At Knowle CE Primary Academy, our vision is to provide children with a science curriculum which inspires them to be inquisitive about the world around them and enable them to develop a deeper understanding of the world that we live in. By delivering a practical and enjoyable science curriculum, we aim to foster children’s innate curiosity, encourage children to ask questions and secure and extend their scientific knowledge and vocabulary whilst developing an understanding of the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. At Knowle CE Primary Academy, the science curriculum offers a broad range of experiences designed to provide pupils with a progression of scientific understanding, skills and knowledge. Understanding of key ideas in science is built on across the key stages and a progression of skills allows pupils to move from early observations and exploration, to considered questioning and drawing out of ideas. Where appropriate, this is incorporated into our flexible, thematic, cross-curricular approach to teaching and learning.
Our curriculum intent – the knowledge and skills we expect our pupils to learn – can be found in our Long Term Plans and Medium Term Plans (see below)
We have developed our science long term plan based on the National Curriculum objectives to ensure our children have the opportunity to revisit and build upon prior learning. Our medium term plans for each unit, informed by the ASE (Association of Science Education) PLAN science documents, are used by teachers alongside access to Hamilton Trust and Twinkl to plan and resource their lessons.
The units of work have been carefully placed in order to ensure that cross curricular references can be made with other subject areas, so that the children can apply their learning and cross-reference with other subjects. For example, Year 2 study ‘Materials’ which enables children to apply this knowledge to Design and Technology unit building structures out of different materials to match given criteria.
The five types of Scientific Enquiry each have their own symbol which are used throughout the school so the children are explicitly aware of the different enquiry types they can use to answer scientific questions. Throughout each unit, children are taught specific working scientifically skills alongside scientific knowledge. The TAPS (Teaching and Assessing Primary Science) Working Scientifically Cycle is displayed in each classroom and teachers are encouraged to refer to this when teaching a new skill to help children develop a deep understanding of the working scientifically process. Our school’s Working Scientifically Progression Document supports our teachers to ensure they understand the progression of each area of working scientifically across the key stages.
During science lessons, class science scrapbooks are used as an interactive resource to revisit prior learning and key vocabulary taught in previous lessons or units of work. These scrapbooks follow children through school and, when children begin a new topic of work, enables them to quickly see links to previously studied work, ensuring children can effectively build knowledge on secure foundations. For example, when studying ‘light’ in Year 6, children can revisit and remind themselves of the key learning from their ‘light’ unit of work in Year 3.
Concept cartoons are also used, where appropriate, to elicit scientific knowledge and address misconceptions. Teachers use questioning and provide opportunities for discussion and investigation to support the development of key vocabulary, which is listed on each medium term plan and modelled by teachers in each lesson. In addition, teachers use a wide range of resources such as videos, photographs and models during lessons to inspire our children and support their understanding. Teachers have high expectations of their children and tailor individual lessons to ensure it meets the needs of children in the class.
Three times a year, there is a Whole School Science Investigation where every class answers the same key question, using age appropriate Working Scientifically skills. The questions are carefully selected to target specific types of Scientific Enquiry. British Science Week provides the school community with an opportunity celebrate Science. We are guided by the chosen theme for each year and children can choose to compete in the national poster competition as well as participating in various STEM activities throughout the week.
All learning is enriched by external trips and experiences. For instance, Year 5 visit the Think Tank or Space Museum, other year groups have an immersive learning experience in school such as animal workshops and in year 6, children get practical and ‘hands on’ by dissecting a heart.
As with other subjects, teachers use formative assessment from observations, questioning, children’s work in their exercise book and TAPS focused assessments to form a summative judgement of the children’s knowledge and understanding of each unit as well as assessing their Working Scientifically skills. This is recorded on the school’s assessment system: Insight Tracking.