Our Science curriculum is based on what we know is best for our children. At Lincoln Gardens Primary School, we endeavour to deliver high quality, engaging, practical science to develop our children’s scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through biology, physics and chemistry. We expand the inquisitiveness of children through encouraging a healthy curiosity about the world around us. To support this, children carry out a large amount of enquiry-based learning to support them to understand scientific concepts, whilst also developing their scientific and investigative skills. We strive to develop transferable investigative skills for children to use outside of school and throughout their future education and lives.
We aim for our children to be equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. We hope that children develop a love for Science and understand how important Science is in the wider world.
Teaching and Learning
As for all areas of the curriculum, imaginative and challenging activities together with varied approaches, such as discussion, trying out ideas or working with others, are needed to engage, maintain and respond to pupils’ interests. We actively encourage opportunities for children to talk in pairs or small groups to broaden their understanding of science. Where possible, lessons will be made practical and enquiry-based in order to deepen children’s scientific understanding.
Teaching assistants have a vital role to play. They should not be expected to take sole responsibility to support pupils with low levels of achievement (this is without question the role of the class teacher) but to observe, assess and support pupils from all ability groups.
The Foundation Stage deliver science content through the ‘Understanding of the World’ strand of the EYFS curriculum. This involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. It begins to develop children’s scientific and investigative skills including discussion, observation and prediction. Children in EYFS are assessed according to the Development Matters attainment targets.
Key Stage 1
In Key Stage One, we aim to continue the learning from EYFS so that children further develop investigative skills. Children experience and observe phenomena closely. Children start to create and investigate their own questions. Scientific enquiry at KS1 includes observing changes over a period of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative tests, and finding things out using secondary sources of information. Scientific vocabulary is further embedded and encouraged in order to communicate their ideas and findings more accurately and in a variety of ways. Pupils should read and spell scientific vocabulary at a level consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge at KS1.
Lower Key Stage 2
In Lower Key Stage Two, we broaden the children’s scientific view of the world around them through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena. The children ask their own questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, including observing changes over time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative and fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They should draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out. At lower KS2, pupils should read and spell scientific vocabulary correctly and with confidence, using their growing word reading and spelling knowledge.
Upper Key Stage 2
In Upper Key Stage Two, we develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas, including those which are more abstract and those which help children to understand and predict how the world operates, through exploring and talking about their ideas; asking their own questions about scientific phenomena and analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically. The children select the most appropriate ways to answer scientific questions using different types of scientific enquiry including observing changes over different periods of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out comparative and fair tests and finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information. Children draw conclusions based on their data and observations, use evidence to justify their ideas, and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings. At upper KS2, pupils should read, spell and pronounce scientific vocabulary correctly.
‘Working scientifically’ is described separately in the KS1 and KS2 programmes of study, but must always be taught through and clearly related to the teaching of substantive science content in the programme of study. Throughout the notes and guidance in the National Curriculum, examples show how scientific methods and skills might be linked to specific elements of the content. A range of scientific enquiry is used to help children answer questions about the world around them.
The progressive planning document will be used in all year groups to plan and sequence science lessons including scientific investigations.
Children are introduced to the disciplines of science (biology, chemistry and physics) during KS1 and are expected to have a good understanding of what each entails in KS2.
Materials and resources to support pupils are available from the resource room for teachers and teaching assistants to help children. Staff must use the ‘check-in and out sheet’ in order for the Science Lead to monitor. Resources must be returned as found and any breakages to be reported to the Science Lead.
Enrichment activities are used across the school to engage children in science, these include:
- External visitors coming to school
- Children going on visits
- Science week
- National Space Week
- Science themed competitions
- Science club led by science lead weekly
- Problem solving
- Predicting / estimating
- Accurate measuring: time, length, mass, capacity etc.
- Reading – understanding secondary sources
- Standard English
- Vocabulary development
- Creative thinking
- Developing sentence structure
- Genres of writing: description, instructions, reporting etc.
- Collaboration / teamwork
- Explaining / debating
- Social and moral questions
- Explaining differences
- Understanding the world around them
- Keeping healthy
- Body changes
The curriculum objectives for science will be reflected in long term, medium term and short term planning. In all plans there should be careful consideration for activities which are well matched to the range of ability.
Short term plans will list specific objectives for each lesson and give details of how the lessons are to be taught including challenge activities for the more able pupils and activities for those who are underachieving. At the short term planning stage, careful consideration of the objectives and success criteria will be taken and a learning slip will be completed, including the strand being taught.
Teachers in the Foundation Stage work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals which underpin their curriculum planning. All National Curriculum Programmes of Study statements must be covered in the specified year group.
Assessment and Recording
A range of methods of assessment are used to inform future planning including:
- Observing children work
- Questioning, talking and listening to children
- Considering work/materials / investigations produced by children together with discussion about this with them
- Use of plenaries
Children are informed of feedback using:
- Oral feedback
- Written feedback
- Use of success criteria
- A blue and green dot at the end of each unit of work
Children will independently complete a knowledge mat at the end of each unit of work (in line with the programmes of study from the national curriculum). This will inform teachers of their understanding and therefore help to inform the termly summative assessment on FFT. Following the knowledge mat, teachers will write a blue and green dot (in line with the marking policy) to inform children of their areas of strength and areas for development.
Parents are informed about their child’s progress in science at Parents’ Evenings, held mid-way through the autumn and spring terms, and in the annual report.
At Lincoln Gardens, we are committed to providing all children with an equal entitlement to scientific activities and opportunities regardless of race, gender, culture or class.
Inclusion (eg EAL/SEN/PPG/Provision for more able)
In school we aim to meet the needs of all our children by differentiation in our science planning and in providing a variety of approaches and tasks appropriate to ability levels. This involves providing opportunities for SEND children to complete their own projects, with support, to develop speech and language skills, as well as scientific skills and knowledge. This will enable children with learning and/or physical difficulties to take an active part in scientific learning and practical activities and investigations and to achieve the goals they have been set.
Some children will require closer supervision and more adult support to allow them to progress whilst more able children will be extended through differentiated activities. By being given enhancing and enriching activities, more able children will be able to progress to a deeper level of knowledge and understanding appropriate to their abilities.
Role of the Class Teacher
- To decide on when science will be taught. This has to be each half term to cover all programmes of study, however it is the teacher’s choice as to whether this is as a block or weekly depending on the needs of the children.
- To follow the progression map carefully in order to ensure accurate coverage and whole school progression.
- To ensure that all types of scientific enquiry are taught and to ensure a whole investigation, including planning, results and conclusion, is passed to the science lead each half term.
- To plan into each lesson a recap of ‘sticky knowledge’.
- To use a range of teaching methods including, where possible, practical aspects to ensure children are fully engaged and absorbing the key information.
- To accurately assess children at the end of each term on FFT.
- To carefully plan in an effective plenary for each science lesson which will help inform assessment and planning.
- To keep displays up to date including a section for scientific enquiry and a section for key vocabulary.
Role of the Science Lead including Monitoring and Reviewing
- Monitor the implementation and effectiveness of science teaching.
- Review assessment data to track progress across the school.
- Audit science resources in a central store to ensure we have the best materials available and that they are being used effectively.
- Keep up to date with current good practice and pass on information to colleagues.
- Be available to support colleagues when necessary.
- Ensure that long term objectives translate to medium and short term plans.
- Keep the action plan up to date.
- Ensure folder is up to date and organised at all times.