What is the intent of our Science curriculum?
At St Margaret’s Church of England Junior School, it is our intention to provide a high quality science education that provides children with the foundations they need to recognise the importance of science in every aspect of daily life.
Our curriculum will enable children to become resilient and independent enquiry -based learners, collaborating through researching, investigating and evaluating experiences. It will encourage respect for living organisms and for the physical environment.
Teachers will ensure that all children are exposed to high quality teaching and learning experiences. These will hook the children’s interest, enabling them to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about the world of science. They will be encouraged to ask their own questions about the world around them and work scientifically to further their conceptual understanding and scientific knowledge.
Children will be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. It will provide opportunities for the critical evaluation of evidence and rational explanation of scientific phenomena as well as opportunities to apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data. Children will be immersed in key scientific vocabulary, which supports the acquisition of scientific knowledge and understanding.
All children will be provided with a broad and balanced science curriculum which reflects the equality and diversity policies and practice in school.
How do we implement our Science curriculum?
St Margaret’s curriculum links directly to scientific knowledge, skills and understanding to ensure that learning is progressive and continuous.
Our curriculum is built around the principle of greater learner involvement in their work. It requires deep thinking and encourages learners to work using a question as the starting point, considering different avenues for further research. They do this through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments, and by beginning to develop their ideas about functions, relationships and interactions. They ask their own questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, including observing changes over time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative and fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They draw simple conclusions and use scientific language to talk and write about what they have found out.
Each science unit begins with teachers checking on what children already know and then invite children to think of their own questions. Children will be able to build on prior knowledge and link ideas together, enabling them to question and become enquiry-based learners. Children are also asked to review their learning at the end of each topic. These ‘reflection’ tasks provide children with an opportunity to share their learning more widely with other children and parents through a variety of means e.g. learning presentations, talks, report writing etc.
How do we assess the impact of our Science curriculum?
The successful approach to the teaching of science at St Margaret’s will result in a fun, engaging, high quality science education, that provides children with the foundations for an understanding of the world that they can take with them once they complete their primary education.
Assessment at St Margaret’s’ is teacher based and formed using both formal and informal strategies (Use of concept maps, verbal/written outcomes, reflection tasks/presentations).
Formative assessment is used as the main tool for assessing the impact of Science at St Margaret’s as it allows for misconceptions and gaps to be addressed more immediately rather than building on insecure scientific foundations.
Children at St Margaret’s will:
· demonstrate a love of science and an interest in further study and work in this subject.
· be able to question ideas and reflect on knowledge.
· be able to articulate their understanding of scientific concepts and reason scientifically using rich language linked to science.
· demonstrate a high level of mathematical skills through their work, organising, recording and interpreting results.
· work collaboratively and practically to investigate and experiment.
· achieve age-related expectations in Science at the end of their cohort year
We complete the programmes of study set out in the 2015 Science Curriculum published by the Department for Education. Full details can be found in a PDF document by following the link below.
Through linking the programmes of study to our Creative Curriculum, children are given the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding whilst working scientifically; practical investigation work is a crucial part of the pupils learning. The principal focus of science teaching in lower key stage 2 is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. The principal focus of science teaching in upper key stage 2 is to enable pupils to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas.
Science is taught through Maths, DT, Computing, English, Geography and History as well as independently. We have also linked the curriculum to Eco-Schools and our international schools link to Mtumbira through Starfish Malawi.
Vocabulary is very important and there is an expectation that children will use subject specific vocabulary accurately. Key words for each topic are taught; we encourage pupils to work on these at home too.
Science at home
Science is all around us and we strongly encourage children to further their enthusiasm for the subject by asking scientific questions and carrying out fun investigations outside of school. Have a look at the websites below to help support your child in doing this.
We would love to see what you get up to!