‘By following in the footsteps of Jesus,
we are making the heart, mind and spirit soar’
Our actions and words of today are the footprints of our future.
At St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School, Science is fully inclusive to every child. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Science; providing a broad and balanced curriculum; ensuring the progressive development of knowledge, skills and vocabulary and for the children to develop a love of Science.
Our vision is to provide children a Science curriculum which enables them to confidently explore and discover the world around them, so that they have a deeper understanding of the world we live in. To achieve this, it involves exciting, practical hands on experiences that encourage science enquires, curiosity and questioning.
Our aim is that these stimulating and challenging experiences help children secure and extend their scientific knowledge, conceptual understanding and vocabulary through biology, chemistry and physics. Additionally, the teaching of Science will promote and develop transferable skills from other subjects and provide opportunities for children to enhance in life skills.
To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in Science, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. Science is taught weekly across the school and is planned and arranged in topic blocks by the class teacher. Where possible, cross curricular links are made.
At St Thomas Aquinas, the 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England and the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum define our Science curriculum, which provides a broad framework and outlines the knowledge and skills taught in each Key Stage. Teachers plan lessons for their class using our progression of knowledge and skills document, which incorporates Working Scientifically.
In the EYFS, Science is not taught as a specific subject, but is a key part of the EYFS Pilot Framework 2020, 'Understanding the World'.
In the EYFS, it is also integral to many areas of daily exploration, learning and play. Alongside specific scientific knowledge and vocabulary pupils will develop the concept of ‘working scientifically’ appropriate to their developmental stage.
Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being developed throughout the children’s school career. Through teacher planning, we involve problem solving opportunities that allow children to find out 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. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, and 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. It is important that enquires are child-led and curiosity is celebrated within and out of the classroom.
Click here to view the working scientifically approaches, methods and skills children are exposed to.
Before planning and delivering a unit of work, teachers assess children’s prior knowledge and understanding to ensure work is pitched at the correct level. A variety of teaching approaches are used based upon the teacher’s judgement and previous assessments. Teaching key subject specific vocabulary is also a key part of our Science curriculum. The vocabulary children will need for that unit are identified on the school’s progression document and this builds upon the vocabulary they have learnt in earlier years. The key vocabulary is highlighted on the Knowledge Organisers which are used across the school in a way that support all age groups.
Science assessment is based on teacher’s assessment of children. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills. It is vital that any mathematical or English barriers should not obstruct a child’s scientific learning, thus meaning dialogic learning is a central part to our science teaching. At the end of a unit, teachers will identify if a child is working at the expected standard for that objective. This is then passed on to the next class teacher as a record of the child’s progress throughout the year. Assessment is also shared with the subject leader whom analyses whole school data and shares this with staff. Additionally, the percentage of children working at, above and below the expected standard are identified. At the end of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 the results are submitted.
Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning, educational visits, STEM projects/talks and workshops with experts. In addition to weekly lessons, children are engaged and excited about science through special events and activities, which is supported by the Science Ambassadors. We hold at least two annual Science events (British Science Week and The Great Science Share), incorporating fun and engaging activities for the children to complete. We also include and encourage families to engage with scientific activities too.
In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in Science, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. This ensures the following:
- Children not only acquire the appropriate age-related knowledge linked to the science curriculum, but also skills which equip them to progress from their starting points, and within their everyday lives.
- Children who feel confident in their science knowledge and enquiry skills will be excited about science, show that they are actively curious to learn more.
- Children will retain knowledge that is pertinent to Science with a real life context.
- Children will be will be able to question ideas and reflect on knowledge.
- Children will work collaboratively and practically to investigate and experiment.
- Raise awareness and aspirations of STEM-related career opportunities.
- Children will see the relevance of what they learn in Science lessons to real life situations and also know the importance of Science in the real world.
- Children will become life-long learners who will explore the wonderful world that has God has created for us.
We continue to explore and find out about the wonderful world that God has created for us. Thank you God for our wonderful world...it truly is beautiful and Science is all around us.
PLANNING TO ADDRESS GAPS
On the 24th June 2020, the Science Lead attended a live webinar launch of the Stoke On Trent CALM approach to the Science curriculum recovery. From the resources provided, it gave the Science Lead tools for every year group to show the catch up options for each unit in the primary curriculum and how this maps to the next phase of learning. At St Thomas Aquinas, we have adopted a catch-up over time long term plan for the Science curriculum.