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Science

 

Science at Deira International School

The KS3 Science curriculum provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity. All pupils will be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils will be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They will be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. 

Please click on the arrow for a detailed breakdown:

Curriculum Intention  

In year 7 students will study: forces, electricity and magnetism, energy, waves, matter, reactions, earth, organisms, ecosystems and genes.   

These topics are proposed as the guiding principles for students to take with them throughout their school life, starting with small insights at a young age and growing to bigger more complex ones. The principles and ideas focus on making science education interesting, giving students ownership of their learning by showing the impact science has on their everyday lives, stimulating their curiosity and helping them to understand and make informed decisions about how science works in the world around them. Understanding aspects of the world around will help out students in their personal decisions that affect their enjoyment of the environment as well as their choice of career. 

Key Skills –  

Introduction to practical work. How to measure quantities. How to use a Bunsen burner, risk assessment. Mathematics skills in Science. 

Writing a lab report. Identifying key variables, analysing tables and graphs. 

Application of knowledge A02, analysing information A03 through exam practice.  

The curriculum in Year 7 allows for teaching to address common misconception students may have from Primary studies. Students are then introduced to big ideas in science.   

Students may complete KS3 with knowledge of individual concepts but lack the understanding to apply their knowledge to unfamiliar contexts. The aim of our curriculum is to provide our students with this understanding and to ensure they are fully prepared for Key Stage 4. Using the big ideas principle, the generalisations, principles and models which connect concepts are at the heart of our syllabus. We believe this is how students learn to see the world analytically, to explain phenomena and make predictions – all skills students need for their next stage of scientific learning. 

Throughout Year 7 students are provided with a range of opportunities to develop various aspects of the IB Learner Profile. These include:

1. Research Tasks

2. Exploring ideas and issues that have local and global significance. 

3. Collaboration and group work.

4. Regular new or unfamiliar subject content.

5. Assessment Reflection after each examination.

6. Extra-curricular Science Activities.

Curriculum Implementation  

Students are taught through variousapproaches and methods including: 

Engaging CSI hook topic focusing on basic practical skills. Students will take the role of being Forensic Scientists solving mysteries at a mock crime scene.  

Links to Literacy and Mathematics- Emphasis on using key words in science and developing extended writing skills of students. They will also focus on calculating averages, percentages and gradients in science.  

Students regularly conduct experiments where there is a strong focus on writing up findings using correct scientific vocabulary. Year 7 will focus on basic laboratory skills to ensure our students enjoy scientific enquiry while demonstrating safety precautions. 

Our students dive into the big, messy, and fascinating real-world issues in science. Each lesson aims to for a link to the real world. 

Practical lessons- examples of experiments include microscopy, flame tests and chromatography. 

Technology and Innovation – using Augmented Reality applications such as Hologo, Jigspace and Insight Heart. AR is a tool that enhances visualization of concepts and allows students to map physical characteristics easily and aids them in developing understanding.  

Students use Microsoft Teams and One note to submit assignments.  

Inclusion of DIS 10 in scheme of work- Opportunities for students to be rewarded with house points for meeting the IB learner profiles. 

Assessment  

Written assessments – Students will have two 45 Minute handwritten GCSE style questions per term. 

Extended writing tasks – Students will be complete a 6-mark exam style question, this will develop their extended writing skills in preparation for the AQA GCSE.  

Educake end of topic Assessment – a 30-mark online assessment consisting of short answer questions. 

Spelling test- at the beginning and end of topics to encourage students to learn key scientific vocabulary. 

Wider Curriculum Opportunities 

Robotics Club- Students will create a competition-ready robot, students use a number of soft and hard STEM skills. Creativity and problem-solving are essential in building a ‘bot that can complete obstacles. Your child will have to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions when the robot doesn’t perform as expected.  

Cross Curricular Competition students will make a simple bath bomb. The aim is to convey the excitement of chemistry and develop their curiosity. 

Potential Safari park trip as part of Ecosystems 1 topic with a focus on interdependence and the impact of environmental changes on individual organisms. 

Curriculum Impact  

By the end of Year 7 students will be able to:  

Enquiry- Working Scientifically  

Students should begin to develop the following enquiry processes: 

Analyse 

1. Analyse Patterns

2. Discuss limitations

3. Draw conclusions

4. Present Data

Communicate 

1. Communicate ideas 

2. Construct Explanations

3. Critique Claims 

4. Justify opinions

Enquire  

1. Collect data 

2. Devise Questions 

3. Plan Variables

4. Test hypothesis

Solve  

1. Estimate risks 

2. Examine consequences

3. Review theories

4. Interrogate source

Practical Skills  

Key competencies developed in year 7: 

1. Heat a measured volume of water until almost boiling, having selected and used appropriate equipment

2. Obtain and record a clearly focused image of a microscopic object 

3. Find out at regular intervals the temperature of water being heated and tabulate observations to reveal the pattern

4. Separate ingredients from mixtures using appropriate techniques such as evaporation, filtration, chromatography and magnets 

5. Measure the speed of a moving object using appropriate equipment

6. Measure changes in the pH of solutions using indicators 

7. Build electrical circuits using various components and measure current and voltage using an ammeter and voltmeter

8. Carry out practical procedures using instructions without guidance and in a calm fashion with due regard to the safety of others

9. Observe and investigate a range of chemical reactions using equipment appropriately 

10. Represent and interpret a range of simple circuit diagrams using appropriate symbols. All these skills are developed in GCSE courses and built on in the development of skills and techniques. Students who have not had the opportunity to do this may find it harder to make good progress at KS4 and develop the skills they need.

Curriculum Intention  

Student Learning  

In year 8 students will study part two of the topics covered in Year 7, where they will be explored further, providing the prerequisite knowledge enabling students to enter the AQA GCSE with a level of proficiency. The topics include: forces, electricity and magnetism, energy, waves, matter, reactions, earth, organisms, ecosystems and genes.  

These topics are proposed as the guiding principles for students to take with them throughout their school life, starting with small insights at an early age and growing to bigger, more complex ones. The principles and ideas focus on making science education interesting, giving students ownership of their learning by showing the impact science has on their everyday lives, stimulating their curiosity and helping them to understand and make informed decisions about how science works in the world around them. Understanding aspects of the world around will help students in their personal decisions that affect their enjoyment of the environment as well as their choice of career. 

Key Skills

Mathematics skills in Science. 

Writing a lab report. Identifying key variables, analysing tables and graphs. 

Application of knowledge A02, analysing information A03 through exam practice. 

Why are students being taught the above?   

The curriculum in year 8 builds on the big ideas that students are introduced to in Year 7. By connecting smaller ideas from year to more abstract ideas, students will be better prepared to apply these concepts when approaching an unfamiliar topic.   

By the end of year 8 students will have a secure understanding of the big ideas in science. Understanding means both ‘knowing’ – having an accurate mental structure of the concepts and skills – and ‘applying’ – being able to use the knowledge flexibly across different situations. 

Students may complete KS3 with knowledge of individual concepts but lack the understanding to apply their knowledge to unfamiliar contexts. The aim of our curriculum is to provide our students with this understanding and to ensure they are fully prepared for Key Stage 4. Using the big ideas principle, the generalisations, principles and models which connect concepts are at the heart of our syllabus. We believe this is how students learn to see the world analytically, to explain phenomena and make predictions – all skills students need for their next stage of scientific learning. 

Throughout Year 8 students are provided with a range of opportunities to develop various aspects of the IB Learner Profile. These include:

1. Research Tasks

2. Exploring ideas and issues that have local and global significance.

3. Collaboration and group work

4. Regular new or unfamiliar subject content.

5. Assessment Reflection after each examination.

6. Extra-curricular Science Activities.

Curriculum Implementation  

Teaching Methods

1. Links to Literacy and Mathematics- Emphasis on using key words in science and developing extended writing skills of students. They will also focus on calculating averages, percentages and gradients in science. 

2. Students regularly conduct experiments where there is a strong focus on writing up findings using correct scientific vocabulary. Year 7 will focus on basic laboratory skills to ensure our students enjoy scientific enquiry while demonstrating safety precaut

3. Our students dive into the big, messy, and fascinating real-world issues in science. Each lesson aims to for a link to the real world.

4. Practical lessons- examples of experiments include microscopy, flame tests and chromatography.

5. Technology and Innovation – using Augmented Reality applications such as Hologo, Jigspace and Insight Heart. AR is a tool that enhances visualization of concepts and allows students to map physical characteristics easily and aids them in developing understanding.  

6. Students use Microsoft Teams and One note to submit assignments. 

7. Inclusion of DIS 10 in scheme of work- Opportunities for students to be rewarded with house points for meeting the IB learner profiles.

Assessment 

1. Written assessments –

2. Students will have two 45 Minute handwritten GCSE style questions per term.

3. Extended writing tasks- Students will be complete a 6-mark exam style question, this will develop their extended writing skills in preparation for the AQA GCSE. 

4. Educakeend of topic Assessment- a 30 mark online assessment consisting of short answer questions. 

5. Spelling test- at the beginning and end of topics to encourage students to learn key scientific vocabulary.

Wider Curriculum 

1. Science Olympiad team competition

2. Cross Curricular Competition – Dragons Den 

3. Potential trip to Observatory- Sharjah for Earth 2 Topic.

4. Robotics Club

Curriculum Impact  

By the end of Year 8 students will have shown in….and be able to demonstrate… 

Students should master the following enquiry processes: 

Enquiry- Working Scientifically  

Students should show development in the following enquiry processes: 

Analyse

1. Analyse Patterns

2. Discuss limitations

3. Draw conclusions

4. Present Data

Communicate

1. Communicate ideas

2. Construct Explanations

3. Critique Claims

4. Justify opinions

Inquire  

1. Collect data

2. Devise Questions

3. Plan Variables

4. Test hypothesis

Solve 

1. Estimate risks

2. Examine consequences

3. Review theories

4. Interrogate source

Practical Skills  

By the end of year 8 students should have a solid foundation of transferable skills that they can draw on at KS4, these include:  

1.  To support and consolidate scientific concepts (knowledge and understanding). This is done by applying and developing what is known and understood of abstract ideas and models. Through practical work we make sense of new information and observations and provide insights into the development of scientific thinking.  

2.  To have developed investigative skills: 

  • Devising and investigating testable questions 
  • Identifying and controlling variables 
  • Analysing, interpreting and evaluating data.
 

 3. To have mastered practical skills such as:  

  • Using specialist equipment to take measurements 
  • Handling and manipulating equipment with confidence and fluency 
  • Recognising hazards and planning how to minimise risk. 15

Curriculum Intention  

Student Learning  

In year 9 students will begin studying AQA GCSE content. The introductory topics from the specification will be taught. Students will study a broad curriculum starting with more simple ideas in year 9 with the course increasing in subsequent years.  

The topics covered in Year 9 include:  

B1- Cell Biology  

B2- Organisation  

B3- Infection and Response  

C1- Atomic Structure  

C2- Structure and Bonding  

C9- Chemistry of the Atmosphere 

P1- Energy  

P3- Particle Model of Matter  

A three-year GCSE would allow students to study a broader curriculum and avoid “premature subject choices that might disadvantage students later”. It would allow subjects to be taught in greater depth, resulting more motivated and confident students”. 

Key skills – 

Required practical’s: Maths skills, working scientifically, error and uncertainty AT (apparatus and techniques)   

Maths skills and working scientifically.  

Application of knowledge A02, analysing information A03 through exam practice. 

As students’ progress through the course they will develop skills such as creativity, strategic thinking, problem solving, data analysis and interpretation, emotional intelligence, leadership, research, communication and collaboration. 

Why are students being taught the above?  

Students will prepare for their GCSE examinations and the Scientific skills required for further education after completion of the GCSE course. Students will also develop their understanding of the Science in the real world such as reducing the impacts of climate change, curing illnesses, advancing economic policy, developing new, life-saving drugs, protecting the environment, exploring space frontiers.

As students’ progress through Year 9 they will develop important skills from the IB learner profile such as creativity, strategic thinking, problem solving, data analysis and interpretation, emotional intelligence, leadership, research, communication and collaboration.  

Curriculum Implementation  

Teaching Methods 

1. Links to Literacy and Mathematics

2. Students regularly conduct experiments where there is a strong focus on writing up findings using correct scientific  Students also analysedata, calculate averages and plot graphs. – 

3. Our students dive into the big, messy, and fascinating real-world issues in science. Each lesson aims to for a link to the real world.

4. Practical lessons 

5. Students have regularopportunities for practical work.  

6. Technology and Innovation 

7. Students use Microsoft Teams and One note to submit assignments. 

8. Virtual and Augmented reality applications are used where possible.

9. Inclusion of DIS 10 in scheme of work- Opportunities for students to be rewarded with house points for meeting the IB learner profiles.

Assessment  

Written assessments – Students will have a 45 Minute handwritten GCSE style exam paper at the end of each topic. 

Extended writing tasks. 6 Mark Extended writing Exam question per topic. 

Wider Curriculum  

1. Homework Club (exam questions) 

2. Robotics Club

Curriculum Impact  

By the end of Year 9 students will have shown in….and be able to demonstrate…

Students should have a basic understanding of the following principles and be able to apply them in their assessments:  

1. The structure and functioning of cells and how they divide by mitosis and meiosis from sections Cell biology and Meiosis. 

2. The two essential reactions for life on Earth: photosynthesis and respiration from sections Photosynthetic reaction and Aerobic and anaerobic respiration. 

3. Metabolism is the sum of all the reactions happening in a cell or organism, in which molecules are made or broken down from section Metabolism.

4. Students should be able to recall and use this knowledge in questions that link different areas of the specification to develop coherent arguments and explanations.

5. Describe, explain, and give examples of the specified processes of separation. 

6. Suggest suitable separation and purification techniques for mixtures when given appropriate information.

7. Students should be able to use the nuclear model to describe atoms.

8. Students should be able to calculate the relative atomic mass of an element given the percentage abundance of its isotopes.

9. Students should be able to explain chemical bonding in terms of electrostatic forces and the transfer or sharing of electrons.

10. Students should be able to describe all the changes involved in the way energy is stored when a system changes, for common situations.

11. Students should be able to describe with examples where there are energy transfers in a closed system, that there is no net change to the total energy.

THE LEARNING JOURNEY FOR PHYSICS    
        
Big IdeaUnit / Block of workKey Episodes / QuestionsAdditional DetailColour codeLength of time.Possible Symbol?Learner Attribute(s)
Forces predict motionContact forcesBalanced and unbalancedStudents will explore forces through practical investigations. Students will discover how to represent size and direction of forces using force arrows and calculate resultant force. 12 hours (including assessment and review)Rocket taking offInquirer
FrictionStudents will explore the effects of air resistance and friction and apply it to real world scenarios. 
DensityStudent will explore factors that effect the density of a substance and compare densities of different substances. 
Forces produce fieldsGravityWeightStudents will explore the differences between mass and weight. 10 hours (including assessment and review)Astronaut in space with the solar system in the backgroundOpen minded
Gravitational forceStudents will explore gravity on different planets and calculate weight using mass and gravitational field strength. 
Solar systemStudent will explore the phases of the moon and seasons on Earth. 
Energy is conservedEnergyHeat and temperatureStudents will work as forensic scientists to explore changes in temperature. 12 hours (including assessment and review)Thermometer getting hotter and burstingPrincipled
Energy transfersStudents will explore different types and amounts of energy. Students will calculate gravitational potential energy. 
Wasted energyStudents will explore  how energy is transferred usefully and wastefully. 

 

THE LEARNING JOURNEY FOR CHEMISTRY    
      
The Big Idea UnitKey Episodes / QuestionsAdditional detailsLength of time.Learner Attribute(s)
Structure determines properties Substances & ParticlesParticle modelParticle arrangement
Change of state
Diffusion
6hrsEnquirer
MixturesMixtures
Chromatography
6hrsEnquirer
SolutionsSolutions
Solubility
6hrsEnquirer
Reactions rearrange matter Changing substancesChemical and physicalPhysical vs chemical
New substances
6hrsRisk Taker
pH scalepH 6hrsRisk Taker
NeutralisationNeutralisation 6hrsRisk Taker

 

THE LEARNING JOURNEY FOR BIOLOGY  
     
Unit / Block of work/ Over arching themeMain ThemeKey Episodes / QuestionsLength of time.Learner Attribute(s)
The Cellular Basis of LifeCellsPractical using the microscope7 hours (inc practical and assessment)Communicator
 Plant and Animal Cells
Specialised Cells 
Movement of Substances
Unicellular organisms
Levels of organisationLevels of organisation8 hours  
Gas Exchange 
Breathing 
Skeleton 
Movement 
Joints and Muscles 
Heredity and Life CyclesReproductionAdolesence9 hours 
 Reproductive systems 
Fertilization and Implantation 
The Menstrual Cycle 
Flowers and Pollination 
Fertilization and Germination 
Seed Dispersal 

 

 

THE LEARNING JOURNEY FOR PHYSICS     
       
Big IdeaUnit / Block of workKey Episodes / QuestionsAdditional DetailLength of time.Possible Symbol?Learner Attribute(s)
Forces predict motionMovementSpeedStudents will compare speeds for different objects and scenarios. Students will use the equation to calculate speed, distance and time and apply this to a real life scenario.12 hours (including assessment and review)Car crashBalanced
Motion graphsStudents will work as science advisors on a movie set to set up a complex scene involving vehicles, using distance time graphs and predicting unknown values.
Radiation transfers energyLight ReflectionStudents will investigate how light travels and how it interacts, and explore how we see light.10 hours (including assessment and review)HologramThinker
RefractionStudents will work as science advisiors on a heist movie set, demonstrating the behaviour of light in different mediums.
Electricity transfers energyElectricityElectric currentStudents will work as apprentice electricians to solve problems for customers16 hours (including assessment and review)Ohms cartoonRisk taker
ResistanceStudents will use their knowledge and understanding of current and resistance to design circuits for a range of toys.
Potential differenceStudents will work as trainee engineers to investigate the effect of changing potential difference on current and resistance in series and parallel circuits.
Electric chargeStudents will carry out practical activitie to explore the movement of electric charge.
Forces produce fieldsElectromagnetismMagnets and magnetic fieldsStudents will explore magnetism and magnetic fields and apply this to solve a real world scenario.Magnetic fluid
ElectromagnetsStudents will work for a company that has been commissioned to design a specific electromagnet.

 

THE LEARNING JOURNEY FOR CHEMISTRY    
      
The Big Idea UnitKey Episodes / QuestionsAdditional detailsLength of time.Learner Attribute(s)
Structure determines propertiesPure substancesElements & compoundsElements
Compounds
6hrsKnowledgeable
Simple & giantSimple & giant
Particle attraction
6hrsKnowledgeable
Reactions rearrange matterReactants and products Acid reactionsChemical reactions
Metal practical’s 
6hrsRisk Taker
Oxidation & reductionOxidation
Reduction
6hrsRisk Taker
Earth systems interact Earth systems Earth processesChanges to rock
Crystal formation
6hrsPrincipled
Potable water Treatment processes
Desalination
Water technologies 
6hrsPrincipled

 

THE LEARNING JOURNEY FOR BIOLOGY  
     
Unit / Block of workMain ThemeKey Episodes / QuestionsLength of time.Learner Attribute(s)
Health and DiseaseHealthy and Unhealthy Lifestyles Nutrients10 hoursPrincipled
 Food Tests
 Unhealthy diets
Digestive System
Bacteria and Enzymes in Digestion
Drugs
Alcohol
 Smoking
Cells and Cell ProcessesBiochemistryPhotosynthesis7 hours 
 Leaves 
 Plant Minerals 
Chemosynthesis 
Aerobic Respiration 
Anaerobic Respiration 
Organisms and Their EnvironmentFood chains, webs and ecosystems Food Chains and Webs3 hours 
 Disruption to Food Chains and Webs 
Ecosystems 
Variation, Adaptation and EvolutionVariation, Adaptation and EvolutionCompetition and Adaptation8 hours 
 Adapting to change 
Variation 
Continuous and Discontinuous 
Natural Selection 
Extinction 
Heredity and Life CyclesInheritanceInheritance1 hour 
   

 

 

THE LEARNING JOURNEY FOR PHYSICS     
       
Big IdeaUnit / Block of workKey Episodes / QuestionsAdditional DetailLength of time.Possible Symbol?Learner Attribute(s)
Forces predict motionAccelerationVectorsStudents should be able to use diagrams to describe qualitatively, examples where several forces lead to a resultant force on an object, including balanced forces when the resultant force is zero.12 hours (including assessment and review)Formula 1 car travelling around a trackInquirer
Newton’s LawsStudents should be able to apply Newton’s Laws of motion to investigate and explain the motion of objects moving with a uniform velocity and objects where the speed and/or direction changes.
AccelerationStudents will investigate the effect of varying the force on the acceleration of an object of constant mass, and the effect of varying the mass of an object on the acceleration produced by a constant force.
Energy is conservedHeatingThermal transferStudents will investigate the effectiveness of different materials as thermal insulators and the factors that may affect the thermal insulation properties of a material. 12 hours (including assessment and review)Mountaineer at the summit of EverestCommunicator
Specific heat capacity and latent heatStudents will investigate the specific heat capacity of one or more materials, linking the decrease of one energy store (or work done) to the increase in temperature and subsequent increase in thermal energy stored.
PressureStudents should be able to calculate the change in the pressure of a gas or the volume of a gas when either the pressure or volume is increased or decreased.
Radiation transfers energySound and wavesLongitudinal and transverseStudents should be able to describe the difference between longitudinal and transverse waves and provide evidence for identifying each type of wave.12 hours (including assessment and review)EarthquakeThinker
Wave propertiesStudents will make observations to identify the suitability of apparatus to measure the frequency, wavelength and speed of waves.

 

THE LEARNING JOURNEY FOR CHEMISTRY    
      
The Big Idea UnitKey Episodes / QuestionsAdditional detailsLength of time.Learner Attribute(s)
Structure determines properties Periodic Table Subatomic ParticlesAtoms, elements & compounds
Mixtures
Development of the atom
Relative electrical charges of sub-atomic particles & Size and mass of atoms
Relative atomic mass & electronic structure
6hrsOpen Minded
Periodic Patterns The Periodic Table & Development of the Periodic Table 
Metals and non-metals & Group 0
Group 1 & Group 7
Comparison with Group 1 & Properties
5hrsOpen Minded
Reactions rearrange matter Matter & energy Atom conservationConservation of mass and balanced equations 
Relative formula mass
Mass changes when a reactant or product is a gas
Chemical measurements 
Moles
Amounts of substances in equations
Using moles to balance equations
Limiting reactants & Concentrations of solutions 
Percentage yield 
Atom economy 
Using concentrations of solutions in mol/dm^3 
Use of amount of substance – Vol of gases
16hrsThinker
Reaction energy Exothermic and endothermic reactions RP 4 
Reaction profiles 
The energy change of reactions 
Cells and batteries 
Fuel cells
5hrsThinker
Earth systems interactUsing resourcesMetal reactivityMetal oxides & The reactivity series
Extraction of metals and reduction
Oxidation and reduction in terms of electrons 
Reactions of acids with metals
4hrsReflective
Product lifecycleUsing the Earths resources and sustainable development 
Potable water RP 8
Waste water treatment 
Life cycle assessment
Alternative methods of extracting metals
Corrosion and its prevention
Ways of reducing the use of resources
Alloys as useful materials
9hrsReflective

 

THE LEARNING JOURNEY FOR BIOLOGY  
    
Unit / Block of workKey Episodes / QuestionsLength of time.Learner Attribute(s)
Heredity and Life Cycles 10 
 GeneticsOpen Minded
Inherited disorders 
selective breeding 
Genetic engineering 
Cloning 
Biotechnology 
Enzymes in Industry 
Health and DiseaseVaccines4 
 Antibiotics 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Variation, Adaptation and EvolutionCharles Darwin2 
  
Preventing Extinction 
    
Biochemistry and ForensisMicroscopyPossible group 4 
Fingerprinting 
DNA 
DNA Fingerprinting 
Blood Typing 
Pathology 
Time of Death 

 

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