About Biology

Science Curriculum Intent: Understanding Science’s Curriculum DREAM 

Purpose: This document sets out how Science approaches Curriculum Intent at Eaton Bank Academy. 

Design  How have you designed your curriculum to be broad, balanced and ambitious? 
The Key Stage 3 curriculum follows the National Curriculum and incorporates a wide range of interesting and relevant topics as well as developing crucial skills that build the foundations for scientific thinking used throughout all the key stages.  In Year 7 and 8, students will begin to secure their scientific knowledge and a conceptual understanding and will develop their use of practical, observational, enquiry and problem-solving skills. Students will learn about the foundations of life in biology, in chemistry the interplay between particles, atoms and their reactions and in physics how matter and energy can explain phenomena around us.  


To do this, students will develop their understanding of the nature of the scientific process.  In Year 9, students will begin their transition to KS4 by deepening their knowledge and understanding of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  Successful students are then equipped with the scientific knowledge to understand how science can solve a wide range of issues for society in future. 


At KS4, students will continue to study a breadth of topics at AQA Combined Science: Trilogy or by opting to study AQA Separate Sciences.  Both pathways provide students with the necessary skills and depth of knowledge to continue to study the Sciences at KS5. 

Rationale  What is the rationale behind your curriculum design and ordering of content over time? 
The Science curriculum aims to give students an appreciation of the relevance of Science in the world around us, whether this is medical advancements, sustainable development or space exploration.   


The KS3 curriculum is sequenced in a way that lays foundations in terms of developing complex scientific language, understanding, application and skills.  For example, Year 8 topics are designed to allow students to recall and review prior topics from Year 7 and develop their understanding of them even further.   


This theme is continued into KS4, where core concepts e.g. Energy are covered early in the course and then re-visited before extending and deepening their knowledge and understanding.  This approach allows effective interleaving in lessons and in assessments. 

Equality  How is your curriculum accessible and purposeful for all students, including SEND, Disadvantaged and Higher Ability Learners? 
To ensure high expectations of all learners, the students at KS3 are taught in mixed ability groups. We believe that this allows all students to recognise their highest ambitions. All students receive the support and scaffolds they might need to reach our high expectations for our learners.  Differentiation is crucial to support every student and allow them to progress in lessons and in assessments.   


At KS4, students are differentiated by tier; foundation groups are designed to be mixed ability with this tier to encourage all students to be ambitious and optimistic in their academic goals.  Students at KS4 are able to opt to study AQA Separate Science regardless of the tier that they will be entered for and they are supported in a mixed ability group. 


High quality planning and teaching ensures that all students are challenged in their learning and encouraged to build resilience when tackling more difficult scientific concepts, applying their knowledge or developing more transferable skills e.g. Maths.  Students are provided with high quality revision resources from Oxford Revise at the beginning of their GCSE courses. This resource is encouraged for us in preparation for assessments, alongside well-timed release of revision lists so all students have fair access to the information they need to be successful. 

Aims, Vision & Values  What is the aim of your curriculum and how does this support the aims and values of the school? 
Our ambitious curriculum aims to inspire students to ask questions, collect information, test ideas, and apply what they learn to real life applications. Our strong subject knowledge and intrinsic passion for science, along with our strong curriculum serve as our catalyst to inspire not only a diverse range of future scientists, but also instil a love for the subject no matter how far in our scientific journey students choose to go.  


They will gain an appreciation for how Science is key to innovation and human advancements and will be equipped with the scientific skills required to understand the uses and implications of Science today and for the future.  We encourage critical thinking to allow the students to challenge potentially controversial topics, such as vaccination, that they may encounter through various forms of social media. We will ensure students have the skills they need to tackle issues we all face such as misused data and dangerous ignorance.  


We encourage all students to take part in scientific discussion with kindness and respect for the spectrum of views in the classroom, to prepare them for the much wider spectrum of views held in society. 

Misconceptions  How do you address misconceptions in your subject to support students’ learning? 
Addressing misconceptions is a key aspect of delivering the Science curriculum, especially as much of the language encountered can have multiple meanings depending upon the context in which they are used.  High quality and thorough planning identify the many misconceptions that students have about Science.  Students are encouraged to explore their understanding of common phrases such as “heat rises”, which allows the opportunity to develop the correct terminology, and highlights the need for students to use specific language in assessments.   


Some ideas in Science are very challenging to some students because they are largely conceptual, for example, how electrical circuits work or the particle model of matter.  Modelling is crucial in topics such as this to highlight common misconceptions and allow students to develop correct explanations of quite abstract ideas.   


Regular assessment within lessons is used to identify misconceptions withing certain groups and provides the opportunity for quality and focused feedback on learning. Teachers use longer key assessment pieces to identify common domains of knowledge for improvement or use it to levy high quality feedback that improves a skill, for example data processing skills or in the quality of student’s written communication. 


Course Overview

Course Details

The outline of the content of the course followed is overleaf but it will also give you skills that you will find useful whatever you do when you leave school. You will be doing practical activities, on your own and in groups. You will be making presentations and solving problems, reading around a topic and researching things online. You will be learning to be responsible for your own learning and working with the whole class, as well as the expected notes, questions and exams. Assessment: We will be assessing your progress during the course in a number of ways

• End of module tests
• End of unit tests
• External exams
• Homework and classwork marking
• Presentations
• Self and peer assessment
• Practicals and coursework
• Class discussions and question and answer sessions
• Discussion with your teacher

Other Information

Biology is a rapidly expanding field of study and has an impact on every aspect of your life, from the decisions to have new immunisations or not, to issues about how to feed an expanding population, from genetic manipulation to environmental conservation. By studying this subject, you will be more able to make your own informed decisions about what you think about many current issues.
Please talk to students who are already studying Biology and ask what the demands of the course are. Ask Year 13 what courses they are going on to when they leave. If you want to study Medicine, Veterinary Science, Dentistry you must also take Chemistry at A-level, as it is required by many Universities and would assist your application at others.
We would expect you to have gained at least Grade 6 in your Science GCSEs You also need to have gained at least a Grade 6 in GCSE Maths.
If you wish to look in more detail at exactly what is involved please do not hesitate to ask a member of the Biology Department for more information on the syllabus and text books used. You can find out more from http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications.


Course Work

Biology A is split into six modules. These, combined with the Practical Endorsement, constitute the full A Level. The modules can be summarised as:
Module 1: Development of practical skills – this module underpins the whole of the specification, and covers the practical skills that students should develop throughout the course. The practical skills are assessed through the written exam and by a Practical Endorsement.
Module 2: Foundations in Biology – covering cell structure; biological molecules; nucleotides and nucleic acids; enzymes; biological membranes; cell division, diversity and organisation.
Module 3: Exchange and transport includes exchange surfaces and transport in plants and in animals.
Module 4: Biodiversity, evolution and disease includes: Communicable disease; disease prevention and immunity; biodiversity; classification and evolution.
Module 5: Communications, homeostasis and energy – includes: Communication and homeostasis; excretion as an example of homeostatic control; neuronal communication; hormonal communication; plant and animal responses; photosynthesis and respiration.
Module 6: Genetics, evolution and ecosystems includes: Cellular control; patterns of inheritance; manipulating genomes; cloning and biotechnology; ecosystems; populations and sustainability.
We expect you to learn to work things out for yourself using the skills you develop so you are equipped to become a lifelong learner. We want you to enjoy your Biology lessons too so the task of learning becomes something that you find motivating and leads to success.

Home Learning Policy

Year Plan

Useful Links

Biology Curriculum Map

Meet the Teachers

Mrs Carter

Mr Pearson