Year 7 pupils had a BASS (Becoming a Seaford Scientist) lesson which saw them exploring relationships and patterns. With Seb d’Agar, Seaford’s Head of Science, at the helm, they were asked to look at the relationship between the number of joints on a tree and the width of the branch. With BASS lessons designed to give pupils the thinking skills required to apply their learned content to novel and investigative situations, this was no ordinary lesson.
Despite the rather soggy weather, the class ventured outside. Making use of the stunning nature on our doorstep, in small groups they huddled under the bushes to measure the branches and record their results in a table. Amongst the comical comments of: “I can’t even stand up” and “why is this bush so small?” came the realisation of the pattern that they were seeing: “Oh, the higher up you go, the thinner the branch becomes”. Continue reading
Following the introduction of the required practicals into the new Science GCSE specification, we have introduced ‘Becoming a Seaford Scientist’ (BASS) at KS3. These are a set of lessons that occur once a fortnight throughout the year. Our Year 7 and 8 students are currently taking part in these lessons.
The focus is to improve the students’ ability to work together and problem solve practical tasks by working as a part of a group with as little teacher input as possible. The skills focus on the ‘How Science Works’ understanding, which now has an increased focus in the new GCSE.
BASS also fits in with the whole school strategy of fostering independent learning, as it allows pupils to work together to overcome different scientific problems with as little help from the teacher as possible. BASS enables students to develop communication and group skills work.
Phillip Whelpton (Assistant Head of Year 11 and Head of KS3 Science) tells us: “The required practical makes up 15% of the new GCSE. By introducing BASS into our KS3 curriculum it will enable the students to have the key scientific skills and knowledge going into their GCSE years”.