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Newton Burgoland Primary School

Newton Burgoland Primary School

Together We Can Achieve Excellence

Science

 

Together we make learning

an unmissable, unforgettable adventure.

A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

Our Science Curriculum was last reviewed in 2018-19 following CPD and  again in 2021-22.

We are members of the Science Association to support teachers subject knowledge.

Intent

We want all learners to reach at least the expected National Curriculum standard by the end of year 6 and to be keen to continue their studies in key stage 3 and beyond. We want learners to be able to see themselves as Scientists and open to pursuing a career in STEM subjects.

The science  lesson should be one our learners look forward to and greet with enthusiasm. They should leave lessons wanting to find out more.

When studying science, learners will draw on their developing learning habits, making progress in their ability to persevere, work effectively as a team, respect and celebrate difference, ask questions and create. We want learners to be interested in the application of science to life today and for tomorrow.

We want our children to understand that not all people were treated equally in the history of science that people of all colour and background have contributed to scientific discovery; that careers in science should not be seen as gender specific. This is the focus for further curriculum development in 2022/23.

Our curriculum ensures that pupils understand that:  

  • Science is about finding the cause or causes of phenomena in the natural world
  • Scientific explanations, theories and models are those that best fit the evidence available at a particular time
  • The knowledge produced by science is used in engineering and technologies to create products to serve human ends
  • Applications of science often have ethical, social, economic and political implications

n addition that there are 3 big ideas in science ( Harlen, W., 2010­) which can connect all learning:

  • All matter in the Universe is made of very small particles
  • Objects can affect other objects at a distance
  • Organisms are organised on a cellular basis and have a finite life span

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Implementation

We want our learners to enjoy science, to be curious about scientific phenomena- routinely, asking why and what if…

In EYFS learners talk about the world around them. They observe the seasons, collect natural materials, grow plants, push and pull in play. Build structures and engage with teacher initiated learning to find out more about scientific phenomena. They use scientific language, share non-fiction books and ask questions to further their interests and understanding.

In key stage 1 pupils follow the national curriculum ensuring that they are prepared for further study and enquiry in key stage 2.

In key stage 2 pupils, again, follow the national curriculum.

Pupils find out about how science has contributed, about scientists and about the importance of science to averting climate change.

Science is generally taught as a stand-alone subject, but where possible cross-curricular links are made to enhance and reinforce learning. In each class, elements of knowledge, within areas of study, are explored and revisited to ensure that misconceptions are addressed and knowledge and understanding are secured. Learners are encouraged to communicate their thinking clearly using subject specific vocabulary to support the securing of knowledge and to enable teachers to identify and address misconceptions.

Learners work scientifically in both key stages within units of study, developing understanding, skills and techniques.

Science learning includes, finding out about famous scientists; learning and using key vocabulary and concepts, and refining and developing key investigational skills.

Visits to enhance learning include: the botanical gardens and arboretum, The Magna centre in Sheffield and Space centre in Leicester. Cross-curricular work – The Tudors and the ‘king in the car park’ give an insight into how science can unlock the secrets of the past.

Wherever possible, we draw on stem ambassadors and parents or governors working in scientific fields to inspire learners and signpost career paths. Regular Forest school sessions enhance and reinforce learning in a practical setting.

Approximately, 60 hours is allocated to learning in science, in both keystages, of which at least half is allocated for working scientifically. Practical work is highly valued and supports learning in mathematics, English communication and computing.

A range of non-fiction texts on aspects of scientific knowledge and understanding, suitable for young and early readers, are available within our reading scheme.

Key vocabulary has been identified, alongside enrichment opportunities including trips and visitors.

  • The reading scheme includes high quality non-fiction to support learning in science
  • Themes are revisited, and teaching makes links to what has already been learnt and what will be learnt next.
  • Continuous provision and direct teaching in EYFS is carefully planned to prepare pupils for the national curriculum.
  • A progression document is in place to support the assess, plan, do review cycle
  • Teachers are careful to avoid cognitive overload by planning learning in small steps with time to develop understanding and spaced retrieval to aid long term memory

 

 

 

Assessment, Recording and Reporting

In all subjects there are three broad areas for assessment:

  • Children’s knowledge and understanding
  • How well children can use and apply their knowledge, understanding and skills at the end of a unit of work to complete an independent (of an adult) task or challenge.
  • How well learners are developing habits for learning and character

Teachers assess learner’s work, their attitudes, increasing skills, knowledge and understanding, by making informal judgements as they observe them during lessons. This assessment enables planning to be tailored to meet learners needs. Assessment encompasses teacher, peer and self-assessment. In all subjects, opportunities for both Assessment for Learning and Assessment of Learning are built into provision. Learners are supported to reflect on their own learning and, age appropriately, to make judgements about their strengths and needs, beginning to plan how to make progress and set personal targets.

Baseline assessment, in order to understand pupils’ prior learning, is an essential part of planning to ensure new learning is relevant and progress can be assessed.

The learners work, in particular baseline assessments and end of unit assessments, which are recorded within learners’ workbooks are used to make decisions at the end of each unit, and at the end of each year, as to next learning steps and whether or not learners are making strong progress and are on track for end of key stage expectation.

Progress is recorded and reported to parents as part of the child’s annual school report.

Special Educational Needs

Science is taught to all children, whatever their ability, in accordance with the school curriculum policy of providing a broad and balanced education to all children. Teachers provide learning opportunities matched to the needs of children with learning difficulties.

Impact

Prior to the pandemic:

  • Pupils made good progress in science to achieve at least ARE by the end of year 6.
  • Continuous provision and direct teaching in EYFS prepared pupils well for the national curriculum.
  • All children used scientific vocabulary accurately
  • Children could speak confidently about their learning in science
  • Those working at greater depth were able to make connections between units of study. They went beyond the knowledge studied and asked questions to further their understanding.
  • A number of pupils studied science beyond school at university in the areas of veterinary science, psychology and environmental science.

As a result of the pandemic pupils have:

  • Had fewer opportunities to explore concepts and address misconceptions through talking and questioning – not all learning is secure.
  • Had a variety of experiences when home learning and accessed set learning differently.
  • Had fewer opportunities for collaboration and enrichment through visits and visitors
  • Had fewer opportunities to work scientifically and make connections to the big ideas of Science.

By following the assess, plan, do, review cycle teachers will identify areas which need more or less focus over the next 2 years and support all pupils to make strong progress from starting points.

.An engineering club was in place to enrich learning for pupils in KS2 alongside a sound engineering club. (2021/22).

The national curriculum

The 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 knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

Science in early years foundation stage

Learners in foundation stage are taught within a mixed age class. They actively engage with the science curriculum through play.

Organisation of learning

Units of learning in foundation and Year1 are organised so that pupils can meet learning objectives in both year 1 and foundation – securing and deepening knowledge This knowledge and understanding is further secured and extended in year 2. Some early scientific knowledge, which is further developed in KS2, is explored through cross-curricular themes in key stage 1: Sound, Earth in space and forces.  Music, history, design technology respectively)

Knowledge about humans, plants and animals develops and deepens from foundation to year 6 connections are made between different units of study and learning in geography (biomes and climate)

 

Year 1 and foundation units

 

 

year 2 units

 

Year 3 and 4 units

 

 

 

year 5 and 6 units

 

 

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The children were presented with a variety of evidence and asked to show an understanding of how humans have evolved.

The children enjoyed making periscopes to better understand how mirrors reflect light and help us see objects: