At Staincliffe CE Junior School our science curriculum gives all children a strong understanding and joy of the world around them 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 and investigative skills are embedded in each topic the children study and these topics are revisited and developed throughout their time at Staincliffe.
We encourage children to be inquisitive throughout their time at the school and beyond. The Science curriculum fosters a healthy curiosity in children about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes. Throughout the programmes of study, the children will acquire and develop the key knowledge that has been identified within each unit and across each year group. The key knowledge identified by each year group is informed by the national curriculum and builds towards identified phase ‘end points’ in accordance with NC expectations. Key skills are also mapped for each year group and are progressive throughout the school. These too ensure systematic progression to identified skills end points which are in accordance with the Working Scientifically skills expectations of the national curriculum. The curriculum is designed to ensure that children are able to acquire key scientific knowledge through practical experiences; using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently.
Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards in science. To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in science, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. Science is taught weekly and focuses on skills and knowledge stated in the National Curriculum and in areas specific to the need of our children. Opportunities for independent investigations and experiments enhance the knowledge-based learning.
- Each new unit of work begins with a recap of the previous related knowledge from previous years in the form of a pre-knowledge quiz. This helps children to retrieve what they have learnt in the earlier sequence of the programme of study, and ensures that new knowledge is taught in the context of previous learning to promote a shift in long term memory. These quiz questions can include multiple choice, picture prompts and labelling diagrams to ensure that specific needs are catered for.
- Key Vocabulary is also introduced as part of this new unit and is recapped at the beginning of every lesson to ensure that it is embedded throughout the topic. Pupils are encouraged to apply it when they approach their work.
- At the beginning of every lesson, teachers recap and review the previous lesson’s learning to ensure that prior learning is not lost. Teachers orally repeat key vocabulary and their definitions so that the children can apply these words when writing in their books.
- We build upon the knowledge and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.
- Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure that skills are systematically developed throughout the children’s school career and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching. This is developed through the years, in keeping with the topics.
- Children are offered a wide range of extra-curricular activities, visits, trips and visitors to complement and broaden the curriculum. These are purposeful and link with the knowledge being taught in class.
- Regular events, such as Science Week, allow all pupils to come off-timetable, to provide broader provision and the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills. These events often involve families and the wider community.
- Whole-school science investigations are launched throughout the year to enhance the profile of Science within the school and the community and prizes are given out to children who participate.
- At the end of each unit of work, Science is assessed in the form of a post knowledge quiz, where children are asked questions about the previous topic. Like the pre knowledge test, children are given the opportunity to answer multiple choice questions, label scientific diagrams, explain scientific theories and define scientific vocabulary. Teachers can then make an informed decision on that specific child’s outcome, and collate data as necessary.
By the time they leave us, as scientists, our children will have:
- The ability to think independently and raise questions about working scientifically and the knowledge and skills that it brings.
- Confidence and competence in the full range of practical skills, taking the initiative in, for example, planning and carrying out scientific investigations.
- Excellent scientific knowledge and understanding which is demonstrated in written and verbal explanations, solving challenging problems and reporting scientific findings.
- High levels of originality, imagination or innovation in the application of skills.
- The ability to undertake practical work in a variety of contexts, including fieldwork.
- A passion for science and its application in past, present and future technologies.
Our science curriculum is high quality, well thought out and planned to demonstrate progression. If children are keeping up with our curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress and support is put in place for those working towards the curriculum objectives.