Blueprint builds on the KS3 Science Syllabus (2015) that we created for AQA. It gives schools a framework to help schools create an outstanding1-14 science curriculum for all students. The aim is to help all students reach high levels of understanding, by defining clearly what the priorities for learning are, in a stepwise progression. However the KS3 Syllabus was designed for a 3-year KS3 programme and was not integrated with GCSE. Since many schools switched to a 2-year KS3 programme, we developed Blueprint to integrate the 5 years of secondary science.
The Syllabus organising the content around Big Ideas – 10 fundamental themes in science and defines precisely what understanding is expected for each Scientific enquiry is integrated with the teaching of content. ENGAGE supports this approach by focussing each material on understanding a big idea and and the skills of one enquiry process.
The learning objectives in the Syllabus aim at ‘mastery’ which has two dimensions, Know and Apply. The thinking is that first students Know the conceptual knowledge and then become able to Apply the ideas to unfamiliar situations – the hallmark of understanding. ENGAGE targets Apply – its realistic contexts provide students with critical practice in deepening their understanding.
Our Advanced Materials are two lessons, and go a step further. They contain activities (thinking games) to explicitly teach enquiry skills in the Syllabus, and then give practice in using the skills in context. ENGAGE materials will teach 10 of the 16 processes in the Syllabus.