Our Approach to Teaching Science

Intent

At SS. Mary & John’s Catholic Primary Academy our Science curriculum is designed with the intent that all pupils will become competent scientific thinkers and investigators who will encounter first-hand scientific investigative experiences and approaches. Science provides the foundation for understanding the world around us, Science involves systematic investigation of the physical, chemical and biological aspects of the world. Science will promote specific competences including knowledge, enquiry and working scientifically based skills.

COVID-19: Adaptations: (Where Government guidance restricts pupils from engaging in hands on investigations teachers will use demonstration / pre recorded investigations and share these with children.)

Our aims are to:

  • Develop pupils’ interest in and enjoyment of science. By building on children’s curiosity, the science curriculum will help instil a positive attitude towards science in pupils. 
  • Deliver all the requirements of the National Curriculum in relation to science and covering major scientific concepts. 
  • Ensure science lessons are purposeful, accurate and imaginative. 
  • Ensure pupils have sufficient scientific knowledge to understand both the uses and implications of science, today and in the future. This will also give students an appreciation of the changing nature of scientific knowledge.
  • To develop the pupils’ ability to pose questions, investigate these using correct techniques, accurately record their findings using appropriate scientific language and analyse their results. 
  • Help pupils develop the skills of prediction, hypothesising, experimentation, investigation, observation, measurement, interpretation and communication.
  • Make pupils aware of and alert to links between science and other school subjects, as well as their lives more generally.

Implementation

School has a long term overview of the science units that are taught each term in each year group.  Thorough and balanced content will be used to ensure coverage of the new National Curriculum. Topics will be carefully chosen and scheduled to ensure comprehensive coverage of all learning objectives and to ensure progression through the various topics builds on pupils’ previous knowledge.

One hour of science will be taught per week, in addition to this cross-curricular science will take place where links can be made with other subjects. 

Good Science learning builds progressively on pupils existing ideas. Prior to each unit of work the teacher will complete a KWL grid where the children can list what they already know and what they would like to find out. The teacher will then use this information to inform planning based on prior knowledge and the pupils’ questions of enquiry and revisit at the end of the unit. 

At the start of each Unit children will also be given the scientific vocabulary and given an opportunity to find the definition of these words in order to full understands them and provide a reference during their learning of that topic. During lesson teaching children will be encouraged to ask scientific questions about their leaning with the use of question stems to ensure they are using scientific vocabulary at all times. Also when children are asked a question they will be encouraged to answer these questions in full. In order to support children with using scientific language to respond, there will be sentence stems provided within lessons for children to use to enable them to build their scientific language fluency.

At the end of each unit of work the pupils will be asked to complete an end of unit SAT which will be recorded through the FFT Aspire pupil tracking system which will also support teacher assessment. Staff have been given a MTP from Rising Stars, they are to adapt this in line with their teaching and the needs of their cohort. Each lesson links to the National Curriculum programmes of study. Within this planning vocabulary, resources and cross-curricular links are identified. Activities will take into account the abilities of all pupils, as well as their age. Each science lesson is evaluated on the short term Google Drive planning document to support assessment for learning, allowing teachers to plan the following lesson.

Differentiation and additional educational needs 

Where pupils display a high level of academic aptitude, there will be a concerted effort to ensure that they are challenged by the material and activities covered.

In addition to this, the specific needs of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEN) will also be taken into account and extra support will be provided, or adjustments made to lesson plans in order to accommodate their needs. 

Care will be taken when grouping pupils for practical experiments to ensure that group dynamics are functional and productive and that the strengths and weaknesses of the individual pupils are taken into account. 

Learning environment

To assist with learning, all lessons should have clear learning objectives and outcomes which are effectively communicated to students at the beginning of the lesson. 

A variety of learning strategies should be employed in the classroom to help keep all pupils engaged and inspire them to want to investigate the world around them. This should include group discussions, presentations, demonstrations, practical explanations, experimental work and instruction from the teacher, as well as child-led instruction where this is possible and appropriate.

Activities should focus on developing pupils’ ability to enquire, observe, locate sources of information, plan investigations, select appropriate equipment and use this safely, measure and record results, analyse and communicate findings. 

The classroom should display items which are visually appealing and relevant to science. Each class will have a science working wall and working walls will be used to show the journey of progress through a unit of work.

Lessons should make links to other school subjects and the natural world generally, including aspects of pupils’ own lives. 

Impact

The impact of the curriculum design will lead to outstanding progress over time at all key stages, from the children’s starting points on entry. Children will leave school attaining their very highest possible outcomes in relation to Age Related Expectations. It is our aim that all children will meet Age Related Expectations.

The curriculum, will enable teachers to consistently plan and deliver lessons of the highest standard and children’s outcomes will be of the highest possible.

Children will be confident, resilient, self-motivated, independent learners with a thirst for challenge and depth of understanding of scientific skills and concepts.