Science coordinator: Mr Hudson
Subject Overview - key documents.
Knowledge and Vocabulary Progression
Science teaching at Barkston Ash Catholic Primary School (BACPS) aims to give all children a strong understanding of the world around them through discrete teaching of biology, chemistry and physics, teaching of substantive knowledge and developing their disciplinary knowledge to help them to think scientifically to gain an understanding of scientific processes and an understanding of the uses and implications of science today and for the future. This follows key meta-cognitive concepts where children are taught substantive knowledge (their foundation for their 'learning wall') and this is further built on as children progress through similar topics as their education progressWe want our students to develop a natural curiosity of the world around them and for teachers to teach the skills that will help students to answer questions their curiosity brings them.
HOW IS THE CURRICULUM ORGANISED TO ACHIEVE THIS?
Long Term Plan
The school has a two-year rotating long-term plan for science that each class follows. This long-term plan has been carefully considered, developed and reviewed over the years to ensure that all children in KS1 and KS2 receive the education mandated in the National Curriculum regardless of the class structure/allocation moving through school. The placement of topics follows the principles outlined in the 'Sequencing Science Topics' document alongside suggestions of others. This sequencing ensures that children are acquiring substantive knowledge (blocks of knowledge) and being able to identify links between past and current learning appropriately. Some topics may conceptually be more challenging and may be placed later in the year when students are maturer and more able to understand these concepts.
Medium Term Planning
From the long term plan, teachers plan their own lessons using a medium term plan format, where the objectives and learning is sequenced so that learning builds upon knowledge learnt previously in school and previously within the topic. This enshrines the principle outlined above whereby children develop their foundation and 'build' on this as time goes on. Teachers plan to build disciplinary knowledge (action taken to gain new knowledge) through a mix of teacher and experiential-led learning whilst allowing children to devise their own questions and presenting concepts to challenge learner's thinking.
At BACPS, scientific enquiry skills are embedded in each topic the children study and these topics are revisited and developed throughout their time at school. Some topics, such as forces or plants, are taught in Key Stage One and studied again in further detail throughout Key Stage Two. Teachers have recently had CPD (described below) on ways to accurately identify working scientifically in every lesson and effective ways to assess these.
Learning challenges within KS2 offer further enhancement to the teaching received in school, allowing children chance to further consolidate their knowledge and understanding through research tasks or by expanding the current topic allowing students to broaden their knowledge further. The science subject leader is currently looking at this plan to further enhance the teaching and learning experience for staff and students.
Each year, we have a Science week to celebrate and develop children’s scientific understanding and skills. EYFS develop topics around children’s interest to further allow them to further develop their scientific knowledge and understanding and enthusiasm of the subject. This model of curriculum and theme week allows children to build upon their prior knowledge and increases their enthusiasm for the topics whilst embedding this procedural knowledge into the long-term memory. All children are encouraged to develop and use a range of skills including observations, planning and investigations, as well as being encouraged to question the world around them and become independent learners in exploring possible answers for their scientific based questions. Concepts taught should be reinforced by focusing on the key features of scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions.
Teachers have received CPD around the careful planning and sequencing of topics to ensure that knowledge is revisited from past year groups and within the same topic to allow children to see the links between old and new learning to enable them to understand principles and concepts more thoroughly. 'Working scientifically' has been a current focus for teachers (2020-2022) and recent training has broadened the understanding of what 'working scientifically' looks like and how this can be assessed more accurately alongside the disciplinary knowledge. These have been shared with the children and children are becoming more used to identifying which 'statement(s)' they will be focussing on in their lessons.
Science is taught in an engaging way to develop children’s curiosity about the world around them. They develop respect for living organisms, environment, equipment and knowledge and are provided opportunities for critical evaluation of evidence as they develop understanding through school. In EYFS and KS2, learning challenges and ‘learning at home activities’ are developed to allow children to embed their knowledge and to allow parents to engage with the developing curiosity of their child. Teachers carefully plan engaging and appropriate lessons that interest the children and allow the children to develop their own questions and ideas about what they already know, what they see and what they think. Through their planning, teachers identify ‘working scientifically’ skills children will be using in each session so these skills are developed through the year. Teaching builds upon prior knowledge from other year groups through the use of vocabulary and concepts.
In EYFS, opportunities are taken to use children’s interest to teach topics to enhance their understanding of the world, e.g. seasonal changes through changes, patterns and similarities. The children are encouraged to excel by posing their own scientific questions to explore and discuss ways they could find the answer to these questions.
In KS2, children develop their skills in knowledge and observation by asking questions and thinking scientifically about what they see, notice and think. They develop an in-depth understanding of topics building up on their prior learning from KS1 and prior KS2 classes.
Teachers assess learner's knowledge and understanding through carefully sequenced activities and incorporating formative assessment and summative assessment into lessons where appropriate. This includes elicitation of prior knowledge from earlier in school/education, such as C3 teachers revisiting concepts from 'plants' in Y2 and identifying where misconceptions or gaps in knowledge need to be revisited. These activities and assessment mean that results for science are strong throughout school and teachers are able to identify individuals/groups of children that require additional support to achieve/exceed their learning objectives.
This approach results in an engaging and high-quality education that gives children the skills and knowledge to allow them to question what they see around them and to begin to answer these. Teachers have worked hard to ensure there is a mix of teacher-led and child-led learning and a range of experiential activities where children will benefit from seeing concepts in front of them/having misconceptions challenged through high-quality teaching and the use of investigations and letting children get things wrong to allow them to understand, improvise and discuss what they have seen. Observations of teaching and children's books demonstrate the consistent use of scientific enquiry and use of subject-specific vocabulary that children build on over time. Children enjoy their science teaching and speak highly of the sessions teachers plan and deliver to the children.
London Road, Barkston Ash, Nr Tadcaster, North Yorkshire LS24 9PS
Mrs Ward: firstname.lastname@example.org