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Science is a core subject within the UK curriculum and is recognised as having increasing importance in preparing children for their futures lives, in an increasingly technological society. A high-quality science education, structured within the disciplines of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, provides the framework for understanding the world. All pupils throughout the Key Stages should be taught the essential knowledge, methods and processes of Science, so that they are equipped with the knowledge required to understand the uses and the implication of Science, today � and for the future.
The principal focus of Science teaching in Primary School is to enable pupils to observe and experience scientific phenomena, encouraging pupils to look more closely at the world around them: raising their own questions; performing simple tests; gathering and recording data; identifying and classifying.
At Primary and Junior level, the National Curriculum for Science aims to ensure that all pupils develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
The principal focus of Science teaching in Key Stage 3 is to develop a deeper understanding of the range of ideas in the separate disciplines of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, also being aware of the connections between these different subject areas. Some schools offer separate teaching across each of the three Sciences through Key Stage 3; others offer a Combined or Co-ordinated Science approach.
The principal focus of Science teaching in Key Stage 4 is to continue the process of deepening and building upon scientific knowledge. Many students may opt to take separate GCSE or IGCSEs in some or all of Physics, Chemistry and Biology; to provide them with a platform for more advanced studies, establishing the basis for a wide range of careers. Other students may opt for a dual-award or single GCSE in Combined Sciences; this being their last formal study in these subjects, providing them with a broad-based foundation for understanding the world around them.
The principal focus Science teaching at Key Stage 5 is to provide higher level knowledge, skills and understanding for those students who wish to specialise in Physics, Chemistry or Biology; to provide them with a platform for university study; establishing the basis for a wide range of careers. These qualifications are recognised to be academically rigorous and demanding.
At A-Level, as well as the traditional three separate Sciences for those intending to study medical, engineering or other career specific degrees at university; Applied Science, Environmental Science and Science in Society specifications concentrate on the vocational aspects of Science as well as bridging the gap between Science, Arts and Humanities.