There is a shared belief at Fleet that children are naturally inquisitive about the world around them. From Nursery to Year 6, the emphasis of science teaching and learning is children finding out about themselves and their environment through first-hand experience. . We ensure various, memorable experiences (including experiments and visitors) take place to broaden the children’s knowledge – all learning is accessible for all children regardless of their ability or background. This develops their natural curiosity and ability to make connections about the world around them. We place emphasis on raising questions, practical work and discussion to develop skills of scientific enquiry to support our children in their development and future.
Teaching and Learning style
We aim to provide for all children so that they achieve as highly as they can in science, according to their individual ability. We identify which pupils or groups of pupils are under-achieving and take steps to improve their attainment. Children who are working at greater depth will be challenged through suitable learning opportunities. In order to engage all children: cultural diversity, home languages, gender and religious beliefs are all respected and celebrated throughout our curriculum.
Children are more likely to learn effectively when their learning is contextualised. We achieve this through our cross curricular learning and also through providing a rich and diverse array of experiences for the children. We are developing our STEAM approach in our curriculum and hope increasing emphasis on the collaboration of these subjects will add depth and diversity to what we provide for our children. We embrace the opportunities our local environment afford us including regular trips to London Zoo, The Natural History Museum, Kew Gardens and of course, Hampstead Heath.
Science curriculum planning
Science topics are allocated to each year group following the National Curriculum, recorded in our curriculum map.
Each year group has a termly topic, one of which is science based. In the other two terms, the science is linked where appropriate but may be taught discreetly when necessary.
Teachers then use medium term plans and weekly timetables to ensure termly objectives are covered. Existing knowledge is checked at the beginning of each topic, through a knowledge harvest. This ensures that teaching is informed by the children’s starting points and that it takes account of pupil voice, incorporating children’s interests.
The aims of science are to enable children to:
• Ask and answer scientific questions
• Plan and carry out fair scientific investigations, using equipment including computers
• Know and understand the life processes of living things
• Know and understand the physical processes of materials, electricity, light, sound and natural forces
• Know about materials and their properties
• Evaluate evidence and present their conclusions clearly and accurately
Science is an essential part of life in the early years as the children are constantly exploring and making sense of the world around them. The nursery and reception class will have a science focus each term based around plants and animals. They will have year round experiences with gardening and looking after their outdoor areas.
Organisation and frequency
Science is taught on a weekly basis and each class should have one- two hours a week (as recommended by national guidelines). Where possible teachers make cross curricular links. Children may work in a variety of groupings depending on the nature of the activity so there is a mixture of whole class, group, paired and individual teaching. Scientific work is recorded in a variety of ways appropriate to the age of the children and their individual needs in each key stage. This can include teacher observations, photographs, drawings, tables, graphs, written accounts and formal write ups.
Record keeping and assessment
In addition to on-going formative assessment, teachers assess the level of understanding throughout the science unit and update the science assessment tracker at the end of each unit. The science assessment tracker keeps record of which objectives children have or have not met. This information is then used to help plan a cohesive and supportive topic for the next term/year. It is important that this information is tracked carefully so areas of needs are made apparent for the following teacher.
We use a ‘Science enquiry butterfly’ document to keep record of the different types of enquiry carried out in each year group. This is used by children to help identify different enquiry elements of Science. It is used by teachers to help identify areas of focus for future planning etc. In KS1, this is used on science displays in the classrooms. In KS2, the butterfly is used in children’s science books, where they can edit it themselves.
Co-ordination and Moderation
Science education throughout the school is co-ordinated by Rachel Webb. Her role entails, managing assessment in science, updating and monitoring school resources and giving support to colleagues as appropriate. The Science Coordinator leads INSET and discussions related to science issues, e.g. Science Week, assessment, work scrutiny.
Science moderation involves analysis of children’s work in relation to the National Curriculum objectives across the school and the work scrutiny objectives set by SLT in the school. Science moderation achieves the following.
Evidence of objectives met
Evidence of different types of enquiry
Evidence of progression across school
Evidence of good practice in terms of presentation and differentiation in books.