‘Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.’
Our Vision for Science at St Joseph's
At St Joseph’s, we encourage pupils to be inquisitive throughout their time at school and beyond. The Science curriculum fosters a healthy curiosity in pupils about our universe and promotes respect for the living and nonliving. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes. Throughout the programmes of study, pupils 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 pupils' time at the 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.
Curriculum Intent for Science
The teaching of science is inspired by the Rising Stars scheme of work and long term plan which matches the National Curriculum, however we adapt our curriculum as necessary. Topics have been carefully sequenced to build upon the knowledge and skills needed to be a scientist. Through KS1 and 2, science is taught in discrete lessons with every opportunity taken to develop scientific knowledge and skills. Every effort is taken to ensure children apply science to real life situations so that they can appreciate the relevance of science to their lives. Children are also given regular opportunities to revisit prior knowledge from previous year groups and within year groups to embed knowledge into the long term memory.
In EYFS, pupils will experience Science through the ‘Understanding the world’ strand. This involves guiding pupils to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. Science is taught discreetly through adult intervention and pupils have the opportunity to apply it during continuous provision. Pupils are encouraged to explore, problem solve, observe, predict and make decisions. Adults know the pupils well and know how to move on their learning through questioning, prompts, suggestions and providing resources. Assessment in EYFS then takes place through continuous observation of the activities that pupils are completing linked to science. These observations are made against the EYFS framework, in particular the understanding the world strand. Evidence of these observations are kept in individual pupil’s learning journals, which include pictures of children completing activities and anything they have said or written down which demonstrates their learning and understanding.
In Key Stage 1, the principal focus of science teaching is to enable pupils to experience and observe phenomena (a fact or situation that is observed to exist or happen), looking more closely at the natural and humanly-constructed world around them. They will be encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. They will develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of scientific enquiry to answer their own questions, including observing changes over a period of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative tests, and finding things out using secondary sources of information. Pupils will begin to use simple scientific language to talk about what they have found out and communicate their ideas to a range of audiences in a variety of ways. Most of the learning about science will be done through the use of first-hand practical experiences, but there will also be some use of appropriate secondary sources, such as books, photographs and videos (Taken and adapted from the National Curriculum 2014).
In Lower Key Stage 2, the principal focus of science teaching is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. They will do this through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments, and by beginning to develop their ideas about functions, relationships and interactions. Pupils will ask their own questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, including observing changes over time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative and fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They will draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out (Taken and adapted from the National Curriculum 2014).
In Upper Key Stage 2, the principal focus of science teaching is to enable pupils to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. They will do this through exploring and talking about their ideas; asking their own questions about scientific phenomena; and analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically. At Upper Key Stage 2, pupils will encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. Pupils will also begin to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time. They will select the most appropriate ways to answer science questions using different types of scientific enquiry, including observing changes over different periods of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out comparative and fair tests and finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information. Pupils will draw conclusions based on their data and observations, use evidence to justify their ideas, and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings (Taken and adapted from the National Curriculum 2014).
The Long Term planning for Science can be found below:
The importance of Working Scientifically
A high quality science curriculum includes a deep understanding of the substantive scientific knowledge recognised in the national curriculum alongside a thorough understanding of the disciplinary knowledge of the range of scientific enquiries needed to develop a practical understanding of science. This ensures pupils not only remember scientific facts but also understand the evidence for it and can use this knowledge to work scientifically.Teachers embed working scientifically into all units of work and track their coverage across the year. To challenge and excite children further in terms of working scientifically, each year group spends 1 half term per year focusing on a scientific enquiry unit of work. This allows pupils to develop their skills further and to relate them to a real world situation.
Curriculum Implementation for Science
The six-part lesson for Science
Most science lessons are delivered using the six-part lesson model. This includes:
Retrieval practise: Pupils will practice key knowledge from the previous unit of work. This is to help move this knowledge into the long term memory. It is also an assessment tool for teachers. This activity can be practical or written and can be completed independently, in pairs or in a group.
New learning: Pupils will be introduced to the Key Learning and knowledge for the lesson. They will also explore and practice tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary that will be used throughout the lesson. Direct teaching of the new knowledge and skills will be introduced and modelled where appropriate.
Let’s explore: Pupils will have the chance to practise new skills, knowledge and vocabulary within a short task. This can be completed independently, in pairs or in a small group.
Develop learning: In this part of the lesson, the knowledge and/or skills will be developed further as well as preparing the pupils for their independent task.
Independent task: Pupils may work independently, in pairs or small groups to complete a task or tasks linked to the Key Learning. Activities may be scaffolded for different groups of learners.
Plenary: Pupils will have the chance to reflect on their learning that day and self assess using their KL sticker. Pupils’ work may be celebrated and a discussion question may be used. Reference to our Global Driver word for the half term may also be used (where appropriate).
To enable our pupils to understand scientific concepts better, there is a strong emphasis on scientific vocabulary within all science lessons. Through the 6-part lesson, pupils are introduced to both the scientific tier 2 vocabulary and tier 3 scientific vocabulary and children are aware of the concept of both of these. Using ‘my turn, your turn’ pupils are encouraged to practise using these words at the beginning of the lesson and the meaning of these words are discussed. Regular opportunities are then taken for the pupils to orally rehearse and use this key scientific vocabulary throughout the lessons and to speak in full sentences when answering questions or posing their own questions. Pupils are then encouraged and become confident to use the scientific vocabulary clearly and precisely through their independent tasks either through speaking or writing.
To enable pupils to better understand and correctly use the appropriate scientific knowledge, each unit has a knowledge organiser, made by the teacher, which outlines the key vocabulary for the unit. Pupils are able to refer to their knowledge organiser throughout each lesson and are encouraged to select the appropriate vocabulary in all aspects of their work.
Vocabulary linked to the whole subject (tier 2 vocab)
Approximate, brief, clarify, classify, compatible, conclusion, determine, distinguish, equivalent, experiment, evaluate, formulate, generate, influence, justify, method, procedure, quantity, refer, results, represent,table, technique
Importance of Knowledge in Science
'Knowledge and the capacity it provides to apply skills and deepen understanding are essential ingredients of successful curriculum design' (Amanda Spielman)
Units/topics in science have been carefully sequenced to build upon prior knowledge as well as developing new knowledge in a succinct way. Teachers are familiar with where the units/topics fit in, pupils' educational journey at St Joseph's and discuss with previous class teachers what has been taught. Teachers highlight key knowledge that they want pupils to learn on their planning and create knowledge organisers to support the development of this knowledge across this unit. Knowledge organisers include: previous knowledge needed; our global driver work and impact statement; key knowledge for the topic; aspirations for the future; glossary and key diagrams or knowledge needed for the topic. These are available in every science lesson for pupils to refer back to.
Find below the progression of Knowledge in Science:
Assessment in science
Teachers use Assessment for Learning throughout their lessons through questioning and during the ‘Let’s explore’ part of the lesson. Teachers will formatively assess pupils against the Key Learning using pupils’ Key Learning stickers. If a pupil has met the Key Learning, the teacher will highlight the Key Learning with green. If a pupil is working towards the Key Learning, the teacher will highlight the Key Learning with orange and green. If a pupil needs further work against the Key Learning, the teacher will highlight the Key Learning orange and there will be evidence of an intervention before the next lesson. Teachers will also note on the Key Learning whether the pupil has had teacher/teaching assistant support to inform formative assessment. At the end of the unit, pupils will complete an end of unit task which will showcase the knowledge and skills pupils have learned within the unit. At the end of the unit, teachers will make a judgement whether the pupil is working at, below or above the National Curriculum expectations for their year group and this will be logged throughout the year using Insight. Subject leaders will then analyse the data from these assessments to track the progress of pupils and spot any patterns between groups. Monitoring then takes place following assessments and where concerns are raised, a robust plan will be put in place and high quality CPD and coaching will be put in place for that teacher, to ensure that pupils make progress within their year group.