Science and Technology
Science encourages investigation, prediction, observation, interpretation and evaluation. These activities enable pupils to gather the experience they need to understand the world in which we live.
Science and Technology draws on the disciplines of biology, chemistry, computer science, design and technology, and physics to enhance our knowledge and understanding of the world.
Developments in both Science and Technology have always been drivers of change in society, underpinning innovation and impacting on everyone’s lives, materially, economically and culturally. As such, this area of learning and experience will be consistently relevant in the opportunities young people encounter and the life choices that they make.
The importance of scientific and technological literacy in our modern world cannot be understated. It is not sufficient that learners can simply ‘do’ Science and Technology. Ready access to vast amounts of information requires all learners to be able to assess inputs critically, understand the basis of information presented as fact, and make informed judgements that impact their own behaviours and values. They need to develop the ability to meaningfully ask the question, ‘Just because we can, does that mean we should?’.
Supporting the four purposes of the curriculum
Science and Technology uses prediction, testing and questioning to develop theories and innovations that increase our understanding of both our physical and digital worlds and that aim to improve our lives.
Ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives understand that if repeatable observations, prototypes or experimental results do not support an idea, the idea should be rejected or modified and tested again. 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.
Through robust and consistent evaluation of scientific and technological evidence, learners are then supported to 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 also informed by knowledge of their bodies and the ecosystems around them, and of how technological innovations can support improvements in health and lifestyle. Indeed it is hoped that the knowledge and deep understanding gained through experiencing What Matters in Science and Technology will help them live independent and fulfilling lives that see them contributing to society in a variety of ways.
Relationships between what matters statements
The six what matters statements capture the key aspects of learning for Science and Technology. They are designed to operate together, and support settings and schools to develop a more detailed and holistic curriculum for learning and teaching.
What matters statements within this area of learning and experience do not align exactly with traditional subject areas. However, aspects of the traditional Science and Technology subjects can be identified throughout. What also comes to the fore are the links between these aspects of what matters in Science and Technology. For example, the discovery of new knowledge, as well as validation of existing knowledge using scientific and technological reasoning, connects what matters statements throughout the area of learning and experience. Similarly, energy is a core concept across all the disciplines.
The first of the six what matters statements for Science and Technology embraces using evidence derived in different ways in order to question ideas, form opinions and deepen scientific and technological understanding, while also highlighting the impact of Science and Technology. The design and engineering what matters statement champions the technical and creative experiences, skills and knowledge needed to design and shape engineered solutions. Living things and the study of organisms and how they compete to survive is central to the third aspect of this area of learning and experience. The fourth then urges learners to discover more about the nature of matter, and what things are made of, and how they behave and interact. The relationship between forces and energy and how it impacts on us is set out in the fifth what matters. The final statement introduces a new curriculum focus, one which addresses how computation can be applied to solve problems across Science and Technology.
Teaching and Learning
Key Stage 3
Science is taught on a three-year rolling programme, ensuring that all the elements of the science programme of study, interdependence of organisms, sustainable earth and how things work are met. Activities are designed to facilitate pupils to build on to previous learning and can also be included in cross curricular themes.
Key Stage 4
At key stage 4, there is a two-year rolling programme which covers organisms & health, chemical & material behaviour, environment, earth & universe and energy, electricity & radiations. Pupils will follow activities in the rolling programme within which the material will be used in ways appropriate for the learners’ age, experience, understanding and prior achievement.