Our aim is for all children to have a knowledge and understanding of key scientific concepts and to develop an attitude of enquiry, resilience and exploration so that they become lifelong learners. (Link to Curriculum driver 2 Learning skills – aspiration and attitude and Curriculum driver 4 Exploration – adventure and discovery).
The vision is achieved by:
- A curriculum that develops scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
- A curriculum that nurtures children’s natural curiosity and develops 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
- A curriculum that provides opportunity to apply scientific knowledge and understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future in both the local and global environment.
- A clear programme of study where pupils build on their knowledge and skills year on year
Implementation of the Science Vision
Foundation Stage pupils investigate science as part of Understanding of the World. ‘Understanding of the world’ involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. At St Michael’s we aim to give the children a range experiences to increase their knowledge and sense of the world around them, for example through visiting parks, zoos, libraries and museums.
Children learn to observe and talk about growth and change in the environment around them as part of our weekly visits to Forest School and in classroom experiments. As well as developing their science knowledge, these sessions serve to increase the children’s familiarity with new vocabulary and therefore have greater access to all areas of the curriculum. ‘Understanding of the world’ links closely with our Curriculum Driver 4 – Exploration (‘Bugs, bugs, bugs’ and ‘Looking after the environment’).
Pupils in Key Stage 1 are introduced to science through focused observations and exploration of the world around them. These skills are developed through supportive investigations into more independent work at Key Stage 2.
The knowledge and content prescribed in the National Curriculum is introduced throughout both key stages in a progressive and coherent way.
Working scientifically is embedded within the content of biology, chemistry and physics, focusing on the key features of scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions. These types of scientific enquiry include: observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations); and researching using secondary sources. Pupils seek answers to questions through collecting, analysing and presenting data.
At St. Michael’s we use resources from The Association for Science Education to support the delivery of our Science curriculum. This resource includes:
- knowledge and working scientifically matrices that provide additional guidance which clarifies the statements for each year of the National Curriculum
- annotated collections of children’s work that provide examples of work that meet the expectations of the knowledge statements for each topic from each year of the science National Curriculum
- progression documents that highlight the links between the topics taught in different year groups and the development of working scientifically skills
- CPD resources that can be used for personal development or with teachers during CPD sessions
- Key vocabulary for each unit
Further resources include:
- Herts for Learning ‘Developing Young Scientists’
- Working Scientifically in the Primary Classroom: Progression of enquiry skills from EYFS to KS3
Measuring the Impact of the Science Vision and Implementation
Formative assessment takes place during every science lesson, and is the basis on which teachers tailor the teaching to the needs of the pupils. A learning journey is placed in books at the beginning of each new topic, showing the progression of knowledge and the skills required for that unit of work. The learning journey is written in ‘child speak’ so the children can assess their progress.
The learning journeys are highlighted in pink once the child has securely achieved the objective. Pupils in Key stage 2 can use the learning journeys for self or peer assessment and date and tick in purple pen once they have achieved their objective.
Summative assessment takes place twice yearly (February and June). It is used to:
- identify areas of strength and development for classes, groups and individuals
- provide evidence for patterns in progress and attainment (eg. between boys/girls, SEN/non-SEN, different year groups)
- to compare attainment with nationally agreed expectations for children of that age
We use the National Curriculum assessment criteria to make summative judgements in Years 1-6. These are split into 2 sections (knowledge and skills), matching end-of-year expectations for each year group, each of which begins with an indication of the context in which the skills should be assessed, to ensure that the pitch of the lesson is age-appropriate.
Subject leader monitors provision in Science through:
- observations and learning walks
- analysis of attainment and progress
- teacher/subject leader discussions
- pupil voice activities
- an annual 'deep dive' in Science with the senior leadership team
Monitoring activities and an analysis of attainment and progress are used to formulate the subject leader action plan which is updated twice each year.
Home Learning and Enrichment
A termly science activity is set by the class teacher.
Each year the pupils take part in a ‘Science week’ which is linked to the theme of the national science week. Class teachers for each year group aim to undertake at least one science related external visit during the academic year.