At Carclaze, Science is taught weekly in discrete lessons and also integrated into other areas of learning where possible. Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards. Our whole school approach to teaching and learning involves the following:
- Science will be taught in planned and arranged topic blocks. This is a strategy to enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge.
- Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all children keep up.
- Through our planning, we involve problem solving opportunities that allow children to find out for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. This curiosity is celebrated within the classroom.
- We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. The use of carefully planned and evaluated knowledge organisers ensures progress and makes sure that prior learning is both recognised and built upon. Even if a topic has not been explicitly taught before, any prior learning, including the children’s personal life experiences, is taken into account.
- ‘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. Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding.
- A wide range of scientific equipment and resources are available throughout the school for use in lessons. This includes measuring equipment (e.g. scales, tape measures, newton-meters, measuring jugs, thermometers), electrical resources (e.g. batteries, wires, bulbs), plants and seeds, and other general resources which can be used for the purpose of scientific investigation and demonstration. Additionally, the school utilises online resources such as ‘Explorify’ to extend the children’s understanding and encourage thinking which makes connections between and within topics.
- Children are offered a 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.
- Additional events, such as Science Week or project days, allow all pupils access a wider range of activities and resources which may both support learning in class but also extend experiences and learning beyond those planned for in the curriculum, thereby facilitating a natural interest in Science. These events often involve families and the wider community.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance. Science is taught, shared and assessed through the specific areas of Physical Development (Health and Self-Care), Understanding the World (The World) and Expressive Arts and Design (Exploring and Using Media and Materials)
Science Curriculum - Impact
Impact of the curriculum in Science is monitored through:
- Learning Conversations – pupils are able to talk confidently about their learning in Science to adults and to each other.
- Low stakes testing - children show good recall of key concepts taught in previous lessons and terms e.g. low level quiz at beginning of lesson, Explorify activities to discuss and draw on previous learning.
- Monitoring of work in books, displays and pupil response within lessons.
- Images and videos of the children’s practical learning.
- Lesson visits
- Additional Assessment opportunities:
- peer assessment
- group assessment
- targeted questioning