We are Scientists
At The Stoke Poges School 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 of science the prominence it requires. Science has changed our lives and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, children are encouraged to recognise the power of explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about the world around them. They are taught to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse data collected.
What are we aiming for?
Our Science curriculum aims to create children who:
- Have inquisitive minds and a passion to explore the world around us
- Can ask and answer questions through experimentation and investigation
- Understand that our world is always developing through scientific discovery
- Have a good knowledge of science-based facts
- Understand and can use scientific vocabulary accurately
Scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding
We believe that it is vitally important that children develop secure understanding of each key block of knowledge and concepts in order to progress to the next stage. Children are taught to describe associated processes and key characteristics in common language and also be familiar with, and use, technical terminology accurately and precisely. To enhance this, cross curricular links are encouraged through the use of topic specific, high quality texts. These books are a vehicle for creative writing, developing understanding of scientific knowledge and process.
Pupils also apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data. The nature, processes and methods of science ‘Working Scientifically’ specifies the understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science for each year group. These types of scientific enquiry include observing over time; pattern seeking, identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations); and researching using secondary sources.
Whole school implementation of our science curriculum
At The Stoke Poges School children have weekly lessons in science throughout Key Stage 1 and 2. In Early Years, science is taught through the children learning about the world around them in their learning through play.
We endeavour to ensure that the science curriculum we provide will give children the confidence and motivation to continue to further develop their skills into the next stage of their education and life experiences.
Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in science. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following:
- At the beginning of each topic, staff assess prior knowledge and understanding and use this as the starting point from which to move forward, ensuring that connections are made, and previous knowledge is built upon. Pupils complete a TAPS assessment to test their knowledge and understanding at the end of the unit.
- Science will be taught via Big Questions such as: Would a polar bear survive in Stoke Poges? This is a strategy to enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge and understanding of science in the wider world.
- Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, often involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess children regularly to gauge the children’s recall of knowledge and concepts.
- We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, and they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.
- Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being developed throughout the children’s school career and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching.
- Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding.
- Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning and workshops with experts when appropriate.
Each unit is supported by a Knowledge Organiser which details the key facts, vocabulary and skills for each unit. This is sent home in advance of the unit, allowing children to make a head start on their learning.
During their time at The Stoke Poges School, we aim to equip children with the knowledge required to use and implement science today, tomorrow and for their future.
Science in the Early Years
During the EYFS the essential building blocks of science and the natural world are established. There are regular opportunities for children to engage in science and investigate activities. By the end of EYFS children should be able to:
- Explore the world around them
- Describe what they see, hear and feel when engaged in practical scientific activities
- Begin to understand the effects of simple processes and changes in the natural world, like seasonal changes
When planning science we strive to provide enrichment activities that will help our learners develop important life skills as well as offering cultural capital and engagement with our wider community. Our enrichment activities are designed to provide enjoyable, meaningful learning experiences such as workshops, visits and working with local community businesses.
In Science, assessment is continuous. From the beginning of every lesson, teachers and teaching assistants will be assessing what their pupils are, or are not understanding and use this to scaffold each segment of the lesson. Target groups will be both planned and ‘live’, meaning that misconceptions are dealt with immediately and high attaining pupils are challenged appropriately. Teachers make good use of pre/post teaching where appropriate to ensure that all children can achieve conceptual understanding.
The Headteacher, Phase Leader and Science subject lead play a central role in the monitoring and evaluation of the quality of teaching and learning of Science in the school.
The monitoring strategy:
- Children’s work and planning scrutinies are conducted
- Pupil voice is conducted termly within Science
- Lesson ‘drop ins’ and observations take place in all classes throughout the year
The subject lead is responsible for monitoring attainment and progress, the outcomes of which are collated in the subject leader folder and fed back to staff at an appropriate time.
As a result, learners will:
- Know more, remember more and understand more about Scientific concepts
- Recognise different types of Science enquiry and give examples of where they have used this type of enquiry in their learning
- Show confidence in asking questions about Scientific concepts
- Show confidence in planning and carrying out scientific enquiries to answer their questions
- Show confidence in selecting resources best appropriate for their Scientific enquiries
- Understand how Science is relevant to our world both now and in the future
- Show confidence in their ability to achieve in Science