Science

Intent

At St Matthew’s it is our intent for the Science element of our school curriculum;

  • To ensure pupils have learned the knowledge and skills set out in the National Curriculum, through a positive caring environment which embraces and respects Christian values.
  • To ensure pupils leave us with a secure knowledge of the world around them through biology, chemistry and physics.
  • To ensure our curriculum promotes opportunities for the children to learn knowledge and concepts as well as scientific investigation and enquiry skills.
  • To ensure pupils have a confident and positive experience of biology, chemistry and physics as well as a practical, hands-on science which accompanies these disciplines.
  • To ensure our pupils learn how to use and apply their knowledge and understanding to eventually be able to observe, prepare and deliver simple testing, measure and present findings, draw conclusions and know the importance of fair testing when doing so.
  • To ensure our provision makes purposeful links with our local community and environment to further encourage their own personal enquiry and curiosity.
  • To ensure our pupils learn about other scientists, engineers and mathematicians; including positive female roles to inspire children.

Implementation

As a Catholic School we aim to enable all children to recognise, appreciate and develop specific concepts about their world, and of the implications of human actions. St Matthew’s will use a range of strategies to introduce, explore, and fully understand scientific learning. When required, this will be adapted to best suit each class and each individual learner so that they are able to make their personal best progress with their learning. Each year group’s learning objectives will come from the national curriculum they will be taught within an appropriate time of year and within the children’s developmental stages so that they are best able to access the learning. All science learning will be taught in a block to enable the children to focus on one subject at a time and to make links within their subject learning.  At the beginning of each unit, children should have the opportunity to reflect on their existing science knowledge through discussion and explicit links to previous learning will be made. Learning is planned and taught in blocks with a clear progression of learning across lessons and between year groups. Where possible, lessons should also refer to real world scenarios where scientific learning applies or show the children the types of occupations that might use this learning. Children will be taught a wide range of essential enquiry skills.  These skills should build upon earlier opportunities they have had to play, explore, create, engage in active learning, and think critically in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

In Key Stage 1 children are taught a wide range of subject knowledge and working scientifically is embedded throughout. It encourages to ask questions and know the same questions can be answered in different ways; make close observations; perform simple tests; identify and classify; use observations and ideas to suggest possible answers to an enquiry question; gather and record data which will also help them answer questions.

These skills are taught throughout the different biology, chemistry and physics units throughout KS1 but there is also emphasis on the children being able to read and spell scientific vocabulary at a level consistent with their KS1 word reading and spelling knowledge.

 In Key Stage 2, children are taught to deepen their knowledge and understanding of biology, chemistry and physics at KS1, as well as being introduced to new topics. The children are encouraged to build on the scientific investigation and enquiry skills from KS1 in lower KS2 but by the time the children are in upper KS2 they should be able to perform these skills with increased independence. By end of KS2 it is expected most children should be able to plan different types of scientific enquires to answer questions; know how and why variables needs to be controlled; take measurements using a range of scientific equipment with increased accuracy and precision and know when repeat findings are needed; record data and results of increasing complexity and present these in the appropriate form; use test results to make predictions for further testing; report and present findings from enquiries including conclusions, casual relationships, explanations ; they should also be able to use scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas and arguments. All children are encouraged to lead their own investigation showcasing the knowledge and skills developed as it helps them develop resilience when things do not go as planned and a greater understanding of the importance of fair testing.

Impact

We hope that our Science Curriculum will encourage children to learn to make links and form a life- long love of investigating, enquiry, questioning and be inspired to preserve God’s World. By providing our pupils the opportunity to explore female role models, this will hopefully inspire more girls to pursue science further. Science has a huge impact on other curricular areas, as children will apply the skills of questioning, analysis and enquiry across the other subjects.   Our curriculum will make use of a range of resources, such as visitors and local attractions.  Vocabulary especially is continually being expanded and embedded giving children more confidence to tackle new ideas and dig deeper. The impact and measure of this is to ensure that our children are equipped with Scientific Enquiry skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world. We want the children to have thoroughly enjoyed learning about science, therefore encouraging them to undertake new life experiences now and in the future. Teachers assess children’s work in Science by making informal judgements against objectives. At the end of the year, the class teacher makes a summary judgement about the work of each pupil in relation to the skills they have developed in-line with the National Curriculum in England 2014 and these are reported to parents as part of the child’s annual school report. We use this as the basis for assessing the progress of the child and we pass this information on to the next teacher at the end of the year.

Here is our Science Progression of Skills Early Years document:

Progression of Skills Science Early Years

Here is our Science Progression of Skills Years 1 to 6 document:

Progression of Skills in Science