At St Mary’s C of E Primary School, Science stimulates and excites pupil’s curiosity about natural phenomena and events in the world around them. This knowledge base of Science has a practical application to everyday experiences and is therefore important for pupil’s development. By working scientifically, through tailored investigations involving planning, testing, recording and analysing results, students come to appreciate the nature of the learning process.
The children are provided with a Science curriculum that reflects the purposes and aims taken from the national curriculum, as well as stimulating a child’s curiosity in finding out why things happen in the way that they do.
The National Curriculum for Science aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines.
- Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around.
- Are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
Our curriculum builds progressive core knowledge and key curriculum concepts using a range of learning skills and subject skills. Our curriculum is designed to enable pupils to make connections between their developing knowledge and concepts, their prior learning, and their lived experiences. Pupils are empowered to use their literacy, oracy, and digital communication skills to purposefully share and articulate their learning with others. Our curriculum enables our pupils to be successful, confident, and responsible individuals and citizens.
Through engaging and stimulating lessons, our children should develop:
- An ability to solve problems, to reason, to think logically and to work systematically and accurately;
- A broad range of Science vocabulary in order to explain their hypotheses, and reason their Science enquiry choices clearly using the correct terminology;
- To ask and answer scientific questions;
- To plan and carry out scientific investigations, with the correct use of equipment;
- To know about materials, electricity, light, sound and natural forces;
- To know about the nature of the solar system, including the Earth;
- To know how to evaluate evidence, and to present conclusions both clearly and accurately.
All children will be immersed in high quality teaching and learning experiences. These will hook the children’s interest and inspire them to be scientists, enabling them to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They will be encouraged to ask questions about the world around them and work scientifically to further their conceptual understanding and scientific knowledge.
Children will be encouraged to understand how Science can be used to explain what’s happening, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. It will provide opportunities for the critical evaluation of evidence and rational explanation of scientific phenomena as well as opportunity to apply mathematical knowledge to their understanding of Science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data. Children will be immersed in key scientific vocabulary, which supports the acquisition of scientific knowledge and understanding.
Teachers create a positive attitude to Science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards. Science is taught in planned and arranged topic blocks by the class teacher.
Each new unit of work begins with a recap of the previous related knowledge from previous years. This helps children to retrieve what they have learnt in the earlier sequence of the programme of study, and ensures that new knowledge is taught in the context of previous learning to promote a shift in long term memory. Key vocabulary for the new topic is also introduced, this provides definitions for each word to ensure accessibility to all. This approach also means that children are able to understand the new vocabulary when it is used in teaching and learning activities and apply it themselves when they approach their work. Knowledge Organisers present the key concepts for each topic in each year group. These are shared with children and parents and form the basis of the overview of learning which is referred to throughout the topic.
Through our planning, we involve problem solving opportunities that allow children to apply their knowledge, and find out answers for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, often involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess pupils regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all pupils keep up. Tasks are selected and designed to provide appropriate challenge to all learners, in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion.
We build upon the knowledge and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.
Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure that skills are systematically developed throughout the children’s school career and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching. This is developed through the years, in keeping with the topics.
Children are offered a wide range of extra-curricular activities, visits, trips and visitors to complement and broaden the curriculum. These are purposeful and link with the knowledge being taught in class. Teachers plan opportunities to utilise the extensive school grounds to enhance learning.
At the end of each topic, key knowledge is reviewed by the children and rigorously checked by the teacher and consolidated as necessary.
Science in EYFS
A planned curriculum in EYFS, in line with the statutory Early Years Framework and utilising Development Matters (non-statutory guidance) ensures all elements of Understanding the World are taught both within the adult directed activities and through continuous provision. The EYFS strand ‘Understanding the World’ links directly to scientific elements of the curriculum and progresses to more formalised Science learning in KS1 and then KS2.
The successful approach to the teaching of science at St. Mary’s will result in a fun, engaging, high quality Science education.
Formative assessment is used as the main tool for assessing the impact of Science at St Mary’s. It allows for misconceptions and gaps to be addressed more immediately rather than building on insecure scientific foundations.
Assessment at St. Mary’s is teacher based and formed using formal strategies (e.g. periodic year group assessment tasks, quizzes) and informal strategies (Use of concept maps, verbal/written outcomes, reflection tasks/presentations).
The impact of our curriculum is monitored by the Subject Lead and reported to members of SLT and governors.
Children at St Mary’s Primary School and Nursery will:
- demonstrate a love of science work and an interest in further study and work in this field
- retain knowledge that is pertinent to Science with a real life context.
- be able to question ideas and reflect on knowledge.
- be able to articulate their understanding of scientific concepts and be able to reason scientifically using rich language linked to science.
- demonstrate a high love of mathematical skills through their work, organising, recording and interpreting results.
- work collaboratively and practically to investigate and experiment.
- achieve age related expectations in Science at the end of their cohort year.