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Science

Our Science Story

Intent

At old Clee we aim to build inquisitive, resilient and confident scientists.

We aim to ….

Encourage pupils’ knowledge and understanding of our world and develop the skills associated with Science as a process of enquiry. Science develops the natural curiosity of the child, encourages respect for living organisms and the physical environment and provides opportunities for critical evaluation of evidence.

 

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.

  • begin to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time (UKS2)
  • explore and talk about other peoples' ideas (KS2 performance descriptors).

 

Implementation

At Old Clee our curriculum ensures progression across the school from the EYFS to Year 6, reflecting the National Curriculum. Our spiralised Science curriculum is devised to build upon children’s prior learning and ensure that they retain their understanding of each subject. This ensures that children have a firm understanding of all topics covered in the science curriculum.

Below is an example of the concept element – Investigate living things – Plants.

In addition, we also spiralise learning across the year rather than teaching each concept element in a block.  

Below is an example from Year 3.

 

We intend that children develop scientific enquiry skills, which progress across the key stages. The children build on this by applying their knowledge of science when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently and continue to ask questions about their surroundings.

Below is an example of how the Scientific enquiry skills progress across the key stages (in child friendly language)
These are displayed in the classroom and referred to during each science lesson so that children are aware of what ‘Being a scientist’ means and the skills that they use.

 

Early Years Foundation Stage

Within the Early Years foundation stage there are seven areas of learning where the theme of investigation and discussion about what can be discovered run throughout the year. In the ‘Understanding the world – the natural world’ area of learning children 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 seen/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 and using age appropriate scientific vocabulary. 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

In Key Stage One Science is taught once a week for 60 minutes. Pupils are encouraged to reflect, consolidate and build on prior learning by investigating a range of topics, including working scientifically. The children are encouraged to develop their own appreciation of scientific ideas by answering and 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 simple predictions, observations and learn to use scientific equipment safely and in different ways. Pupils in Key Stage 1 learn how to gather and record their own scientific data and start to interpret that of others. The children are encouraged to begin to use scientific language to talk about what they have found. Within Key Stage One, learning about science is through the use of first hand practical experiences supported by appropriate secondary sources.

 

Key Stage Two

In Key Stage Two science is taught once a week for 60 minutes. The principal focus of science teaching in Key Stage 2 is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them and to develop a deeper understanding of the scientific skills needed. Within Key Stage 2 children are encouraged to design/develop their own investigations, ask their own questions about what they observe and then select the most appropriate ways to answer these questions. Children are also encouraged to use scientific vocabulary to discuss what they have discovered and then to write about what they have found out.  They interpret, record and share their data in a variety of ways and use this to draw conclusions. Pupils are challenged to demonstrate their scientific knowledge to others through presentational talk, using key scientific vocabulary. They then use their developing science knowledge to make further predictions and plan for subsequent investigations.

 

Scientific enquiry

Throughout Old Clee Primary Academy children will explore the 5 types of scientific enquiry which builds on their subject knowledge and working scientifically skills:

 

Cross Curricular Links

Where possible cross curricular links are made with other subjects across each Key Stage. Children develop their spoken English and PSHE skills through peer and group discussion. Reading skills are developed through the use of linked texts, reading comprehension texts and a build up for a collection of texts linking to each science topic. Number and measure skills are developed through taking measurements and recording/presenting of data – link to ICT.  Local areas are incorporated into the science curriculum linking to the Geography curriculum.

 

Children gain an insight into key scientists and how scientific ideas have changed and developed over time. Children are encouraged to explore and talk about others’ ideas using texts such as: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants and research cards. All of these activities help to deepen the children’s science cultural capital. Where possible cross curricular links are made with other subjects across each Key Stage. Children develop their spoken English and PSHE skills through peer and group discussion. Reading skills are developed through the use of linked texts, reading comprehension texts and a build up for a collection of texts linking to each science topic. Number and measure skills are developed through taking measurements and recording/presenting of data – link to ICT.  Local areas are incorporated into the science curriculum linking to the Geography curriculum.

 

Enrichment

One week per academic term 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 visitors are invited to come into the Academy to share their expertise with the children and staff to provide additional science-based experiences.

In addition to this it is our intention that children also develop transferrable skills which will help them in their future careers/lives.

To develop children’s scientific understanding, in addition to the high quality science lessons at Old Clee, we aim to enrich the curriculum through organising additional activities and external visits, which enhance the curriculum.
When possible throughout the year local links are made to enhance the science curriculum and make links to children’s real life. E.g local plant walks, local company workshops – lab rascals, etc.

 

The Impact

If you were to walk into a Science lesson at Old Clee you would see -  

  • Children have the opportunity to recap previous learning
  • Children can talk about “Being a scientist” and are enthusiastic about their learning
  • Collaborative/pupil lead learning
  • Engaging investigations
  • A developing understanding of a fair test
  • An understanding and respect for the natural world around them
  • Pupils asking open ended questions

 

Children will become self-motivated learners and develop 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 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.

 

What does being a Science mean at Old Clee?

Year 4 Pupil: 'They help the world, make new things like medicines to help our bodies. They are actually working on medicine to cure a cold at the moment.'

 

Year 1 Pupil: 'Scientists touch things and find evidence. They use magnifying glasses.'

 

What do you think of Science lessons at Old Clee?

Year 1 Pupil: 'It’s amazing – we learn loads of stuff about the world, people and animals.'

 

Year 6 Pupil: Beneficial, really good and fun as well – We learn about what scientist do and what we can achieve.'

                                       

What would you like to improve about being a Scientist at Old Clee?

Year 2 Pupil: I would like to do more investigations'

 

Year 5 Pupil:I would like to conduct more research and conduct more experiments.'

 

Successes in 2019-2020

  • Science week – pupils engaging in science investigations, working collaborately.
  • School website has an engaging science representation
  • Child friendly classroom displays and phrasing for ‘Being a scientist’
  • Investment in updating of resources for KS1 and KS2?

 

Priorities for 2020-2021

 

  • Continued CPD for science leads and  teachers
  • Ensure knowledge coverage is spiralised and interleaved across year groups, which build upon children’s prior learning.
  • Ensure that working scientifically skills are spiralised across year groups, which build upon children’s prior learning.
  • Ensure coverage of working scientifically skills across an academic year, which allow children to focus on one skill during a lesson.
  • Ensure coverage of science enquiry types across an academic year.
  • Introduce more opportunities for retrieval practice.
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