Science

Science Intent
 

It is our aim in Science that children are given opportunities to observe, record and draw conclusions about the world around them. We hope to introduce children to the basic elements of experiments and investigations, provide inspiration, nurture curiosity and make links to the real world in line with our Curriculum Drivers ‘Inspired Learners’ and ‘Learning for Life’.   There are natural links to our Super Learning Heroes such as ‘Curious, Questioning Cleo’ and ‘Positive, Persevering Perry.’ 

Through our science curriculum we aim to:

  •        ensure that teachers meet their statutory obligations with regards to the teaching of Science. 
  •        raise Science standards by promoting a high standard of excellence and consistency of approach amongst all staff.
  •        ensure procedures for planning and assessment enable a broad and balanced curriculum that has continuity and progression and addresses equal opportunities.
  •        foster a positive attitude to Science as an interesting and exciting part of the curriculum.
  •        encourage safe practice in all areas of Science.

Through teaching Science children are given opportunities to:

  •        develop their knowledge and understanding of important scientific ideas, processes and skills and relate these to everyday experiences.
  •        develop their ability to communicate their ideas using appropriate scientific vocabulary.
  •        acquire a curious and questioning mind.
  •        develop skills of observation and investigation.
  •        collect, retrieve, present and communicate their findings to others in a variety of ways.
Science Implementation
 

We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in Science lessons such as research, investigation, exploration, collaborative work and individual work. We share the learning objective, which is skills based, with the children.  This may be introduced in a variety of ways. Our main aim is to develop children’s scientific skills, knowledge and understanding through challenging, motivating activities that extend the pupils learning.  This can be through whole class teaching, small group work, paired work, or independent learning. Science displays in each classroom are designed to encourage the children to develop enquiry skills.          

Teachers plan opportunities for scientific enquiry in each lesson. This will cover one or more areas of investigation:

  •        Observing changes over time
  •        Comparative and fair testing
  •        Researching using secondary resources
  •        Pattern seeking
  •        Identifying and classifying.

Children are made aware of the type of investigation they are working on.

 

Early Years Foundation Stage

During the Early Years Foundation Stage, we teach science as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. It is delivered through a hands on and practical approach, which makes links with topics and the Characteristics of Effective Learning. We relate the scientific aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Statutory Early Years Framework. Science makes a significant contribution to one of the 7 areas of learning known as Understanding of the World but is also covered in Personal, Social and Emotional development and Maths.  At the end of the Foundation Stage children's level of development is assessed against the Early Learning Goals as ‘emerging’ or expected’.  By the end of the Foundation Stage children are expected to know about the similarities and differences in relation to objects, materials and living things. They can make observations of animals and plants, explain why some things occur and talk about changes. They are also aware of their own personal hygiene and how to look after their bodies.

 

KS1 and KS2

We teach the National Curriculum for Science. The long term plan identifies the Science topics to be taught each term to each year group across a 2 year cycle. The medium term plans identify the science objectives for the unit of work for that term. Science skills are taught continually and are identified in medium term plans. The medium term planning outlines weekly opportunities for science lessons throughout the year. This is sometimes blocked over a shorter number of weeks if necessary for the topic. 

The planning is monitored by the Science Curriculum leader to ensure curriculum coverage and effective teaching and learning with an emphasis on practical exploration and investigation.

 

At Thakeham Primary School we use a variety of teaching and learning styles in science lessons. Children may be taught in whole-class or groups depending on their age and the learning activity.  We believe children learn best when they:

  •        can ask questions and follow a line of enquiry
  •        have access to, and are able to handle equipment
  •        have access to secondary sources such as books, photographs and artwork.
  •        have visitors lead of areas of expertise
  •        undertake experiments to support lines of enquiry
  •        are shown, or use independently, resources from the internet and video clips
  •        are able to use non-fiction books for research
  •        are provided with opportunities to work independently or collaboratively, to ask as well as answer scientific enquiries
Science Impact
 

We intend for our children to think independently, to ask and answer questions about the world around them. To be life-long learners who are enthused, curious and inquisitive, confident to ask ‘Big Questions’ and who are well prepared for their future in the ever changing world.

 

Children’s outcomes are assessed against the 2014 National Curriculum learning objectives and linked to age related expectations for each year group, following our school Feedback and Assessment Policy.  SIMS is used to track pupil progress in Science on a regular basis and termly judgements (‘emerging’, ‘expected’ or greater depth) are made against relevant National Curriculum objectives.  These are made at half-way points each term and at the end of the academic year.  School Analytics is used to calculate individual, cohort and group progress across each term to help identify those who are on track and those who may need further support/enrichment.  Outcomes are reported to parents as outlined in our Assessment and Feedback Policy.  We use a range of strategies to assess progress and attainment including: 

  •        Talking to the pupils and asking questions.
  •        Discussing the work with the pupil
  •        Looking at the work and marking against the learning objective.               
  •        Observing the pupils carrying out practical tasks.
  •        Pupils’ self-evaluation of their own work.
  •        Summative assessments for example at the end of topics

 

Statutory Assessment

  •        EYFS: Children are assessed in the early learning goal Understanding of the World.  Children’s outcomes are recorded as ‘Emerging’ (1) or (Expected’ (2).  Whether a child has achieved a ‘Good Level of Development’ is also measured and reported.
  •        In year 2, teachers must assess children’s knowledge, skills and understanding in Science according to the Interim Framework. 
  •        In year 6, samples of children are chosen nationally to take end of KS2 Science tests, on a biennial basis.  The tests consist of 3 papers.  The results are reported nationally but individual pupils and school are not disclosed and test papers are not returned to schools.  The tests are administered by NFER (National Foundation for Educational Research) administrators.  Teachers must assess pupils in Science according to the Interim Framework.
  •        In accordance with statutory requirements an annual report is sent to parents towards the end of the summer term. This report covers progress and achievements in Science.