Here’s how it works. We have identified 14 fundamental ideas that underly all the science content in Key Stage 3 (11-14) and GCSE Combined Science (14-16). These are principles, models, laws and theories that explain lots of phenomena. They’re the things we really want students to understand.
- Forces predict motion: knowing the forces, and Newton’s laws, you can work out how an object moves
- Forces act through fields
For all the big ideas, we are creating a progression of understanding, through a number of topics spread out over the 5 years, aiming at GCSE Combined Science.
For example, this force big idea has 3 topics. Each one builds on the understanding of the one before – revising it – and going into more depth.
Big idea understanding is at the heart of each topic. Here’s the one for Contact forces – the year 7 topic. The description focusses on the key concepts that students need to understand, and how they are connected.
This understanding is then elaborated into a series of objectives of increasing demand, for students to know, apply, and analyse. You can see how what these topic objectives look like in the sample topic grids.
The 5-year curriculum map
Here is the complete 5-year curriculum map of 42 big idea topics covers all the important content at Key Stage 3 and GCSE Combined Science (click to see the bigger version).