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 Joseph’s, we encourage children to be inquisitive throughout their time at the school and beyond. The Science curriculum fosters a healthy curiosity in children about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes. Throughout the programmes of study, the children will acquire and develop the key knowledge that has been identified within each unit and across each year group. Key skills are also mapped for each year group and are progressive throughout the school. The curriculum is designed to ensure that children are able to gain key scientific knowledge through practical experiences; using equipment, conducting investigations, building opinions and explaining concepts confidently. The school’s approach to science takes account of the school’s own context, ensuring access to people with specialist expertise and that pupil’s are taught with hands on experience through engaging investigations in lessons. Cross-curricular opportunities are also identified, mapped and planned to ensure contextual relevance through each half term’s theme.
Children are encouraged to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings and a love of science is nurtured through a whole school ethos and a varied and diverse science curriculum.
Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following;
- Science will be taught in planned and arranged topic blocks by the class teacher with guidance from the subject lead, to have an investigation approach. This is a strategy to enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge.
- Existing knowledge is formatively assessed at the beginning of each topic through a recap on previous learning and an introduction to vocabulary. This ensures that teaching is informed by the children’s starting points and that it takes account of pupil voice, incorporating children’s interests.
- Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, often involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess pupils regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all pupils keep up. Tasks are selected and designed to provide appropriate challenge to all learners, in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion.
- We build upon the knowledge and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.
- Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure that skills are developed throughout the children’s school career and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching.
- Maths links are built upon through presentation of findings during investigations.
- Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning and workshops with experts.
- Teachers carefully select inspiring and racially diverse scientist who link to their topic to bring a real life substance to each topic.
- Children are offered a 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.
- At the end of each topic, teachers assess children’s knowledge and understanding is consolidated as necessary.
The successful approach at St Joseph’s results in a fun, engaging, high-quality science education, that provides children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world. Our engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first hand experiences of the world around them. Frequent, continuous and progressive learning outside the classroom is embedded throughout the science curriculum. Through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts, children have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity. They learn from and work with professionals, ensuring access to positive role models within the field of science from the immediate and wider local community. Children at St Joseph’s overwhelmingly enjoy science and this results in motivated learners with sound scientific understanding.
The outcomes and impact of science learning of pupils is continuously measured through:
- Teacher judgement in class as well as outcomes independently in pupil’s books. These judgements are moderated during in-house staff meeting CPDs and in local authority CPDs.
- Science lesson observations.
- Pupil Case Studies.
- Through the use of pupil voice from verbal conversations as well as surveys carried out across key stages.
Science Progression in Knowledge
Science Progression Working Scientifically
Science Knowledge Matrices
Science Summary in EYFS
Science EYFS Matrices