The Science Curriculum at Woolaston Primary School
At Woolaston Primary, we believe that teaching and learning in science should excite and stimulate children’s natural curiosity to enable them to make sense of the world in which they live and we encourage children to be inquisitive throughout their time at the school. 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. The key knowledge identified by each year group is informed by the national curriculum and builds towards identified phase ‘end points’ in accordance with national curriculum expectations. Lessons are planned with an understanding that science is global and collaborative. Therefore, we teach lessons celebrating science and achievements from around the world, celebrating cultural diversity; ensuring our children are globally aware. We want our children to have a broad vocabulary and scientific language is taught and built upon as topics are revisited in different year groups and across key stages. Underpinned by our school values, our curriculum is also designed to ensure that children are able to acquire key scientific knowledge through practical experiences; using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently. Through carefully planned investigations we aim to provide children with opportunities to ask questions, make observations, investigate their ideas and ultimately improve their understanding. This investigative approach allows children to take risks and learn from their mistakes; enabling them to become more confident, independent, resilient individuals.
To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in science, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the school.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum supports children’s understanding of Science through the planning and teaching of ‘Understanding the World.’ Children find out about objects, materials and living things using all of their senses looking at similarities, differences, patterns and change. Both the environment and skilled practitioners foster curiosity and encourage explorative play, children are motivated to ask questions about why things happen and how things work. Our children are encouraged to use their natural environment around them to explore. Children enjoy spending time outdoors exploring mini-beasts and their habitats, observing the changing seasons, plants and animals.
Key Stage 1 and 2
At Woolaston Primary, science topics are taught within each year group in accordance with the National Curriculum. Topics are blocked to allow children to focus on developing their knowledge and skills, studying each topic in depth. Each year group will build upon the learning from prior year groups therefore developing depth of understanding and progression of skills. At the start of each topic children will review previous learning and will have the opportunity to share what they already know about a current topic. In order to support children in their ability to ‘know more and remember more’ at the beginning of each lesson, teachers plan opportunities for pupils to recall prior learning using a 3 questions as a hook. This enables pupils to consolidate their previous learning, while also preparing them for future learning, in line with the sequence of lessons. This is particularly important for our SEND children, who may need more opportunities to retain and embed scientific vocabulary and concepts. Effective modelling by teachers ensures that children are able to achieve their learning intention, with misconceptions addressed within it. Through using a range of assessment tools, differentiation is facilitated by teachers, to ensure that each pupil can access the Science curriculum. Teachers encourage children to use a developing scientific vocabulary as they progress through each year group. Time is spent during lessons introducing and reinforcing age-appropriate scientific vocabulary. Children are given opportunities to consolidate their use of scientific vocabulary as they move through the year groups. Children are encouraged to use scientific vocabulary, both written and verbal, to explain their ideas and make sense of their observations and findings. In each science topic children are given opportunities to explore, question, predict, plan, carry out investigations and observations as well as conclude their findings. Children present their findings and learning using science specific language, observations and diagrams.
Teachers use effective assessment for learning in each lesson to ensure misconceptions are highlighted and addressed. Pupils are regularly given the opportunity for self or peer assessment, which will then be used to inform planning, preparation, differentiation and address misconceptions within that lesson, or for the next lesson.
The impact of our Science curriculum is measured through the monitoring cycle in school. This includes:
· Tracking the coverage of science objectives on Insight
· Analysing the termly teacher assessment data on Insight to ensure pupils are making progress in science and science attainment across the school
· Lesson observations
· Book monitoring
· Learning walks
· Discussions with class teachers
· Pupil conferencing
Monitoring is used to measure whether:
· Children enjoy and are enthusiastic about science in our school.
· There is a clear progression of children’s work and teachers’ expectations in our school.
· Children’s work shows a range of topics and evidence of the curriculum coverage for all science topics.
· Children are becoming increasingly independent in science, selecting their own tools and materials, completing pupil lead investigations and choosing their own strategies for recording.
· Feedback from teachers has an impact on our pupils, often with next step questions to push learning on.
Monitoring is also used to identify gaps in the curriculum that may need to be addressed across the school, or within individual year groups. Monitoring is an ongoing cycle, which is used productively to provide the best possible Science curriculum for our children.