Curriculum Area: Science
Subject Leader: Mr Simpson
At The Gates, the aim of our Science curriculum is to give our children a strong understanding of the world 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. Scientific enquiry skills are embedded in each topic the children study and these topics are revisited and developed throughout their time at school.
Topics are touched upon 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 reading, 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 are 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.
An appropriate range of teaching and learning strategies will be used in all science lessons alongside the highest of expectations, to capture pupils’ interest and to ensure most children reach the lesson end point. Teachers will use school’s medium term plans, supported by a wide range of teaching and learning resources, to develop the substantive and disciplinary knowledge, skills and understanding of every child, ensuring that all pupils, including those with SEND, achieve high standards for their ability and make good progress from their starting points. Each new unit will start by recapping prior learning and gaging current knowledge, providing teachers with a sound understanding of children’s starting points.
Children will be encouraged to ask questions; solve problems; discover new information; apply and consolidate their substantive and disciplinary knowledge, skills and understanding through first-hand experience, investigations and practical work. Teachers will make use of the immediate and wider environment to help pupils apply their scientific knowledge skills and understanding to see the relevance of science to their own lives. They will set challenging work, tasks and problems to increase children’s knowledge, skills and understanding, to extend their thinking and build their self-confidence.
Teachers will assess children’s work in science through formative and summative judgements. At the end of each half term, children will complete an assessment quiz comprising of 10 key questions from the unit they have covered. This, alongside weekly feedback and observations, will form a judgement for a child’s attainment. Work will be marked in line with the school marking policy and children will receive feedback each week on their learning. Children will also be given time to reflect on their learning each lesson and will be asked to self-assess their understanding against the knowledge and skills they have been taught.
The science subject leader will support the teaching and learning of science by providing strategic leadership and direction; outlining the coherent sequencing of the curriculum through medium term plans; monitoring progress and standards across the school; reviewing and revising the science policy; monitoring; coaching and supporting teachers in the teaching of science; providing CPD, keeping staff up to date on new developments in science; monitoring the effectiveness of the planning and development of science; auditing; monitoring the effective and appropriate use of resources and obtaining new resources.
At The Gates, pupils develop an extensive and connected knowledge base leading them to perceive science as a subject in which they can succeed. As a result they know more, remember more and are able to apply more of their scientific knowledge (both substantive and disciplinary) and make good progress from their starting points. During lessons children operate as scientists developing their ability to seek out patterns; research phenomena that they cannot experience for themselves first-hand; engage in fair testing; make close observations, including those over time and classify and group objects based on scientific criteria, which help them make meaningful connections between scientific phenomena across all disciplines. Pupils appreciate the vital role science plays within their lives, enabling them to make informed decisions affecting their own health and wellbeing, as well as recognising the significance of science in tackling global issues faced by humanity.
Science in action