Science

At William Reynolds Primary School, we recognise the importance of science in every aspect of daily life. We give the teaching and learning of science the prominence it requires by teaching lessons in the morning.

Our three principle aims for pupils in science are:

  • to have good scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding of biology, chemistry and physics.
  • to develop scientific skills through different types of science enquiries to help them answer questions about the world around them.
  • are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

The core of our science curriculum is the National Curriculum for England.  The curriculum has been specifically sequenced in a logical progression to ensure that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before: Early Years to Year 6.  This enables our pupils to know more and remember more. End points are clearly identified for each year group; time allocation has been carefully considered to provide children with opportunities to master key concepts.

All children have access to an ambitious science curriculum that is both challenging and enjoyable and raises pupil’s aspirations. We widen their horizons through a context rich curriculum, that gives purpose to their learning, through high expectations for every child to succeed. 

Our school values are interweaved with science to ensure all learning stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about the world around them.   Pupils are provided with a variety of scientific opportunities, enabling them to develop the ability to pose questions, investigate these using correct techniques, accurately record their findings using appropriate scientific language and analyse their results.  Pupils work in science through collaboration as well as independently learning to build on previous knowledge.  This means that pupils can reason and use their knowledge to work scientifically.

Throughout school, we develop resilience that enables all children to investigate scientifically with increased confidence. A high focus on reading fluency throughout school enables our children to read and be immersed in science vocabulary.  Teachers plan opportunities for science texts to be used within and beyond lessons.  Each classroom promotes reading in science through vocabulary on working walls along with texts linked to the strand of science for that term. 

As a result of the pandemic, our curriculum has not been narrowed however missed units of work were taught additionally in the following year group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every year group has a yearly Curriculum Map that outlines each scientific discipline of science which will be taught throughout the year.  This ensures that adequate amount of time and coverage is allocated to Biology, Physics and Chemistry.

Detailed Medium Term planning supports teachers to plan a sequence of progressive weekly lessons and over time, giving the children time to master new concepts and procedures. Within this document, key objectives and vocabulary are outlined; planned opportunities for knowledge-based learning are linked closely to working scientifically.  Progression documents, for each discipline, are used to support the Medium-term plan to ensure that staff are delivering a consistent and challenging curriculum.  Pupils learn about key scientists in each discipline in science and their impact on the world.  Teachers focus on the core progressive elements of the learning for SEND pupils to ensure that they are not overloaded with knowledge and are able to retain objectives that they build on in the next year group. 

 

Planning includes assessment for learning opportunities, the learning objective for each lesson, linked success criteria and differentiated tasks to meet the objective. With the support of regular CPD, teachers have expert knowledge on how to teach key concepts and procedures.  Progression of apparatus and the knowledge pupils know, to be able to use it, has been carefully planned and sequenced.  Mathematics and Science subject leaders work closely together to understand how and when knowledge is taught in their subjects are similar and different.  Pupils are taught how to use maths in science. An additional lesson is used to teach the skills needed to use specific apparatus.  

Within the progression documents, common misconceptions are identified to support teachers and support staff to address these swiftly with pupils. The curriculum is designed and delivered in a way that allows pupils to know more and remember more.  The knowledge organisers support weekly revisiting of prior knowledge to ensure that the learning is embedded into long term memory.

Science begins in the EYFS through the ‘Understanding the World: the Natural world’ area of learning.  Pupils learn a wide range of vocabulary; these words form the beginning of scientific concepts that are built on and beyond. Throughout the whole of the Foundation Stage, the pupils have opportunities to build and apply their scientific understanding both in the inside and outside environment. 

Practical investigations form part of the sequence of lessons. Pupils have the prior knowledge to carry out the investigations successfully.  Disciplinary knowledge is taught and developed through a range of investigations:

  • Pattern seeking
  • Observation over time
  • Classifying and grouping
  • Undertaking comparative and fair testing
  • Researching using secondary sources

These are always taught in relation to specific substantive knowledge.  Investigative tasks are designed to allow pupils to follow lines of enquiry and develop their own ideas, justifying and proving their answers. There is a clear progression of modelled, intermediate and independent investigations across the school.

Formative assessment takes place within every lesson.  In KS1 & KS2, pupils complete a ‘Rising Stars’ diagnostic assessment at the beginning of every area of learning.  This allows teachers to establish pupil’s starting points and prior knowledge.   From Year 2 onwards, pupils complete a vocabulary concept map to identify known vocabulary and their understanding of it.  They return to this at the end of their learning to show progress made.  At the end of the area of learning, all pupils complete the ‘Rising Stars’ assessment.  This will support teachers in making their judgement; also, to address any gaps in learning or common misconceptions. 

Pupils know that science is a vital life skill that they will rely on in many areas of their daily life.  They have a positive view of science which is evident throughout the high standards of work which pupils clearly take pride with.

 The impact of our curriculum is that: 

  • Our pupils love Science and can explain the importance of the subject in their everyday lives. They can also explain how the subject will help them in their future careers.
  • Pupils are prepared for the next stage of education.
  • Pupils have the knowledge and skills needed that allow them to go on to destinations that meet their interests and aspirations.
  • Our teachers have high expectations for every pupil which is evident throughout the high standard of work which pupils clearly take pride with.
  • Our teachers have good subject knowledge and plan well-structured lessons that build on prior learning.
  • Subject leaders have a clear understanding of the schools’ strengths and the areas of improvement.