Through our science curriculum we develop children’s curiosity in how things work, grow their understanding and interest in wanting to learn more about the importance of science and scientists.
We support children to develop their scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding of the different elements of science according to the outcomes stated in The National Curriculum 2014. We equip children with key knowledge to underpin enquiry-based skills to investigate, compare, classify and research concepts. We believe that these skills will encourage our children to become inquisitive learners who will have a thirst for understanding the world around them. At New Silksworth, the children will acquire and develop the key knowledge that has been identified within each unit which is built upon across each year group. Concepts and scientific skills are applied wherever relevant to enhance the wider curriculum and further develop the children’s knowledge. All children are encouraged to develop and use their skills to observe, question and investigate the world around them. Key vocabulary for topics is taught explicitly and built upon, and effective questioning to communicate ideas is encouraged.
We aim to improve the scientific understanding of all pupils by enhancing observational skills, curiosity, deeper thinking, independence, the ability to take time to consider, working collaboratively and becoming more resilient.
We strive to provide opportunities for pupils to build their science capital and develop their understanding of how science impacts the world we live in and how we live there. We also aim to provide children with an understanding of environmental science and issues of sustainability. Children are encouraged to see themselves as scientists and exposed to a variety of careers within science through work in class, visits and visitors in school.
Science teaching follows a sequenced, progressive curriculum based on The National Curriculum 2014 and outlines the skills, knowledge and vocabulary to be taught in a sequential, coherent way. Working scientifically skills and subject areas are all mapped out to ensure that pupils build on secure prior knowledge. All learning will start by revisiting prior knowledge and providing a meaningful context for learning. Each unit has links to appropriate fiction and non-fiction texts to support learning and a diverse range of key scientists both past and present are identified in the curriculum.
We have a comprehensive curriculum covering and extending beyond the National Curriculum.
Our science curriculum seeks to nurture the awe and wonder found in the natural world, a sense of personal responsibility and an understanding of connections at personal, local and global level.
The vocabulary required to understand and access each unit of work is identified in the curriculum overview and will be taught explicitly when appropriate to allow children to access and articulate their learning. The vocabulary identified is not a definitive list and teachers should take every opportunity to widen pupils’ vocabulary. Teachers will model specifically the subject-specific vocabulary relevant to the learning and have high expectations around pupils' use of the vocabulary in oral and written work.
Long-term plans map out the Science units for each term and during each key stage. This allows staff within teams to develop their medium-term plans. These ensure coverage of key performance indicators (KPIs) and allow knowledge, vocabulary and skills to be planned for in detail. Working scientifically skills are mapped onto medium-term plans and there is a balance of the 5 enquiry types across the year. Plans ensure progression and increasing challenge as pupils move up the school. Planning is monitored by the subject coordinator and SLT half-termly.
A broad and balanced science curriculum is followed which provides children with the knowledge to conduct meaningful enquiry and investigation. Science is taught every half-term throughout the school year.
KS1 and EYFS for a minimum of 1 hour each week.
KS2 for a minimum of 2 hours per week.
In KS1 and EYFS it is suggested that a minimum of one-third of lessons include practical scientific enquiry.
In KS2, it is suggested around 50% of lessons should include an element of practical scientific enquiry.
Presenting work takes on many different forms, including written and pictorial, investigation reports, accounts, comparisons, displays, presentations or use of ICT skills. It may also link with other curriculum areas including databases, graphs, models, and drama. There will not always be individual written records of all scientific work. Children will have the opportunity to work whole class, in groups and as individuals.
A comprehensive range of science resources supports learning and enhances the investigative approach that we strive for. A wide range of quality non-fiction and fiction texts are provided in Key stage libraries to support research and reading for pleasure.
Science contributes significantly to the teaching of English by actively promoting the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Some English texts link to our science curriculum. Children develop oracy through discussions of scientific concepts and the presentation of findings during investigations. Writing is developed by explicit teaching of scientific writing including report writing.
Science requires children’s maths skills around presenting data and reading scales to be secure. Maths used in science should match age-appropriate expectations. For example, pictograms should not be used beyond KS1.
Technology is used in science teaching where appropriate. In KS2 pupils are encouraged to use technology to research information and present written work.
At New Silksworth Academy we are committed to ensuring science is inclusive for all pupils thus ensuring all pupils make good progress. We strive hard to meet the needs of those children with special educational needs, those with disabilities, those who show flair in this area and those learning English as an additional language. Every child is pushed to their maximum potential.
Assessment is an integral part of the planning process as teachers use it to make informed judgements about what has been understood and then inform future planning. For each KPI teachers use whole class feedback to assess learning and identify children who show flair and those who are a concern and may benefit from intervention where possible.
Teachers will plan frequent retrieval tasks that will inform the ongoing assessment.
At the end of each unit, these are used to inform the assessment of whether children are working at or below age-related expectations in science. These are monitored by subject leaders and passed on to the next teacher to inform planning.
Year 2 and Year 6 staff assess children’s attainment and progress at the end of each key stage. This should be based on assessment records and work samples from across the key stage with the support of the science lead and previous teachers if required.
Monitoring and self-evaluation of science involves monitoring of half-termly planning; monitoring of pupils’ work and pupil voice to ensure assessment is accurate; lesson observations in partnership with SLT; and regular meetings and updates with colleagues.