Science Curriculum Intention
Our school delivers the National Curriculum objectives through hands on, practical lessons with ‘working scientifically’ at its core. Our pupils learn about plants, animals, habitats, adaptation, states of matter and forces and much more (see Science overview for specific detail). We expect all of our children to be able to use the correct vocabulary for each topic and to remember it long after the topic is over; these words are sent home and practised as part of our home-school partnership. We plan for high-level vocabulary that is suitable yet challenging for our children. Children are given many opportunities to carry out practical observations within our school grounds as well as using footage for things we cannot observe in school. Children will plan, carry out and evaluate experiments and observations throughout their time here and by the end of Year 2 we expect that they are able to do this independently with confidence. Children are exposed to high-quality models throughout Early years and Key stage 1 so they are able to make independent decisions as what, how and why they use resources; they will be able to discuss with their friends their reasoning for doing so. We help to build happy scientists who leave our school ready to take on their next challenge in Year 3. Throughout pupils’ time at GEMs Wantage Primary Academy, we develop pupils’ curiosity, enjoyment, skills and a growing understanding of science knowledge, through an approach in which pupils raise questions and investigate the world in which they live.
Science Curriculum Implementation
Our Science curriculum follows subject content outlined in the National Curriculum Programme of Study. Science is taught weekly, allowing children to develop their knowledge and skills effectively whilst also maintaining knowledge from previous learning. At the beginning of each science lesson, previous knowledge and vocabulary is rehearsed through. This is also displayed on Topic walls for the children to access at all times. Children record their learning in their science books as well as on the website, showing aspects of science lessons that are not required to be recorded individually such as; pictures of investigations.
Each topic begins with a knowledge web which is built upon in science lessons and reflected upon at the end of the topic. Teachers plan activities and resources with scientific enquiry at its core, enabling children to develop their skills and knowledge simultaneously. Teachers use many forms of formative assessment to monitor understanding and plan next steps for children which are personal to them. Science will be taught as a separate lesson but will be linked to our Topic work where appropriate.
Science Curriculum Impact
We have a range of ways to find out what the children know. At the beginning and end of each concept taught, we use concept cartoons and COLD tasks to identify and address any misconceptions. We observe children during set independent activities to see how they are using the new vocabulary they have been introduced to, and to see their understanding of what has been taught. We encourage the children to talk during class discussions, group and paired work. Pupil voice is collected frequently and comments are added to working walls.
Teachers assess using the questions which link to the objectives taken directly from the National Curriculum Programme of Study. As each unit of work is covered, we consider the related intended learning and provide deepening or provoking questions for further development, as appropriate.
Monitoring in science includes work book scrutinies, lesson observations and/or learning walks, pupil voice in order to ascertain correct curriculum coverage, the quality of teaching and learning as well as the children’s attitudes to learning science. This information is then used to inform further curriculum developments and provision is adapted accordingly.