Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact Statement
At St Nicholas, we believe that teaching and learning in Science should excite and stimulate children’s natural curiosity to enable them to make sense of the world in which they live.
We aim to provide children with opportunities to ask questions, make observations, investigate their ideas and ultimately improve their understanding. By providing a range of practical experiences, we develop pupils’ investigative skills and allow children to take risks and learn from their mistakes; enabling them to become more confident, independent learners.
The national curriculum for Science aims to ensure that all pupils:
- develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics,
- develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of Science through different types of Science enquiries that help them to answer scientific 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.
Our teaching of Science is planned to ensure all pupils:
· develop lively, enquiring minds and the ability to question.
· learn scientific skills and knowledge with progression throughout the Key Stages.
· build on their natural curiosity; enabling them to understand and care for the world in which they live.
· are provided with a stimulating environment, where they can work in an investigative way and can communicate their findings in a variety of ways.
· learn to use equipment safely and sensibly.
· develop potential scientific links with all other areas of the curriculum.
Early Years Foundation Stage
In the Foundation Stage, children are taught Science through the key areas of learning set out within the EYFS Statutory Framework.
Through a broad range of teacher-led, child-initiated and continuous learning opportunities, children will be taught to:
- Use their senses to investigate a range of objects and materials
- Find out about, identify and observe the different features of living things, objects and worldly events
- Look closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change
- Ask questions about why things happen and why things work
- Develop their communication and co-operation skills
- Talk about their findings, sometimes recording them
- Identify and find out about features of the place they live and in the natural world around them
Key Stage 1 and 2
In Key Stage 1 and 2, lessons are planned using the Active Learn ‘Science Bug’ schemes of work. This ensures that all topics are covered and enables progression through the year groups. Children have weekly Science lessons, with teachers following the scheme of work, but adapting lessons where necessary to suit the needs of their class.
The following topics are covered throughout Key Stage 1:
- Animals, including Humans
- Everyday Materials
- Seasonal Changes
- Living Things & their Habitats
The following topics are covered throughout Key Stage 2:
- Living Things & their Habitats
- Animals, including Humans
- Properties and Changes of Materials
- Earth & Space
- Evolution & Inheritance
- Forces & Magnets
Teachers have an understanding of the sequence of learning in Science and use this to assess prior learning and further extend children’s understanding and their scientific skills. At the start of each topic, children are given an opportunity to explain or revisit their previous learning by completing a ‘KWL’ grid. They then move on to posing their own questions about the topic as a way of encouraging their curiosity and developing their scientific enquiry skills. This is done individually or with adult support, depending on the needs/age of the class. At the end of a topic, children complete their knowledge grid, demonstrating what they have learned during the topic.
At the beginning of each lesson, teachers plan opportunities for pupils to recall prior learning. This enables pupils to consolidate their previous learning, while also preparing them for future learning, in line with the sequence of lessons. This is particularly important for our EAL and SEND children, who may need more opportunities to retain and embed scientific vocabulary and concepts.
Teachers encourage children to use a developing scientific vocabulary as they progress through each year group. Time is spent during lessons introducing and reinforcing age-appropriate scientific vocabulary. Children are given opportunities to consolidate their use of scientific vocabulary as they move through the year groups. Children are encouraged to use scientific vocabulary, both written and verbal, to explain their ideas and make sense of their observations and findings.
In addition to the scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding taught through each topic, children will also be provided with opportunities to develop their scientific enquiry skills. These skills are identified within the ‘Working Scientifically’ element of the National Curriculum and are covered within the Science Bug planning scheme, through a range of activities. Children will be given opportunities to:
- Ask questions
- Hypothesise and predict
- Plan and carry out successful investigations
- Use apparatus effectively and accurately
- Observe and measure
- Record data in various ways
- Present results in a variety of ways, including the use of ICT
- Compare and evaluate results and identify patterns and trends
- Draw effective conclusions
Opportunities are also planned to enable children to:
- Develop investigative skills, including the use of ICT
- Consider the nature of scientific ideas and the role of Science in everyday life
- Communicate effectively using appropriate scientific vocabulary
- Assess risks and develop an awareness of Health and Safety
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. We want our children to grow in confidence and develop independence in their scientific enquiry skills, in addition to their knowledge and understanding. Scientific skills are developed sequentially, in line with both the National Curriculum and the Science Bug scheme of work.
‘Working Scientifically’ skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being developed throughout the children’s time at school. Teachers model scientific skills, including planning, investigating, collecting data, evaluating results and drawing conclusions. As children move through the key stages, they will be given more opportunities to independently use and develop their own skills.
Teachers plan opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning and a variety of enrichment experiences. Here at St. Nicholas, we are lucky enough to be close to both the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moore’s University. We have developed good working relationships with a number of the Science departments at these universities and participate in various enrichment activities throughout the year. Not only does this enable the children to meet with experts in the field of Science and provide them with first-hand learning opportunities; it also broadens the children’s horizons and potentially inspires them to pursue Science for their further education or careers.
The impact of our Science curriculum is measured through the monitoring cycle in school. This includes:
- Lesson observations
- Book monitoring
- Learning walks
- Discussions with class teachers
- Discussions with pupils
Monitoring is used to measure whether:
- Children enjoy and are enthusiastic about science in our school.
- There is a clear progression of children’s work and teachers’ expectations in our school.
- Children’s work shows a range of topics and evidence of the curriculum coverage for all science topics.
- Children are becoming increasingly independent in science, selecting their own tools and materials, completing pupil lead investigations and choosing their own strategies for recording.
- Feedback from teachers has an impact on our pupils, often with next step questions to push learning on.
- All children are making progress, including EAL and SEND children.
Monitoring is also used to identify gaps in the curriculum that may need to be addressed across the school, or within individual year groups. Monitoring is an ongoing cycle, which is used productively to provide the best possible Science curriculum for our children.