Our Science curriculum is planned and sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before. We recognise that new learning is fragile, so our approach is generative and sticky, enabling our pupils to make links between new and existing knowledge to aid long term retention. Learning is sequenced to ensure that there are opportunities for spaced learning and links between curriculum areas are explicit allowing children to build a detailed schema for across scientific disciplines and also across other subjects.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, Science is taught throughout the year in stand-alone lessons, with each year group completing one topic per half term. Each term is planned to include five 1 hour and 15-minute lessons and a full Science Day. Additional opportunities (such as British Science Week) are planned throughout the year for the enrichment of our curriculum. Within the curriculum, the key knowledge and skills for each year group can be seen in our progression maps. These have then been broken down into topics in our long and medium term planning, which class teachers then use to plan progressive and engaging lessons. Our medium-term planning ensures each session follows a sequence of learning that encourages our children to engage, explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate.
- Language development
Within science, oracy opportunities are planned into the curriculum that allow children to develop the physical, linguistic, cognitive and social and emotional aspects of learning. Opportunities are planned that allow children to debate, present, explain, discuss key aspects of science and be able to give their opinions on all aspects of physics, chemistry and biology covered.
Dialogical teaching empowers students to challenge each other’s views, expand ideas and build and evaluate arguments. We want the children to challenge each other’s views that will lead them to a deeper understanding of the topics we are teaching. Group work is planned in and central to our teaching of science.
Development of vocabulary in science is vital in them closing the vocabulary gap to their peers from more affluent areas. Vocabulary is explicitly planned, taught and assessed, ensuring a thorough grasp of new language. Display boards within all classrooms are added to progressively from lesson to lesson in topics with key vocabulary. These can then be referred back to in the next lesson to promote sticky learning and to scaffold all children in retaining key language and information
Reading is a crucial part of the development of vocabulary and of language development. High quality texts and extracts of these texts are planned into our science curriculum and support a deeper understanding of new vocabulary within context. Well chosen, science-based texts are also used throughout the curriculum as class novels, guided reading texts and as part of science lessons as a basis for learning. A wide range of extracts from quality text-based sources are used to enhance science lessons across the school, enriching the children’s experience and to promoting the application of reading skills where possible.
Our approach throughout the curriculum is generative, enabling pupils to make links between new and existing knowledge to aid retention. By the end of year 6, pupils will have a broadened scientific view of the world around them through biology, physics and chemistry. Development of both disciplinary and substantive knowledge is well sequenced to ensure that children know and remember more. This is shown within our progression maps for Science.
New knowledge is organised in such a way that ensures cognitive strategies, such as spaced repetition, are well thought through and planned. Following our whole school model for high quality teaching and learning (Appendix 1), we ensure that teaching strategies allow the children to learn more and remember more. The curriculum is organised to enable children to build webs of knowledge (schemas), with explicit links being drawn between new and existing knowledge. These links are highlighted within medium term plans to ensure that staff explicitly make these links when planning lessons.
When knowledge is secure and links have been made, children are encouraged to take this knowledge deeper and apply this critically in different situations. Assessments are made using open ended assessment tasks that allow children to take learning deeper, demonstrating their critical thinking skills.
Low stakes quizzes are used regularly to ensure that knowledge is remembered and retained. These form part of our assessment for learning in Science.
While the teaching of disciplinary knowledge is key to progress in subjects, children require the opportunity to turn this knowledge to practice and apply skills. Our Curriculum planning ensures that these opportunities are embedded for all children.
Scientific enquiry is planned in a progressive sequenced way through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments, and by beginning to develop their ideas about functions, relationships and interactions.
Children are encouraged to ask their own questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, including carrying out simple comparative and fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They should draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out. Pupils should draw conclusions based on their data and observations, using evidence to justify their ideas, and using their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings
- Attitudes and values
To develop the children’s growth mindset, rather than simply praising success, we praise effort and persistence. We believe learning should be a challenge and within science, our children are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. In science, we want learning to be challenging and encourage the children to take risks. Our approach to our curriculum aims to build self-esteem, a respect for self and others, kindness and resilience, with staff modelling across the curriculum how to deal with challenge and adversity.
We want our children to see themselves as scientists and develop self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation in science. From EYFS through to KS2, we give the children opportunities to be scientists and discuss the scientific skills that they are using to investigate and explore. We want children to celebrate the successes of making discoveries.
Local, Societal and Global
- As an Inclusion Quality Mark flagship school, inclusivity is key to our culture as a school. Within the curriculum, we aim to celebrate difference and diversity. Key scientists from a range of backgrounds are celebrated from a range of backgrounds and children are encouraged to find out more about them. Strategies are used (As highlighted below) to ensure that all children can make good progress in science. British Science Week will be a focus point across the school each year to promote the importance and potential of Science to our pupils. Our Science curriculum aims to promote diversity. We encourage pupils to discover more about famous scientists from a variety of cultural backgrounds.
- Sustainability is one of the key themes that is going to prepare our children for life in the future. Key questions about sustainability form central parts of our science curriculum.
- Teachers apply a range of strategies within lessons to enable the children to become invested in their education. Practical investigations and LYFTA sessions are selectively used by teaching staff to provide a purpose and structure for curriculum learning. We believe that it is vitally important for children to develop their own opinions and voice about science, the impact that key scientific findings have upon the world, how this relates to the children’s own lives today and future developments.
- Developing a love of science
Opportunities to develop cultural capital are embedded into the curriculum so that children visit science museums and observatories at the right stages in their developments. Extra-curricular activities for specific year groups are planned such as visits from scientific experts or to places of scientific interest.
Children often find joy in their discoveries in science. Giving them opportunities to ask questions and explore their findings is key to this.
Additional enrichment opportunities are provided during British Science Week. Opportunities to further explore science. Links are made with other STEM subjects that allow the practical application of Science in other areas.