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National Curriculum

Science, personal development and Every Child Matters

Personal development is a vital part of the key stage 4 curriculum and science has a distinctive contribution to make in this area. The science programme of study provides opportunities to plan sequences of work, learning outcomes and teaching approaches that support personal development through the five Every Child Matters outcomes.

Enjoy and achieve

Science is a subject that fires students' curiosity about phenomena in the world around them, providing enjoyment through a sense of awe and wonder.

The investigative and practical nature of science, and the opportunities it offers for working with others, engages and motivates students and increases their understanding of the world. In addition, students enjoy exploring the contemporary applications and implications of science and its effect on their lives on a personal, local, national and global scale.

Be healthy

The study of science allows students to make informed decisions about healthy lifestyle choices, including issues related to substance abuse and sexual health. Students learn about the human body’s defence mechanisms against the harmful effects of microorganisms and the prevention and treatment of diseases through immunisation and antibiotics. The science programme of study provides opportunities for students to consider the effect of solvents, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs on the human body.

Stay safe

The investigative and practical nature of science provides opportunities for students to assess and manage risk. They become familiar with minimising the risks associated with handling chemicals and biological materials. They also learn to minimise the risks associated with experimental techniques, such as those involving electricity and intense heat and light sources. Knowledge and understanding of scientific procedures inform personal and collective decisions related to maintaining a safe environment.

Achieve economic wellbeing

The contribution of science to technological advances and innovation is at the heart of changes in the global economy. Studying science plays an essential role in contributing to young people's long-term economic wellbeing because it helps them develop practical and investigative skills, including the ability to obtain, analyse, evaluate and communicate data and information. These skills are essential in the workplace, whether in a scientific or non-scientific career.

The science programme of study encourages students to consider the varied career opportunities, both within science and in other areas that are provided by science qualifications, allowing students to see how they can contribute to the future success of the economy.

Make a positive contribution

The nature of scientific understanding, based on critical interpretation of observational and experimental evidence, allows students to develop their own opinions and become active contributors. They question and discuss issues that may affect their own lives, the development of societies and the future of the world. They learn to realise the consequences of their actions, consider ethical and moral issues and recognise how they can contribute in a positive way to global sustainability.

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