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Science

St Edward's - A caring Christian Community where children achieve their potential, are confident in themselves and their abilities and are set on a positive path for life. 

Curiosity, wonder, knowledge, logical thinking and systematic enquiry are all part of being a scientist. The St Edward's curriculum is designed to inspire curiosity and a thirst for knowledge. We plan lots of rich experiences for our children so that they are motivated to ask questions, and can recognise the subject's application to real-life scenarios. Scientific knowledge is taught in a logical sequence throughout school, with key knowledge being revisited and developed. Skills for working scientifically are progressively developed, enabling our pupils to pose hypotheses and investigate through practical experiments.

 

 

The important thing is to never stop questioning.

Albert Einstein

When selecting the knowledge and skills most appropriate for our children, our decisions were informed by our overall vision for the school. With this in mind, we identified key threads which would run through our Science curriculum:

Living Things – We want our children to be curious about the living things in our world and to recognise similarities and differences within the animal kingdom. As an eco school, we aim to nurture future gardeners

 

Energy and Forces – 

 

 

 

Testing material properties | KS2 ...Materials – As an eco-school we want our children to be aware of the range of different materials and their uses. To identify those materials that can be recycled

 

Environment and Compassion – As a caring, Christian community, we are aware of the need to look after our local environment and the wider planet through recycling items in school, at home and in the local community. We want our children to be aware of the responsibility they have in caring for our planet and resources.

St Edward's Science Units

The science units we deliver are well sequenced to provide a coherent subject scheme that develops children’s scientific knowledge and scientific enquiry skills. We have selected our own sticky knowledge progression to suit our children.

We understand the need to embed disciplinary knowledge within the substantive content of biology, chemistry and physics, thus enabling pupils to observe the link between the two.

Children are encouraged to make links with prior learning across the different scientific disciplines. For example, in Year Five when discussing the orbit of the earth around the sun to give us our seasons, pupils make links with the seasonal changes unit from Year One.

Each year group covers Biology, Earth Science and Chemistry Units. Physics units are only introduced in Year Three as we have taken into account research about the readiness of children to access physics concepts.

 

Year One

Year Two

Year Three

Year Four

Year Five

Year Six

Block One

Biology: Animals Including Humans

Chemistry: Uses of Everyday Materials

Physics: Light

Biology: Animals Including Humans

Earth Science and Physics: Earth and Space

Physics: Light

Block Two

Physics: Sound

Physics: Forces

Physics: Electricity

Block Three

Chemistry: Everyday Materials

Biology: Living things and Life Cycles

Chemistry and Earth Science: Rocks and Fossils

Physics: Electricity

Chemistry: Properties and Changes of Materials

Biology: Living Things and Their Habitats

Block Four

Physics: Forces and Magnets

Chemistry: Solids, Liquids and Gases

Biology: Evolution and Adaptation

Block Five

Earth Science: Seasonal Changes

Biology: Plants and Animals Including Humans

Biology: Plants and Animals

Biology: Living things and their Habitats

Biology: Animals Including Humans

Block Six

Biology: Plants

Biology: Living Things and Their Habitats

 

 At the end of each unit of work, each year group has an enquiry question related to the knowledge learned. This gives children the opportunity to develop their scientific enquiry skills within the context of learning already done.

Teachers explicitly teach the skills of scientific enquiry which are mapped out across the curriculum so each year group has specific focus areas.

Year Group

Scientific Enquiry Questions

EYFS

What should people do with rubbish?

Year One

Are we all the same or are we all different?

Are all animals totally different?

Are all materials the same?

Are all materials the same?

Is the weather the same every day?

What parts is a plant made of?

Year Two

What materials could be used to make a good raincoat?

What materials could be used to make a good bike shed

Is everything on Earth alive?

Do plants grow the same amount every week?

Is all food good for us?

Do all animals start off small?

Year Three

Does the amount of light we experience only change a lot at night?

Why do shadows change during the day?

Are all rocks made in the same way?

Are all metals attracted to magnets?

Do all plants need exactly the same things?

How does our body move and stand up?

Year Four

How can we know things about a dinosaur when they have been extinct for 65 million years?

How do instruments make different sounds?

Does electricity flow easily through all objects?

Does ice always melt at the same speed?

Are some animals more alike than others?

Are some animals more alike than others?

Year Five

What shape is the moon and does it change?

How do parachutes work?

What happens to salt in water?

Can I make a gas using a solid and a liquid?

Is it possible to separate even very small things like sand, salt and stones?

If life has existed for billions of years, why are there still people alive today?

Year Six

Why can I hear round corners but not see round corners?

Is it possible to change how bright a bulb is or how loud a buzzer is?

What make bread rise?

Why do different species of animals look different?

Is our heart rate always the same?

How long does it take to get fitter?

EYFS

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A curriculum for our children 

We have identified some core barriers that the children of our school face when they are accessing the curriculum, and we intend to deliver the geography curriculum with an approach that addresses these:

  • Vocabulary – we ensure that our topics are planned with careful and deliberate vocabulary progression. Teacher documents list the ‘retrieval vocabulary’ and new vocabulary associated with each unit of work. Children know this vocabulary is displayed in their classroom and also have access to it in the knowledge organisers in their books.
  • Communication and teamwork skills –Oracy opportunities are embedded in medium-term planning and science debates are encouraged across the school. Teachers use the ‘Talk like a Scientist’ stem sentences within classrooms to encourage children to speak using scientific language. Pupils need opportunities in lessons to recap and orally rehease their thoughts using scientific language so they can use this language clearly and precisely.
  • Resilience – we use scientific enquiry to build resilience and discuss the importance of incorrect results. Children are expected to develop resilience through repeating experiments so that they are fair.
  • Differing and sometimes limited life experiences – We offer a curriculum of breadth and wider opportunity. We provide children with opportunities to expand their knowledge and experience of science beyond the classroom through: assemblies celebrating science; trips out of school to support units of learning; visitors coming in to discuss scientific concepts with the children to enhance learning; School ecocouncil information and activities.

A Curriculum for All Children

Ambition

Our ambition in Science for our children who have SEND is broadly in line with our ambitions for all pupils. 

We believe it is important that we recognise that a child’s scientific ability and enquiring mind is not directly related to their reading, writing or maths attainment level. A child who experiences difficulties with reading, for example, might excel at recognising and explaining the effect of friction on a moving object. They should be given every opportunity to excel in this subject regardless of barriers. Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and Steven Hawkins are just a few famous scientists who are believed to have been dyslexic.

Access (How we support children with SEND in science lessons)
  • Revisit and revise prior knowledge regularly - First part of every lesson used to revise knowledge and key vocabulary from prior sessions.

  • Child friendly knowledge organisers are being developed for all children to keep in their science books for reference throughout a unit of work. This will help to remind them of key vocabulary and knowledge.

  • Children to work in mixed attainment groups when conducting scientific investigations with teacher/TA overseeing groups and offering assistance when required. 

  • When writing up investigations, children may be supplied with scaffolded summaries if necessary.

  • Classroom displays / working walls are used as visual prompts; they include facts, images, key vocabulary and child friendly definitions.

Science Pedagogy

Science is taught through whole-class interactive teaching, where the focus is on all children working together on the same lesson content, whilst at the same time challenging and supporting pupils to gain depth of understanding.

Teachers consider their pupils’ understanding in the context of a ‘whole-school’ journey as opposed to simply focusing on their year-group objectives. Prior learning is frequently referred to and revisited.

We know that teacher-directed science instruction is positively associated with science performance, so teachers take a clear lead with explanation of scientific ideas.

A small-steps approach is taken where possible – teachers break down scientific learning into as small chunks as possible with the aim of eliminating misconceptions and highlighting areas of difficulty.

We are aware that formative assessment is most effective when embedded within a lesson sequence. Where misconceptions come to light, teachers explore these with children through whole class discussion. Great care is taken to ensure that children do not carry these misconceptions forward. Feedback is continually used to move children on with their learning. Any feedback given is purposeful. Children are fully involved in discussions about the learning process and are therefore aware of what scientific content they have covered, are encouraged to frequently make links back to prior knowledge about geography, and are quizzed about sticky knowledge regularly.

Staff make it a priority to deliberately expand children’s vocabulary by repeated and deliberate exposure to language allocated to that year group, and provide opportunities for children to experiment with that language. All classrooms are language rich – children are given many opportunities to talk and sentence stems are modelled and used. Teachers carefully consider when to introduce geographical vocabulary at the planning stage, and are aware of what vocabulary the children have used in previous year groups.

It is important that teachers have both content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge in order to deliver high quality lessons. We ensure that teachers have access to subject specific CPD so that they can deliver content confidently.

Resources

School has a central resource bank of resources for each year group to access. ICT is used across the school to support learning in Science, for example researching scientists and constructing graphs. Classroom displays reflect current learning and are functional so are regularly referred to and used by pupils and adults within class.

Science Assessment

We believe that assessment in Science should:

  • Help to plan lessons that build on individual pupils' prior knowledge
  • identify misconceptions and areas for development
  • allow pupils enough time to secure their understanding of the science concepts they are studying and complete their scientific investigations.

Our approach to assessment is based on the following underlying principles:

  • Formative assessment in science should continue over extended periods and contexts. It should ensure that learning has been understood as intended and is embedded in pupils’ memory. This includes checking content from previous years.  
  • Teachers assess whether pupils hold specific misconceptions or misunderstandings, thus allowing teachers to address these misconceptions.
  • Feedback addresses why answers are strong or what needs to happen to improve: it should always refer to the specific curriculum content.  
  • Feedback provided when pupils complete retrieval practice so that pupils don’t have do not have their misconceptions and misunderstanding reinforced.
  • Design curriculum so some lessons are dedicated to retrieval practice to give plenty of time to iron out misconceptions 

We believe that assessment should be useful to teachers so that they can adapt their teaching as necessary and useful to children so that they have an understanding of how they are learning and how to develop further. We have planned assessment opportunities into our curriculum so that teachers are able to confidently evaluate knowledge in the short term, medium term and long term:

  • Short term – We use formative assessment information in every science lesson. Staff use this information to inform their shortterm planning.  This means that skills in science are progressive and build year on year.

 

  • Medium term – all classes revisit prior learning at the start of every lesson. Teachers make use of displays so that children can see their learning path and are encouraged to recall relevant knowledge. Assessment tasks in the form of enquiry questions are planned in to each unit of work so that teachers can teach and assess the application of scientific skills.

 

  • Long term A comprehensive monitoring cycle is developed at the beginning of each academic year. This identifies when monitoring is undertaken. Monitoring in science includes: book scrutinies, lesson observations and/or learning walks and pupil voice.

 

Assessment tasks

 

EYFS

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

 

Are we all the same or are we all different?

Are all animals totally different?

What parts is a plant made of?

 

 

 

Is everything on Earth alive?

Do plants grow the same amount every week?

Do all plants need exactly the same things?

How does our body move and stand up?

How can we know things about a dinosaur when they have been extinct for 65 million years?

Are some animals more alike than others?

If life has existed for billions of years, why are there still people alive today?

What makes bread rise?

Why do different species of animals look different?

Is our heart rate always the same?

Energy and Forces

 

 

 

Does the amount of light we experience only change a lot at night?

Why do shadows change during the day?

Are all metals attracted to magnets?

How do instruments make different sounds?

Does electricity flow easily through all objects?

How do parachutes work?

Why can I hear round corners but not see round corners?

Is it possible to change how bright a bulb is or how loud a buzzer is?

Materials

 

Are all materials the same?

Are all materials the same?

What materials could be used to make a good raincoat?

What materials could be used to make a good bike shed?

 

Are all rocks made in the same way?

Does ice always melt at the same speed?

What happens to salt in water?

Can I make a gas using a solid and a liquid?

Is it possible to separate even very small things like sand, salt and stones?

 

Environment and Care

 

 

Is the weather the same every day?

 

 

 

What shape is the moon and does it change?

 

 

Work Books

  • We would like our children to be able to record their Scientific understanding confidently and effectively.
  • Teachers may use ‘sticky knowledge stickers’ or children may write which sticky knowledge/skill they were focusing on within a session so it is clear to the children exactly what the learning is and it can be used to jog their memory.
  • Teachers may choose to include photos, but this will be done purposefully (e.g. to use in a later lesson to remind children what they did previously and how the activity was linked to the learning point.