Science Intent, Implementation and Impact
At Greatfield Park Primary School, it is our intention to offer a high-quality science education that provides pupils with the foundations for understanding the world around them. Science is given the prominence it requires. As a core subject, pupils in Key Stage 1 will be provided with the equivalent of 1 ½ hours dedicated science teaching and learning each week, with Key Stage 2 pupils being provided with 2 hours. Reception children will be exposed to science through the new Early Years framework.
Our science curriculum will enable pupils to become enquiry-based learners. Through the use of high-quality teaching and learning, pupils will be given the opportunity to research, investigate and evaluate a range of scientific aspects relating to the three specific scientific disciplines of physics, chemistry and biology.
The concept of ‘working scientifically’ is a fundamental element of the science curriculum. Pupils are taught to use practical scientific methods, processes and skills in conjunction with relevant year group’s programme of study. These skills will be taught at an age-appropriate level, ensuring pupils’ progression throughout their primary education. For example, in Key Stage 1 pupils will be expected to perform simple tests, in Lower Key Stage 2, pupils will be expected to set up simple tests- making comparisons and considering ‘fair test’ principles. In Upper Key Stage 2, pupils will be expected to plan different types of scientific enquiries, including recognising and controlling variables. All pupils will be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things behave, and analyse causes. They will also be taught and reminded how we must show respect for living organisms and the physical environment.
Experiential learning and carefully planned lessons, inspired by the Cornerstones Curriculum, will capture the pupils’ interest, enabling them to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. Pupils will not only be required to answer ‘big questions’ about scientific concepts but will also be encouraged to ask questions and have an inquisitive mind; improving their oracy and having the ability to explain one’s thought processes is a key area that Greatfield Park aims to promote. Pupils will routinely revisit and recap previous learning in order to consolidate understanding and secure long-term retention of learning.
Where appropriate, links to other areas of the curriculum will be exploited. Pupils will be given the opportunity to apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data . Presenting work in written form, communicating ideas and rationalising thought processes will support pupils’ English skills. Pupils will also be immersed in key scientific vocabulary, which supports the acquisition of scientific knowledge and understanding. High-quality texts are central to our Cornerstones projects and, where appropriate, provide opportunities for children to read about science related topics.
All pupils will be provided with a broad, balanced and ambitious science curriculum which reflects the equality and diversity policies and practice in the school. Pupils with special educational needs will be supported by effective scaffolding measures, including adapted resources, visual aids and adult support. All pupils will be given the opportunity to answer ‘deepen it’ style questions, which aim to challenge and promote ‘greater-depth thinking.’
All pupils are supported and encouraged to achieve the expected national standards of science by the end of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. In line with our DREAMS values, our science curriculum aims to encourage children to be: determined, respectful, excellent, aspirational, mindful and supportive.
At Greatfield Park, science is taught discretely on a weekly basis. The science projects taught are matched to national curriculum aspects and are sequenced to develop both pupils’ substantive and disciplinary knowledge. Each project follows a particular sequence, outlined below:
At the beginning of the unit:
- Pupils will be introduced to the unit and the specific aspect of science they are going to learn about, including any relevant objectives and vocabulary.
- They will then be asked to assess their current understanding and will be asked to complete a ‘pre-block assessment’ to demonstrate this understanding.
- Pupils will be provided with a knowledge organiser to support learning throughout the unit of work and to encourage retention of the knowledge and skills taught.
During the unit:
- Pupils will complete a range of activities with specific learning objectives, including practical investigations and written work, relevant to the particular aspect of the science curriculum;
- Where necessary, pupils will be given the opportunity to take part in a science ‘subject day’ whereby they will be given the time to focus on a particular scientific aspect or investigation.
At the end of the unit:
- Pupils will be asked to assess their current understanding and will be asked to complete a ‘post-block assessment’ to demonstrate their level of understanding. This will also be used to identify any gaps in pupils’ knowledge to inform future teaching.
Where possible, the acquisition of science learning is supported by opportunities to learn outside of the classroom, including participation in extra-curricular activities, school trips and national events.
Science within the Early Years Foundation Stage:
In EYFS, the framework is structured very differently to the national curriculum as it is organised across seven areas of learning rather than subject areas. The statements from the 2020 Development Matters are prerequisite skills for science within the national curriculum. The most relevant statements for science are taken from the following areas of learning:
Communication and Language – Children will be exposed to and learn new vocabulary. They will also articulate their ideas and thoughts through well-informed sentences and ask questions to find out more about a particular aspect of science.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development – Children will know and talk about the different factors that support their overall health and well-being.
Understanding the World – Children will explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants. They will know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class. Children will also show understanding of some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.
The impact of our science curriculum will be measured using a variety of methods. This includes the use of:
- On-going, formative assessment to assess pupils’ knowledge and understanding
- Summative assessment at the beginning and end of a particular unit of work to assess pupils’ prior and post knowledge
- Monitoring of end of term data detailing if children are working below, at or beyond age-related expectations
- Observations of science lessons, conducted by the science coordinator, the senior leadership team and school governors
- Monitoring of science work produced in books
- Discussion with pupils regarding science related learning