The Year 7 unit planners are designed to help you reshape units around the most important priorities – understanding concepts to a deep level, and developing skills. Each planner consists of 3 slides, described below.
Slide 1: hierarchy of knowledge
Blueprint is modelled on how experts organise knowledge – in a hierarchy. At the top are big ideas – the long-term understandings we want students to construct over time. The units regular revisit each big idea
Concepts are what we want students to understand in the short term – after studying a unit. Each unit focusses on only 2-3 key concepts.
These are specific building blocks that students need to connect together to grasp the whole concept.
Facts are knowledge that can be memorised. They have a lower priority.
Skills are integrated into the teaching because they help students to learn concepts better and to develop higher order thinking. We have focussed on the most important skills in: scientific reasoning, maths, literacy, practicals and problem solving
Slide 2: learning stages & objectives
Design, Decide & Discover
Each unit has an optional theme, so you can make students aware of STEM careers and how they can use science outside the classroom.
- Design is solving problems like an engineer
- Decide is making personal and societal decisions
- Discover is investigating like a scientists
The learning sequence for each concept is divided into stages, aligned with the assessment objectives (AO) used at GCSE.
Students build concepts from what they know already. Before new teaching, we want to check their understanding of essential concepts from earlier years.
This is the heart of the unit. The statement shows the understanding we want students to have.
Students practice using their understanding in unfamiliar situations
Students use higher order thinking to analyse information and data to draw conclusions, evaluate, make inferences, and compare and contrast (AO3)
At the end of the unit students combine their understanding and skills to carry out an engaging activity – either Design, Decider or Discover.
Slide 3: national curriculum
Early units cover concepts from the AQA KS3 syllabus
GCSE – AQA Trilogy combined science
Each unit contains some GCSE content. This removes repetition and reduces the amount of time traditionally used in years 10 and 11, freeing up time to learn concepts in depth.
Required practicals are covered throughout the curriculum. Simpler ones are placed earlier in the scheme.
We provide more details about the act and also analyse for the design units. Look out for ‘Blueprint plus’ for more teaching ideas.