At Gilded Hollins, science is taught using a well-designed, progressive programme of study written by 'Develping Experts'. Developing Experts is delivered through a sequenced curriculum 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.
Our curriculum is carefully sequenced, to provide a vehicle for teachers to embellish and unify what may otherwise seem like disconnected fragments of knowledge. The embedded unit quizzes that we have in place are designed to optimise learning outcomes for pupils to enable concepts to have a greater chance of becoming part of the learner’s long-term memory.
Our curriculum is based around a knowledge-rich curriculum. We ensure that knowledge is learnt and retained throughout our programmes of study. In each lesson, pupils are given key facts and knowledge through our storytelling approach to learning. Further to this, each lesson offers 5 key words and meanings to learn; vocabulary which is then repeated throughout the lesson and quizzed on at the end.
We aim to:
Teachers are able to tailor their planning to the individual needs of their classes, using blocked units. Each unit will begin with a pre-test (quizzlet) that is used to acertain children's current learning and assists in helping the teacher plan for learning.
We ensure that pupils enjoy their work by making the work accessible to all children, by making learning real through research and the use of ICT, websites and sources on the internet bring alive the subject. Independent research, analysing findings, fair testing as a group or pair, discussion and presentations of work on investigations are an integral part of Science. Displays are often seen as ‘a work in progress’ where children are encouraged to add their own questions or interact with the questions asked by teachers or other children and contribute with research and facts.
Children and staff can now 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.
From Year 1 to 6, Science is taught for between 1 - 2 hours weekly which allows the learning challenges to encompass the various other subjects that are appropriate to the subsidiary questions. Year Reception teach are taught science under the ‘Understanding The World’ theme of the EYFS curriculum.
The needs of SEND children are met through various means including the use of differentiated work, the support of learning support assistants or mixed ability pairings as appropriate, or through practical, hands-on activities. For example, SEND children may record their findings of an investigation using an I-Pad.
Areas taught across the school
How the subject is assessed
Progress in monitored continually by teachers and teaching is adjusted accordingly, during unit of work. 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.
At the beginning of each topic, children are given a quizlet to complete to assess their current knowledge. Once the unit has been completed, the children complete the same quizlet. This will show those who have understood the subject matter and any gaps in understanding, which can be addressed in recaps in following sessions.
Assessment for learning through questioning and verbal discussion is an area that the school is working hard to promote and enhance to develop SEND and G&T children. Teachers use on-going diagnostic assessment, using the discrete Scientific skills outlined in the new national curriculum and assess children’s skills and knowledge at half termly intervals. The results of assessments are 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 and is evidenced in the children’s learning journals (SeeSaw), in a floor book and close observations by the teachers.
Monitoring, evaluation and review
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. The nature of the Learning Challenge questions allows teachers to vary teaching techniques and embrace different subjects whilst maintaining a clear plan for progression through the discrete objectives laid out in the new curriculum for Science.
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 in regards to their work; 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.
Work sampling continues to take place over the course of the year and this enables us to work with teachers to monitor the standard of the children’s work overall, as well as reviewing how well the cross curricular nature of the teaching curriculum has embedded across the school. Speaking to the children about their learning whilst having them bring their books with them, allows children to gain confidence in speaking about their learning and allows staff a gauge of how well children have retained information outside of what books show.
Foundation stage achievement and progress is monitored through relevant age range steps laid out in the EYFS profile. These small learning steps lead to the Early Learning Goals.
Current standards and progress
Along with the Learning Challenge curriculum, we have adopted a new style of assessment for Science. As Science has discrete skills and specific Key Stage objectives that have to be taught over the year, teachers assess formally each half term using Insight, outlining relevant objectives. Quizlets are used to help with the assessment of children’s understanding. Decisions are made as to whether children are emerging, expected or exceeding the level appropriate to their age.
As the year progresses, work samples and the general results of these assessments will enable me, as subject leader, to get a clear picture as to whether various children or cohorts are working above, below or expected levels in Science. Progress for individuals will be made clearer as objectives are highlighted over time.
Where to now? Recent developments, highlights and priorities for future developments
A Science Day is being planned for spring term 2023. This will hopefully include a various real life learning opportunities, how science relates to work place and the modern world as well fun, practical memorable experiences that children will use to support their understanding of science.
Future development opportunities:
Science at Gilded Hollins