Science

 

 

Mrs Julie Hall and Mrs Jude Savill are the science coordinators.

Intent

Our high-quality science curriculum provides the foundation for understanding the world.  Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity; all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Our science curriculum aims progressively to build up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts appropriate to age and stage of our pupils. Pupils are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and dialogue and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena.  They are encouraged to understand how science may be used to explain occurrences, predict how things will behave, discuss and analyse causes.  Children are encouraged to use enquiry and curiosity to question and test their ideas. At KSS we are developing and following an enquiry based science curriculum based around ‘big questions’ and practical, pupil led investigation around key concepts and ideas. 

Our 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 knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future

 

Implementation

Science long term plan:

  • Each year group will teach the areas of Science identified in the school’s long term plan to ensure coverage of statutory knowledge and skills.
  • Each year group will teach all areas of Working Scientifically through planned investigative work, as identified in Year Group planning.
  • The school’s Science progression of skills will be used to identify the learning objectives for each year group, in line with the school’s raised expectations. 

Cross-curricular learning and real world contexts.

Wherever possible, a cross-curricular approach will be taken to the teaching of Science.  Lessons will often be linked to children’s learning in English, Maths, Computing, Geography, PSHE etc.

Topic launch and land

 Each half term topic will begin with a cross-curricular launch event to engage and motivate the children.  This will also act as ‘knowledge harvest’ allowing teachers to assess children’s existing knowledge and skills in order to adapt planning and ensure appropriate levels of challenge for all children. Each half term will end with a land event which celebrates children’s learning and progress.  This will involve the children communicating their learning in some way, for example exhibitions or assemblies.  

Fieldwork

We understand, through analysis of relevant research, that fieldwork is an essential element of an outstanding Science curriculum and therefore ensure it is a high priority for all learners.    Fieldwork is carried out in every year group across the school and the skills progression ensures children gradually build their fieldwork skills across the school. 

Challenge and Support for all Learners

We understand that every learner develops differently and adapt our provision continuously to ensure every child receives the correct balance of support and challenge in order to achieve their very best.  We recognise this fact and provide suitable learning opportunities for all children (including those who may be gifted and talented or have additional needs) by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. Each child is valued, respected and challenged regardless of ability, race, gender, religion, social background, culture or disability.

Assessment

We use MAPP (Mapping attainment and progress for pupils) to assess children’s progress against the expectations of our INSPIRE curriculum.  We assess children against both the requirements and standards of the National Curriculum as well as our school’s own raised expectations for all children.  We assess them in working scientifically as well as their knowledge and understanding in each aspect of their study.

Scientific Knowledge and Conceptual Understanding

Spoken Language and Development of Higher-order Vocabulary  Our scheme of work aims to develop scientific and conceptual understanding through a sequence of knowledge and concepts.  However, we also believe that it is vitally important that our pupils develop secure understanding of each key block of knowledge, vocabulary and concepts in order to progress to the next stage.  For this reason we are developing knowledge organisers to identify the key learning and Tier 3 vocabulary for each unit of work.  These have been developed systematically across KS1 and KS2 collaboratively with the aim to avoid insecure, superficial understanding and will develop understanding of higher-order content.  Pupils will be able to describe associated processes and key characteristics in common language but also be familiar with and use technical terminology (Tier 3) with accuracy.  The knowledge organisers allow for a build up of extended specialist vocabulary.   Our science curriculum is also planned to enable children to apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science.  In all key stages, children apply mathematical skills including collecting, sorting, presenting and analysing data.  

The nature, processes and methods of science

‘Working scientifically’ specifies the understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science for each year group.  It is not taught as a separate strand.    Each unit of learning is planned to incorporate key features of scientific enquiry (such as observing over time, pattern seeking, identifying, classifying, grouping, comparative and fair testing, and researching using secondary sources).    Pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions.  

High-expectations

Our curriculum is designed with the national curriculum as a starting point but as we have extremely high expectations for our children so we have added additional challenge. These can be seen in the bold objectives in our INSPIRE curriculum. Although there is no requirement in the national curriculum, in order to give children an opportunity to begin to think how key concepts in forces and electricity affect our everyday life, we introduce our Key Stage 1 children to Forces within our Wheels, Wings and Wonderful Things topic in Year 1, and to Electricity with the Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter topic in Year 2. In addition, we have used our Forest School, trips and outdoor environment to enrich our learning in science.