Intent - what do we want to achieve?
In the KT Federation, we recognise the importance of Science in every aspect of daily life. Our intent is to ensure that children are taught science through a balance of understanding scientific concepts, thinking/working scientifically and being able to apply skills. Because many Science concepts are abstract, we aim to sequence learning carefully starting in the early years when children are introduced to a wide-ranging vocabulary that sorts and describes the natural world. This will provide the ‘seeds’ for developing scientific concepts that will be built on in later years.
A good Science curriculum also provides the foundation for a range of valuable careers that are essential for economic, environmental and social development. Therefore, we want our children to love science. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be astronauts, forensic scientists, inventors or microbiologists.
Implementation - how will we achieve this?
Learning begins in the EYFS through hands on experiences and through the planning and teaching of ‘Understanding the World.’ Children find out about objects, materials and living things using all of their senses looking at similarities, differences, patterns and change with staff encouraging curiosity and explorative play. Children are motivated to ask questions about why things happen and how things work. Our children are encouraged to use their natural environment around them to explore and enjoy spending time outdoors exploring mini-beasts and their habitats, observing the changing seasons, plants and animals. Children regularly participate in cookery and baking sessions which allows them to experience changes in state as ingredients are mixed, heated and cooled.
Through KS1 and KS2 we ensure that all learning covers the requirements of the National Curriculum. Science is taught through our topics with knowledge, key vocabulary and skills being taught progressively with ‘flashbacks’ to prior learning highlighted. Each year will build upon the learning from prior year groups therefore developing depth of understanding and progression of skills. We want our children to:
- Ask questions and to understand the uses of and implications of science, today and for the future.
- Develop their interest and enjoyment of science by building on their natural curiosity.
- Develop their use of appropriate scientific vocabulary.
- Develop children’s ability to ask questions, undertake fair tests, accurately record their findings and analyse their results.
- Develop their skills of prediction, hypothesis, experimentation, investigation, observation, measurement, interpretation and communication.
Whole school events, such as ‘Science Week’, are planned in to the academic calendar, as well as visits/visitors that will engage and make learning memorable
Making our Science curriculum tangible, our onsite Forest Schools will give a greater depth of understanding by giving children a respect for natural sciences. Children will experience first-hand changes to the natural environment during the seasons. For example: developing observational and investigative skills such as watching minibeasts within their environments, growing and studying plants in our KS1 ‘Growing’ topic and looking at seasonal changes in our YR ‘Jolly Farmers’ topic.
Impact - what will be the impact on learning?
As our children learn science, they also learn about its uses and importance to society and their own lives. The contribution science has made in the past is highlighted in our topics - for example, by eradicating smallpox and discovering penicillin, which forms part of our LKS2 topic ‘What’s Going on Inside?’ when children look at the life and works of Edward Jenner. Our children also understand the continuing importance of science in solving global challenges such as climate change, food availability, controlling disease and access to water. An example of this is the focus on plastic pollution in our UKS2 topic ‘Is there a Solution to Pollution?’
Science is assessed during lessons and children are encouraged to self and peer assess against the lesson’s learning objectives and success criteria. Evidence for this can be seen in STEM books, through written and pictorial work and photographic evidence of science practical investigations and fieldwork. Teachers also assess individual progress at the end of each topic using a science knowledge and skills record.
All staff are actively encouraged to seek CPD opportunities to improve practice.