‘A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.’
Our vision is to provide this high-quality experience for our pupils, to instil this curiosity and interest in them to enable them to continue to support future developments in the field of science. The aim of our curriculum is for our pupils to have a secure foundational knowledge of key scientific knowledge and concepts. In developing this understanding, we are providing an opportunity for pupils to be inspired and excited to understand and be a part of the power of science. Our curriculum design allows pupils to confidently reach the curriculum end points and to be confident explorers of science. In designing the curriculum this way, many ideas are revisited and built on each year allowing pupils to develop a much deeper knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts.
The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:
- The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:
develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
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 knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
At Pencoys we teach Science throughout each half term using a ‘small steps’ approach to planning to ensure progression and a depth of knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts. The curriculum has a clear, structured approach. It is broken down into both topics and year groups. Within each year group and topic a sequence of small steps has been planned to enable children to confidently meet the National Curriculum end points whilst developing a good knowledge of being able to investigate and work scientifically. In designing the curriculum this way, many ideas are revisited and built on each year allowing pupils to develop a much deeper knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts.
Our aims are to:
Work from concrete to more abstract examples
Within EYFS there is a strong opportunity to explore and develop scientific skills. Our curriculum is designed to build on this moving into year 1 and then throughout the school by allowing children to explore and experiment with hands-on activities and investigations. This allows children the opportunity to move from concrete resources and ideas to more abstract concepts. E.g. discussing life cycles that they are aware of such as a baby being born and becoming an adult moving on to different life cycles that they are less familiar with.
Working scientifically is embedded throughout the curriculum to give children the opportunity to both explore new concepts and to apply their learning e.g. exploring the components of an electrical circuit, then learning about electricity and circuits before using this to build a working circuit. This will then lead to being able to identify if a circuit will work by looking at a drawn circuit.
Connect information and ideas
We want children to be able to independently make links in their learning and see the importance of Science in a range of other subject areas too. Through the curriculum children are able to revisit concepts and ideas throughout the school, an example would be being able to identify and name a variety of common animals such as reptiles and mammals etc. in year 1 to being able to identify and classify a range of living things in Year 4.
Work with increasingly complex and/or abstract ideas
Through taking this approach that revisits ideas and focuses on deepening children’s knowledge and understanding we allow them to access complex scientific ideas. For example: developing an understanding of living things in Key stage 1 to developing an understanding of evolution and adaptation in year 6, the steps in between these year groups and revisiting prior knowledge regularly allows children to confidently discuss evolution and adaptation.
Become increasingly more precise in language, ideas and skills
Vocabulary is embedded throughout the small step planning to ensure that children are introduced to the correct vocabulary for that unit and to ensure progression throughout the year groups. For example; children develop an extensive scientific vocabulary moving from naming parts of the body in Year 1 such as ‘heart’ to knowing specific vocabulary for parts of the circulatory system i.e. artery.
Make sure the level of challenge in scientific knowledge and application gradually increases
The planning allows teachers to pitch the correct level of challenge for children and ensure progression across the school e.g. moving from the knowledge that things are alive to understanding how and why they are alive and which functions are keeping them alive.
Make time for revision of prior learning
Teachers are able to clearly see from the small step planning documents what the children will have learnt previously and what they will learn in future year groups. This allows learning to be pitched appropriately. Teachers are then able to recap prior knowledge through knowledge harvests at the start of each unit as well as regular quick quizzes to reactivate prior learning.
Through pupil conferencing, lesson observations, staff feedback and book looks we find:
Children sharing their love and knowledge of Science.
Children who are excited about the impact that Science can have in the real world.
Creative writing assessment pieces showing children’s knowledge.
Children that are able to discuss their knowledge of ‘working scientifically’ and the importance of it.
By the end of their primary education our children will:
Have an in-depth knowledge of all areas of Science, as outlined in the National Curriculum.
Be confident to work scientifically.
Have an enquiring mind and be able to consider and investigate scientific questions that they have from their learning.
Value and understand the importance of Science in the modern world and the impact that it has.
Develop a passion for Science and the skills to work scientifically to prepare them for KS3.