This is one of a multi-part series on changes that teachers would like to see in their Key Stage 4 curriculum! Over time, one short post for each subject will be released, and you can see all of the currently-released subjects over on the main page here.
So, what are the changes?
Out: Using Resources
In: Space into Combined Science
Just 21% of science teachers say they are happy with the size of their curriculum and 29% would like to see a significant reduction in the amount of content they have to teach.
There were many different suggestions as to what Science teachers would remove from their curriculum if they could.
Many Science teachers specifically called out C10 – an area of the Chemistry curriculum called ‘Using Resources’. From my reading, this topic is about the Earth’s resources, drinking water and the Haber process. The comments we received about this was mainly that it was quite boring!
Electrolysis also gathered 10% of the vote, with Electromagnetism the most popular Physics topic to get rid of and Ecology among the Biology topics.
Someone quite rightly asked how teachers of different specialisms voted. They mainly stayed within the realms of their own specialism. For example, more Physics teachers voted to remove Electromagnetism than anything else and Chemistry teachers would remove Using Resources. Biology teachers were a bit more undecided, with votes for topics across all three sciences.
What topics Science teachers would add was a much easier question for many to answer.
Or, to be more precise, bring topics to do with Space into the curriculum for combined sciences. Many teachers said that this topics was one their students were most interested in and it was a missed opportunity to engage the students.
Interestingly, despite “Using Resources” being the topic that many would like to remove from the curriculum, topics such as “Environmental Science” and “Climate Change” were also frequently mentioned by teachers. I don’t think this is teachers contradicting each other, rather it could be suggesting that the current curriculum needs to be brought up to date in a fast-moving area.
While space was the most requested Physics option, more on Human Biology was one of the most requested Biology-based topics. There were a range of topics within this, from more on the musculoskeletal system to better understanding pregnancy.
Also mentioned were ways to improve students’ investigations and increase their scientific literacy to better understand science in the media.