you use spaced practice / retrieval practice?

At the start of each lesson, students will complete a Do it Now activity, which focuses on content from the previous lesson. Teachers then discuss how that activity links in with the lesson about to happen. At the end of each year in Key Stage 3, assessments not only focus on that academic year’s content but also from any previous years to benefit from spaced practice. A similar assessment design is also seen in Key Stage 4.

Checking for understanding is embedded into every science lesson through low stake quizzing and use of mini whiteboards, our ‘quick quizzes’ address relevant past content and further enables the students to retrieve information from topics past.

How is reading and mathematical fluency prioritised in your subject?

The Maths and Science departments are working together to ensure that there is consistency in the delivery of mathematical skills and the language used.

Reading is regularly encouraged in Science, for example, our Homelearning assessed tasks promote the use of research to form conclusions and justify answers.

In Science, we focus specifically on the literacy of examinations and encourage students to develop their understanding of scientific command words such as ‘Evaluate’ and ‘Justify’

Equitable delivery - How do you support disadvantaged students and students with SEND?

These students are the focus of the department’s improvement plan; lessons and their delivery have been designed with these pupils in mind, for example, topics are sequenced and information ‘chunked’ to aid commitment of knowledge into long term memory. These students are a priority when setting up intervention groups. Our additional experiences and expeditions expand the cultural capital of all our young people, and we ensure social disadvantage has no impact on what is offered to them. Any additional materials that we encourage students to purchase are also provided to them, should social disadvantage be a limiting factor.

How does your subject use homework to support learning?

All Key Stages are set:

- ‘Revise’ homework’s on Seneca learning; a low stake quizzing tool.


This identifies misconceptions which can be addressed as they arise.

Assessment - How do teachers assess across the unit / term / cycle / year / key stage?

Formative Assessments

Embedded into every science lesson using low stakes quizzing, cold calling and independent practice. We can then use the information gathered to adjust our teaching where necessary. In KS4 the questioning is like to be exam style questions so that students can become confident in reading answering questions which are asked using scientific command words. Our feedback cycle is over a period of three week’s and throughout this time, students will complete DIT and green pen work on the topic being learnt.

Summative Assessments

Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 follow a trust wide data drop cycle, occurring every term

Years 11 and 13 also follow a trust wide data drop cycle, occurring in terms 1 and 2 only.