Intent

Science is one of the core curriculum subjects that is taught throughout school. At St Mary’s, we aim for the teaching of this subject to be of a practical nature, thus allowing the children to explore the world around them, whilst ensuring they are provided with and engaged in practical first hand experiences and investigations. This approach is fundamental to the acquisitions of both scientific knowledge and skills.

The National Curriculum for science aims to:

  • Provide opportunities for all children to take part in science activities (in Early Years knowledge and understanding of the world activities), regardless of gender, ethnicity, socio-economic background or special educational needs.
  • Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciples of biology, chemistry and physics.
  • To ensure all children’s needs are recognised regarding the science curriculum and children are provided with relevant support and appropriate tasks and experiences, whether it be enrichment or consolidation.
  • Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
  • Are equipped with the scientific skills required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. We understand that it is important for lessons to have a skills-based focus, and that the knowledge can be taught through this.
  • To foster positive attitudes such as curiosity, perseverance, willingness to use and appraise evidence, willingness to tolerate uncertainty, critical reflection and enthusiasm.
  • To develop pupils’ enjoyment and interest in science and an appreciation of its contribution to all aspects of everyday life.
  • To use a planned range of investigations and practical activities to give pupils a greater understanding of the concepts and knowledge of science.
  • To introduce children to the language and vocabulary of science.
  • To develop pupils’ basic practical skills and their ability to make accurate and appropriate measurements.
  • To develop pupils’ use of computing in their science studies.
  • To promote a ‘healthy lifestyle’ through the use of our science garden by growing and eating our own fruit and vegetables.
  • To help all children to experience pleasure, success and enjoyment in their scientific experiences in order to develop a positive attitude towards positive attitudes towards science education.

Science at St Mary’s Catholic Primary Academy is about developing understanding of the world around us. Knowledge of the World is what drives our curriculum. We encourage children to be inquisitive throughout their time at school and beyond. Our science curriculum fosters a healthy curiosity in children about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living. Learning science is the gradual building of these ideas and of the skills required to test ideas to see if they fit evidence from the world around. It is the job of science education to extend experience and to develop scientific ones. The way scientific understanding develops for the child, as for the scientist, depends both on the existing ideas and on the process by which those ideas are used and tested in new situations.

Pupils will be encouraged to reflect on their vocational role within the community and wider world as a scientist, now and in the future. At St Mary’s, we believe that learning about the community is vital for our children. We strive to make sure that children have access to positive role models within the field of science from the immediate world of our wider local community. We aim to encourage children to become aware of the issues that their local environment is facing, as well as enable them to discover the local initiatives that they can get involved with. We believe in the power of the community to change and enhance lives.

Children cannot aspire to things they have never encountered or are aware of. We will work to broaden our children’s horizons, expanding their knowledge of the world by nurturing their interests. Children will be provided with opportunities to research famous Scientists as well as finding out about a wide range of scientific careers. We aim for our students to have high aspirations of themselves and to see their full potential. We believe that learning about different scientific careers and exploring STEM initiatives presents pupils with a range of opportunities that they might come across and helps to encourage them to pursue a career in a scientific field, regardless of their social status.

We want our children to become eloquent orators, speaking with confidence and fluency in a variety of situations. Children will be provided with opportunities to ask questions about the ways in which scientific discoveries from around the world have affected our lives. The national curriculum for science reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. At St Mary’s, science lessons provide a quality and variety of subject specific language to enable the development of children’s confidence and accurate use of scientific vocabulary and their ability to articulate scientific concepts clearly and precisely. They will have ample opportunities to communicate their conclusions to the rest of their peers when presenting their findings. Pupils are encouraged and assisted in making their thinking clear, both to themselves and others, and teachers ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions.

When learning about ‘Animals Including Humans’ across both key stages, children will learn about different systems that work in human bodies. This will enable them to know how to keep their bodies healthy. At St Mary’s, we aim to encourage Healthy Living and through a range of activities and initiatives we provide them with good understanding of what staying healthy means.

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, as well as the application of scientific skills. We ensure that the Working Scientifically skills are built-on and developed throughout children’s time at our school so that they can apply their knowledge of science when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings.

Implementation

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. Through effective teaching of science, we develop children’s knowledge and key skills during each topic. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following:

  • Science will be taught in planned and arranged topic blocks by the class teacher, to have a project-based approach. This is a strategy to enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge.
  • Plan using Early Years Knowledge and Understanding of the world units of work from the Early Years Scheme of work or Key Stage 1 and 2 termly plans that have been developed using the National Curriculum, Early Learning Goals and other published materials experiences for all the children in our class, ensuring that all children are provided with challenging, stimulating, interactive experiences.
  • Teachers are able to use different sources to support their planning, including PlanBee resources or The Association of Science Education.
  • Take children’s existing ideas on board when planning and teaching science by: eliciting children’s ideas prior to teaching a unit of work; considering these ideas when planning scientific experiences; providing opportunities for children to test ideas generated there by possibly changing them at the same time developing process skills so that testing is scientific; assessing how much children’s ideas and process skills might have changed during a unit of work to further inform planning and at the end of a unit of work. Teachers create Unit Markers which they use to assess children work after each science session.
  • We build upon the knowledge and skill development of the previous years. For every unit of work, teachers create Knowledge Organisers, which show the specific scientific knowledge context, as well as demonstrating how children follow their scientific learning journey. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, and 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.
  • Provide children with science activities that are designed to help them develop or change their ideas through exploration and investigation bringing them closer to the more powerful ideas of science, using both primary and secondary data.
  • Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being 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.
  • Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding. Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning in our Science garden and workshops with experts.
  • 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, or project days linked to our Science garden, 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.

Impact

The impact our curriculum has on our children:

  • Children are happy learners within Science lessons. High quality, fun, engaging science lessons provide children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world.
  • Our engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first hand experiences of the world around them.
  • Through varied and first hand experiences of the world and nature, deepens the children’s appreciation of their faith and God within nature and the world.
  • There is a clear progression of children’s work and teachers’ expectations in our school.
  • Children of all abilities and backgrounds achieve well in science, reflected in good progress that reveals a clear learning journey. Children talk enthusiastically about their learning in science and are eager to further their learning in the next stages of their education.
  • Clear outcomes focus and guide all science development plans and drive improvement. There is a clear assessment system in place, with Unit Markers to help teachers assess pupils’ learning every lesson and using assessment tools, such as DCPro, to analyse children’s attainment of year group objectives. This is used to impact future planning, transition between key stages and the subject development plan for next year.
  • Frequent, continuous and progressive learning outside the classroom is embedded throughout the science curriculum.
  • Through various workshops, educational visits and interactions with experts and local charities, children have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity.
  • Children learn the possibilities for careers in science, as a result of our community links and connection with STEM.
  • Children have access to positive role models within the field of science from the immediate world wider local community. From this exposure to a range of different scientists from various backgrounds, all children feel they are scientists and capable of achieving.
  • Fundamental British Values are evident in science across the school.