Science

Intent

The vision for the school is for children to leave primary school enthused about science and the world around them.  We recognise how science impacts every aspect of daily life, and without science, humankind would not have made progress throughout history. As one of the core subjects taught at primary level, we give the teaching and learning of science the prominence it deserves.

Learning science is concerned with increasing pupils’ knowledge of our world, and with developing skills associated with science as a process of enquiry. Our science curriculum develops the natural curiosity of each child no matter their demographic, encourages them to have respect for living organisms, and instill in pupils the importance of caring for the natural environment.

Science in Early Years Foundation Stage

Early years is about exploring and investigating the world, and about having fun and playing. Science combines these two key elements, which are crucial to establishing a lifelong love of learning.  Our Early years provide a strong foundation in terms of what is learned and how its learned.  By encouraging and directing their natural curiosity and familiarising children with basic scientific vocabulary, our children start to gain some understanding of the world that they live in.  

Science Lessons in years 1-6

Using the requirements of the Science National Curriculum as our guide, our Science lessons offer opportunities for children to:

  •        Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding of the disciplines of Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
  •        Formulate their own questions about the natural world.
  •        Foster the confidence to ‘be wrong’ when it comes to making predictions and postulating their own theories.
  •        Promote an awareness of the importance of teamwork in scientific experimentation.
  •        Practically investigate their questions using various methods of enquiry.
  •        Gain competence in the science skills of planning scientific investigations, gathering and analysing data and critical evaluation of investigations across the disciplines.
  •        Use a range of methods to gather data from investigations and secondary sources including I.C.T., drawings, diagrams, videos and photographs.
  •        Present data in a variety of methods including tables, bar charts, line graphs, pictograms and pie charts.
  •        Have care for the safety of all individuals in lessons by developing knowledge of the hazards of the materials and equipment they handle, along with mitigating these hazards.
  •        Develop an enthusiasm and enjoyment of scientific learning and discovery.

Teacher improvement

Our teachers are encouraged to continually improve their knowledge and practical competence by:

  •        Having access to CPD videos that cover every area of the National Curriculum.
  •        Having a minimum of one science lesson observation per school year with feedback.
  •        Attending a minimum of one science themed staff meetings per school year.
  •        Inspection of pupil work via scrutiny of book work and learning walks.
  •        Termly analysis of pupil progress in science.

Science Coordinator Role

The school has appointed a science coordinator whose responsibility it is to oversee the science function of the school. They will:

1)     Strive to continually improve all aspects of the school’s science function.

2)    Complete annual audit of resources and keep records of these.

3)    Purchase sufficient resources that allows the school to adhere to the principles as set out in the ‘Science Lessons’ section above.

4)    Monitor the impact of the PZAZ scheme by assessing and track pupil progress

5)    Improve their own practical and technical knowledge of science. 

6)    Conduct annual reviews of the school’s science provision.

7)    Communicate with teaching staff when necessary.

We endeavour to ensure that the Science curriculum we provide will give children the confidence and motivation to continue to further develop their skills into the next stage of their education and life experiences.

Implementation

Early Years Foundation Stage

In the EYFS curriculum, ‘Understanding the World: The World’ encompasses aspects of Geography learning but is predominantly focussed on Scientific enquiry and exploration.  Opportunities to to access these objectives are facilitated through both continuous and enhanced provision throughout our child-initiated play environment as well as in adult-led group activities.

Years 1 - 6

Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children can achieve high standards in science. Teaching is set out thus:

  •        Science will be taught as set out by the year group requirements of the National Curriculum. This is a strategy to enable the accumulation of knowledge and allows progress in repeated topics through the years.
  •        Pupils will concentrate on one science skill per term. Term 1 will be dedicated to planning investigations, Term 2 to results gathering and analysis, and Term 3 will be spent evaluating practical work. Although each skill is related and there are links between them, there is minimum crossover as they are taught, so each becomes firmly embedded.
  •        Through our planning, we involve problem solving opportunities, allowing children to find out for themselves how to answer questions in a variety of practical means. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given appropriate equipment to use their scientific skills to discover the answers.
  •        Engaging lessons are created with each lesson having both practical and knowledge elements. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills and children are regularly assessed to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all children keep up.
  •        We build upon the learning and skill development of previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, and they become more proficient in selecting and using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.
  •        Working Scientifically skills are explicit in lessons to ensure these skills are being developed throughout the children’s school career and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching. This is developed through the years, in-keeping with the theme of the lesson.
  •        Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding.

Impact

The successful approach at Pondhu results in a fun, engaging, high-quality science education, that provides children with the foundations for understanding the natural world.

Pupil voice is used to further develop the Science curriculum, through questioning of pupil’s views and attitudes to Science to support the children’s enjoyment of science and to motivate learners. 

Formative assessment forms the foundation of assessment in science.  Teacher’s gauge children’s understanding during lessons through questioning and work evidence.  Summative assessment takes place at the end of each unit.  We administer ‘End of Topic tests’ at intervals throughout each year, which are short, summative assessments written in line with curriculum objectives and our planning. These test results form another source of evidence to support teachers in making accurate teacher assessments.

We aim to ensure that children have a secure cross-section of biology, chemistry and physics understanding that build throughout the years.  The curriculum delivers ‘big ideas’ that build on and extend children’s understanding of key concepts.  This is then secured with working scientific knowledge.  As the children progress through the years, they develop their experimenting skills from basic to more complex, ready to take these skills into secondary school.  These same ideas are developed upon in secondary school as the working scientifically skills continue to develop.