Through a focused learning environment, built on mutual respect and positive relationships, we provide the opportunity for all children to reach their full potential. We support the children to develop positive learning behaviours across the curriculum which help them to develop the knowledge and skills needed for the next step of their education.
At Sayes Court Primary School we are committed to providing all children with engaging and inspiring opportunities to engage in science. This vision sets out a framework within which teaching and support staff can work and gives guidance on planning, teaching and assessment.
Science is a key part of the primary curriculum and adult life – it is the process and knowledge by which we understand the world, the universe and ourselves. It provides the methods by which we create products and make discoveries that shape our futures. Therefore, our curriculum aims to equip our learners with both the knowledge they need to understand how things work and the skills to make and process new discoveries. It develops critical thinking processes, which are key in the modern world. It promotes curiosity and inquisitiveness, as well as a drive to understand how things work. Science naturally links with problem solving and collaboration skills, which are vital for pupils who we are preparing to work in jobs that may not even exist yet.
The aims of science at Sayes Court are:
- To provide learning opportunities that enthuse, engage and motivate children to learn about the wonders of the world and the universe
- To promote intellectual curiosity and the desire to find out the ‘why’, through carefully planned activities that also develop independence
- To support pupils to develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
- To enable pupils to 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
- To equip children with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future
- To give opportunities for pupils to explain events that are occurring using scientific terms, to predict what may happen using their previous knowledge and to analyse causes
- To enable children to work scientifically in a range of appropriate contexts, using a variety of materials and equipment
Out pupils undertake a broad and balanced programme which takes into account the needs of all learners, while taking a mastery approach. Our science curriculum is based on the spiral approach: previous learning is built upon to enable deeper understanding of complex topics.
Key Stage 1
During Key Stage 1, science has a very ‘hands on’ approach. Pupils take part in and observe a range of science experiments, while being encouraged to think about the ‘why’ and ‘what if’. It is important that children generate their own scientific questions as this age and we take every opportunity to promote questioning. They use different types of scientific enquiry to answer their own questions, such as observation, carrying out simple tests and grouping and classifying things. While most of the learning takes place through practical work, they are supported by high-quality secondary sources such as books and videos. The use of correct, scientific vocabulary is promoted throughout the school and children are supported to use these terms by displays and word banks.
Key Stage 2
Key Stage 2 enables pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. They do this through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas. Encouraging pupils to generate their own questions is still a vital part of science teaching, as is the correct use of subject-specific terminology. Pupils gather information by observing changes over time, noticing patterns and grouping and classifying. They draw simple conclusions and developing their techniques for recording findings.
SMSC in Science:
Spiritual development: Science enables our pupils to ask deep questions about life and to reflect on natural phenomena. It supports them to seek out and appreciate mystery in life.
Moral development: Science encourages our pupils to think critically about the consequences of actions, such as the results of experiments. Through looking at the practical applications of scientific knowledge, our pupils are encouraged to think about whether it is morally write to use scientific principles in certain ways e.g. is it okay to use trainers which produce the most friction in a competitive race?
Social development: Many activities in science require group work and cooperation. This enables children to develop the way that the listen to the ideas of others, sensitively challenge their opinions and to develop how well they relate to their peers. It also provides opportunities for them to take responsibility.
Cultural development: By learning about different scientists from a range of cultures, eras and backgrounds, our pupils develop a cultural awareness of how these factors have impacted on scientific discovery.
Progression and continuity
As identified earlier, our school uses a spiral model of learning, which ensures that previous knowledge is built upon to ensure progress. The school uses a variety of teaching and learning styles which are adapted to suit the needs of the children. Science lessons always have a practical element where physically possible – this is important to engage children, promote critical thinking and also to allow them to develop their scientific enquiry skills. Children take part in role plays and discussions – Talk For Learning plays a key role in our lessons. Children have access to a wide range of equipment to support their scientific learning and are taught how to use these successfully. They record and share results in a variety of ways – graphs, charts, diagrams, written conclusions and verbal presentations. Children are supported to engage with the learning at their level and teachers use their knowledge of their class to provide appropriate scaffolding.
Progress, achievement and assessment
Both formative and summative assessment are used to monitor progress and identify pupils who would benefit from support or intervention. Pupils receive regular feedback which enables them to see how successful they have been in their learning and how to develop further. This can be written or oral. Children also use peer and self-assessment to measure success against clear, measurable objectives. Formal assessments are undertaken at the end of each unit from Year 1 to Year 6, and these scores are combined to show whether pupils are working at, towards or with greater depth with regards to the age related expectations.
Monitoring takes place regularly through book scrutinies, learning walks, lesson observations and pupil voice.