science curriculum statement of intent
Subject Leader is Mr Kennedy.
The 2014 National Curriculum for Science aims to ensure that all children:
- 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 scientific 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.
At Cherry Willingham Primary Academy, in line with the Values of the Priory Trust, we aim to achieve excellence by encouraging children to be curious throughout their time at the school and beyond. The Science curriculum fosters a healthy curiosity in children about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes.
We understand that it is important for lessons to have a blend of skills-based learning (disciplinary knowledge) and the acquisition of scientific theory (substantive knowledge), and that the latter can often be taught through scientific enquiry. This helps to ensure that the study of Science is accessible for all pupils.
By using the programmes of study set out in the National Curriculum (see the Curriculum Overview for Key Stages 1 & 2 below), the children will acquire and develop the key knowledge that has been identified within each unit and across each year group. Their progression through the different strands of science builds on prior learning in each discipline. The teaching of Science is given the prominence it requires, both as a core subject and due to its relevance for our lives now and in the future.
Science is taught discretely every week in Key Stages One and Two, following the National Curriculum programme of study. Teachers reinforce a positive attitude towards the subject by promoting passion for exploration and the pursuit of wisdom, and they have high expectations that all children can achieve in this subject. Planning is bespoke for the lesson and the class, using a variety of high-quality resources and materials; resources are kept up-to-date, enabling teachers to deliver the best lessons within our means.
Children complete a pre- and post-learning activity for each unit, in order to demonstrate their short-term acquisition of knowledge on the subject being studied. Furthermore, spaced learning and assessment is used, for example quizzes are used to ensure regular retrieval of knowledge, allowing pupils to build up schema for the different strands of Science, and to embed their learning.
In order to engage pupils with the study of Science, and based on the available evidence around securing children’s long-term interest and competence in Science, we promote the five types of scientific enquiry in science lessons. These are:
- Fair and Comparative Testing;
- Research Using Secondary Sources;
- Observing Change over Time;
- Grouping and Classifying;
- Seeking Patterns
This makes a FROGS mnemonic that is used throughout school, and that children readily refer to.
Additionally, we ensure that the Working Scientifically skills are built on and developed throughout children’s time at the school so that they can apply their knowledge of science when asking questions, designing investigations, using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments, explaining concepts confidently, and making conclusions.
Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all children keep up. There is focus on the correct use of scientific vocabulary at all levels, making pupils’ responses technically precise. Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning, including through Cherry Willingham Primary Academy’s Forest School provision.
To augment the regular curriculum time for Science, the pupils engage with regular events, including Science Days every term and Science Week in Spring. This allows pupils to come off-timetable, and provides broader provision and application of their skills in Science. Where possible, school trips might link with their work in science, and we organise visits from external providers of Science education, such as the Starlincs Planetarium and Zoolab. We maintain close links with the local secondary school, and the Science lead there has delivered lessons that require a high level of expertise and experience; this aids the transition from primary to secondary science, too.
In order to help pupils secure their learning in their long-term memory, we conduct spaced assessments of scientific knowledge; these are completed a term after a science unit has been taught. There is clear evidence that requiring pupils to retrieve knowledge from their memory helps them to retain it in the long term, which will give them greater science capital for the future.
Our successful approach at Cherry Willingham Primary Academy provides an engaging and high-quality education in Science, from EYFS to KS2. It gives pupils the foundations and knowledge to understand the world around them, and promotes further study of the subject; we aim to make sure that children have the tools, passion and knowledge to be successful in Science at Key Stage 3.
Our pupils enjoy Science through varied and practical experiences, built around working scientifically and scientific enquiry; their enjoyment of, and expertise in, the subject is very evident in their work and their conversations about it.
Children at Cherry Willingham Primary Academy see the value of Science and its place in the wider world, as well as their own futures. We ignite in them the passion to be curious about the world around them; and we give them the wisdom and the means to explore it.