Greenvale Levels Science
Science is everywhere and makes a huge contribution to all of our lives. So at Greenvale School it is important that students are given opportunities to observe, record and draw conclusions about the world around them. Focusing on science in our everyday school life in our classrooms helps to develop students understanding of scientific ideas through biology, chemistry and physics.
According to a recent Ofsted survey report "In schools that showed clear improvement in science subjects, more practical science lessons and the development of the skills of scientific enquiry were key factors in promoting pupils’ engagement, learning and progress"
So encouraging our students to investigate in science learning helps students to build their knowledge and understanding of the world. There may be reasons why something happens but there is no right or wrong answer in science!
Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done.” – Robert A. Heinlein
New Greenvale Levels have been created following the recommendations from the Rochford Review (2016) of the removal of P scales as statutory requirement for the assessment of students working below the standard of national curriculum tests. The Greenvale Levels have been designed to assess student progress in a meaningful way for our setting, development of students’ skills, bridge the existing gap between P8 and Entry Level, and include functional age-appropriate life skills.
So what is the intent of Science at Greenvale?
The intention of the new levels in Science is to help our students to
- Develop an awareness of, and interest in, themselves and their immediate surroundings and environment
- Join in real life and practical activities that link to ideas
- Use their senses to explore and investigate
- Develop an understanding of cause and effect
- Science should be inclusive – all students at Greenvale should be given an opportunity to develop their Scientific enquiry.
This is how Science currently looks like at Greenvale
Science in Year 7
The three topics are:
- Our school, myself and our community
- Our world
- Life, living, growing and seasons
Science in KS3 & KS4
Science is taught on a 2-year cycle, with 6 modules each year which last for ½ term each. The modules rotate each term within the 3 strands biology, physics and biology -
Taught as an option and incidentally in some subjects where students continue to learn about science in everyday experiences.
To get the most impact there must be some continuity through Year 7 – Year 11. Teachers need to know the curriculum intent – across each year and how it builds from Y7-Y11. Scientific skills are taught and reinforced across the three Key stages. For best practice, assessment has to capture learning and the impact of our curriculum across Science – Biology, Physics and Chemistry.
The aim of Science at Greenvale is to expose our students to as much Science activity as we can. Investigating and trying out is a big part of the process. When writing the new GV levels for Science I have tried to use some practical examples that are possible in our environment. There are many, many more possibilities. So in short, if we do use everyday items in experiments, it will seem a lot more relatable to our students
Some teaching tips for Science:
- Use of “word banks”, and explanation of key words,
- visually linking new items to its name.
- Wall displays including labelled diagrams and matching pictures where possible.
- Flashcards or equivalent perhaps with common name on one side, scientific on the other.
- Breaking words down into smaller meanings Eg exothermic – exo – out, thermic - heat
- Help in articulation Verbalise new language (e.g. get all the class to speak new words and put them in a “word bank”).
- Practice speaking and repetition.
- Using switches/big macks for key words or info
To make quick printable flashcards http://senteacher.org/wk/quickcards.php
For simple science animal and plant picture support, http://www.schooltrain.info/trscience.htm
CLEAPSS has recently produced adaptable line and 3D diagrams
of key science apparatus http://www.cleapss.org.uk/
Assessment Framework Greenvale School
AQA Unit Award Scheme Units Science
How we assess at Wilson Stuart
Performance - p scale - attainment targets for pupils with special educational needs (2009).
GV levels (maths, reading, writing)