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KS3 in two years

Discussion in 'Science' started by juhi, May 21, 2010.

  1. hello, my school has decided to go ahead and do the two year KS3 science course. I have been asked to oversee planning for this and was wondering if anybody had any suggestions for a good place to start. Also would appreciate any comments about disadvantages of doing it in 2 years so we can give this some thought when planning. Thanks in advance for any help :)
  2. hello, my school has decided to go ahead and do the two year KS3 science course. I have been asked to oversee planning for this and was wondering if anybody had any suggestions for a good place to start. Also would appreciate any comments about disadvantages of doing it in 2 years so we can give this some thought when planning. Thanks in advance for any help :)
  3. If you are in the Independent sector, you may have more flexibility. Why are you squeezing KS3 into 2 years? We have done it in order to start the GCSE in Y9.
    If your reasons are the same as ours - look at what you wnat your pupils to know before they start on their GCSE course. This may include skills as well as knowledge, then, to make your life easier, pick a 'standard' text book that fits as closely as you can to what you have decided & write the SOW around it, adding in or removing content as you see fit.
    Disdvantages to KS3 in 2 years is that I feel rushed and some content is left out - I feel they are being short changed by not knowing about magnets! the less able pupils don't always get a good understanding of some of the topics.
    Advantages are that the pace of the lessons is always good & pupils are engaged. There is opportunity for experiments virtually every lesson and there is ample opportunity for differentiation & extension work - it is easy to push some of them into the Y9 syllabus through getting them to take their experiment further or through the h/w questions / tasks. The less able pupils get the opportunity to consolidate their knowledge without feeling they are 'slow'.
    I like covering KS3 in 2 years.

  4. juhi are you in the independent sector? We have never done a "KS3" as such. We start the GCSE in yr 9, so we do what we consider important topics that they would need some basis in before doing the GCSE topics. We also put some fun ones in there. We are now building more of the HSW type investigation stuff so that they are used to the ideas before getting to the GCSE course.
    Good advice from hadron to look at your GCSE course. Don't do the easier GCSE work that will just be repeated. Leave that until they do it for the GCSE e.g heating and cooling. Take out any of that and see what you have left.
  5. peterdevon

    peterdevon New commenter

    We also start GCSE in Y9, and are also an independent. We planned our 2 year KS3 by identifying what the students would enjoy, and what would really help them in their GCSE. A lot of the Y 7 & 8 course is also HSW stuff too. So lots of practicals, lots of time on core concepts (eg particle theory in Chemistry) .
  6. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    We do KS3 in two and a bit years, mostly so that we have time to do triple science in 20% curriculum time for quite a lot of students.
  7. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Lets be honest here. If the kids are fairly able you could teach KS3 in a year or even less if they took all the useless HSW out of it.
  8. See this interesting discussion:
  9. Concentrate on the skills and key ideas. For example, being able to see patterns and relationships and being able to understand fully, using models and visualisation, what is going on with cells, energy, waves, forces, and atoms, acids and alkalis, the periodic table, food chains and variation. Ditch stuff that requires the teacher to stand in front of the board and dictate as there are no practicals. Think carefully about the skills that you want to teach through each of the topics vs what knowledge you need them to have. e.g do they need to be able to quote the ideas of global warming at you, or is knowing that CO2 has something to do with it and looking at bias more important as they will learn the details in KS4?

    Plan and resource your lessons carefully so that people can always be teaching more than just knowledge. e.g. the students don't just learn that magnesium is more reactive than copper, but HOW they can work that out.

    Personally, I HATE gcse science and would much rather have a two year GCSE. Also carefully consider the assessment as the new GCSE specs won't be examined until 2012.
  10. hi,
    school did some thing similar 2 years ago, so that our y8s are now coming to the end og their KS3.

    Our approach was to teach every thing through thematic topics. Because there is less content now and a greater focus on skills, fitting this into 2 years has been no problem at all.
    I won't pretend it hasn't been alot of work - it has, but we split the work across the department (of 5 teacher) with every one planning a 1 or 2 topics 2 years ago for year 7, and then 1 or 2 last year for y8.
    The pupils love it, science has gone from one of the last liked to one of the most popular subjects in school,

    if you want an over view of what we have done, please feel free to contact me

  11. Hi all,

    thank you everybody for the great advice. Not in the independent sector, just a normal state compehensive (or as close to normal as can be!). I think i am going to follow the tips on starting with the HSW bits and working the content into these skills. There goes my half term break :(
    My email address is sndrhdgs@gmail.com . Please may i have a copy of the thematic outline!
    Many thanks and have a lovely break!

  12. kstott

    kstott New commenter

    Josh, sorry to jump on the bandwagon but could I please have a copy of your course too? I am teaching in a special school in Wales though so will probably need to see how it differs from our new curriculum.
  13. Hi Josh

    Please could I have a copy too helen.rees@tiscali.co.uk


  14. Would love this as well kevinberry03@aol.com
  15. purpleapple

    purpleapple New commenter

    Just to agree what everyone else has said. We have been teaching ks3 in 2 years and it is really good fun for both the teacher and kids. Much better than GCSE. I also feel that the content is much more thorough.
  16. Hi,
    Was wondering if I could get a copy too? Am in charge of KS3 at my school, currently we only have year 9 so go straight to GCSE. Would really appreciate it.
    Donna (dmmileham@hotmail.com)
  17. Hi Oakbell,

    I would be very interested in helping along and doing some work on this. We have already looked at Biology, Physics and Chemistry (core, Addiditional and Triple) and have compiled a continue outline to show progression through each of these in a linear fashion and not modular. Would be quite nice to now work backwards and see how it can be linked to the KS3 programme of study.

    Please email me on sndrhdgs@gmail.com (sandra hodges without the vowels)

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