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I DISCOVER

IDiscover Curriculum Introduction

Welcome to the Science & Technology Area of Learning Experience/IDiscover curriculum. The importance of science and technology in our modern world cannot be overstated. Developments in these areas have always been drivers of change in society, underpinning innovation and impacting on everyone’s lives economically, culturally and environmentally. As such, the Science and Technology Area of Learning and Experience (Area) will be increasingly relevant in the opportunities young people encounter and the life choices that they make.  This Area draws on the disciplines of biology, chemistry, computer science, design and technology, and physics to enhance learners’ knowledge and understanding of the world.

What matters in this Area has been expressed in six statements which support and complement one another. Together they contribute to realising the four purposes of the curriculum:

  • Being curious and searching for answers is essential to understanding and predicting phenomena.
  • Design thinking and engineering offer technical and creative ways to meet society’s needs and wants.
  • The world around us is full of living things which depend on each other for survival.
  • Matter and the way it behaves defines our universe and shapes our lives.
  • Forces and energy provide a foundation for understanding our universe.
  • Computation is the foundation for our digital world.

Through robust and consistent evaluation of scientific and technological evidence, learners can become ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world, who will be able to make informed decisions about future actions. Healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society are informed by knowledge of their bodies and the ecosystems around them, and of how technological innovations can support improvements in health and lifestyle.

Ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives should engage with scientific and technological change. The knowledge and deep understanding gained through experiencing what matters in science and technology can help learners live independent and fulfilling lives that sees them contributing to society and culture in a variety of ways. Learners who are enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work embrace such challenges, as they are encouraged to take risks, to innovate and evaluate, and learn to develop solutions. Thus, they can become more resilient and purposeful learners across all areas of learning and experience.

 

Year 7 IDiscover Curriculum 

Year 7 Autumn term

The theme for year 7 is ‘Sustaining Planet Earth’.  In the autumn term, learners are challenged with ‘big questions’ across the IDiscover curriculum. 

STEM

In STEM lessons, learners learn about different types of structures and the way that forces can affect them, before designing a structure to hold hydroponics equipment.  This is linked to growing larger volumes of food in a smaller footprint area linking to the importance of 'Sustaining Planet Earth'. In groups they will design, build and test a tower to destruction measuring the loads applied and calculating the strength to weight ratio to find which team’s tower has been most successful in aiding food growth production.

In digital design, learners create their e-portfolios in readiness to upload work they are proud of from a range of different subjects. They will then move onto understanding how Excel/Google Sheets work by designing a spreadsheet which mimics a bank statement that will look at incomings and outgoings. In addition, learners will further develop their understanding of staying safe online.

Design technology

In Design technology, learners will begin the year by using a variety of hand tools and machine power tools to create a planter to be used in the Eco space area of the school for growing vegetables to be used later in the year in food lessons. As the year progresses pupils will learn about materials as well as health and safety issues related to Design Technology as well as Science lessons and work areas.  Pupils will also use vacuum forming machines and composite materials to create moulds and garden statues. 

Textiles

In textiles. they will develop their practical skills by learning how to use a sewing machine and explore different decorative techniques. Learners will also explore the origins of natural fibres, where they originate and look into the environmental impact this has as well as the impact it has on the animal and the planet.

Food

Learners will be completing a number of makes, that incorporate skills and techniques relevant to everyday cooking e.g. Knife skills, handling food, hygiene food storage, food preparation, recipe writing, etc. There are also links to the IDiscover theme of 'sustaining the planet' with students looking at hydroponics growing vegetables, Soil conditions and pollination, which will give students the knowledge to be able to plant and grow food that they can cook in the future. Learners link to active wellbeing by considering and calculating the number of calories in what they produce. Always considering and using healthy options in their bakes/makes.

Science

Learners begin the year with 'Safety in Science'.  Here they learn to work safely in the laboratory; from recognising hazard symbols to identifying key pieces of scientific apparatus.  On this aspect, learners work collaboratively with design technology, as many safety issues are common to both subjects.  Learners have the opportunity to gain their Bunsen burner license. 

Following this, learners move on to ‘Enquiry Processes 1’ in which they learn how to ask scientific questions, carry out fair test enquiries and collect data. Towards the end of the Autumn term learners move on to the biology topic, ‘Organisms 1’.Here, they learn about the building blocks of life - cells, before focusing on the human skeleton, joints and muscles.

 

Year 7 Spring term

Digital Design

During the spring term students will use a range of programming applications to help them understand and identify the code that is needed to perform particular actions. They will learn about loops/repetitions and how these can be used to make the code more efficient. They will then see how a condition can be used with a loop to make a set of instructions only happen if a certain criteria is met.  

STEM/Digital Technology/Textiles

Students will be completing a blended learning activity looking at ergonomic design of seating.  The project will bring together a range of skills and activities connected with DT, Textiles and STEM lessons and be delivered via Loom pre-recorded sessions that students can view /review.  Lessons will bring together investigating, designing, problem solving, design skills, practical skills and extended project based blended learning.  Students will begin by learning some basic principles of good and bad ergonomic design of seating as well as the impact that ergonomics has on design and engineering.  They will then look at a series of design eras, before designing and writing a specification that can be applied to a range of seating in the style of that era.   Students will then make use of their new found knowledge of ergonomic design and make an ‘ergonome’ to aid them in developing their seating proposal.  After that we will look at and practice modeling a scale version of a seat again making use of the ergonome that students have made in previous activities.

As students develop their seating concept they will problem solve their way through card prototypes and then make use of these new card modeling skills to create a scale card prototype of their final idea.

Once they have a final model they will need to consider a range of finishing applications including upholstery choice, sort furnishing design and materials selection based on knowledge gained from a range of research activities.  Finally, students will need to explain a number of planning considerations that they took account of while making their prototype and evaluate the models final outcome both as a designer as well as seeking ‘client feedback’ on their work considering what they will ask the potential client and then interviewing them. 

Science

Learners begin the spring term with 'Matter 1 in which they will complete work on the particle models of solids, liquids and gasses.

Following this, learners move on to ‘Ecosystems 1’ in which they learn how organisms depend on each other for survival and how protecting biodiversity leads to sustainable food sources for the future.This links with our iDiscover theme and allow pupils to investigate how the sustaining of biodiversity could benefit the vegetables they grow in the planters designed in design technology for the Eco garden last term.

Year 8 IDiscover Curriculum

Year 8 Autumn term

Digital Design

Learners will further develop their understanding and skills of spreadsheet software by designing a range of spreadsheets, one of which will focus on managing money. In addition, learners will consolidate their understanding of the dangers linked to the internet by creating a website aimed at teenagers to outline important topics, such as cyberbullying, grooming and sexting.

STEM

Learners will be looking at different forms of energy. As the year goes on they will concentrate on electrical energy and its methods of production both by fossil fuels as well as green energy sources. Through a range of experiments using various models of different energy production methods. Learners will be able to test both the effectiveness of these forms of energy production as well as be able to make comparisons between them. Later in the year learners will then look at insulation and the importance of insulation to architecture in order to save wasting the energy that has been produced in order to heat buildings. Again learners will be conducting experiments to compare various forms of insulation used in construction.

Design technology

Pupils are currently assembling their solar powered light cubes having completed a range of practical tasks using both hand tools and power tools as well as a digital work booklet in Google classroom. This project will be taken home in the coming lessons. In the next unit of work which will be started after the Christmas holidays learners will be working in Google classroom researching and specifying requirements for a design project that develops both sketching skills as well as introducing 2D Computer Aided Design to create drawings which can then be cut out using a laser cutter allowing them to create their final product to take home. Later this term learners will be designing a computer game character based on retro 8 and 16 bit style graphics. This character will then be laser cut out and made into a promotional keyring. Later in the year the same character will be used in a computer game that the learners will be programming using Scratch computer programming language in Digital Design and Technology lessons. Pupils will also use giant bamboo to create a passive speaker for use with their phones, the project will cover many sustainability issues including carbon footprint and eco design. Finally pupils will design and make a solar powered light cube which makes use of both hand tools used last year, machine tools and CAM CAM technology.

Textiles

Learners will be looking into the textile industry and understanding of the environmental impact it is having on the planet.  Learners will understand the different types of fibres, they will explore natural, synthetic and microfibres and make their own opinions on which fibres are best to use for the planet. Learners will look into a few case studies to gain an insight into some of the impact the textiles industry has had on the environment as well as lives. Pupils will make sustainable decisions when planning and making their project based on their research.

Science

Learners begin the year with ‘Enquiry Processes 2’ in order to further their understanding of the way scientists collect and analyze evidence. Included in the second topic, ‘Waves 1’, are opportunities to find out how sound and light travel and how ears and eyes work. This topic combines physics with an element of biology. Towards the end of this term, learners will begin the chemistry topic,  ‘Matter 2’. Here they will learn the differences between elements, compounds and mixtures and will move on to begin studying groups of elements in the periodic table.

 

Year 8 Spring term

Digital Design

During the spring term students will use a range of programming applications to help them understand and identify the code that is needed to perform particular actions.  They will learn about loops/repetitions and how these can be used to make the code more efficient. They will then see how a condition can be used with a loop to make a set of instructions only happen if a certain criteria is met. Furthemore, students will start to understand how databases are created and used in businesses.

STEM/Digital Technology/Textiles

Students will be completing a blended learning activity looking at ergonomic design of seating.  The project will bring together a range of skills and activities connected with DT, Textiles and STEM lessons and be delivered via Loom pre-recorded sessions that students can view /review.  Lessons will bring together investigating, designing, problem solving, design skills, practical skills and extended project based blended learning.  Students will begin by learning some basic principles of good and bad ergonomic design of seating as well as the impact that ergonomics has on design and engineering.  They will then look at a series of design eras, before designing and writing a specification that can be applied to a range of seating in the style of that era.   Students will then make use of their new found knowledge of ergonomic design and make an ‘ergonome’ to aid them in developing their seating proposal.  After that we will look at and practice modeling a scale version of a seat again making use of the ergonome that students have made in previous activities.

As students develop their seating concept they will problem solve their way through card prototypes and then make use of these new card modeling skills to create a scale card prototype of their final idea.

Once they have a final model they will need to consider a range of finishing applications including upholstery choice, sort furnishing design and materials selection based on knowledge gained from a range of research activities.  Finally, students will need to explain a number of planning considerations that they took account of while making their prototype and evaluate the models final outcome both as a designer as well as seeking ‘client feedback’ on their work considering what they will ask the potential client and then interviewing them. 

Science

Learners begin the spring term with Matter 2. Included in this topic are opportunities to investigate the elements that make up the world around us and how they are arranged in the periodic table. Towards the end of this term, learners will begin the  topic Genes where pupils will learn to explain how reproduction, mutations and the environment can lead to variation and adaptations within organisms which can affect their chances of survival. Continuing with the iDiscover theme ‘Protecting planet Earth’ we will then move on to the topic Earth 2 where pupils discover how our actions have altered the carbon cycle and led to climate change along with the effects we have on Earth whilst collecting resources and what we can do to protect the Earth for future generations.

 

Year 9 IDiscover Curriculum 

Year 9 Autumn term

STEM

Learners will be learning about space and rocket design and engineering during their first topic in STEM this year. Specifically the want and need to colonise other worlds and explore space and how they might design a rocket to do so.  Working in teams they will build a rocket and launch it at a target at a specified distance aiming to land their rocket on the target as NASA would to land a rocket on Mars in the future.  Later in the year, they will be looking at and considering the problems and opportunities that humans will face in the future, as we attempt to reach and colonise Mars, in particular how robots and rovers can be used to aid humans. They will learn to program a robot that will emulate a rover vehicle and then use it to solve problems and tasks by writing computer code and programmes to control it.

Design technology

Learners will look at 3 separate projects this year. The first project will make use of smart materials with pupils designing and making a commemorative Mug. Pupils will have a range of commemorative occasions to choose from and then design a graphic to be incorporated into a mug that could be sold to the pupic at Starbucks coffee shops. Most pupils have now completed this task and taken their mugs home and we will be evaluating their designs and learning more about Smart materials before Christmas.  After Christmas pupils will begin a new project where they will learn about composite materials and design a piece of jewellery that makes use of various forms and methods of designing as well as composite materials in their final piece. . Finally students will undertake an architecture project where learners will design a series of products with the final product being a ‘Mars base regolith 3D printed habitat’ pupils will use 3D CAD and a 3D printer to create a model of this habitat, and finally a project that will make use of work they have created in CAD during their textiles project to make an accompanying product or item that links to the product that they have designed and made in Textiles lessons this year.

Digital Design

Learners will research Welsh tourist attractions and then create a leaflet to advertise 3 of these, ensuring they outline places to eat, stay and visit. They will then create a database to store customer bookings and a spreadsheet to calculate the total cost of the bookings.

Food

Learners will be further developing the skills they have previously learned and acquiring new cooking skills and knowledge, through practical lessons and theory based tasks.

The practical lessons will be focusing on cooking styles e.g. baking, grilling, proving, using pizza ovens e.t.c. Theory tasks will include looking at links between food and exercise, the catering and hospitality industry, the kitchen brigade structure, calories and nutrition e.t.c.

There are also links with the iDiscover theme ‘leaving planet earth’ by looking at the effects of zero gravity on the body, nutrition requirements in space, exercise and a possible sustainable protein source on Mars.

Textiles

Learners will continue to develop their knowledge of the textile industry and the environmental impact it is causing, pupils will use their knowledge and understanding from previous years to plan and make a sustainable product that can help improve the environmental situation. Pupils will make links to their Design and      Technology lessons and understand the relation between the areas.

Science

Learners begin the year with 'Earth 1’. This broad topic begins by combining elements of chemistry and geology in work on the rock cycle for pupils to discover what our planet is made from and the elements necessary for life.   The second half of the topic focuses on Earth as part of a solar system and provides an opportunity for learners to increase their physics knowledge around the suitability of other planets for human habitation. . The second topic of ‘Waves 2’ continues the physics theme, providing learners with an insight into the properties and applications of different types of wave, especially those used in communication. Finally this term the focus is on biology. During the Year 9 ‘Organisms 2’ topic, learners find out how the human body functions and factors that have an effect on it. 

 

Year 9 Spring term

Digital Design

During the Spring term Students will start to understand the skills needed to create and edit their own videos using the Adobe Suite. They will then use these skills to create a video relating to life on planet mars. Once they have completed this they will start to understand how to create their own animations by using a technique called rotoscoping. This will allow them to design an animation of a rocket leaving planet earth and landing on mars. 

Science

Learners begin the spring term completing the Organisms 2 topic. Here they will investigate the importance of good nutrition and the process of digestion. At the end of this topic learners will be asked to apply what they have learned about the processes of breathing and digestion to the challenges astronauts face when leaving the surface of our planet. We continue following the iDiscover theme of ‘Beyond planet Earth’ by studying Energy 2. This topic provides some of  the scientific theory required for the next exciting project. The ‘Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) ‘ project will have pupils designing, testing and refining a system to drop and  land objects in our Eco garden,  within certain limits This models the processes carried out by companies like NASA and Space X who are designing these systems to go beyond our planet right now.

STEM/Digital Technology/Textiles

Students will be completing a blended learning activity looking at ergonomic design of seating.  The project will bring together a range of skills and activities connected with DT, Textiles and STEM lessons and be delivered via Loom pre-recorded sessions that students can view /review.  Lessons will bring together investigating, designing, problem solving, design skills, practical skills and extended project based blended learning.  Students will begin by learning some basic principles of good and bad ergonomic design of seating as well as the impact that ergonomics has on design and engineering.  They will then look at a series of design eras, before designing and writing a specification that can be applied to a range of seating in the style of that era.   Students will then make use of their new found knowledge of ergonomic design and make an ‘ergonome’ to aid them in developing their seating proposal.  After that we will look at and practice modeling a scale version of a seat again making use of the ergonome that students have made in previous activities.

As students develop their seating concept they will problem solve their way through card prototypes and then make use of these new card modeling skills to create a scale card prototype of their final idea.

Once they have a final model they will need to consider a range of finishing applications including upholstery choice, sort furnishing design and materials selection based on knowledge gained from a range of research activities.  Finally, students will need to explain a number of planning considerations that they took account of while making their prototype and evaluate the models final outcome both as a designer as well as seeking ‘client feedback’ on their work considering what they will ask the potential client and then interviewing them. 

Year 10 IDiscover Curriculum 

Year 10 Autumn term 

Science

Year 10 students in science will study a variety of topics depending on their choice of science course. The separate science and double award students will begin with 'The respiratory system' and  'cells and respiration' in biology. They will cover 'The nature of substances , atomic structure and trends in chemistry and in physics the study of generating electricity, making use of energy and electric circuits will take up until christmas. The applied science students will cover similar subjects but with an emphasis on application of the knowledge to real life. They will study the cell and respiration along with the adaptations our bodies have for obtaining the resources for respiration. There is also a module investigating our planet and how we obtain resources for life from our environment. Topics will be taught for all students using a blended learning approach utilizing exercise books, textbooks and the Google classroom. Assessment will take the form of assessed homeworks and end of topic tests.

ICT-Change to Digital Technology

Students will design an animation based on research they have conducted and import this animation into a website they have created based on a particular theme. For the second project, they will conduct further research into a different topic, and design a video advertisement. Students will additionally study a range of theory topics which will support their practical work but will also aid them in their exam at the end of year 11.

Textiles

Students will be working in google classroom researching and specifying requirements for a design project. The project will develop their sketching skills and CAD skills. The projects will explore interior design options as well as fashion, where they will develop their decorative as well as their constructional skills. Students will study current contextual artists and use their work to explore and create decorative Textile art.

Design technology

Students will be working in Google classroom researching and specifying requirements for a design project that develops both sketching skills as well as introducing 2D and 3D Computer Aided Design to create drawings, which can then be cut out using a laser cutter or printed using a 3D printer allowing them to create their final product to take home.  Students will also be completing a range of theory-based activities both individually as well as collaboratively linked to many technological, material and environmental developments and issues that designers need to be aware of. As well as the work and approach that different artists and designers take when completing a project.

 

Year 10 Spring term

Science

Year 10 separate science learners will continue to work through the Unit 1 curriculum in biology, chemistry and physics and in double award will continue to work through the WJEC Units 1-3. Applied science will complete Unit 1 and move on to Unit 2 of the applied curriculum. The coverage of the scientific content remains unchanged. There will be mock exams in February which will test all of the content covered up to that point. Revision materials and lists will be provided in January 2022.

ICT

During the spring term students will continue planning/creating their animation on kite surfing. Once this is complete they will start planning/designing their website.

Textiles

Students will be set short research based tasks that will include problem solving, independent thinking and investigating as well as design skills. Students will build up an extensive research folder that can then be used for reference in year 11. All work will be set digitally and on google classroom, loom videos and written instructions will be provided as well as students gaining verbal and written feedback on their work. An assessment sheet is accessible in their google classroom to track progress.

Design Technology

Students will be completing a blended learning activity looking at ergonomic design of seating.  The project will bring together a range of skills and activities connected with DT and be delivered via Loom pre-recorded sessions that students can view /review.  Lessons will bring together investigating, designing, problem solving, design skills, practical skills and extended project based blended learning.  Students will begin by learning some basic principles of good and bad ergonomic design of seating as well as the impact that ergonomics has on design and engineering.  They will then look at a series of design eras, before designing and writing a specification that can be applied to a range of seating in the style of that era.   Students will then make use of their new found knowledge of ergonomic design and make an ‘ergonome’ to aid them in developing their seating proposal.  After that we will look at and practice modeling a scale version of a seat again making use of the ergonome that students have made in previous activities.

As students develop their seating concept they will problem solve their way through card prototypes and then make use of these new card modeling skills to create a scale card prototype of their final idea.

Once they have a final model they will need to consider a range of finishing applications including upholstery choice, sort furnishing design and materials selection based on knowledge gained from a range of research activities.  Finally, students will need to explain a number of planning considerations that they took account of while making their prototype and evaluate the models final outcome both as a designer as well as seeking ‘client feedback’ on their work considering what they will ask the potential client and then interviewing them.                                                                                                                                                         

Linked to this students  will be completing a range of theory activities that will develop knowledge linked to the project as well as prepare them for their theory exam in year 11.  Topics will include materials, ergonomics and anthropometrics, prototyping and modeling benefits to the designer and consumer, designers studies for the exam and product life cycle. Each topic will have theory notes, videos to watch linked to the topic as well as Loom pre-recorded lesson videos for Students  to watch / re-watch as they wish linking exam style questions to the information learnt. Again the teacher is available through all lessons for instant feedback or questions via email.

Their next project will introduce them to Onshape 3D parametric CAD and online 3D CAD software programme, where they will learn a number of new skills and be able to model a range of objects in 3D.  Upon our return to school these can be laser cut, 3D printed from glow in the dark plastic as well as 3D printed from clay on the new clay 3D printer!

 

Year 11 IDiscover Curriculum

Year 11 Autumn term

Science

Year 11 separate science and double award students will begin the course by studying cell division and stem cells and DNA and inheritance in biology. Chemistry studies will focus on structures and bonding, the reactions of acid and metals. Physics will focus on Newton's laws, distance speed and acceleration, work and energy. The applied science classes will study the production of food, food processing and spoilage along with controlling chemical and nuclear reactions. There will be particular focus on the development of skills for the task based assessments after Christmas. Topics will be taught for all students using a blended learning approach utilising exercise books, textbooks and the Google classroom. Assessments will take the form of assessed homeworks and end of topic tests.

Design technology

Students will be working in Google classroom on their final year 11 project that will be the assessed practical part of their GCSE course. Researching, sketching, model making, computer aided designing and manufacturing are all elements that will need to be addressed during the project to ensure a successful outcome. Students will also be completing a range of theory-based activities both individually as well as collaboratively linked to many technological, material and environmental developments and issues that designers need to be aware of.

ICT

Students will design an animation based on research they have conducted and import this animation into a website they have created based on a particular theme. For the second project, they will conduct further research into a different topic, and design a video advertisement. Students will additionally study a range of theory topics which will support their practical work but will also aid them in their exam at the end of year 11.

Textiles

Students will be working in google classroom researching and specifying requirements for a design project. The project will develop their sketching skills and CAD skills. The projects will explore interior design options as well as fashion, where they will develop their decorative as well as their constructional skills. Students will study current contextual artists and use their work to explore and create decorative Textile art.

 

Year 11 Spring term

Textiles

Students in year 11 will be focusing on developing their NEA coursework and preparing for a summer assessment, all work is in Google classroom. They will have a digital work booklet as well as a spread sheet/notes typed by her teacher on her slides to help know where she needs to make improvements.  Verbal feedback is also recorded and published on her folder so she can have clear direction and understand their next steps. Her grades can increase when she acts on this feedback.  Simply sit with her and look over her work and see what you think of what she is doing, feel free to make suggestions to her about how she could enhance her work and improve it before we assess it! Students  will be working on their digital folios as well as in thiert sketchbook, you can support your child by making sure all sketchbook work is uploaded into their digital folio.

You can also help by checking her theory classroom which is where here theory topic lessons will be posted on a Week B.  These lessons are a vital part of the Fashion and Textiles Design course as are the practice style exam questions that each topic has which she will need to practice answering in full sentences as instructed in the instruction videos.

Science

Year 11 separate science will continue to work through the Unit 2 curriculum in biology, chemistry and physics and the double award will continue to work through units 4-6. Applied science will complete their task-based assessment in January and continue with Unit 3 when the assessment has been completed. . There will be mock exams in February which will test all of the content covered up to that point. Revision materials and lists will be provided in January 2022.

Design Technology

You can see and help your daughter with her year 11 work as it is in Google classroom. She will have a digital work booklet as well as a spread sheet/ notes typed by her teacher to help her know where she needs to make improvements.   Her grades can increase when she acts on this feedback.  Simply sit with her and look over her work and see what you think of what she is doing, feel free to make suggestions to her about how she could enhance her work and improve it before we assess it!

You can also help by checking her Theory classroom as well, which is where here theory topic lessons will be posted on a Week B.  These lessons are a vital part of the DT Product Design course as are the practice style exam questions that each topic has which she will need to practice answering in full sentences as instructed in the instruction videos.

ICT

During the spring term pupils will focus on the different aspects of multimedia that have impacted on the way industries work. They will learn to study the way in which animations are created and the tools that can be used to make them more effective. Students will also continue to work on their controlled assessment which will require them to create their own animations and sound recordings.