1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Thematic delivery of KS3 Science

Discussion in 'Science' started by scienceslob, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. Does anyone have experience of delivering KS3 via a thematic approach. At the moment my department is delivering topics in a spiral fashion using Eureka and their is a general feeling that pupils are getting bored with content in Years 8/9 as there can be (inevitable) repetition of content, despite a solid SoW.

    We are investigating a thematic approach where we would group several topics into themes (for instance we may have the theme 'The Sun' and cover topics such as: energy resources, light, plants and photosynthesis etc.) Themes would obviously be developed to assure whole curriculum is covered

    Has anyone tried this approach? Was it successful, and if so why? What were / are the challenges / problems? Any and all comments much appreciated. Many thanks.
     
  2. Does anyone have experience of delivering KS3 via a thematic approach. At the moment my department is delivering topics in a spiral fashion using Eureka and their is a general feeling that pupils are getting bored with content in Years 8/9 as there can be (inevitable) repetition of content, despite a solid SoW.

    We are investigating a thematic approach where we would group several topics into themes (for instance we may have the theme 'The Sun' and cover topics such as: energy resources, light, plants and photosynthesis etc.) Themes would obviously be developed to assure whole curriculum is covered

    Has anyone tried this approach? Was it successful, and if so why? What were / are the challenges / problems? Any and all comments much appreciated. Many thanks.
     
  3. marshypops

    marshypops New commenter

    I haven't, must say that eureka is awful though.
     
  4. I think they did this approach at Cornwallis school. A google search should suffice. I agree the Eureka scheme is horrid.
     
  5. Not doing themes as you suggest, but we use Catalyst at KS3, and instead of teaching each topic separately, we have grouped them together to make year 7 Physics module 1, chemistry module 1 and so on.

    Each module contains 2, 3 or 4 topics, so 7Jand 7K are taught together, 7L and 9J etc. End of topic tests are then put together from testbase.

    We use a combination of the Catalyst resources, an older SOW, and new things we find on upd8, squashed frogs etc.
     
  6. Thanks for all the replies - very useful.

    Does anyone else have opinions on a thematic approach?

    Thanks.
     
  7. It is one that we are considering at the moment and are considering how we can put units together to avoid the problems you mention. How far have you got at the moment?
     
  8. bridging

    bridging New commenter

    Having read scienceslob's post I am starting to see the positive side of teaching in a more thematic way. I think "the sun" is a good way to teach a multitude of concepts and am going to trial it with my Y9's as an alternative to what could be considered "dry" revision sessions. If it works then it could be implemented in Y7 ready for the new NC. Apart from the sun does anyone else have any other theme based ideas? I will rack my brains over the next few hours....
     
  9. I do this with lower ability year 9 on a pilot scheme from the authority, topics are things such as : 999, am a scientist get me out of here

    They follow a story so 999 is noisy neighbours cause a woman to go into labour, then radio is stolen so they have to be quite. Covers sound, reproduction, fuels(in the ambulance) and the burning of fuels

    That sort of thing! There are 6 in total
     
  10. Dear KatyJo - sorry to report we have not got far at all - just doing some initial information gathering and web searching.

    Thanks to everyone else for the information so far. Does anyone else have anything to add?

    pcumm1ns - I like the idea of '999, am a scientist get me out of here' as a theme - what are your other themes? Thanks.
     
  11. Hi
    I am working in a special BESD school in Peterborough and have just been informed that for the 14 weeks of Summer we will be delivering the whole of Yr 8 in a thematic way across the whole curriculum. Our topic is "World Cup". My learning objectives left to get across this year are Chemistry/Atom Element etc and Rock Cycle/Physics. I'll let you know how I get one but if you or anyone has any ideas on how I can link these topics to World Cup do let me know.
    What I have to write for the next 14 weeks will only be used once unless we run it again in 4 years! :-(
    There is a school in Barnet that has run themetic scheme of work for Yr 7 and Yr 8 which we have brought in. They have one 'topic' called the Olympian - which I will be using as a guide.
    Does this help at all - if you have specific questions let me know.
    Lx_in_UK

     
  12. We have taught a Y7 and Y8 with themed approach this year and so far it has been fantastic. The kids have really enjoyed it. My department worked very hard to write a suitable scheme of work that is very interactive. I would recommend it.

     
  13. We have grouped together basic ideas in Y7 under the 5 key ideas: Forces, Particles, Energy, Interdependence & Cells. In Y8 we then develop those ideas looking at the roles of 5 different scientists/those who use science: The Chemist, The Personal Trainer, The Farmer, The Geologist and The Astronomer.

     
  14. My department has bought in the wickd science schemes for years 7 and 8 from the former upd8 site. The whole thing is based on a series of scenarios, such as a forensics module which has a kidnap and an art gallery crime as a theme, which explores, particle model, acids and alkalis, metals, etc,.

    personally, I dont like it, there is no differentiation, there is too much focus on the scenarios, with means no actual science is being taught in this part, and the kids tend to deride and pick holes in the themes, little realising they are not actual scenarios, but are meant as a launching pad for the science teaching.
    Also, the nVIZ unit, which covers climate change and global warming, is so political and unscientific - the scenario is a girl from 2050, which is an apocalyptic wasteland due to climate change, time travels back in time to save the world! I dont think a lesson on fantasy futures and science fantasy time travel is any way to teach and promote the uptake of science - this would not happen in furhter education science teaching, and could be off putting to some when they realise that actually learning science is not taalking about silly science fiction!
     
  15. My department didn't like the wikid scheme so we used their topic titles to write our own based on the 5 AFs of APP. We also do BLP which gives us freedom to include lessons on how to improve learning skills which makes it more interesting.
    I love our schemes provided the teachers planning the lessons actually rewrite the lesson rather than just copying it from an old SOW because then it doesn't fit the theme properly or APP. I have spent a long time making sure the theme makes sense for every lesson, it can be a bit of a tenuous link eg teaching current in a topic about understanding 'magic' tricks - I couldn't think of a 'magic' trick involving surrent to make the lesson work!
    Our forensics topic is about investigating different pieces of evidence found at a break in. We do soil analysis to identify which way the burglar got to the house, looking at cells under a microscope to identify what was left on the window, different methods to analysis a scrap of paper found at the scene (handwriting, chromatography, GCMS and DNA!), blood splatter and then how to make the house safer like making a burglar alarm and how UV paint works. It was fantastic!
     
  16. We wrote a thematic scheme for year 7 which had The Chemist Shop (general lab skills, chemical reactions etc), Me, Myself and I (Cells, reproduction etc), Grand Designs (fuels, heat transfer, S,L,G) and Home and Away (environments, habitats etc). It worked really well but then the school decide we had to have whole school themes and our themes don't fit in with them which is annoying. We have since bought WIKID which I didn't like at first but after getting my head around it I am enjoying teaching it and the kids are enjoying it to. I have a very low level group and I have never heard anything so scientific from them. Today they were all able to explain why mammoths MAY have become extinct and the evidence we have for the theories using scientific terminology so I would say it has been a huge success
     
  17. marshypops

    marshypops New commenter

    I suppose atoms and elements are well served by the world cup, as is some Physics units.
     
  18. The sun as a central theme sounds good.
    Water? From states of matter through to soils and geology by way of blood and other biology topics on the way to meteorology.
     
  19. I see this is an old thread but if anyone is still reading: I wrote a new thematic scheme for Yr7 Science last year. And now I have to write the Yr8 scheme for September! We are condensing KS3 to 2 yrs :( I'm happy to share my scheme for Yr7 but am looking for inspiration for Yr8. Anyone got anything useful? My Yr7 themes were: Alien Adventure, Desert Island, Noahs Ark, Forensic Investigation and Ready Steady Cook. Each theme contained equal Biol Chem and Physics topics. Still needs improving but a decent basis I think! Look forward to hearing from you.
     
  20. We do this. So we have names that run from TV shows like Heroes, Lost, Casualty and use topics/situations from the shows as lessons.
    So Lost we did electromagnets, navigation, buidling shelter etc
    Casualty we did general microbiology, blood etc
    Heroes was genetic manipulation, dominant and recessive etc
    x
     

Share This Page