Curriculum Intent and Rationale
In Biology we aim to inspire a love of learning and curiosity of the world around us. We encourage all to reach their full potential and prepare everyone for the next step in their education. When students can appreciate how they came to be, what limitations there are in current practices and how to solve problems they can ultimately be equipped to change the future for the better.
Our curriculum is highly ambitious and is structured around real-life application thus, it is constantly evolving. We rely on staff and students to stay up-to-date with current affairs and scientific developments. Within this, we ensure it is accessible to all students with regular CPD to target disadvantaged students, meaningful seating plans which maximise footfall, key terminology on all slides and workshops/drops in for any student who needs additional support.
Biology overlaps and supports the study of Chemistry and Physics and is taught in four specialist laboratories by six specialist teachers and supported by a team of four technicians that work across the whole science department.
Our aim is to develop students' skills in carrying out scientific investigations and answering scientific questions, this is rooted in learning scientific theory and conducting a range of practical activities. Our curriculum is designed to build students' skills and knowledge, gradually moving from Year 7 through to the end of Year 13. To begin, students will learn how to carry out investigations, focusing on planning, writing, graph-work and forming conclusions and evaluations, along with how to work safely in a lab. They will use their structural and functional knowledge to then develop these skills as they progress through our curriculum, along with deepening their understanding. We envisage our leaving students to be well-rounded scientists who have deep-rooted scientific skills that they are able to apply to new problems which have relevance in the wider world.
The curriculum is matched to the National Curriculum and AQA specifications at GCSE and A level and has a spiral ‘design’ and scientific ideas are repeated throughout the school, enabling revision of prior work and building on prior knowledge to develop understanding and greater application, analysis and problem-solving. Schemes of work and teaching order are reviewed each year in line with scientific developments and student needs.
All lessons have regular checkpoints to ensure students understand the lesson content and can apply it over a range of situations. Throughout the curriculum, the content is taught in topics and at the end of each topic there is an end of topic test that assesses students’ attainment in all assessment objectives. End-of-topic assessments contain content from previous topics to embed knowledge at each stage.