For many years the route through KS4 (14-16) science has been waymarked by the modular structure of the GCSE specifications. The move to linear assessment is the equivalent to setting off into the wilds and away from the well marked tourist route. Just as a walker should always be prepared with a clear map and route, so a science department should create their own curriculum map to set out their chosen route through the new linear course.
The modular assessment of the current specifications has been moved to the end of the course. As a consequence modular content no longer needs to be taught in the sequence presented in the specifications.
Whilst the prospect of major change may currently feel beyond the capacity of your department, given the recent introduction of the new KS3, now is the ideal time to start experimenting with potential new curriculum route maps.There is a window of time between now and the introduction of full linear assessment to experiment with small changes. Successful routes may then be included when you create your full curriculum map for the new specifications.
As a first step try grouping concepts together (e.g. ionic and covalent bonding) which may have artificially been separated by the modular structure. Try adjusting the order where you feel a concept is introduced too early or too late. Base your judgements on student outcomes. What topics have students struggled with? How could making adjustments to your curriculum map help?
To download a short 'Linear Assessment Health Check' questionnaire go to ASE's Science Leaders' Hub and select 'Share and Adapt' followed by 'Curriculum Change'.
The following tips may then be used to support your department in creating a curriculum map. Work to the level that suits the capacity and experience of your department. Remember, a curriculum map can evolve over time.