Sparken Hill Academy
Sparken Hill Academy recognises and understands the importance and inclusiveness for all pupils to develop their scientific ability as an essential component of all subjects and as a subject in its own right. The acquisition of scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding helps to support pupils work across the curriculum and relate their learning to aspects of everyday life.
As one of the core subjects taught in Primary Schools, we give the teaching and learning of Science the prominence it requires. Science is a systematic investigation of the physical, chemical and biological aspects of the world which requires hands on experience and reliable sources of information. The scientific process and pupil’s problem solving activities will be used to deepen their understanding of the concepts and application of skills associated with the study of science and subsequently encourage enquiry based learners.
The experience of pupils using Scientific methods of investigation should foster a natural curiosity in pupils about our universe, encourage respect for living organisms and the physical environment and provide opportunities to develop children’s questioning and critical evaluation of evidence. The National Curriculum and programmes of study will provide a structure and skill development for the science curriculum taught, via Sparken Hill’s thematic approach throughout school. We endeavour to ensure that the Science curriculum we provide, will give children the confidence and motivation to continue to further develop their skills in the future and deepen their respect, care and appreciation for the natural world and all its phenomena.
Intent (What are we trying to achieve for our children in Science?)
The 2014 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 skills required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. We understand that it is important for lessons to have a skills-based focus, and that that the knowledge can be taught through this.
Therefore at Sparken Hill the intent of our science curriculum is:
- To deliver a curriculum which is accessible to all and that will maximise the outcomes for every child so that they know more, remember more and understand more.
- Develop an enthusiasm and enjoyment of scientific learning and discovery.
- To nurture enquiry based learners
- Encompassing in the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes in science learning.
- To encourage / understand how science can be used to give rational explanations as to what is occurring, predict how things will behave and analyse causes
- To develop through practical work the skills of observation, prediction, investigation, interpretation, communication, questioning / hypothesizing and increased use of precise measurement skills and ICT.
- Exposing pupils to high quality first teaching & learning scientific experiences
- To immerse the children in science specific vocabulary, which aids children’s knowledge and understanding not only of the topic they are studying, but of the world around them
- To provide all children regardless of ethnic, origin, gender, class aptitude or disability, with a broad and balanced science curriculum
Implementation (How is the curriculum delivered in science?)
Staff create a positive attitude to science learning within their teaching environment and reinforce an expectation that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards in science. In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in science, we implement a curriculum that is progressive and explores depth throughout the whole school.
Planning for science ensures that the school gives full coverage of, ‘The National Curriculum programmes of study for Science 2014’ and ‘Understanding of the World’ in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Where appropriate Science is linked to topics being taught, if this is not possible science is taught as discrete units to ensure coverage and science is delivered throughout each key-stage on a two year rolling programme.
At Sparken Hill implementation of science involves:
- A clear and comprehensive scheme of work in line with the National Curriculum (teaching and learning should show progression across all key stages within the strands of science)
- Access to organised, quality resources to acquire learning through science equipment, digital technology, practical experiences and school enhancement experiences.( A range of secondary resources to develop K&U integral to learning)
- Introduction and application of key scientific terms to their learning and outcomes.
- Opportunities for hands on practical investigations and problem solving tasks
- Reflecting and building on prior learning, knowledge and skills and making cross curricular links wherever possible.
- Providing creative engaging lessons and the use of precise questioning to ascertain conceptual knowledge and skills
- Purposeful events, activities, external expert visitors and trips to enhance the learning experience and to complement and broaden the curriculum
- Maintaining a high level of subject knowledge of science by regular CPD, whether that be by attending a course, accessing an online CPD programme or delivery of training to the rest of the staff by the subject leader.
- Regular and rigorous monitoring of planning and children’s work through book scrutinies.
- Attainment will be assessed during lessons by the use of AFL , KWL grids and by related topic assessment tasks.(LBQ)
Impact (What difference is the curriculum making? How do you know whether pupils know what you think they know?)
The impact and measure of this is to ensure children not only acquire the appropriate age related knowledge linked to the science curriculum, but also skills which equip them to progress from their individual starting points, and within everyday lives.
- A wider skill set linked to both scientific knowledge and understanding and scientific enquiry / investigative skills.
- A richer and extensive vocabulary which will enable pupils to articulate their understanding of taught concepts.
- Achieve age related expectations in science at the end of their cohort year.
- Retain knowledge that is pertinent to science with a real life context.
- Be able to question ideas and reflect on their knowledge.
- Study collaboratively and practically to investigate and experiment.
- Pupils will explain the process they have taken and be able to reason scientifically.
- Children will exhibit an enthusiasm and enjoyment of science in school (awe & wonder) as they become increasingly independent during the investigative process.
- Ascertaining pupil voice about their science learning.(via pupil discussions/interviews & questionnaires)
- Assessing children’s knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts at the outset and again at the end of the unit of study.
- Tracking of knowledge progression and vocabulary understanding (KWL & LBQ) used to inform future learning.
- Evidence from pupil books will demonstrate a progressive, broad and balanced science curriculum with the appropriate challenge and expectations.
- SLT / Governors are kept up to date with developments in the way science is managed in our school via subject reports, action plans and review meetings.
The Teaching Sequence of Science
Each year group’s units of study must include the following sequential steps:
Teaching Sequence in Science
Big Picture: Start with what the pupils know, understand, are able to do and able to say. Daily Review: Revisit previous learning. (LBQ / Vocabulary)
Provide information and scientific concepts.
Specify key vocabulary to be used and its meaning.
Provide opportunities for the children to investigate in a variety of contexts.
Obtain and present evidence through observations, comparisons and collected data.
Possible pedagogical approaches used in science
Direct teacher instruction; modelling of skills and techniques; demonstration
Inquiry- based learning
Teacher modelling; questioning; mix of individual, paired and group instruction
Pupil-led learning; opportunities
Learning, working and talking about science with confidence.
Being introduces to the key vocabulary relating to science so that all children can express their understanding, findings and conclusions
To enable children to know more, remember more and do more in science, these aspects must be evident in the implementation of the science curriculum across the key-stages. The science scheme of work outlines the knowledge, vocabulary and working scientifically skills as outlined by the National Curriculum Objectives. Teachers use a range of teaching and learning styles, including activities such as investigations, questioning, practical opportunities and outdoor learning.