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Science

‘Science teaches us to be curious, open-minded, and constantly learning.’

INTENT

At Southwold, we believe that science is an essential part of the national curriculum. Science is all around us and is therefore an integral part of modern-day life. Teaching science provides many learning opportunities, explicitly learning science concepts but it also gives a practical application of other curriculum subjects.

At Southwold, we aim to give all pupils a strong understanding of the world around them whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them to think scientifically, to gain an understanding of scientific processes and also an understanding of the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future. It aims to stimulate a child’s curiosity in finding out why things happen in the way they do.  It teaches methods of enquiry and investigation to stimulate creative thought. Pupils learn to ask scientific questions and begin to appreciate the way science will affect their future on a personal, national, and global level. We live in an increasingly scientific and technological age where pupils need to acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them for life in the 21st century.

Through Science, these are the key characteristics we want to promote with our children:

    • Think critically and communicate their understanding;
    • Have opportunities to apply their scientific skills in different contexts across the curriculum;
    • Develop enquiry skills useful for science and across the curriculum.
    • Ask and answer scientific questions
    • Plan and carry out scientific investigations, using equipment, correctly
    • Know and understand the life processes of living things
    • Know and understand the physical processes of materials, electricity, light, sound and natural forces
    • Know about the nature of the solar system, including the earth
    • Evaluate evidence and present conclusions clearly and accurately
    • Encourage children to take responsibility for their own safety and that of others and their working environment

 Implementation

Curriculum

Curriculum Overviews provide the overall unit theme and strand covered.  Science progression is mapped out in our Science Progression map which shows which content is covered over the different year groups and which vocabulary is essential. This enables teachers to revisit and build on knowledge and skills taught in previous years, through a spiral curriculum. Skills, Knowledge and Progression documents outline the key learning of the National Curriculum statements and key vocabulary which will be learnt.  In order to meet the expectations children must firstly understand the key concept and then be provided with opportunities to apply that knowledge.

Science planning is shown in our Science Progression Scheme which supports teachers in delivering progressive lessons which are of good quality and create opportunities for pupils to develop their science skills and knowledge in a practical setting.

Science Knowledge Organisers provide key learning all pupils must master. Class teachers should plan a low stakes quiz which is tested regularly to support learners’ ability to block learning and increase space in the working memory. Whenever possible, planning should include Educational Visits and visits from experts who will enhance the learning experience.

Working Scientifically, progression is built into the science scheme of work, so that the pupils are increasingly challenged as they move through the school.

Key elements of the lessons-sequence are:

    • Collection of prior knowledge before starting a new science content (KS1: as a class, KS2: per pupil using KWL-sheet). This enables the teacher to find gaps in knowledge and misconceptions that might be present.
    • The use of knowledge organisers, to support the learning of key vocabulary, skills, knowledge and understanding.
    • Progression in lessons so pupils can build on prior learning: this applies to the science content but also to development of Working Scientifically
    • Each unit must include an investigation. Where possible, lessons are practical and interactive.
    • Lessons create opportunities for all pupils, regardless of their ability, to be active and express their scientific ideas. Adaptive teaching enables all children to work towards the lesson objective and challenge some children to deepen their learning.

 EYFS

In EYFS, science is taught through the children learning about the world around them in their learning through play. We recognise the importance of working scientifically in the EYFS as a key area of learning. The majority of the science teaching comes through the Specific Area of Learning ‘Understanding of the World’. Children develop their observational skills by looking for similarities and differences in every day occurrences and events. For example, children will focus on how their local environment changes throughout the seasons, how there are different insects and animals around us which we need to treat with respect, how our human body works and how we look after it.  Children are encouraged to generate questions about an observation or experience, explore using senses, observe, predict and investigate. Through indoor and outdoor learning areas, there are opportunities for both child-led and teacher directed exploratory play.

KS1 & KS2

Science lessons are taught discreetly each week in KS1 and KS2. The aims of lessons are to equip pupils with the skills necessary to apply science knowledge in a practical way and to become independent learners, the teaching style that we adopt is as active and practical as possible. This done is by building on prior skills and knowledge.

Science is taught through the following key strands:

    • Scientific knowledge and understanding of:
      • ○ Biology – living organisms and vital processes.
      • ○ Chemistry – matter and its properties.
      • ○ Physics – how the world we live in works.
    • Working scientifically – processes and methods of science to answer questions about the world
    • around us.
    • Science in action – uses and implications of science in the past, present and for the future.

Scientific enquiry skills are embedded in each unit children study and these topics are revisited and developed throughout their time at school. This allows pupils to build upon their prior knowledge and increases their enthusiasm for the topics whilst embedding this procedural knowledge into the long-term memory.

Units taught in KS1&2 are based upon one of the key science disciplines; Biology, Chemistry and Physics and to show progression throughout the school we have grouped the National curriculum content into six key areas of science:

    • Plants
    • Animals, including humans
    • Living things and habitats
    • Materials
    • Energy
    • Forces, Earth and space

All pupils are encouraged to develop and use a range of skills including observations, planning and investigations, as well as being encouraged to question the world around them and become independent learners in exploring possible answers for their scientific based questions. Specialist vocabulary for topics is taught and built up, and effective questioning to communicate ideas is encouraged. Concepts taught are reinforced by focusing on the key features of scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions

Children’s knowledge, skills, and understanding is developed through whole-class and enquiry-based research activity. Children are encouraged to ask, as well as answer, scientific questions. Opportunities are provided to use a variety of data, such as statistics, graphs, pictures, and photographs. Computing is used in science lessons where it enhances their learning. Children take part in discussions and engage in problem-solving activities. Wherever possible, children are involved ‘real’ life scientific activities.

Children are encouraged to work in these ways, so that they will ultimately gain confidence to ask questions and devise investigations to answer them. To cater for a range of different scientific abilities learning opportunities are provided for all children through adaptive teaching:

    • set suitable learning challenges
    • respond to pupils diverse learning needs
    • overcome potential barriers to learning and assessment for particular individuals and groups of pupils
    • modify the curriculum to remove barriers so all pupils meet the same objectives.

Outdoor Environment

Science provides many high quality outdoor learning opportunities through Forest Schools, which brings learning to life! Outdoor Learning can benefit pupils in a variety of areas.  It enriches the curriculum and provides first-hand experience.  Opportunities for outdoor learning are identified in planning.  Making the best use of the local environment is taken into consideration when planning outdoor learning.  Areas further afield are also used for field work studies and exploration.

Enrichment

Children are provided with opportunities to apply and deepen their Science knowledge. Each year the school takes part in Science Week, KS2 pupils have the opportunity to attend an afterschool science club through partnership with a local university, STEM activities, school trips such as Magna Science Adventure Centre and Sea Life Centre, local walks to study our environment and all classes participate in Forest Schools during the year.

IMPACT

Our Science Curriculum is high quality, well thought out, deliberate and is planned to demonstrate progression.

We expect pupils to leave Southwold with not only the necessary skills and knowledge, but an ever-growing inquisitiveness and enthusiasm to continue their Science career throughout their learning journey and beyond.

Children will be able to achieve their full potential by being determined, and have the courage to progress in their science understanding.

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