At the McKee we want students to be excited and curious about the world around them. They need to be equipped with the knowledge and scientific skills that they will need in everyday life and also for next steps if they choose to carry on to science A levels or a career in science. The science curriculum is based on what the students need to know by the end of the two key stages as directed by the National Curriculum. Science at the McKee is delivered in such a way as to be engaging and accessible to all. It is hoped that students find they enjoy learning science in a comfortable, non-pressurised environment and that students will develop an enthusiasm for the subject.
At KS3 the students are taught in two classes which are mixed year groups and abilities. We have a two-year long-term plan to cover students that stay for the two years, though in reality most stay for shorter periods of time. This KS3 curriculum has been mapped out ensuring coverage of the KS3 Programme of Study and the working scientifically skills that are taught across the three sciences.
At KS4 pupils are taught in separate year 10 and 11 classes. The student’s study AQA Combined Science Trilogy. They have the option of doing separate science GCSEs if they enter the McKee at year 11, having covered enough of the curriculum at their previous high school and if they are dedicated to spending more time at school and at home covering the extra work needed.
Fleetwood site students are offered an AQA Entry Level Certificate in Science, with the option to progress this to GCSE if they wish.
Long term plans have been designed so that the students are being taught two of the science disciplines at any one time. Entry level Science at Fleetwood is delivered by a single teacher and the disciplines are rotated.
Medium term plans are in place which are schemes of work from AQA for KS4 and from Activate 1 and 2 for KS3. We need to have a flexible approach to respond to the needs of each class and then each individual within that class. Often the time allocated for a unit of work is changed as we have had to plug gaps in knowledge. Practical lessons are popular with our students and if there is an opportunity to carry out a practical it will be taken.
Flexibility is key to science at the McKee and if a topic takes longer we will adapt our planning to suit this. Students who have missed a lot of the science curriculum will have gaps in knowledge filled during lesson time. The required practicals and working scientifically skills are taught across the three sciences. With these skills and knowledge in place our students will be equipped to take GCSE Science.
The GCSE qualification we have chosen to deliver is AQA Trilogy Combined Science. It is examined by six, 75 minute examinations. These exams were some of the shortest in length on offer and it was felt this better suited our learners. The topics we cover are split across each of the six papers ( two each for Biology,Chemistry and Physics) so the students can prepare for their exams more easily.
These exams can prepare students for science A levels and in recent years we have had a number of students who have gone on to study A levels in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Psychology. Some of these students enjoying success in these A levels have gone to university to study Mechatronics, Maths and Economics. Other students have managed to get apprenticeships in engineering and medical science.
At the McKee we constantly review what we teach and the ways in which we teach it. We also look for opportunities for students to experience science in the world around us. In the past students have been able to access trips to Westinghouse Springfields Nuclear Fuels, Blackpool Zoo and the Science Festival at UCLAN. This year students at Breck House have visited a cheese factory and a local builder has delivered some maths and science as to how it is relevant to his profession. Later in the school year it is hoped that the students will visit Victrex and also the Pleasure Beach to learn about physics in action. It is hoped that STEM within the school will be developed and that a STEM ambassador can come into school to talk with the students.