Intent - What we want for our developing scientists?
At Horn’s Mill, we aim to provide a progressive and purposeful science curriculum that excites and enthuses our children. To achieve this we devise our learning to nurture inquisitive minds, instil a lifelong love of learning and deepen children’s scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding of biology, chemistry and physics.
Our devised curriculum ensures that a greater breadth of knowledge and conceptual awareness is covered than following the National Curriculum alone. We expose our learners to aspects of physics topics from KS1 and we regularly review understanding to ensure that children have the opportunity recap and revisit learning throughout school and we can confidently assess learners at the end of key stage. The rationale and aims reflect the school’s vision statement in terms of supporting children to reach their full potential and our science curriculum reflects our school context fully.
Through science, we aim to shape children’s understanding of the world around them. They will improve their knowledge of the nature, processes and methods of science. By using different types of scientific enquiry, they will come to appreciate the importance of asking questions and seeking rational explanations. Our children will develop the skills required for scientific enquiry through working scientifically which they can then apply to a wide range of subjects and have the necessary knowledge to access secondary education.
We understand the importance of using high quality texts to engage and support the understanding of difficult concepts and our science curriculum incorporates the use of these texts to explore new concepts as well as making links across other subjects.
Our children will leave Horn’s Mill with the necessary scientific knowledge to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. 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 - How is the curriculum delivered?
At Horn’s Mill, teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards. The acquisition of both key scientific knowledge and skills are an integral part of all of our science lessons. The progression of skills for working scientifically are developed through the year groups and scientific enquiry skills are of key importance within lessons.
Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following;
- Science will be taught weekly, with a focus on a specific unit typically, each half term.
- Teachers will enable all children to be catered for through adapted planning suited to their abilities and where necessary, using STRATA objectives.
- Planning involves teachers creating practical, engaging lessons with opportunities for precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning.
- Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. Curiosity is celebrated within the classroom.
- Our disciplinary and substantive curriculum is progressive. We build upon the children’s previous learning and skill development. This is assessed at the start of each unit through whole class (key stage 1) and individual (key stage 2) elicitation tasks. From here teachers can identify any misconceptions that may need addressing in future lessons.
- Working scientifically skills are embedded into lessons rather than taught discreetly. This ensures that these skills are being developed throughout the learner’s school journey in clear, appropriate and real life situations.
Throughout each unit, children get the opportunity to develop their skills in one of the following areas:
The children’s skills will be developed within a specific enquiry type:
Moving from lower to upper primary, children should become increasingly autonomous in their decision-making when carrying out investigations. They should become systematic and accurate in collecting and analysing data and able to evaluate their results.
- New vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching. This is developed throughout the years, in keeping with the topics / unit focuses.
- Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding. Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning and workshops with experts.
- Children are given regular opportunities to research the work of the scientific greats as well as looking at the scientists of today. This gives pupils the opportunity to see how science is relevant today as well as showing that it is accessible to all.
- Science capital is developed through enrichment days, such as ‘science week’ and sustainability week and through the STEM after school club for KS2.
Reading across the curriculum
In order to develop children's reading skills, our teaching staff plan opportunities for children to independently read age-appropriate texts that link to the science unit being studied, or for revisiting that which has been previously taught. Once children have learned to read, they are able to access Collins Big Cat titles that enrich the wider curriculum alongside a subscription with an education library service (ELS.) Through ELS, classes are provided with a range of age appropriate, unit specific books. Whole class reading lessons from Year 2 and throughout KS2 are intentionally sequenced to develop children's background knowledge and widen their subject-specific vocabulary. For example, in Team 5, children have a themed week reading texts which help developing their understanding of forces and energy; they also read texts aiding their understanding of life cycles based on the content studied in science lessons.
Impact - How do we know our science curriculum is effective?
Our inclusive ethos and approach to creating our science curriculum means that we have thought about how children can demonstrate their learning in a way that is accessible for all. Successful teaching of science results in a fun, engaging, high quality science education, that provides children with the foundations for understanding the world that they can take with them once they complete their primary education. So much of science lends itself to outdoor learning, and so we provide children with opportunities to experience this. Science learning can also be evidenced through, writing, maths, art and drama. To assess children’s depth of knowledge of the science topics across school, our science curriculum includes ‘end points’ which take the form of our key questions. These key questions, may be answered in a variety of ways and will be planned out in advance by teachers. This approach allows children to show the knowledge that they have gained. With regard to working scientifically, teachers will assess the children’s progress utilising the TAPS resources. These resources focus on a specific skill area at a time and link to the topics that children are working on. Each area of working scientifically will be continually assessed throughout the year. Pupil Voice is one of the ways that we ensure learning is sticking and that the curriculum is achieving our aims. Through gaining the views of our learners we can get a better understanding of how children feel about the teaching of science and whether our approach supports learner to fully grasp the concepts being taught.
If you have any further enquiries relating to the science curriculum, please email Miss Foster on firstname.lastname@example.org