The Syllabus and ENGAGE

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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.


Aim of Syllabus

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.

E-cigarettes One big Idea 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.

Engage teaches Apply objectives









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 teaches enquiry










ENGAGE is building up a bank of essential and exciting lessons to teach the 40 topics in the Syllabus.

Tony Sherborne, ENGAGE Coordinator



Big Stuff Blog:

An inspiring conference, say science educators…

The ENGAGE project conference, at the Open University on March 11th, was a unique event designed to launch a community of innovative science teachers.  Funded by the European Commission (EC), this event brought together more than 80 Science teachers from right across England, as well as Russia and Brazil.

The conference themes were chosen by the teachers themselves, who presented their innovative classroom practice on curriculum, assessment and teaching methods. “Overall the event was excellent, inspiring and very informative. I enjoyed presenting. I would be happy to present again next year. I enjoyed networking with colleagues from around the country.” Rowan Mangier, Science Teacher.  “Teachers were so very grateful to have the opportunity to discuss ideas and strategies with other teachers and hear solutions to the problems they are encountering” Jude Sanders, facilitator.

The keynotes Tony Sherborne, scientific leader of ENGAGE  and ...