QCA invites teachers to submit their views on its revised programme of study for KS3 science by April 30.

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Source: QCA

In February the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) published a revised programme of study for KS3 science as part of its review of the secondary National Curriculum. The review aims to give teachers a more flexible, less prescriptive framework for teaching and to develop the curriculum to meet the needs of all students. The revised programmes of study for KS3 science also aims to ensure smooth transition from KS2 and, with the recent changes of KS4 in mind, to ensure that study at KS3 provides a suitable foundation for post-14 study. 

In comparison to the current programme of study for science at KS3, which comprises the four units Sc1-4, the revised blueprint is structured into seven components.  

  1. Curriculum aims
  2. A statement on the importance of science - why students should study science and what they should gain from this experience.  
  3. Key concepts - those concepts that underpin the study of science and how science works which students need to grasp to broaden their knowledge and understanding. These include scientific thinking, the applications and implications of science, including ethical and moral issues, and the role of collaboration.  
  4. Key processes - the essential skills, eg practical skills, and processes, eg obtain, record and analyse data, that students need to learn and use.
  5. Range and content - the science to be studied, set out in four topics: Energy, electricity and forcesChemical and material behaviourOrganisms, behaviour and health; and The environment, Earth and universe.  
  6. Curriculum opportunities - KS3 science lessons should offer students the chance to be creative and innovative in science, to recognise the importance of sustainability in scientific and technological developments, and to consider the careers that science qualifications offer.  
  7. Explanatory notes - the scope of the requirements in the programme of study, clarifying phrases, terms and examples. 

Put your views to QCA

The online consultation on the review runs until 30 April. The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) will be contributing its views on the proposals for KS3 science. Speaking to Education in Chemistry, Colin Osborne, education manager, schools and colleges at the RSC, welcomed the emphasis on making KS3 students aware of the career opportunities that studying science can offer. 'We also have an opportunity here to influence, along with other relevant professional bodies, resources at this level. It would be a good time to liaise with geographers, for example, to separate the cause and effect aspects of climate change', he said.  

Schools will receive the final statutory programme of study in autumn 2007 for teaching from September 2008.