The teaching and learning of Science at St Jude’s aims to give all children a strong understanding of the world around them, whilst acquiring specific scientific knowledge, skills and understanding of scientific processes, and an appreciation of the uses and implications of science, today and in their futures.
All learners are encouraged to work in science with independence and perseverance, encouraged to question the world around them and become confident in exploring possible answers for their scientific questions. A range of scientific enquiry skills are embedded in each topic the children study, and these topics are revisited allowing children to build upon their prior knowledge which helps to embed it into the children’s long-term memory.
Enrichment opportunities are planned into the curriculum to provide memorable experiences that increase the children’s understanding of the world around them. To immerse the children in their scientific learning, cross-curricular links are made where possible.
Specialist vocabulary for topics is taught with specific ‘sticky vocabulary’ identified in each topic. Effective questioning is encouraged, with the aim of developing the children’s oracy skills, so that they may explain their understanding of scientific concepts with confidence and clarity. Concepts taught will 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. In particular, children will be given opportunities to complete research in science, encouraging them to develop their reading skills with purpose.
Science is taught in discrete lessons and teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms, reinforcing an expectation that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards.
Existing knowledge is checked at the beginning of each topic, as part of the KWL strategy (What I know, What I would like to Know and What I have Learned). This ensures that teaching is informed by the children’s starting points and that it takes account of pupil voice, incorporating children’s interests.
We promote enquiry and provide independent problem solving opportunities that allow children to apply their knowledge, and find out answers for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. This curiosity is celebrated within the classroom. Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, often involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess pupils regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all pupils keep up. Tasks are selected and designed to provide appropriate challenge to all learners, in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion.
We build upon the knowledge and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.
Enrichment plays an integral part of our Science curriculum. Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding. Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning and workshops with experts. We understand that it is essential for our children to immerse themselves in their local environment to apply their learning practically to real-life situations.
Children are offered a wide range of extra-curricular activities, visits, trips and visitors to complement and broaden the curriculum. These are purposeful and link with the knowledge being taught in class.
We also expose children to famous scientists and discuss the effect they have had and continue to have on society. Children are given the opportunity to research and present what they have found out and show their understanding of the life skills in which science provides and the impact that Science makes to our world. Regular events, such as Science Week or project days, allow all pupils to come off-timetable, to provide broader provision and the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills, as well as celebrating scientists and the impact they have on the world around us.