INTENT – The Science Curriculum
Science teaching at our school aims to give all children a strong understanding of the world around them whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them to think scientifically, to gain an understanding of scientific processes and also an understanding of the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future.
At Hunton and Arrathorne, scientific enquiry skills are embedded in each topic the children study and these topics are revisited and developed throughout their time at school. Topics, such as Plants, are taught in Key Stage One and studied again in further detail throughout Key Stage Two. This model allows children to build upon their prior knowledge and increases their enthusiasm for the topics whilst embedding this procedural knowledge into the long-term memory.
All children are encouraged to develop and use a range of skills including observations, planning and investigations, as well as being encouraged to question the world around them and become independent learners in exploring possible answers for their scientific based questions. Specialist vocabulary for topics is taught and built up, and effective questioning to communicate ideas is encouraged. Concepts taught should be reinforced by focusing on the key features of scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions.
IMPLEMENTATION – Rationale
We want our children to love Science! As a result, we place a high level importance on the subject. All children from Year 1 – Year 6 are taught by a science specialist teacher, who is also our science leader. Children are taught science in smaller groups. The long term plan for science allows children to gain a greater depth of knowledge over time. At the start of the topic teachers make explicit links where the children have covered that topic before; drawing on our curriculum progression document. Teachers use low-stakes quizzes and check-ins to ensure facts are kept in the long term memory.
Scientific enquiry skills are developed throughout the units. We are committed to ensuring that science is as hands-on and interactive as possible; as such lots of resources are new and suitable for purpose. We have developed characters to link with the key scientific enquiry skills – these are displayed in every classroom and referred to explicitly when a particular scientific enquiry skill is taught. This continuation of skills means that children are able to build upon the use of them in each session.
Children are given ‘Science Shirts’ which take the place of laboratory coats. These are taken by the children throughout the school and are a way of recording key vocabulary – this also helps children see where they have developed skills significantly in the past.
To ensure the children see the value of science in everyday life, we plan visits which are at the heart of our community. We use local scientists to inspire and talk to the children, for example electricians, nurses and engineers; we use local places of interest for example Brimham Rocks when studying ‘Rocks’ and our local nature reserve ‘Foxglove Covert’ when finding out about animals. We know that linking science to our community helps raise the profile of the subject.
Our long term plan is carefully organised – often the whole school teaches the same theme in science but with the key progression document in mind. As a result, topics are celebrated at the end and children can see links between what they have learnt in the past, now and what they will learn in the future. Other topics such a ‘Rocks’ and ‘Light’ are particularly carefully positioned to align with the history and Religious Education curriculum.
We aim for all of our children to leave us as scientists- they should have an excellent understanding of scientific concepts and facts. They should also develop key scientific enquiry skills which are built upon progressively throughout their time at our school. Impact is measured through science journals which the pupils carry with them from Y1-Y6. We record the attainment and progress impact on our school tracker. We celebrate science through whole school displays which share the progress children make across aspects of science and celebrate how science is a part of life in our school.
However, more-so than data, we strive for the impact of our science teaching to be that our children love science. They are inspired by visits, visitors and the application of science into real-life contexts. They can appreciate how scientists have changed the world for the better and have a rich enthusiasm to explore and wonder. Through visits and visitors we aim for the children to not only see themselves as scientists, but also consider careers in science in the future.