Science does not teach us what to think but how to think...
Science is at the heart of our culture and society and at Westgate we deliver a broad, balanced and ambitious knowledge-rich science curriculum that ignites curiosity, while at the same time preparing students for future learning and employment. It provides students with a deep understanding of the scientific knowledge and ideas that impact them as individuals within both a local and global context. Our aim is for students to leave Westgate being able to understand and explain the scientific world around them, as well as equipping them with the skills to question, to problem-solve, to analyse, to critically evaluate, to reason, and to understand risk and uncertainty.
Our curriculum also encompasses experiences of cultural capital, British values, career guidance and reflects the diverse nature of the community we serve. It is accessible to all whilst providing appropriate stretch and challenge and a gateway into a wide range of career opportunities.
We take students on a scientific journey that builds their understanding of the world and universe around them. The sequence of learning has been designed to include prior knowledge and next steps. The rationale is to allow students to understand ‘what they are learning, why they are learning this now, what does this build on and where does it lead’.
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In years 7 and 8 we recognise that students arrive with varying experiences of the sciences. The students learn content that is going to provide a solid foundation for their future learning, while building upon understanding from primary school. Our schemes of work provide students with the key big ideas in science; the links between cells, structure and function in living organisms, the particle model as the key to understanding the properties of matter, and the forces that govern the laws of the universe. Practical skills are modelled for students with opportunities for students to develop investigation skills and how to work scientifically. The curriculum for year 7 and 8 is further enriched with our weekly science club where students can develop their enquiry skills and confidence with experiments and activities beyond the science curriculum.
In years 9 up to 11 students experience a breadth of new topics and skills whilst following the Edexcel combined or extended science course. Each topic is linked intrinsically to prior knowledge and skills from year 7 and 8 and builds in terms of complexity, skills and application. Our aim is to create truly independent scientifically literate learners who are confident enough to question why and to form and communicate their own opinions. Students will have developed an awareness of the social, economic and environmental implications of science that will enable them to contribute positively to society.
“Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world.” ~Louis Pasteur