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Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact Statement


Introduction – Overall Department Intent

At Abbey Park School our aim is to inspire the scientists of tomorrow, promote the importance of an independent mind, encourage curious thinkers and build the skills required to effectively question concepts and communicate ideas. We aim to nurture a love of science and a passion for wanting to understand how the world works. We encourage all pupils to raise their aspirations and aim high, turning their potential into performance.

Department implementation with the APS 5 Keys to Curriculum Success

Knowledge, skills & mastery

The Science department provides high quality lessons which engage pupils with the core concepts of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. We ensure pupils experience a wide range of scientific topics and develop their practical skills to prepare them for exams and future careers.

Our curriculum is a spiralled five-year-curriculum which is outlined in depth within our curriculum maps. Pupils rotate between scientific disciplines in a cyclic rotation across the five years, building on previous knowledge and skills. This allows pupils to link concepts together and develop a deeper understanding of science and the world around them. Pupils are guided through their topics via their Personalised Learning Checklist (PLC's), which outlines the content covered in each topic. Pupils are provided regular retrieval tasks, both in lessons and as homework, keeping previously taught content fresh and providing opportunities for pupils to link concepts together.

Science classes are taught as mixed ability classes at KS3 and set by ability in KS4.  This allows pupils the opportunity to be supported and given appropriate challenge throughout their scientific learning journey. We deliver both Combined Science and Individual Sciences to our GCSE pupils, providing all pupils the right to study English Baccalaureate. The numbers of pupils taking either path is flexible based on the cohort. As a school within the TPAT Trust we engage in partnership with our transition teams to embed our curriculum and ease the transition between both primary curriculums though to and including key stage 5.

Within science we promote independent learning with our pupils. Key skills which enable pupils to successfully independently learn are explicitly taught in lessons using the Abbey Park Learner tool. Homework is set by staff from a homework schedule ensuring consistency across the department. These homework activities range from key word and definition tasks, key topic texts for KS3 and retrieval of key concepts. Keyword homework activities are set at the start of a unit so pupils build confidence and enable them use the keywords more independently without the need for as much teacher prompt. Learning walks in lessons have focused on pupils understanding and confidence using this strategy. Revision and retrieval activities set enable pupils to fill gaps in their own knowledge and improve their outcomes in assessments. Regular monitoring of homework setting is carried out in addition to a review of rewards and consequences set for homework completion.

To raise the aspirations of the pupils and inspire them to want to embark on careers in science, we have embedded careers links into out schemes of work and used them as themes within our milestone assessments. We aim to encourage pupils towards science based further education, apprenticeships and career pathways. We have a career focused board in the department and regularly engage with conversations with pupils regarding careers in science.

Literacy & Numeracy

Literacy and numeracy are pivotal to developing good outcomes for our pupils in all science disciplines. Across the academic year, we have developed a wide range of reading opportunities through the whole school approach of topic texts and reading codes. At KS3, we have planned strategic reading tasks that pupils are set as homework’s which allows all pupils to engage with a wide range of genres of subject specific texts. This links to previous and developing learning so we can challenge pupils in their recall of learning.  This aspect of our schema allows the pupil to develop their understanding of cultural capital and link their understanding of science to the world around them.

The whole school extended written response structure is used as a tool to develop pupils 6-mark responses at GCSE. As a department, we have adopted and imbedded the use of milestone assessments as an opportunity for an extended written response. Within each topic all pupils in KS3 and KS4 are given an extended writing task as a retrieval opportunity for the content delivered in the first half of the topic. This is teacher assessed for spelling and grammar as well as offering a WWW (What Went Well) and HTI (How To Improve) comment.

Each classroom in the science department has a dedicated display board focusing on the exam command words and their meanings. Our main focus, highlighted by an examiner’s report analysis, are the command words ‘evaluate’ and ‘compare’. Opportunities to enable pupils time to grapple with these keywords and become more confidence with using them has been built into out schemes of work. These have also been built into our assessments to monitor the improvement and progression.

Within department meeting, the science staff regularly share best practice for the delivery of literacy and numeracy in lessons. Staff reflect on their own practice and use examples of key pieces as exemplars for pupils in their lessons.

Entitlement & Engagement

In Science, we echo the whole school concept of ‘spirit of adventure’ through our schemes of work which facilitate our curriculum offer. To demonstrate this, pupils have regular practical science lessons throughout KS3 and KS4, building up skills and instilling a love of science. Big picture links are built into the science curriculum, challenging pupils to link their learning to the outside world, job prospects, broadening their understanding and deepening their engagement with the subject.

Enhancing the Trust notion of spirit of adventure further, we offer science trips, including our year 10 ecology field work excursion that all pupils attend. As well as, a yearly science week for KS3 where we offer a range of innovative STEM based activities both in class and during break times, competitions and rewards.

All pupils at Abbey Park School take GCSE Science, either the double award Combined GCSE or the triple award Individual Science’s. The route pupils take through their GCSE and the numbers of pupils on each course is decided at the start of year 10. We identify which course is most appropriate for each individual, allowing for appropriate academic challenge and engagement. With this strategic planning we are proud to say that examination results for GCSE Science have been very positive over the last 5 years.

It is of vital importance that all pupils who attend the school can access our curriculum, feel supported and challenged within their lessons regardless of their starting points. In lessons the science staff will target pupil premium pupils with wave 1 classroom interventions, such as targeted questioning, to ensure that they receive a high quality and personalised education. Scaffolding is put into place for our SEND pupils to make lessons and tasks within them accessible to all. These are differentiated and targeted to the individual learner needs. Assessments are also scaffolded for the lower ability SEND pupils, removing the barrier preventing them from excelling, ensuring that their grade represent their true understanding of science. Within year 7 and 8, science has a group set up for the lowest ability learners. These classes are taught as transition nurture groups, focusing on learning the key concepts well, building firm foundations for the GCSE to build upon. These classes are kept small in size to offer better support and targeted interventions. As KS4 classes are set based on ability we have the flexibility to top weight class sizes. Lower ability pupils have smaller class sizes allowing greater opportunities for greater support, challenge and intervention. The keywords are displayed in all lessons offering support and a level of challenge for all learners within the lesson.

Aspiration & Wellbeing

Science is a key to unlock the understanding of the world around us and with a better understanding of our environment we can think more deeply about our world and the people within it. Here at Abbey Park School we are keen for pupils to have inquisitive minds, question the world we live in and have opportunities to investigate all viewpoints to ensure a holistic approach.

At Abbey Park the majority of pupils study the Combined Science course at GCSE. This course opens doors to all A-level science subjects and future careers. To stretch our most able pupils and build greater aspirations we run the triple science course with our top set/s (depending on our cohort). The triple science course bridges the gap between the Combined Science course and the A-level content. Regardless of which GCSE pathway pupils’ study we aim to raise the aspirations of all pupils. Pupil premium pupils are supported and encouraged to aim high, to be resilient and reflective. These pupils are targeted regularly with questions to build their self-esteem, confidence and communication in the subject. Staff have high expectations of the pupils within their lessons, regularly challenging them and pushing their thinking and encouraging them to aspire to achieve the highest outcomes.

We aim to provide pupils with the transferable skills required to progress to their next steps. We hope to ensure they are equipped for everyday life by adapting our teaching to both scientific advances and cultural shifts, as well as, including SMSC and British Values and our own APS PROUD.

Within our curriculum we cover a series of topics which include health and wellbeing, such as how a physical disease can lead to poor mental health and how various risk factors increase our chances of developing disease. Our teachers use this as an opportunity for class discussions, educating them on relevant issues surrounding health and wellbeing.

AfL is skillfully used in lessons to assess pupil understanding of key concepts. Staff also check pupil confidence in their learning, investigate areas of low confidence and adapt their lessons in response. During milestone assessments pupils reflect on their confidence in their performance and knowledge in the subject area. PLCs are used and regularly RAG rated to nurture a culture of self-reflection. Science topics are relatively short, allowing for regular fresh starts if a pupil have a negative mindset towards any content. Regular retrieval is built in to lessons to boost confidence in a content heavy subject. Underachievement in assessments is never treated as a failure. Pupils are encouraged to see assessments as a tool to see their errors or gaps in their knowledge and use them to make improvements and grow. MAC (make a change) review lessons are planned following assessment to give pupils adequate time for reflection and improvement.

Community, respect & enrichment

All teachers working in the science department are subject specialists. The department regularly partakes in specific science education CPD from STEM to keep up-to-date with changes to the curriculum and instilling innovative ways to teach the theory and practical aspects. Alongside this the department are proactive in engaging with the whole staff Rosenshein CPD. A number of the department have TEEP Level 2 and 3 training. This collective CPD, ensures that we are able to deliver current, high-quality lessons which are carefully planned within short, medium and long-term planning of the curriculum, guaranteeing we are developing the STEM employees of tomorrow, as well as, responsible, well-informed citizens. Our learning journey through the science 5-year curriculum is carefully considered to be broad and balanced, promoting a love of science and carefully constructed to evolve the skills and attributes needed in order for Abbey Park pupils to be successful.

To involve our pupils in the local community we offer a variety of trips and school speakers. We are in touch Catalent and Dialog who are two STEM based companies located in Swindon. This raises the cultural capital linking to local job prospects. Our GCSE Ecology trip includes looking at the organisms present within the local vicinity of the school.

An audit has been conducted for where British values appears organically within the science curriculum. This has been mapped and contributed towards the while school picture. Mutual respect and tolerance are modelled in all lessons and encouraged using the Abbey Park Learner tool. Pupils regularly carry out peer assessment in lessons. This is structured and supported to allow for high quality and respectful feedback. SMSC has also been mapped and is clearly outline on out curriculum maps.

The science department run KS4 Revision and exam practice sessions as a part of the school enrichment offer. Pupils in year 10 and year 11 are offered the opportunity to focus on key concepts, key skills and exam technique.


Curriculum Implementation

  • At KS3 all pupils have science 3 hours a week
  • KS4 is balanced with year 10 pupils having 5 hours per week and year 11 pupils having 4 hours per week.

KS3 and KS4 Science Curriculum Maps

Click below in 'Related Documents' to view curriculum maps.

Combined Science Curriculum Map (117KB)

Curriculum Map which includes Unit of Work, Knowledge and Skills and Assessment broken down into Terms.

Individual Science Curriculum Map (118KB)

Curriculum Map which includes Unit of Work, Knowledge and Skills and Assessment broken down into Terms.