It is our intention that every pupil develops such a passion for science that they harness their natural excitement and curiosity and in turn this inspires them to pursue scientific enquiry. We wish for every child to be excited by scientific ideas and want to learn to explain and analyse phenomena, make predictions and solve problems.
Through science we aim to support this philosophy by:
- Investigating problems
- Learning how things works
- Discovering why science matters in the world
- Enabling children to build up a body of key knowledge, vocabulary and an understanding of key scientific concepts through investigation
- Enabling children to apply their scientific understanding to rationalise and explain new phenomena developing a sense of excitement and curiosity about science and nature.
We acknowledge that children, who are actively engaged, perform at their very best. Our science curriculum focuses primarily on providing children with the opportunity to work scientifically through the means of exciting, practical experiences in and outside of the classroom, underpinned by our curriculum drivers; possibilities, diversity and community. Our delivery of science within Abbey Gates, develops a sense of excitement and curiosity, with children being encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. The five fundamental enquiry approaches embedded within our curriculum and teaching include: observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations); and researching using secondary sources.
Equip – Through carefully planned, sequenced and progressive lessons, children are equipped with the core knowledge, vocabulary and scientific enquiry skills required to be independent learners and excellent scientists.
Embed – We ensure that prior knowledge, vocabulary and skills are regularly revisited and reviewed and staff are aware of prior and future learning in each strand.
Enrich – By providing children with a breadth of opportunities to embed knowledge such as visits and hands-on experiences, understand the significance of science in day to day life and work with the wider community to raise the awareness of important developments and initiatives such as Eco – Schools.
As Science is a core subject, it is expected that all year groups deliver weekly, discrete, science lessons. Within these sessions, there should be a balance between those that are knowledge based and those that develop investigative skills. At least 6 in depth investigations should be carried out in every year group per year. This includes longitudinal studies such as observing changes in seasons.
Our curriculum has been carefully designed to allow all children to delve deeply into their learning. A carefully sequenced progression from the EYFS to Y6 ensures that all aspects of science knowledge and working scientifically skills are covered and built upon within each year group – ensuring children regularly revisit and recap prior knowledge through formative assessment.
In the EYFS, science is represented as the natural world and children are regularly exposed to changing materials, observations over time, exploration and investigation. With the characteristics of effective learning in mind (playing and exploring, active learning and creative and critical thinking), children begin to develop the skills of working scientifically from a young age, asking questions, exploring and seeking answers. Young children are naturally curious about the world around them and it is essential that this curiosity does not dampen as they move throughout the rest of school.
All staff have access to a range of resources to support teaching and assessment. Concept cartoons and explorify topics are encouraged to highlight misconceptions, assess children’s prior knowledge, to encourage reasoning in science and for summative assessment purposes. Documentation to support staff when planning investigations is available to ensure there is a balanced coverage across all enquiry types. Knowledge matrices and reach out CPD is available and encouraged to improve own subject and pedagogical knowledge. The use of TAPs assessment ensures assessments are carried out in a scientific manner and help to remove some barriers for children. To ensure consistency in the use of vocabulary when planning fair test investigations, teachers are required to use a specific proforma in KS2. Floor books and observations are often used in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 to capture and document science learning in the moment.
The impact of our science offer is measured through our monitoring cycle, which includes book looks, digital evidence, learning walks, pupil and staff voice, planning scrutiny and curriculum intent reviews. Once reviewed, the subject leader feeds their findings into an ongoing action plan for improvement.
By ensuring that the above is in place, we aim to provide children with the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will remain with them as they move throughout the rest of their education and future.
Our intended outcomes are that:
- Children are confident to ask why and how questions and actively seek answers
- Children are confident and competent when working scientifically through planning, predicting, observing, concluding, generalising, reflecting and investigating.
- Children are curious about the wider world and natural phenomena.
- Children have been exposed to science out of the classroom through visits and visitors.
- Children are critical thinkers and effective communicators when discussing scientific ideas, reasons and explanations.
- Children are equipped with science knowledge, vocabulary and skills that are embedded and retained.
- Children can make links in their learning, applying literacy and mathematical skills when presenting and analysing data.
- Children are kind to the wider world, aware of the impact they have on the environment and actively involved in working towards a more environmentally friendly society – they know they can make a change.