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 second International conference on Engaging Science for teachers coordinated by Dr. Ale Okada, at the Open University on March 23rd of 2019, presented evidence that the project is sustainable. Some of the key topics discussed by Science teachers were practices and strategies developed to address the key issues raised by the ENGAGE community in the previous conference:

  • What are the benefits and challenges  to promote open schooling through Engaging Science?   
  • How can  science curriculum be more inclusive and unbiased about gender?
  • How can the Science Education curriculum be reshaped so that it’s more fit for purpose?
  • How can an approach focussed on examination success still lead to an enlightened science education?


Funded by the the engaging science network, this annual event brought together more than 80 Science teachers from ...