Aims and Intent
We aim to:
Our science curriculum ensures that children take part in engaging, high quality science lessons providing them with a solid scientific base of knowledge ready for the challenge of the following year.
We want all our children to see how science impacts on their world - it needs to feel real.
We also want our children to be able to work confidently, collaboratively and practically to investigate and experiment. Finally, we want children to know more and retain more so that they are able to achieve end of year expectations and go on to feel confident and competent in the secondary science classroom.
At Gilded Hollins, science is taught using a well-designed, progressive programme of study written by 'Developing Experts'.
The carefully sequenced curriculum is designed to enable the learner to experience a coherent curriculum delivered through a logical progression. Attention has been paid to the order in which knowledge has been delivered, built on and revisited.
The curriculum is based on the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum and is enhanced by industry experts who link lesson topics to careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Our science curriculum is coherently planned to carefully sequence learning and progress skills from the very beginning of the curriculum through to Year 6. The progression maps make this sequence of learning clear, enabling staff to see what has gone before and what the next steps in learning will be.
The progression grids for both knowledge and skills, used alongside the curriculum maps, ensure that all objectives within the National Curriculum have been covered.
Expert films are available for every lesson to demonstrate the relevance of what the children are learning in the real world. They make the learning come alive and prompt children to think, 'I could do that!'
Units and lessons are sequenced so that new knowledge is built upon prior learning. Our science curriculum uses a teaching order which ensures that knowledge is built upon gradually and cumulatively, with recall questions embedded throughout.
Lessons are structured so that all pupils are given multiple opportunities to recap on previous learning both from the lesson itself and those lessons that have gone before. Substantive knowledge (established known facts e.g. we live on Earth) is reinforced by frequently recalling information through pictures, videos and vocabulary. This approach ensures that the lessons are ambitious but also supportive of all children, regardless of their initial competence.
Knowledge organisers are in place for each topic to be covered. These present the key concepts in a child friendly manner and are a useful tool to support learning.
Before and after short assessments and the use of 'rocket words' (key vocabulary) enable teachers to check understanding and address any conceptual or vocabulary-related misconceptions before, during and following the completion of a unit. Resources are designed to support teachers as they progress through a unit, meaning that feedback can be provided on a regular basis and teaching can be adapted as required.
Teachers are supported through the provision of subject mastery documents are provided for each unit which may require more extensive knowledge; these provide further information for each topic.
Children and staff use the Seesaw app to showcase the learning taking place within science lessons and send photographs and/or videos of this to parents. These are stored and can be used as evidence of practical investigations and hands-on learning.
Reception children are taught science under the ‘Understanding The World’ theme of the EYFS curriculum and also access the Developing Experts scheme of work.
How is science assessed?
Progress in monitored continually by teachers and teaching is adjusted accordingly. At the beginning of each topic, children are given a short assessment to complete to assess their current knowledge. This allows staff to have a clear picture the base knowledge of the subject for the majority of class, making adaptations where needed. Once the unit has been completed, the children complete the unit 'quiz' . This will show those who have understood the subject matter and any gaps in understanding, which can be addressed in recaps in following sessions.
Much of the learning covered in Science is kept hands-on and multi-sensory, therefore providing practical learning so that skills can become embedded and so ensure concrete understanding of scientific concepts. Recording of scientific testing and use of vocabulary is promoted through a variety of engaging and challenging tasks, which allow teachers to judge the progress of children’s learning and give children an opportunity to evaluate their own learning.
Formative assessments through questioning and verbal discussion takes place routinely during every lesson is used by teachers to support or challenge the needs of SEND and G&T children.
The results of all these various assessments are collated over time. Decisions are made by class teachers as to whether children are emerging, expected or exceeding the level appropriate to their age. Mindful of staff workload, this is collated formally at the end of the academic year and inputted onto Insight, shared with the SLT and passed on to the subject leader.
In the Foundation stage, learning is initiated from the child’s own knowledge and assessment of children’s knowledge is measured through the steps made in the EYFS profile each term, in a floor book and through close observations by staff.
What has past monitoring revealed?
Planning is of a high standard overall, and shows clear objectives and outcomes with good use of a range of resources and techniques to enrich Science as a subject. Teachers have been able to vary teaching techniques and embrace different subjects whilst maintaining a clear plan for progression through the discrete objectives laid out in the science curriculum.
Displays are often presented as an ongoing learning resource, often with key scientific vocabulary – where findings and questions can be added as the work progresses. This allows teachers to constantly monitor the progression of the children as they move through the Science topic.
Knowledge organisers are used to ensure everything is covered within the topic, they also ensure key words and vocabulary is highlighted to support teachers and children.
After completing a detailed book scrutiny, we discovered that each class is planning using the progression document, scientific enquiry is evidenced throughout and there is clear pride in the work that each child is completing. This pride was clearly seen when we spoke to the children; they could point out parts if their work that they loved and parts that they struggled with.
As well as this, the children we spoke to, across each year group, were able to discuss their work at varying levels of depth. When probed, the children could answer questions about recent learning, previous learning, and how what had been learned so far could be linked to future learning.
There has been a significant improvement in the number of children including SEND reaching the expected standard for Science (see appendix 1).
Where to now? Recent developments, highlights and priorities for future developments
Future development opportunities:
• Embed the new science scheme further in all year groups with a set of key expectations for each unit create by the science subject lead and shared with staff in the Autumn term to be checked in book scrutinises later in the year.
• Linking Eco Schools with Science raising the profile of ‘Eco’ e.g. ensuring that vegetable/ flower beds are used by all year groups learning about plants (reception, year 1, year 2, year 3 and year 5) not just the Eco Committee and Gardening club.
• Build on creating a broader Science Curriculum by ensuring Mad Science run a club and assemblies and discussing with staff opportunities for educational visits or visitors to enhance science teaching.
• Identifying gaps in resources and highlighting equipment and models we do have to enhance our science teaching by creating a more systematic storage area for science and looking at potential overlaps with the new DT scheme.
Science at Gilded Hollins