Our Science Curriculum
At Belford Primary School, we aim to provide our children with a science curriculum which enables them to understand the world around them, provides them with the skills and knowledge to think scientifically, and to explore and discover things for themselves so that they have a deeper understanding of their planet, its plants and animals, environments, natural phenomenon and space.
Using the guidance of the National Curriculum, lessons are planned, not only to provide the acquisition of key knowledge and concepts linked to each unit, but also to develop scientific enquiry skills through a range of investigation types, the use of scientific vocabulary, asking questions, making choices and working independently. These skills, linked to working scientifically, are built upon as the children move through the school and they are consistently encouraged to be curious about their surroundings.
We aim to prepare pupils for life in an increasingly scientific and technologically rich world by developing an understanding of how important and relevant science is to their everyday lives.
At Belford Primary School, we promote high standards of teaching and learning in science, which is organised into mixed year group topics, ensuring that all statutory requirements of the National Curriculum are fully covered. At the start of each topic, teachers take time to find out what the children know, understand and want to know through the use of KWL (Know, Want to Know and Learned) grids. Scientific vocabulary linked to the different topics is listed and shared with the pupils, who are encouraged to ask and answer questions as a scientist, using the correct technical words and phrases. We recognise that some of our children sometimes lack experiences and we aim to provide them with additional learning, such as visitors in school or educational visits linked to science. Creating a positive attitude to science learning, reinforced by the expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in the subject, we are committed to providing the children exciting, hands-on and practical experiences suited to their different abilities and needs. Where possible, Belford Primary also promotes the use of outdoor learning in order to broaden the children’s experiences and to show them that science is all around them at all times, improving their understanding of, and increasing their curiosity and interest in their surroundings.
Our whole school approach to teaching and learning in science involves:
- Science is discreetly taught through topics consisting of a series of planned lessons which cater for all of the needs and abilities of our children. Direct teaching will be used to impart specific knowledge, concepts and vocabulary to the pupils.
- As part of each topic, we will strive to include a range of investigations (linked to real life situations where possible) which will encourage children to ask questions, use their scientific skills, research in a variety of ways and use scientific vocabulary and phrases.
- The use of KWL grids allows the teacher to identify misconceptions and learning gaps, as well as the interests of the children in order to meet all children’s needs and to give them some autonomy over their learning.
- We ensure that teaching is progressive and builds on previous knowledge and learning.
- Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, as well as how to work scientifically, so that the children can become increasingly independent learners increasingly curious and build a love of enquiry and knowledge.
- At the end of each topic, the children will be assessed to determine their level of knowledge and to identify areas of weakness to help inform future learning and planning in the different topics, to help fill gaps and correct misconceptions.
By the time children leave Belford Primary School they should:
- Enjoy and be enthusiastic about science
- Be curious about the world around them
- Have a richer vocabulary which will enable them to articulate their knowledge and understanding scientifically
- Have a wider variety of skills linked to both scientific knowledge and understanding, and scientific enquiry/investigation skills
- Be increasingly independent in science sessions and completing pupil lead investigations
- Understand that science is increasingly important in day to day life and why they need to have an understanding of scientific concepts
- Know that there are career opportunities in science
We measure the effectiveness and impact of our Science Curriculum in a variety of ways:
- Summative assessment – assessments (Sigma science) take place at the end of each topic in each class to track pupils’ progress against age-related expectations for science
- Science vocabulary - definitions are tested at the end of each topic
- Leaders’ monitoring – lesson observations, learning walks, book scrutiny and pupil interviews
- Children in Early Years Foundation Stage are assessed within the most recent EYFS framework and their progress is tracked
- Formative assessment -assessment for learning takes place during every lesson and is used to identify individual needs and to inform future planning