At Katesgrove Primary School, it is our intention to recognise the importance of Science in every aspect of daily life. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for science; providing a broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum; ensuring the progressive development of knowledge, skills and vocabulary and for the children to develop a love of science.
The scientific area of learning is concerned with increasing pupils’ knowledge and understanding of our world and with developing skills associated with Science as a process of enquiry. Furthermore, we aim to inspire in pupils a sense of curiosity and fascination towards the natural world, as well as, a respect for the environment that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.
The aims of teaching science to the children in our school are to:
- Enable children to use themselves as starting points for learning about science in order to build on their enthusiasm and natural sense of wonder about the world.
- Develop through practical work the skills of: questioning, prediction, investigation, observation, recording and presenting data, interpretation and analysis of data and evaluation.
- Critically question the world around them and think like scientists.
- Gain enjoyment from the scientific work regardless of their learning ability.
- Teach scientific enquiry through contexts taken from the National Curriculum for Science.
- Encourage children to collect relevant evidence, to question outcome and to build resilience to persevere, as it is likely they will need to repeat results or will encounter unexpected results that do not support their hypothesis.
- Encourage children to treat the living and non-living environment with respect and sensitivity.
- To enable children to appreciate that we do not always know the answers when carrying out scientific enquiry as the world around us is continually changing and developing.
- Equip children with the language and the Oracy skills to be able to discuss their learning. Through modelling and scaffolding (pre-teaching & vocabulary maps), children can confidently explain their scientific understanding and offer their own suggestions.
As soon as the children start in EYFS, they are encouraged to comment and ask questions about aspects of their familiar world such as the place where they live or the natural world. During free flow, they are given opportunities to talk about the features of their own immediate environment and make observations of animals and plants. They also explain why some things occur and talk about changes through role-play.
As the children progress further up the school, a clear and comprehensive scheme of work, in line with the National Curriculum, is delivered using ‘Rising Stars Switched on Science’. This ensures progression across all key stages within the strands of Science.
Throughout the scheme of work:
- Science is carefully sequenced to ensure the progression in knowledge & skills. Component knowledge are further broken down into smaller chunks to avoid cognitive overload and to ensure that learning is sticking. Yet, teachers ensure that the children are getting the recommended hours of science teaching weekly.
- Existing knowledge is checked at the beginning of each topic, as part of the KWL strategy (What I know, What I would like to Know and What I have Learned). This ensures that the children’s starting points inform teaching, incorporating children’s interests and takes account of their voice. It also provides an assessment tool for teachers at the start and end of each topic.
- Teachers use precise questioning in class to identify misconceptions and address them early on.
- Retrieval practice is used regularly to identify those children with gaps in their learning and provide a tailored support for them.
- Tasks are selected and designed to provide appropriate challenge/scaffold to all learners in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion.
- Working scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure that skills are systematically developed throughout the children’s school career. (Thinking, Doing, Talking Science)
- Children use a range of scientific equipment and resources to develop their knowledge and understanding. That is integral for their learning to develop an understanding of working scientifically.
- Children and parents have access to a knowledge organiser for each unit, which outlines the key vocabulary and knowledge they need to master.
- Teaching and learning will plan for practical investigative opportunities and scientific enquiries that could be child led with hands on activities or teacher demonstrations.
- Throughout the year, all classes learn about three scientists of different backgrounds by looking at the work they have developed and using them as role models to encourage scientific thinking.
- Events, such as Science Spectacular Day, allow all pupils to come off-timetable to provide broader provision for the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills.
- We provide a variety of opportunities for science learning inside and outside the classroom. Learning outside of the classroom, especially in our ‘Forest School’ setting, is an essential part of learning science. It is essential that children observe and immerse themselves in their local environment to apply their learning practically to real-life situations.
- Where applicable, links to Science are made to develop the children’s long-term memory. Children are able to reflect and build on previous learning when cross-curricular links are made, especially as we embrace a whole school approach to link Reading with all areas of the curriculum, including Science.
- Progress is measured through a child’s ability to know more, remember more and explain more.
- Attainment is assessed each half term through related topic assessment tasks and end of unit enquiry. We use ‘Explorify’ for EYFS and ‘Rising Stars’ end of unit assessment for KS1 & KS2 with added skills question.
- Most children will achieve age related expectations in Science at the end of their cohort year.
- Key knowledge to stick so that children are able to remember more, explain more and do more.
- Children will work collaboratively and practically to investigate and experiment.
- Children will be able to explain the process they have taken and be able to reason scientifically.
- Children will have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity and learn the possibilities for careers in science.