Our Science Curriculum
What is Science?
Science is making sense of, and being curious about, the world around us - including living and non-living things.
Who leads Science at Scarcliffe and what is their vision?
The science leader at our school is Lucy Baldwin - who is also the teacher in Class 1. For further information about the science curriculum, or for other support, she can be contacted via email. firstname.lastname@example.org
The subject leader's vision for science is to ensure that every child leaves our school being inquisitive and curious about the world around them and with a respect for living and non-living things. She wants to make sure they are ready for the science curriculum at secondary school and for life beyond school. The subject leader is also determined to ensure that children are well informed to be aware of the consequences of their lives on the environment in which they live. Finally, the vision is for children to have purposeful, investigation-led and engaging science lessons within every unit of work at school.
Science Curriculum Intent
At Scarcliffe Primary School, we have five main intents that we hope to deliver through our science curriculum:
- Ask scientific questions and gain curiosity about the world.
- To work scientifically – making predictions, planning and carrying out fair tests, presenting results and drawing conclusions.
- To have a growing knowledge about the work of key scientists and the fields they worked in.
- To gain and apply statistical knowledge when presenting data.
- Have a secure knowledge of the primary curriculum (including biology, chemistry and physics).
In order to achieve this, we have developed our curriculum intent under three main headings:
Working Scientifically - This covers the disciplinary knowledge that children need to be good scientists. The objectives are taken from the 'Working Scientifically' section of the Science National Curriculum and are planned to be embedded within science units and investigations.
Knowledge of Scientists -
This ranges from knowing what a scientist is and what they do in class one to knowing the names and work of scientists linked to specific areas of learning in science. We try to select scientists to promote diversity in the field of science and challenge stereotypes.
These are links taken from the National Curriculum for Maths and is purposefully planned to ensure children have the opportunity to make connections between science and maths, particularly through investigations.
Our curriculum intent document for science (see below) shows how these areas are developed progressively during a pupil's time at Scarcliffe. We are confident that our intent will encourage children to be curious about the world around them and prepare them for science learning at Key Stage 3 and beyond.
How Science is implemented at Scarcliffe
At Scarcliffe, we use the Science National Curriculum objectives as a basis for our intent and planning. We teach in mixed age classes and plan science learning journeys to cater for the needs of our classes. Key knowledge and vocabulary is planned to be taught using a knowledge organiser. Science learning is recorded in science books.
Units are taught on a two-year rolling programme. These are planned out in our science overview. Science is taught as a discrete subject each half term, other than one. In the half term when science is not taught, a computing unit will be taught instead. Science lessons can take place weekly or are sometimes blocked into whole days when appropriate.
At the start of a unit, every child completes a pre learning task. This helps children and teachers to understand what pupils already know and what they need to learn. These tasks also highlight any misconceptions children may have.
We understand that children need lots of opportunity to revisit prior learning so it is not forgotten. We have designed 'Can you still?' activities which happen in every class very frequently. These 'Can you still?' activities systematically revisit key learning points at carefully thought out intervals.
'Working Scientifically' is embedded within each science unit and practical investigations are planned in.
Knowledge of scientists is promoted in science units.
Teachers aim to include statistics learning - based on maths objectives from the National Curriculum. We feel that providing children with the chance to analyse and present real data - from their investigations - helps to make the learning more purposeful and memorable.
At the end of a unit of work, children complete a post learning task. Children (and staff) can then reflect on the progress they have made since the start of a unit.
Our Curriculum Overview for Science
As mentioned above, we have created our own science overview. Please see this below. Note - the letters and numbers (e.g. D6) refer to the statements in the curriculum intent document:
Links to our core abilities
We have identified seven core abilities that we hope to develop through our curriculum offer.
- Questioning and curiosity
- Critical thinking and open-mindedness
- Perseverance and resilience
- Team work
We can develop many of these core abilities through effective science teaching, but we particularly focus on developing questioning and curiosity and critical thinking and open-mindedness through our science lessons.
Knowledge Organisers and Learning Journeys
Knowledge organisers and learning journeys are a fundamental aspect of the way we teach science at school. Prior to teaching a unit, teachers consider what the children need to be taught. They think about the aspects of science children need to have a good understanding of before they move on to the year group specific objectives. The list of objectives is then mapped out in a learning journey. This is shared with the children regularly and helps them to understand what comes next and how what they have already learnt will help them to understand the next step. Knowledge organisers include the key knowledge and vocabulary to be taught within the unit.
An example of a learning journey and knowledge organiser in science is below. It is taken from an animals unit which was delivered to our mixed Reception/Year 1 class.
Monitoring the impact of teaching in science
We understand the importance of teaching high quality science lessons to all children and leaders monitor the impact of teaching in a variety of ways.
Most importantly, they spend time in classes as well as talking to staff and pupils about their learning. Leaders spend time looking in books to ensure a consistency of approach and to check that children are making good progress. The subject leader completes book looks alongside pupils so they can explain their learning and views about science in general. A range of other strategies are used to monitor standards and all this information is collated and shared with staff.
Staff assess children against the curriculum intent statements each year. Information is centred around determining which children are not yet at the expected standard and who are very secure within the expected standard. This provides us with information to inform our future teaching. End of Key Stage data is collected at the end of Year 2 and Year 6 in line with national requirements for assessment.
End of year data at the end of 2021 - 22 is below:
Year 2 = 9 out of 12 met the expected standard (75%)
Year 6 = 16 out of 17 met the expected standard (94%)
Here are some great websites to support learning in science:
Science at home
We do not set homework as such for science. However, each term class teachers send home a homework menu linked to their current topic and these often include options related to science.
We are always very impressed when children go home and produce work at home linked to the learning they have done in science lessons at school. This is regularly shared and children receive recognition for having a positive attitude towards their learning.
Examples of pupil work
We are proud of the outcomes our children produce in science and have started to take photographs of examples of some of their work. Please see the gallery below:
Trips and visitors to school