At Atwood, we emphasise the hands-on and practical aspect of conducting experiments in science to ensure children develop their own sense of curiosity and build a sense of wonder towards the natural world. We ensure children are challenged with ideas that extend beyond the National Curriculum by combining teacher-led demonstrations with experiments children can conduct independently. Children develop their scientific skills by asking questions, developing hypotheses and observing phenomena within a context that feels purposeful, exciting and inspiring. We encourage children to share their misconceptions and provide them with the opportunity to correct themselves through discovery, rather than providing all the answers.
What is our approach to Science?
At Atwood, we follow the Empiribox Science programme. All science objectives are based on investigations which are fully resourced. There is a different focus each term: Autumn (Physics, Hypotheses & Planning), Spring (Chemistry, methods and conducting experiments) and Summer (Biology, results and evaluation) with the programme following a four-year topic cycle
Children work scientifically to test their own hypotheses and learn practical science skills such as measuring, testing and recording. There is a strong emphasis on building a language rich curriculum is consistent with our use of ‘star words’ in Maths and Science
School created Knowledge Organisers provide a defined knowledge bank for each unit. Teaching staff attend dedicated training at the start of each unit to ensure strong subject knowledge and understanding of the upcoming unit.
What does our approach to Science look like in the classroom?
The first lesson of each unit focuses on AfL to assess prior knowledge. Do Now’s at the start of each session also assess knowledge retention over time. Much of Atwood Science teaching is enquiry based with children encouraged to be curious and use their existing knowledge to answer questions and solve problems.
Books (knowledge) and floorbooks (scientific skills) show progress through a unit
Summative tests marked in class shortly before end of unit to provide time to revisit
First lesson of unit is an AfL focus to ascertain prior knowledge?
How do we measure success in Science?
Floorbooks and books show progress and independent work. Pupil voice and children’s reflections on science teaching are also important indicators of progress.
Science learning walks and book reviews ensure fidelity with the model and provide teachers with important feedback. The introduction of summative assessments will provide a measure of knowledge retention at the end of a unit.