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Order of KS3 Science Teaching

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by Sci-Guy, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. Sci-Guy

    Sci-Guy New commenter

    Why cells?

    Of all the starting points that we could choose for our new secondary school students, it always seems to be cells.
    Of course, there are many schools that implement a project type 'Working Scientifically' topic to ease students into the big world of Secondary Science, but thinking about hardcore content and concepts, every school I've been at (and every Y7 SOW I've seen) has always started with Cells.

    Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against cells - I'm a biologist (or so says my PGCE)
    But surely particles would be a better starting point no?
    Maybe even move on to elements and compounds before cells?!
    Both of these will help to explain concepts like diffusion and respiration when it comes to it in the biology topics.

    If anyone has any other experiences of a KS3 Science teaching order, other than the standard text book format, I would love to hear about it. What order do you think is easiest for students to follow. Is atomic structure too hard for KS3 students to follow, or a fundamental base for building other concepts upon like static electricity and light?
     
  2. NewToTeachingOldToMaths

    NewToTeachingOldToMaths Lead commenter

    Hmmmm ... not a science teacher, but trying to look at this from the outside and through the children's eyes. Why cells? Well, because it's something that you can do simple microscope experiments (onion and our own cheek cells were what we did 35 years ago ... I imagine it's still the same) which will enable them to SEE what you're talking about for themselves, and get excited that they're using "real scientific equipment", etc.

    Particles? They can't SEE these. You'd be talking at them, telling them ... but not offering them any experiments they can do which will yield results in which they can see for themselves what it is that you were talking about. Elements and compounds ... much the same.

    Children come into KS3 with an understanding of science which suggests it is all about using equipment to do experiments. Cells gives them the chance to do just that.

    Seems to me that it's a good topic to introduce them to science.
     
  3. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    not this again! It doesn't matter, do what ever you want, who cares! In many schools all topics are rotated anyway, because there is nothing like the amount of equipment needed for everyone to do the same subject at the same time, so ponificating about what to do when is pointless, and i can assure you it makes no difference anyway.

    just don't kill off all interest and excitement with some deathly 2 week starter on "what is science" or " investigation techniques" or anything involving the words "variables" or " evaluation" -that's all I ask
     

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