GLF Schools

GLF Schools

GLF Schools was founded in 2012 in order to enable the federation of Glyn School (an academy in 2011) and Danetree Junior School. Together, we began our journey to become a MAT of more than 1000 talented staff working with over 10,000 children in 40 schools across 5 regions in southern England.

Science - Key Stage 3

We aim to develop our Scientists as young people that can become proactive, independent and resilient scientists. As a knowledge engaged curriculum, we believe that knowledge underpins and enables the application of skills; both are entwined. We are committed to providing a stimulating, engaging and intellectually challenging learning environment to enable all our students to develop scientific consciousness, to foster a spirit of scientific enquiry, enthuse students and create a sense of awe and wonder about the world which we inhabit. 

Head of Science  Miss S Caverhill S.Caverhill@glynschool.org

Year 7 sequence of lessons

Half term 1

Science Skills

All students start Science at Glyn by completing a short introduction to Science, with a focus on practical and investigative skills, such as planning, graphing and analysing. This also covers lab safety and exposes students to the majority of lab equipment they will use in Science. It enables teachers to instill safe practical routines alongside teaching practical skills.

Organisms

Organisms is one of the easier KS3 year 1 topics. It introduces cells as the basic biological unit. Animal and plant cells are looked at in detail in terms of the structures and functions of the different cell organelles and comparative skills are developed when looking at different types of specialised cells. Basic cellular ‘transport’ via diffusion and osmosis are introduced as is whole organism ‘movement’ via the human muscle and skeletal systems. This topic underpins Biology for the rest of their KS3 learning journey.

Matter

Matter introduces the fundamentals of Chemistry. It enables teachers to demonstrate and instill safe practical routines that were introduced during the Science Skills topic, alongside teaching practical skills that link to theory of all matter being made up of particles in different states. The different methods of separating substances are covered in this topic which are the basics of theory taught at GCSE. Diffusion - a key scientific process across all disciplines - is taught during the Organisms topic as well. Links between different science disciplines are reinforced through the teaching of diffusion.

Half term 2

Earth

Earth is again one of the easier KS3 topics. It covers Rocks, the rock cycle, and the topic of Space. Rocks builds on concepts taught in ‘Matter’ i.e. particles and different states of matter. Space is a review of content learnt at KS2 and revisits skills introduced during the Science Skills topic, including data analysis and calculations with a familiar topic such as weight vs mass and how weight changes in relation to gravity.

Energy

Energy covers fuels and fuel types and reinforces links to fuel formation through the rock cycle which is covered at the same time, this helps to consolidate learning. Energy also covers energy transfer and efficiency, a key concept at the beginning of the GCSE Physics course. The content also links to particles and matter which was taught in the Chemistry topic in half term 1 and so again provides consolidation of some prior learning. The topic enables practice of mathematical skills including calculating energy efficiency.

Half term 3

Waves

Waves reviews and builds on concepts taught at KS2: sound and light waves, and their properties as well as the ear and the physics of hearing. There is some new material but for most students this is consolidation of prior learning at KS2. Learning is from an investigative viewpoint where key science skills are taught and embedded e.g. the importance and distinction between different variables, planning investigations, graph drawing, analysis and evaluation of results to draw conclusions. There is ample opportunity for the further consolidation and development of mathematical calculation skills linked to the theory covered. 

Genes

Genes builds on KS2 learning about the variation within and between organisms, and their adaptations for the environments within which they live. Key mathematical skills for science are again developed within this topic linked to data collection, analysis and evaluation. Teaching this topic alongside the topic of Waves enables science teachers to demonstrate the variety of topics where maths skills are used in science. It also enables science teachers to specifically target maths skills development for their classes given the different ways skills will be utilised in class during this half term. Human reproduction is also taught in the topic of Genes and builds upon KS2 learning. The topic covers the male and female reproductive systems, fertilisation and the development of the fetus including the effects of smoking, drugs and disease during pregnancy, the menstrual cycle and contraception. This is a sensitive topic for students so teaching it after being in school a whole term enables teachers to have developed a good working relationship and understanding of their students to be aware of the sensitivities they may have as well as handle misconceptions and questions that come up when this topic is taught. 

Half term 4

Reactions

Reactions is the hardest of the Chemistry topics in Year 7 so is left until the end. It is also a heavily practical based topic that requires students to have already developed a good understanding of laboratory safety and effective investigative skills due to the nature of the practicals. The topic covers acids and alkalis; types of reactions; and the reactions of metals.

Forces

Forces builds on KS2 concepts and builds on the ‘Space’ topic which students covered in half term 2 so this provides some spaced practice interlinked with new content. The topic covers gravity, mass, weight and links these to how balanced and unbalanced forces affect the speed of objects. Further opportunities for mathematical skills are developed through data analysis, graphing skills and evaluating distance-time graphs.

Half term 5

Assessments are taken at the end of each topic. By half term 5 the majority of the 1st year of the KS3 curriculum will have been taught. Students will have sat eight end of topic tests. Teaching of the final two topics for the first year of the curriculum will start in this half term and complete in half term 6.

Half term 6

Electromagnets

This topic reviews concepts taught at KS2. Whilst students should already be familiar with the basics of circuit drawing and construction, more detail is taught with regards to current, voltage and resistance. This is left until the end of the year, as this can often be a challenging topic for students. There are many opportunities for investigations and to further embed “working scientifically” skills e.g. variables, graph drawing, analysis of results. Students will have developed some good basic lab skills during the year that they can now apply during investigation work carried out in this very practical topic. This helps to reinforce and consolidate skills.

Ecosystems

Ecosystems reviews and builds on key concepts learnt at KS2 and introduces more complex concepts linked to the interactions of organisms with their environment and each other that are the basics of theory taught at GCSE.  It is taught during half term 6 to provide opportunities for students to utilise the outdoors to see ‘real life’ examples of food chains and food webs and how interdependence operates. There is also an abundance of flowering plants from which students can make field observations of the different adaptations that plants employ for reproduction.

Year 8 sequence of lessons

Half Term 1

Science Skills

As the majority of students will have not been in a lab for their Science lessons since starting at Glyn School, they start Year 8 by completing a short introduction to Science. This focuses on practical and investigative skills, such as planning, graphing and analysing. This also covers lab safety and exposes students to the majority of lab equipment they will use in Science. It enables teachers to instill safe practical routines alongside teaching practical skills.

Electromagnets

This topic builds a lot on prior KS2 knowledge about magnets and magnetism. This is further developed at KS3 to provide the foundations for these topics at GCSE. Students learn about magnetic fields, electromagnets, their uses, and have the opportunity to make a loudspeaker. There are many opportunities for practical work and to embed good practical and analytical skills.

Ecosystems

Although the Biology topic of Ecosystems is one of the harder year 8 topics, it covers the basic theory of Photosynthesis and Respiration laying a Foundation for these topics covered in the GCSE course. The topics include adaptations and limiting factors for photosynthesis, as well as aerobic and anaerobic respiration. The topic also addresses the chemistry behind both processes building on prior learning in Chemistry topics previously studied. By teaching this topic early on in Year 8, it avoids introducing misconceptions around respiration and breathing and provides a grounding for the following Biology topics.

Half term 2

Matter

Matter covers elements, atoms, compounds, formulae; and the periodic table. This builds on some of the theory covered in most of the first year chemistry topics and some of the physics topics. It underpins the rest of the chemistry topics in KS3 so has to be taught as the first Chemistry topic upon which the other topics springboard from. It also forms the basis for the GCSE Chemistry course. The theory of this is revisited in Year 9, so introducing concepts and addressing misconceptions in KS3 lays the foundation for later GCSE learning.

Energy

Energy builds on theory and skills learnt in the Energy and Forces topics in Year 7. It underpins later learning in the other KS3 topics so needs to be taught early on. The topic covers work done, levers and pulleys, changes of state and how heat energy is transferred via conduction, convection and radiation. These methods of heat transfer provide underpinning theory for the concepts in the Chemistry Earth topic particularly about Global warming later in the year.

Half term 3

Waves

The topic of Waves builds upon learning at KS3 and provides the foundation for the concepts of the topic that are taught at GCSE. Students learn about the Electromagnetic spectrum, how to measure sound and the application of sound in everyday life. Students also learn in more detail about the properties of waves, the basics of which they learnt in Year 7.

Organisms

Organisms covers the key human biology topics relating to the lungs and breathing; and food groups and digestion. These topics and associated keywords will already be familiar to students from their KS2 learning. This topic also links back to respiration which was covered in the first half term, providing an opportunity for consolidation. The content covered also consolidates key concepts and processes in Biology e.g. the movement of different molecules by diffusion in two very different processes in the human body. The theory covered in this topic is further developed in the first two topics of the Biology GCSE course so introducing these concepts in KS3 clears up misconceptions and lays the foundation for GCSE learning. 

Half term 4

Reactions

The Reactions topic is the hardest of the Chemistry topics in year 8 and so is left until the end. It builds on previous learning from year 7 & 8 topics in both Chemistry and Physics. Topics covered include types of reactions, energy profile diagrams of exothermic and endothermic reactions, masses in reactions and balancing chemical equations. This topic is an introduction to and the foundation of many of the GCSE paper 1 topics that students will study in years 9 & 10. 

Forces

The topic of Forces also covers a lot of content and builds on prior KS3 learning. Forces includes: deformation, levers and moments and pressure, all of which are introductions to topics learnt at GCSE. The topic necessitates a range of mathematical skills and the ability to carry out numerous calculations often requiring students to rearrange and link formulae to determine answers. 

Half term 6

Genes

The topic of Genes builds on year 7 learning which introduced the concepts of variation, inheritance of genes and adaptations. The year 8 topic delves further into these concepts and also includes Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution via natural selection, genes and inheritance, genetic crosses, and genetic engineering. This topic can be quite challenging so is left to the end of KS3 so students have more maturity when approaching this topic. The topic introduces GCSE theory and covers a lot of detailed content that develops and utilises analysis and evaluative skills.

Earth

Earth builds on KS2 learning and covers theory and keywords students are already familiar with i.e. the earth’s atmosphere, the carbon cycle, global warming and recycling. Further use of key mathematical skills for science are developed within this topic linked to data collection, analysis and evaluation. The content covered and data that students are exposed to in relation to this topic requires a more developed skill set to link the theoretical ideas together with scientific evidence to formulate conclusions and detailed explanations. This topic also links to methods of heat transfer covered in the Energy topic, providing an opportunity for further learning consolidation and also provides easier linking for students across science disciplines.