What is our approach to Science?

Science is an engaging, enquiry led subject that aims to ensure pupils are equipped to understand the uses and implications of science today and in the future.

The programme of study for science states ‘A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity. Pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena.’

What does our approach to Science look like in the classroom?

To ensure this happens, we have a science curriculum that focuses on developing a natural curiosity about the world and develops an enthusiasm in pupils so they want to make sense of it.

We believe that skills and knowledge are intrinsically linked in the science curriculum and aim to capitalise on this by using first-hand experiences, so our pupils learn about the way things are and why they behave as they do.

Pupils in science are involved in a wide range of activities that are practical, relevant, co-operative and satisfying. We aim to give them an understanding of scientific concepts and processes. This includes asking questions, discussing, predicting and planning investigations as well as methods of recording, interpreting and evaluating findings. Furthermore, we aim to link lessons to real life, in doing so we are fostering social awareness and responsibility, resilience and reflective thinking.

Linking to the National Curriculum, in different phases as follows:

  • Children in EYFS follow the early learning goal – the world, should ‘know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur and talk about changes.’

  • During Key Stage 1, pupils experience and observe phenomena, looking more closely at the natural and humanly constructed world around them. They should be encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. They should be helped to develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of scientific enquiry to answer their own questions, including observing changes over a period of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative tests, and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They should begin to use simple scientific language to talk about what they have found out and communicate their ideas to a range of audiences in a variety of ways. Most of the learning about science should be done through the use of first-hand practical experiences, but there should also be some use of appropriate secondary sources, such as books, photographs and videos.’

  • During Lower Key Stage 2, pupils should ‘broaden their scientific view of the world around them. They should do this through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments, and by beginning to develop their ideas about functions, relationships and interactions. They should ask their own questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, including observing changes over time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative and fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They should draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out.’

  • During Upper Key Stage 2, pupils should ‘develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. They should do this through exploring and talking about their ideas; asking their own questions about scientific phenomena; and analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically. They should encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. They should also begin to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time. They should select the most appropriate ways to answer science questions using different types of scientific enquiry, including observing changes over different periods of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out comparative and fair tests and finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information. Pupils should draw conclusions based on their data and observations, use evidence to justify their ideas, and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings.’

How do we measure success in Science?

The science curriculum will make a profound and positive impact on the outcomes of every child. The structure enables us to return to core knowledge and skills throughout the course, imbedding key practises and understanding.

Core knowledge of each unit is supported by a Knowledge Organiser which details the key learning points, vocabulary and key questions. It is our expectation that the knowledge on our organiser is known by all. Memory Workouts are used to gauge knowledge retention throughout. In line with the Ark Assessment policy, children sit a summative test at the end of each year.

We endeavour to create strong and appropriate links with other subjects to enhance the curriculum and learning experience, predominantly but not exclusively with maths, literacy, music, PSHE, topic and PE.

Our teachers rely on a range of assessment tools to provide data on the knowledge and skills pupils have, their progress and their development points.

This includes:

  • assessment for learning
  • challenge tasks
  • enquiry tasks
  • the tracking of scientific skills
  • standards of learning in books
  • quizzing and end of unit questions
  • pupil voice