It is our vision to instil a lifelong love of science within our pupils. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity. In preparation for the future, it is our aim to gain perspective in the importance of protecting the very fine balance of science and nature and, in turn, it teaches us to respect the order of our natural world.
We work hard to provide a rich and varied curriculum to challenge and meet the needs of our children. We believe all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science.
From EYFS up to KS2 our pupils will build up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena.
Science has huge importance and responsibility in developing children’s appreciation of how we can learn about and then look after our natural world. Through the teaching of Science, we aim for children’s understanding, awe, wonder and questioning to be developed and challenged in learning how we can care for our ever changing world
St Mark and All Saints follow the PLAN exemplar units from the Association of Science Education along with resources from Explorify, STEM and Developing Experts, which ensures that we deliver a rich, meaningful, consistent, balanced and age appropriate curriculum. This scheme of work supports the provision of excellent learning opportunities for science by providing the following:
1. Long term planning - We cover all the National Curriculum objectives through discrete units of study. Each of these units of study has been assigned to a particular Year group in line with the guidance from the National Curriculum (2014). Teachers decide the best times of year to study some of the units, as well as when different aspects of learning within a unit will need to be taught at different times across a year.
2. Short term/lesson planning - The PLAN supports teachers with their lesson planning. Each of the units has clear and thorough advice on the following aspects of quality provision for science:
A. Sequence of knowledge and concepts.
In accordance with the guidance in the new National Curriculum, we have created a progression in the key scientific knowledge and concepts, from Year 1 to Year 6. Each unit of study clearly indicates the aspects of knowledge to be developed. Some units are part of a ‘learning journey’; i.e. where the knowledge and concepts for that particular aspect of science are revisited within different year groups as the child progresses through the primary phase.
B. A range of activities that will enable the children to develop both their scientific understanding and their mastery of the nature, processes and method of science:
i. ‘Working Scientifically’ through a constructivist approach to learning - Throughout every unit of study the emphasis is on the children learning by doing. In accordance with the constructivist theory of learning, the units encourage the teachers to provide activities that enable the children to test their previously held ideas. In doing so, they will also be encouraged to develop a bank of skills and an understanding of the processes required to be able to do good science. In every unit of work the most suitable aspects of the statutory requirements for Working Scientifically have been selected. Each of these requirements are thoroughly covered throughout both of the Key Stages.
ii. Scientific vocabulary - Each unit of study contains a section outlining the most appropriate scientific vocabulary to be used when studying that particular area of science. This will help children to become familiar with, and use, technical terminology accurately and precisely.
iii. Resources - The scheme contains a list of resources that would be required for each of the units.
iv. Hooks - Within every unit of work there are many suggestions as to strategies that teachers can use to ensure that children are interested and engaged in the content.
v. Teacher subject knowledge - Every unit of work has a section designed to provide teachers with a good understanding of the knowledge and concepts that will be covered within that unit.
vi. Scientists - Every unit of work lists some of the scientists who are working, or have worked, in that particular area of science.
vii. Preparation for the learning - For every unit of work there is a section that outlines when and how teachers can prepare for the activities that they would like to do with the children.
viii. Recording - There are suggestions throughout every unit as to how the children could record their learning. Consideration has been given to not just how they will record, but also the reason for recording in each of the different instances.
ix. A range of learning strategies designed to engage the children - As well as the full range of practical scientific enquiries outlined, there are plenty of other strategies provided to engage the children in their science learning; drama, deep thinking time, problem-solving in various contexts, videos from web pages, etc
3. Learning Questions - To develop metacognitive learning, all Science lessons begin with a Learning Question. Starting with a question enhances engagement and develops a sense of wonder. Having collected enough knowledge throughout the lesson, children are then expected to answer the Learning Question in a self-evaluation. We aim to develop children’s curiosity and encourage it to continue and grow well beyond the lesson.
4. Assessment - For each of the units an assessment record sheet has been created in a central base spreadsheet. Each of these sheets will allow teachers to record children’s achievements during their studies for both the knowledge aspects within a particular unit, and some of the requirements from Working Scientifically. These record sheets, and the intended learning objectives included in the units of study will enable the teachers to identify what the children need to know or be able to do next, as well as support them at different times in the year to make summative judgements as to the children’s attainment. In addition, teachers run a set of unit assessments to ensure judgements are accurate and that Children’s knowledge is accurate. This data can then be monitored and supported where needed.
Children enjoy and are enthusiastic about science in our school.
There is a clear progression of children’s work and teachers’ expectations in our school.
Children’s work shows a range of topics and evidence of the curriculum coverage for all science topics.
Children are becoming increasingly independent in science, selecting their own tools and materials, completing pupil lead investigations and choosing their own strategies for recording.