In December 2015 AQA launched the KS3 Science Syllabus. It is gives schools a blueprint to help schools create an outstanding1-14 science curriculum for all students. The aim is to help all students reach high levels of understanding, by defining clearly what the priorities for learning are, in a stepwise progression. Engage co-developed the KS3 Science Syllabus and our materials are designed with the same philosophy of teaching for real understanding.
The Syllabus organising the content around Big Ideas – 10 fundamental themes in science and defines precisely what understanding is expected for each Scientific enquiry is integrated with the teaching of content. ENGAGE supports this approach by focussing each material on understanding a big idea and and the skills of one enquiry process.
The learning objectives in the Syllabus aim at ‘mastery’ which has two dimensions, Know and Apply. The thinking is that first students Know the conceptual knowledge and then become able to Apply the ideas to unfamiliar situations – the hallmark of understanding. ENGAGE targets Apply – its realistic contexts provide students with critical practice in deepening their understanding.
Our Advanced Materials are two lessons, and go a step further. They contain activities (thinking games) to explicitly teach enquiry skills in the Syllabus, and then give practice in using the skills in context. ENGAGE materials will teach 10 of the 16 processes in the Syllabus.
ENGAGE is building up a bank of essential and exciting lessons to teach the 40 topics in the Syllabus.
Tony Sherborne, ENGAGE Coordinator