The Knights Templar School

The Knights Templar School

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How to improve in Science in Year 7 & 8

Help for students and parents

We encourage all our students to reflect on their learning in lessons and use feedback from their teachers to help them improve. Below, you will find the ‘statements for improvement’ that summarise the feedback students are given.

These statements are used on termly reports sent to parents. Students and parents are asked to look at the further guidance below to help clarify the statements on the reports.

 

What is it about

Supporting websites/ resources/

student text book refs to help

Awareness of Scientific models & theory

Use evidence to explain the strengths and flaws in science models including those still in development

To gain an appreciation of the wider process within science of updating scientific theories through the appearance of new evidence.

https://thebiologist.rsb.org.uk/biologist; https://www.stem.org.uk/catalyst-magazine

Independently form links between scientific ideas when describing events

Students should be able to independently draw upon and link scientific facts from across science when describing phenomena and when answering scientific questions.    

Summary questions 1 and 2 at the end of each textbook section

Form links between scientific ideas when describing events with some guidance

Students should, with some guidance, be able to draw upon and link facts from across science when describing phenomena and when answering scientific questions.  

Summary questions 1 and 2 at the end of each textbook section

Independently use scientific facts to describe events

Students should strive to recall scientific facts and to use these when describing scientific ideas, processes and phenomena with very little or no assistance.

Tests on KS3 BBC Bite size; End of Unit test questions in the KS3 textbook

Communicating knowledge (keyword use)

Expand the use of science vocabulary in oral & written work by using more subject specific keywords

Building confidence in the use of advanced scientific language, improving subject specific spelling and using key words in the appropriate context.   Recognising that scientific ideas have specific terminology and seeking to use this terminology in place of simpler language wherever possible.

Text book glossary / Doddle Quizzes / Homework booklet

Consistently and suitably use scientific words and symbols in the correct context

Students will need to use appropriate terminology for presenting ideas and spell these correctly in written work. They will need to show a consistent communication of their understanding of scientific language.

Text book relevant pages / Doddle lessons, presentations and quizzes / Homework booklet

Extend scientific vocabulary to describe ideas or observations. Correct spelling of key words.

Building confidence in the use of scientific language, improving subject specific spelling and using key words in the appropriate context. Recognising that scientific ideas have specific terminology and seeking to use this terminology in place of simpler language wherever possible.

Text book glossary / Doddle Quizzes / Homework booklet

Identify key words in written work. Highlight these, read and learn the definitions

Students must use appropriate scientific words to describe ideas and observations. They must recognise certain words that are subject specific and then go on to seek out the meaning of these words and start to use them in verbal communication and written work.

Text book glossary / Spelling lists / Homework booklet

Creative thinking

Begin to suggest and explain ways of improving reliability and validity in science investigations

Students need to understand and apply key investigative ideas to understand how science works. Terms like reliability and validity have specific scientific meaning and should be applied when planning a practical investigation.

See year 7 Introduction to Science booklet. See http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/subjects/AQA-GCSE-SCIENCE-GLOSSARY.PDF

Understand the terms reliability and validity and use to suggest improvements to data collection.

Students need to understand and apply key investigative ideas to understand how science works. Terms like reliability and validity have specific scientific meaning and should be applied when planning a practical investigation.

See year 7 Introduction to Science booklet. See http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/subjects/AQA-GCSE-SCIENCE-GLOSSARY.PDF

Try to use tables and graphs to identify relationships and results that do not fit the pattern

Students need to understand what relationship is being suggested by the results by analysing graphs and tables. Students should also try to explain the relationship using their scientific understanding.

See year 7 HW book and Introduction to Science booklet.

Start to identify areas for improvements in all areas of practical work

Students will be required to follow written instructions when carrying out a practical but in the evaluation section of an investigation, students need to suggest improvements to the method based on their observations and practical experience.

Refer to BBC bite size (http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/standard/maths_i/relationships/)

Discussing

Weigh up whether data is sufficient to draw valid conclusions

Students need this essential skill for looking at the meaning behind Science experiments. "Conclusions" means describing and explaining data, "evaluating" refers to the ability to critique methods and evidence in order to improve its quality.

Year 7 textbooks have a general 'investigation' section at the back. There are also 'How Science Works' activities throughout each of the books (labelled HSW in the index).

After collecting and analysing data, draw conclusions and evaluate the practical and the process

Students need this essential skill for looking at the meaning behind Science experiments. "Conclusions" means describing and explaining data, "evaluating" refers to the ability to critique methods and evidence in order to improve its quality.

Year 7 text books have a general 'investigation' section at the back. There are also 'How Science Works' activities throughout each of the books (labelled HSW in the index).

To be able to plot data on to a line graph using suitable scales and labelling accurately

Look at the range of data and consider the highest and lowest value in order to determine the values of the axis. To make the scale sensible, suitable divisions should be used (think coins). If this is done well, anomalous results can be easily identified. It is then possible to identify trends and patterns and explain them using scientific language.

Year 7 text books have a general 'investigation' section at the back. There are also 'How Science Works' activities throughout each of the books (labelled HSW in the index).

Having identified a pattern in results, explain what is happening using scientific words.

Results for experiments should be repeated to check they are correct and identify and anomalies. Patterns in the results can then be identified e.g. increasing, decreasing, and then scientific language used to make a conclusion.

Year 7 textbooks have a general 'investigation' section at the back. There are also 'How Science Works' activities throughout each of the books (labelled HSW in the index).

Obtaining

Begin to select apparatus that would improve the quality of data obtained during investigation work

Students need to be able to synthesise information from a range of sources and make systematic observations and measurements with precision using a wide range of apparatus. They must be able to add lines of best fit to graphs and communicate what they have done using a wide range of scientific conventions, including symbols and flow charts.

Year 7 textbooks have a general 'investigation' section at the back. There are also 'How Science Works' activities throughout each of the books (labelled HSW in the index). The Introductory booklet (graphs and presenting data section) and Year 7 Homework Booklet.

To independently research and plan an investigation and take enough suitable measurements tasks

Students need to be able to synthesise information from a range of sources and make systematic observations and measurements with precision using a wide range of apparatus. They must be able to add lines of best fit to graphs and communicate what they have done using a wide range of scientific conventions, including symbols and flow charts.

Year 7 text books have a general 'investigation' section at the back. There are also 'How Science Works' activities throughout each of the books (labelled HSW in the index). The Introductory booklet (graphs and presenting data section) and Year 7 Homework Booklet.

To research and plan an investigation and take enough suitable measurements for the task

Students need to be able to select and use sources of information effectively and make enough measurements for the task. They must measure a variety of quantities e.g., temperature, time and volume with precision using instruments with fine scale division. They must also choose scales for line graphs and use appropriate methods for communicating data using scientific language.

Year 7 textbooks have a general 'investigation' section at the back. There are also 'How Science Works' activities throughout each of the books (labelled HSW in the index). The Introductory booklet (graphs and presenting data section) and Year 7 Homework Booklet.

To record and organise data in an suitable way e.g. tables, bar charts

Once data has been collected, students should produce a suitable results table with headings and units for the different variables and repeat measurements. They must be able to identify categoric or continuous data and plot an appropriate graph to present their results.

Year 7 textbooks have a general 'investigation' section at the back. There are also 'How Science Works' activities throughout each of the books (labelled HSW in the index). The Introductory booklet (graphs and presenting data section) and Year 7 Homework Booklet.

Planning

Identify all significant key factors in investigation work and outline how controlling each would prevent error occurring

Science does not occur in a vacuum, students should draw on their understanding of natural phenomena to suggest ways in which experiments may be affected by elements that cannot be easily controlled (e.g. altitude, time of day, air pollution). Understand that repeats in science are performed to check the reliability of your experiment

Longman Biology 11-14 page 229 - 233 Longman Physics 11-14, page 161-164 Self Learning Guide http://www.ool.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Sc-KS3-Yr-7-Student-Investigation-0411.pdf

Apply knowledge to plan for variables that cannot be controlled. Explain why repeats are necessary

Science does not occur in a vacuum, students should draw on their understanding of natural phenomena to suggest ways in which experiments may be affected by elements that cannot be easily controlled (e.g. altitude, time of day, air pollution). Understand that repeats in science are performed to check the reliability of your experiment

Longman Biology 11-14 page 229 - 233 Longman Physics 11-14, page 161-164 Self Learning Guide http://www.ool.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Sc-KS3-Yr-7-Student-Investigation-0411.pdf

Demonstrate a clear understanding of variables and develop a safe and logical approach to planning

Experiments need to be planned to minimise the chances of accidents or collection of unreliable data. In order to do this, students must understand what they are investigating, what variable they will change between experiments and which variables they will be keeping the same. Students should be able to plan and explain how they will record valid data for the dependent variable in a safe and methodical way.

Longman Chemistry 11-14, page 10-12 Planning a science investigation http://www.thegrid.org.uk/learning/science/ks3-4-5/ks3_resources/how_works/documents/scentific_posters-a3.pdf

Ensure investigations are ‘fair’, make predictions to help select suitable equipment

Students should be able to follow instruction and make suggestions on how to collect data effectively. A fair test is a scientific investigation that has considered the variables you will be investigating. The investigation will have clearly identified what is being measured (dependent variable) and what is being altered (independent variable), and what needs to remain the same each time (control variable) in an investigation.

Longman Chemistry, 11-14 page 7-9 Longman Biology, 11-14 page226-227 Planning a science investigation. http://www.thegrid.org.uk/learning/science/ks3-4-5/ks3_resources/how_works/documents/scentific_posters-a3.pdf

Recognise & Recall facts

Make connections when giving explanations between different areas of science

A full understanding of all areas of Science is essential. Students should be able to make intellectual connections between different topics from biology, chemistry and physics.

Text book relevant pages / Doddle lessons, presentations and quizzes

Give detail of how evidence supports or disproves models, identifying strengths and weaknesses

Describe in detail some scientific evidence that supports or refutes particular models, or theories, including those in development. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of particular models.

From Homework Booklet Chemistry 4 (Brownian Motion Model) and 14 (Boyles Theory)

Use evidence to be able to suggest solutions to problems using more abstract ideas

Students should be able to describe some scientific evidence that supports or refutes models or developing theories. They should be able to use more abstract, detailed ideas to provide solutions to scientific problems.

From Homework Booklet chemistry 1

Start to use simple models and everyday experience to represent and describe scientific ideas

Students should use their everyday experience to help them describe and represent ideas as simple models. They should do this independently with very little or no guidance.

Biology Text book page 200-202. Chemistry Text book page 22-23.

Social awareness

Be able to predict how scientific ideas will affect different groups of people through identifying moral /ethical issues

Different counties and societies have different views about Scientific technology. You should try to write about and discuss current issues considering different points of view.

BBC.co.uk/Science. Channel4.com/news/science. Reilly.nd.edu/outreach/emerging-ethical-dilemmas-and-policy-issues-in-science-and-technology

Be able to put forward arguments for and against specific scientific developments.

Different counties and societies have different views about Scientific technology. You should try to write about and discuss current issues considering different points of view.

BBC.co.uk/Science. Channel4.com/news/science. Reilly.nd.edu/outreach/emerging-ethical-dilemmas-and-policy-issues-in-science-and-technology

Look at specific scientific developments and how they affect people.

Different groups of people can be affected in different ways. Look at the different issues scientific developments can cause. These include economic, social, cultural, ethical and moral issues. You need to understand what each of these words mean.

BBC.co.uk/Science. Channel4.com/news/science.

Start to explain how Science helps society to develop and the problems that may arise.

Use written work and class discussion to describe the impact of scientific advances. Be aware that there are arguments both for and against scientific development. Give examples from the real world.

BBC.co.uk/Science. Channel4.com/news/science.

Translate/ present info

Present data in a wider range of ways from graphs to charts to better illustrate findings

Students will be expected to look at their data, making valid conclusions to develop their scientific understanding and be able to apply it to situations that are more complex.

Make use of scientific journals and research papers online to observe different methods to present data and what conclusion are reached based on the data provided.

Start to analyse and use your data to suggest conclusions and explain observations.

Students will be expected to look at their data, making valid conclusions to develop their scientific understanding and be able to apply it to situations that are more complex.

Make use of scientific journals and research papers online to observe different methods to present data and what conclusion are reached based on the data provided.

Identify suitable methods to display a variety of data and accurately use science terms

Students will be expected to display data in a certain way, depending on a variety of factors, for example bar chart, line graph, table etc. Students should also be able to use correct scientific terminology to improve clarity of written explanations.

See http://www.slideshare.net/jbishopgcms/presenting-scientific-data-graphing

Practise drawing bar charts, line graphs and tables when presented with data

Students will be expected to understand how to create an appropriate table to record measurements and to draw different forms of graphs.

See year 7 HW booklet and see http://www.slideshare.net/jbishopgcms/presenting-scientific-data-graphing