We seek to inspire our next generation of young scientists with opportunities for awe, wonder and excitement in the world around them by ensuring enquiry-based curriculum coverage in a safe, hands-on, relevant and well-resourced way that provides challenge, support and progress for all. Science will be delivered through careful planning across all year groups which will be analysed for coverage and content and tested for its effectiveness through book-looks and pupil voice. Prior learning will be assessed, revised and used as the bedrock for future learning as children further their knowledge, skills and vocabulary through confident, quality teaching. Throughout the National Curriculum programmes of study, our children will acquire and develop the key knowledge that has been identified within each unit and across each year group, as well as the application of scientific skills. Use of our school’s outdoor learning facilities and cross-curricular links will encourage our young scientists to apply and deepen their curiosity and learning in a range of contexts. Opportunities to reflect on, discuss, present and question the results of their lessons and investigations will allow them to take their place among the articulate, problem-solving, critical thinkers our school and the world of science beyond require.
The National Curriculum working scientifically skills are built-on and developed throughout children’s time at Milton Mount so they can apply their knowledge of science when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings.
We believe it is vital to promote and develop transferrable skills such as observation, communication and team work to evolve the whole child as a lifelong learner. We aim to provide lessons are rooted in scientific vocabulary, consolidate prior knowledge and encourage deeper understanding.
Early Years Foundation Stage
In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), teaching is planned through adult supported teaching and learning. Weekly opportunities to informally develop children’s understanding of the world through child-initiated activities and routines are capitalised upon.
Key Stage 1 and 2
In Key Stage 1 (KS1) and 2 (KS2), teaching follows the National Curriculum. This involves weekly Science lessons and where appropriate, pre/ post teaching sessions / target groups. We use the National Curriculum framework, Association of Science Educators’ planning matrices and Primary Science Teaching Trust resources to support planning for progression within Science units of work. Long term plans map out the units to be covered each term, during each key stage and class. Medium term plans identify learning objectives and outcomes for each unit, as well as indicating the working scientifically skills being taught. These also identify resources and appropriate differentiation and are carefully planned for progression and depth. Planning and progression for each key stage and year group follows the Association of Science Educators’ guidelines as set out in the ‘gold standard’ folders and distributed to year group leaders. Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use precise questioning to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all children make progress.
Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in science. Our approach to the teaching and learning of science involves;
Structure of a lesson
- A sticky starter activity to activate prior knowledge and encourage children to revisit key vocabulary, raise questions, and seek answers through discussion with their peers. These 'Sticky Starters' help reinforce and embed previously learned content into children's long term memory. We build upon previous learning and skill development. As our children’s knowledge and understanding increases, they become more proficient in selecting and using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results and become increasingly confident in their growing ability to reach evidence-based conclusions.
- Introduction of key concepts with opportunities for talk, exploration and identifying the working scientifically skill for the lesson. Working scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are developed throughout our children’s school career. New vocabulary and concepts for each science topic are introduced through direct teaching and knowledge organisers.
- Task – independent / paired / group. Practical investigations account for approximately half of lesson time and are used where appropriate to enhance children’s working scientifically skills alongside their understanding of key concepts. Problem solving opportunities that allow children to find out for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. This curiosity is celebrated within the classroom.
- Plenary/reflection with assessment for learning opportunities and the chance for children to reflect on their learning.
Throughout our Science lessons we use a metacognitive approach to teaching and learning which involves:
- Explicitly teaching metacognitive strategies - activating prior knowledge, independent practice and structured reflection
- Modelling by staff, verbalising their thinking and scaffolding tasks
- Setting an appropriate level of challenge
- Promoting and developing metacognitive talk in the classroom – language development and acquisition
- Explicitly teaching children how to organise and effectively manage their learning resources
- Each class has a Science working wall which will display key vocabulary, progression within the unit and examples of children’s work throughout the unit of learning.
- Central resources are kept in the science cupboards.
- Teachers model how to use scientific equipment and Working Scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding. Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning whenever possible;
- Children are offered a range of extra-curricular activities, visits, trips and visitors to complement and broaden the curriculum. These are purposeful and link with the knowledge taught in class;
•Regular events such as Science Week, or specific projects such as our potato or strawberry projects, allow all pupils to come off-timetable, provide broader provision and allow for the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills. These events often involve families and the wider community.
We aim for our learners to become enthusiastic, knowledgeable young scientists who are eager to take their learning to the next level and to begin to open their eyes to the world of opportunity for careers in the many fields science offers.
Assessment is continuous. From the beginning of every lesson, teachers will be assessing what their pupils are, or are not understanding and use this to scaffold each segment of the lesson. Target groups will be both planned for and ‘live’, meaning that misconceptions are dealt with immediately and high attaining pupils are challenged appropriately. Pre/ post teaching where appropriate ensure that all children can achieve conceptual understanding.
- Staff’s ongoing observational assessments ascertain a baseline when each child begins EYFS which then informs subsequent teaching and learning for each child. · Future attainment is noted using photographs and observational notes. Progress is recorded in each child’s Learning Journey and the next steps to be taken are identified. Progress is monitored termly.
KS1 and KS2
- In weekly Science lesson, formative assessments are made. Teachers observe, question and evaluate lesson outcomes to further determine progress made and the next steps in learning.
- Pre-assessments are made at the beginning of a unit of work and are used to inform starting points for teaching sequences. Pre-assessments consider the prior learning children have had within repeated units of work.
- Teacher Assessment in Primary Science working scientifically lessons are used once per unit of work to assess children’s working scientifically skills.
- Children’s attainment is tracked during each unit of work against the NC learning objectives for knowledge and skills
- Progress is analysed termly by the subject leader and key areas of focus are identified and shared with staff.
- Statutory assessments are made at the end of each key stage.
The Headship team and Science subject leader play a central role in the monitoring and evaluation of the quality of teaching and learning of Science in the school.
The monitoring strategy: 1. Children’s work and planning scrutinies are conducted. 2. Pupil voice is conducted termly within Science. 3. Lesson ‘drop ins’ and observations take place in all classes throughout the year. The subject leader is responsible for monitoring attainment and progress, the outcomes of which are collated in the subject leadership folder and fed back to staff at an appropriate time.