“The intent of our science curriculum is to deliver high-quality lessons that inspire all pupils to explore the world around them.
We aim to provide opportunities for pupils to challenge and question scientific ideas and theories, which supports their knowledge and understanding.
We want to provide opportunities to investigate, evaluate and make changes that embed our values such as responsibility and compassion.”
The 2014 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.
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 them.
Are equipped with the scientific skills required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. We understand that it is important for lessons to have a skills-based focus, and that the knowledge can be taught through this.
At St. Michael’s Church School, we teach pupil’s the skills, knowledge and understanding they require in order to question natural phenomena and develop a curiosity in the world around them. The science curriculum fosters an inquisitive approach, providing children with the opportunity to challenge and investigate scientific ideas and theories.
Throughout the key stages, children will build on their key knowledge as well as their understanding and application of scientific skills. We ensure that the Working Scientifically skills are embedded within the science curriculum so that children can apply their
knowledge when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings. Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding. Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning and workshops with experts.
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. Regular events, such as Science Week or national events, such as Earth Day, allow all pupils to come off-timetable, to provide broader provision and allows children to apply their knowledge and skills on different contexts. These events often involve families and the wider community. Children learn the skills required for scientific enquiry and they will begin to appreciate the way science will affect their future on a personal, national and global level.
Knowledge organisers will be used to support learning which will help scaffold children to retain new facts and vocabulary in their long term memory. Knowledge organisers are used when pre-teaching and to support home learning.
The Early Years Foundation Stage
Science is taught within the umbrella of “Understanding the World”’ following the Early Learning Goals as outlined in the 2013 Early Years Foundation Stage Profile Handbook. Science makes a significant contribution to developing a child's knowledge and understanding of the world, e.g. through investigating what floats and what sinks when placed in water. There will be opportunities for children to also develop their skills through other curriculum subjects such as mathematics. At St Michael’s, we provide extra opportunities for our reception children to practise and develop their scientific skills through our annual science week.
At St Michael’s Church School, we provide a curriculum that supports and challenges every child whatever their starting point in Science. We aim to encourage children to become inquisitive, independent learners who are able to use their scientific knowledge, making systematic, precise observations and measurements whilst reflecting on, and evaluating their results.
Science is sometimes taught as part of a much wider topic so that it can be seen to be applicable in a wider context. However there are many times when science will be taught on its own, because this is the best way for your child.
Planning for science is a process in which all teaching staff are involved. Delivering a broad and balanced science education to our children is a core principle of our school. Science teaching in the school is about excellence and enjoyment. We adapt and extend the curriculum to match the unique circumstances of our school.
Key Stage 1
The main focus of science teaching in Key Stage 1 is to enable pupils to experience and observe phenomena, looking more closely the natural and human-constructed world. They are encouraged to question the world around them and develop curiosity. Pupils are encouraged to use scientific terminology when observing change, carrying out simple comparative tests and using secondary sources of information.
Lower Key Stage 2
The main focus of science teaching in Lower Key Stage 2 is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific views of the world around them. This is achieved through exploring, scientific conversation, testing and developing ideas. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions about what they observe and are encouraged to answer them through scientific enquiry. Children should be drawing simple conclusions from observing changes, noticing patters, grouping and classifying and carrying out fair tests.
Upper Key Stage 2
The main focus of science teaching in Upper Key Stage 2 is to enable pupils to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. Children are able to achieve this through exploring and talking about their ideas; asking their own questions about scientific phenomena; and analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically. Children will encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help to understand and predict how the world operates.
We use assessment to inform and develop our teaching. Assessment is achieved through:
Discussions with pupils
Observations of pupils
Marking of work
Half termly assessments
Learning is dated and recorded in science books and is marked in accordance with the school’s marking policy.
Monitoring and evaluation
Children will receive a weekly dedicated science lesson (year 1-6) and in addition science will be used in other curriculum areas, when appropriate, to help consolidate scientific concepts and skills. Materials and equipment required for the delivery of the science curriculum will be available in a central scientific store. The subject leader follows the School Self Evaluation for Subject Leaders’ Guidelines and is achieved through;
Monitoring and evaluation of pupils work
Monitoring of planning
Cross curricular links:
Children are expected to use their English skills; reading, writing and speaking and listening during science lessons. Children record their work in Science books and activities such as writing hold the same expectations across the curriculum.
Maths skills should be applied in science lessons wherever possible. This can take place in a number of ways such as: When the children use measures; using and applying number; through working on investigations they learn to estimate and predict, record and analyse results.
Personal, social and health education (PSHE) and citizenship. Science makes a contribution to the teaching of PSHE. For example, teaching the children about keeping healthy and staying safe.
Computing: Opportunities are available for children to word process work; to find information from electronic sources; to use spreadsheets; databases and graphs, and to use data logging, simulation and modelling.
SMSC. Children are able to demonstrate their scientific skills and understanding through a range of experiences such as walks in the community, outdoor learning sessions and educational visits. Children have the opportunity to research and discuss influential scientists and reflect on their impact on our lives today. Pupils are able to use their imagination and creativity when experimenting and questioning Science and gain a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves and the world around them.
Where possible links to science should be made in other areas of the curriculum not mentioned above.
At St’ Michael’s Church School we plan to provide for all children to achieve; regardless of gender, SEN, Pupil Premium children, Able Gifted and Talented children, pupils from all social and cultural backgrounds, children in care, and those subject to safeguarding, pupils from different ethnic groups and those from diverse linguistic backgrounds. We aim to teach science in a broad global and historical context, using the widest possible perspective and including the contributions of people of many different backgrounds. We draw examples from other cultures and we encourage our children to talk constructively about their science experiences.
Health and Safety
All children are made aware of the importance and relevance of health and safety when undertaking work in science. In planning, the class teacher is expected to assess the risks and adjust their lessons accordingly to ensure safe practice and appropriate levels of supervision. The CLEAPSS website is an excellent source of information and advice about minimising risk in Science teaching. Appropriate risk assessments are completed for all visits off-site and on-site, if applicable.
Our Science Curriculum is high quality, well thought out and planned to demonstrate progression. If children are on track with curriculum expectations, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. Outcomes in Science books evidence a broad and balanced Science Curriculum. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
• Reflecting on standards achieved against the planned outcomes;
• Children retaining knowledge that is pertinent to Science;
• Children’s enjoyment of Science lessons and keenness to find out more about Science;
• Evidence of work showing a range of topics covered, cross curriculum links and differentiated work;
• High standards in Science that match standards in other subjects such as English and Maths;
Frequent subject leader learning walks, observations, book monitoring and staff training ensures teachers knowledge and understanding of Science remains up to date
• SLT are kept informed through feedback from moderations, subject reports and annual subject action plans as well as classroom drop ins and observations.