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Science

Intent

At Old Clee Primary Academy, we believe that a high quality Science education provides the foundations for understanding and exploring the world through the disciplines of biology, physics and chemistry. Our intention is that pupils will be able to work scientifically and use scientific enquiry type throughout each of their lessons. Children will begin to use these skills, no matter which concept element is being taught. As teachers will identify a scientific skill and enquiry type each lesson, children will become confident when planning and investigation. We intend that this confidence will translate in to excitement and curiosity in Science lessons.

We intend that children have a secure understanding of all topics covered in the science curriculum through our spiralised approach to teaching. This approach ensures progression across the school from the EYFS to Year 6, building upon children’s prior learning and helps children retain what they have been taught in each of the science concepts.  In addition, we intend that children become more familiar with scientific vocabulary as this progression has been planned for throughout the school.

We intend to build on children’s cultural capital by exposing them to high quality fiction and non-fiction texts, videos and external visits. We intend that learning about influential scientists (and raising the profile of female scientists) will raise the aspirations of all of our pupils, regardless of gender. We intend to promote STEM activities and this will become more evident as the curriculum becomes embedded, as it relies heavily on children applying previously taught knowledge. In turn, we intend that children will develop transferrable skills which will help them in their future careers/lives.

In addition to the high quality science lessons at Old Clee, we aspire to enrich the curriculum through organising additional activities and external visits. When possible (and COVID safe) local links will be made to enhance the science curriculum and make links to children’s real life. E.g local plant walks, local company workshops, etc.

 

Implementation

Early Years Foundation Stage

Within the Early Years Foundation Stage, there are seven areas of learning where the theme of investigation and talking about what can be discovered run throughout. Specifically, children work through objectives within the ‘Understanding the world’ area of learning, where they learn to explore and look after their environment. The children are encouraged to notice and discuss the world around them and their immediate environment. Children are encouraged to investigate what they have discovered, this includes discussing similarities and differences in relation to: objects, materials and living things. Using their developing oracy skills, they talk about their findings, using age appropriate scientific vocabulary within their science lessons. Through ‘Health and Self Care’ the children also learn how to look after themselves, eat healthy and stay safe. Most of the science themes in the Foundation Stage are taught through a book, e.g. learning about the lifecycle of a butterfly through the book ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’. This knowledge and understanding is also developed through real life, practical experience such as observing the class caterpillars change and grow into butterflies.

 

Key Stage One and Two

Throughout the school, science is taught once a week. Each lessons requires pupils to reflect on and consolidate their prior learning through talk tasks and responding to written comments by the teacher. Children are encouraged to develop their own appreciation of scientific ideas by answering (their own)/asking their own questions, observing changes over time, grouping and classifying things and carrying out simple tests. Children are encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. They make predictions, observations and learn to use scientific equipment safely and in different ways. Children across the school learn how to gather and record their own scientific data and begin to interpret it. The children are encouraged to use scientific language to talk about what they have found.

As children move in to Key Stage Two they will broaden their scientific view of the world and will begin to design their own investigations. Children will be more able to ask their own questions, use scientific vocabulary and interpret and record data. Pupils are challenged to demonstrate their scientific knowledge by using key scientific language – a skill being developed throughout the whole school. All children should end the lesson by reflecting on their learning, through discussions, reviewing their success criteria and by completing a self or peer assessment.

 

Scientific enquiry

These 5 types of scientific enquiry will underpin all of the Science taught at Old Clee Primary Academy. One of these areas will be focused on each lesson, and children will revisit these regularly throughout their time at school. These will complement their subject knowledge and working scientifically skills:

  1. Classification
  2. Research
  3. Comparative/Fair Test
  4. Observation over time
  5. Pattern seeking

 

Cultural capital

In addition to building on children’s cultural capital (as set out in our intentions), teachers will plan for further cross curricular links depending on their curriculum content. Teachers will regularly refer back to their collection of texts in science, ensuring plenty of opportunities for reading for meaning. As teachers begin to record data more often, Maths will also be linked in with their science learning more regularly. Teachers will complete a concept element trackers, which ensures that cross curricular links are being sought.

One week per academic year is dedicated to British Science Week During this week, lessons are planned with a focus upon fun and hands on activities. The children learn/investigate science through fascinating, entertaining and engaging activities across the Academy from Nursery up to Year 6. Children work together in pairs/small groups to discuss, carry out and analyse the activities. Where possible (and COVID safe) visitors are invited to come into the Academy to share their expertise with the children and staff to provide additional science-based experiences.

 

Impact
Children will become self-motivated learners and have developed a passion for Science. They will gain a conceptual understanding of all aspects of the science curriculum. Children will be confident to explain what ‘Being a scientist’ means and will learn the skills needed to work like a scientist. Teachers are confident practitioners who deliver an enquiry rich curriculum with access to appropriate resources enabling children to develop their skills/knowledge.
The Old Clee Primary Academy, the Science curriculum will continually develop and improve through the use of relevant CPD, developing, adapting and building on the Academy’s current science curriculum and using assessment to influence planning and teaching. Importantly children attending the Academy will understand the relevance of science, they will feel confident to ask scientific questions and to investigate, as a result, pupils will be enthusiastic about science.

As children progress through the school, knowledge will be revisited regularly ensuring that most children will retain new information. As the scientific skills and enquiry types are embedded, children will be able to apply these skills through any concept element.
Termly ‘Proof of Progess’ POP tasks will show the progression of skills throughout the year and throughout the school.

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