At Tregolls Academy we recognise the importance of science in every aspect of daily life. As one of the core subjects taught in primary schools, we give the teaching and learning of science the prominence it requires. Our aim is to equip our children with the key working scientifically skills, knowledge and vocabulary motivated by our core skills of active learning, basic skills and creative thinking.
Our Science curriculum is shaped by the National Curriculum for Science, our school curriculum, our school values and the ethos at Tregolls Academy. Our science curriculum aims to ensure that all children:
- develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
- develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
- are equipped with the scientific skills required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
We plan for the Working Scientifically skills to be built-on and developed throughout the children’s time at the school so that they can make connections in their learning and become thinkers and investigators. This will enable them to apply their knowledge of science when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently. We will encourage a natural and healthy curiosity about the world around us and respect for living and non-living things. We aim to plan and provide opportunities for critical evaluation of evidence, to be reflective, responsible and to ask questions.
Our intent is to deliver a science curriculum which is accessible to all and that will maximise the outcomes for every child so that they develop an enthusiasm and enjoyment of scientific learning and discovery. We will encourage them to see the connection across their learning, in their different subjects and how connected we are as a world; to become global learners. We will show them how different opinions need to be respected and valued, to see the moral and ethical issues about environmental and human issues. Through group work, carrying out experiments and research, we will provide opportunities for children to understand the power of collaborative working in the science community which has led to some amazing and life changing breakthroughs in medicine and how scientists from a range of cultures have had a significant impact globally.
We endeavour to ensure that the science curriculum we provide, will give children at Tregolls Academy the confidence and motivation to continue to further their skills into the next stage of education and beyond.
Tregolls Academy teachers foster a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children can achieve high standards in science. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science is clearly mapped out through our science progression framework. Across the school, continuous progression is at the heart of our curriculum design. As well as the curriculum map and flowchart of progression, there is also a science curriculum overview which shows what topics are being taught and when with relevant cross-curricular links. Wherever possible, science lessons are planned to be a cross curricular part of the concept-based enquiry questions. Children are given the opportunity to use a variety of data, such as statistics, pictures and photographs. ICT, reading, writing, speaking and listening are strongly developed through science. Where meaningful links are not possible science is taught as a standalone subject to ensure the quality and integrity of the core subject can be upheld.
Typically, children will be taught science weekly. This allows time for the incremental acquisition of skills and knowledge and time to address mis-conceptions. There is a strong focus on working scientifically and providing children with opportunities to apply their knowledge. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. Staff are required to have a science working wall in classrooms and this will be changed for each new topic; we aim to have a science display in the main corridor.
Each unit of work begins with an entry Pupil Recorded Response (PRR) and in KS2 a vocabulary ‘never heard the word’ grid. Each lesson begins with a toolkit which gives the learning intention, the science enquiry type, the success criteria and key vocabulary. Every lesson then starts with a recap of previous learning (last lesson, last week, last year). A hook will be used to excite children’s curiosity about a scientific phenomenon and provide a focus for their questions and investigations. The lesson is focused on a key question with key vocabulary introduced and modelled throughout the lesson. Each topic provides a cycle of lessons which carefully plans for progression and depth using Switched on Science as a backbone supplemented by teachers. Teachers provide opportunities to promote science and develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning, workshops with experts and external visits, thus enhancing the learning experience. Children in the foundation stage work towards achieving the early learning goals in Understanding the World.
Assessment is on-going throughout the learning process and includes observing children at work, questioning, class discussions, quizzes, marking and written and verbal feedback, practical sessions to apply knowledge and skills and independent learning in books. Each science unit is assessed more formally through an end of unit written assessment (or Exit PRR). These are used to support termly teacher assessments of attainment and progress and future planning. Additionally children finish a unit with a mind map where they can share further information learnt that is not included in the assessment.
The academy is equipped with a wide range of resources, organised in topic boxes alongside a science budget to ensure teachers can have the flexibility to update resources or select new to support the teaching of the science curriculum.
Our annual science week is an integral part of the school’s science offer. Our science week is developed through a strong STEM focus. It allows for further opportunities to work alongside our local secondary and primary schools, external providers, local and national businesses and be part of the National Science Week. Science week culminates with a whole school science fair where children can showcase their own learning and investigate the science learning across other year groups.
Assessment for learning in science is continuous throughout the planning, teaching and learning cycle. We measure and assess the impact that our science curriculum is having through: conducting learning walks, talking to pupils, observing lessons and half-termly monitoring of looking at children’s book which indicates that science is being delivered meaningfully and the children are gaining a range of practical experiences which is embedded in planning, questioning and carrying out investigations. Children’s learning is assessed against the age-related expectations for science. Below is an outline of the impact we are looking for in our pupils in the curriculum area of science:
- Children are knowledgeable about the scientific content of each unit of learning
- Children can set up an investigation based around scientific thinking.
- Children are engaged in science lessons; asking scientific questions and being curious.
- Children’s work shows a range of topics and evidence of the curriculum coverage for all science topics.
- There is clear progression of children’s work and teachers’ expectations in our school.
- Children are becoming increasingly independent in science, selecting their own tools and materials, completing pupil lead investigations and choosing their own methods for recording.
- Children can use scientific vocabulary to communicate their understanding
- Children can present science learning using where appropriate maths and literacy skills.
- Children can make meaningful cross-curricular and wider world links.
- Verbal and written feedback from teachers has impact on our pupils learning, often with next step questions to move learning on.