Monday, 9 April 2012

What should the aims of a key stage 3 science curriculum be?

After being asked by a colleague via twitter what the aims of a ks3 scheme should be I reflected that although I have complained within this blog about the quality of the key stage 3 schemes at my school I have not written anything about what the schemes should be like.

When considering what key stage 3 should develop in my students I wrote a list of skills:
Investigating skills -
Drawing a table
Calculating averages
Drawing graphs including, choosing scales, picking the right sort of graph, drawing a line of best fit
Identifying patterns in data and in graphs
Identifying anomalies
Following a procedures/methods
Choosing equipment
Identifying variables, including ones to investigate, measure and control and the language associated with variables and fair testing
Describe how to make an experiment a fair test
Carry out a risk assessment
Using measuring equipment appropriately
Recognising the value in repeats
Understanding the vocabulary especially reliable, reproducible, repeatable, precise, valid, fair, sensitivity, and range
Evaluating procedures
Evaluating data
Comparing primary and secondary data
Making predictions and hypothesises, generating questions to investigate
Construct arguments/conclusion using evidence
Identify primary and secondary data
Communication skills -
Correctly using the language such as bias, theories, laws, principles,
Recognising bias in science articles
Using secondary sources
Identifying the work of a scientist and different types including how they work together
Describe how ideas can be developed
Use Internet and books to carry out research
And thinking skills - grouping, ordering, prioritising, classifying, identifying relationships, probability, using sizing, ratio, using abstract models

However, the vast majority of this can be found on the APP grid. (As much as this is disliked by many).

But just developing skills is not enough in my opinion. You also have to engage students in science, help them see the relevance to their every day lives. Future morph has great ideas relating science to our every day lives and sources for this, for example:

It is also vital that students get an idea of what science can and can't do; what is meant by science enquiry; and that science idea evolve and change as more evidence comes to light. To often science is taught and thought of as absolute truths, when in reality it is evolving.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Location:Bristol, UK.

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