Our curriculum leader for Science is Amy MacLennan
National Curriculum Purpose of Study
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.
At Houghton Primary School we value the intrinsic curiosity that our young people have to explore and understand the world around them. We foster this natural eagerness to engage our pupils in meaningful learning activities, which explore the fundamentals of how their world works. We endeavour to use our natural environment which is close to the River Great Ouse, surrounded by meadows, woodland and our village, as well as local experts and real scientists to enhance our curriculum. We recognise that our children are growing up in a scientific age, where the world around us, both natural and humanly constructed, is changing rapidly. We wish to enable them to be able to relate to and engage in this world. We follow the National Curriculum Science programme of study tailoring it to our context through our curriculum drivers. We make connections with other areas of the curriculum, where they enhance pupils learning , through topic work. As well as teaching the knowledge aspect of the curriculum it is essential that pupils are taught how to work scientifically and that these two strands do not stand independently but are interwoven together. We have a practical “hands-on” curriculum to inspire awe and wonder.. We teach using the 5 lines of enquiry so that children have a broad understanding of what it means to be a scientist.
At Houghton Primary School we follow the Early Years Framework and National Curriculum Science programme of study. Medium term planning identifies important knowledge the children should know at the end of each topic. This is planned alongside other curriculum areas in a learning journey recognising cross-curricular links where it enhances study of the individual subjects. Planning of lessons is responsive and progressive to the individual class and circumstance .Teachers achieve this through observing pupils working, use of carefully targeted questioning and discussion, as well as reviewing recorded work to assess pupils’ learning throughout a topic. From early years to year 6 we engage pupils through exciting enquiry based activities which encourage pupils to work in a scientific way. The practical skills of working scientifically are taught, interwoven with the acquisition of knowledge using a range of hands on activities. We provide opportunities to use the local environment to bring the curriculum alive and connect pupils’ learning to the world around them. We aim to enrich the curriculum and increase pupils’ science capital with visitors, real scientists school trips and by taking part in events such as whole school science fairs and competitions.
Assessment of science skills is ongoing (formative) during lessons. Teachers use the skills statements to assess and use this responsively to support children as necessary.
At the end of each unit teachers assess children’s knowledge through low stakes quizzes and similar activities. Knowledge is revisited over the course of the year to support long term memory and retrieval.