Science teaching at OLMC aims to give all children 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.
We want to cultivate a spirit of enquiry in our pupils through practical exploration activities. We understand that children are naturally curious, and we encourage this inquisitive nature throughout their time with us and beyond.
The National Curriculum will provide a structure and skill development for the science curriculum being taught throughout the school, which is now linked, where possible to the theme topics to provide a creative scheme of work, which reflects a balanced programme of study.
In conjunction with the aims of the National Curriculum, our Science teaching offers opportunities for children to:
• 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.
• develop the essential scientific enquiry skills to deepen their scientific knowledge.
• Use a range of methods to communicate their scientific information and present it in a systematic, scientific manner, including I.C.T., diagrams, graphs, and charts.
• Develop a respect for the materials and equipment they handle with regard to their own, and other children’s safety.
• Develop an enthusiasm and enjoyment of scientific learning and discovery.
Scientific enquiry skills are embedded in each topic the children study and these topics are revisited and developed throughout their time at school. Topics, such as Plants, are taught in Key Stage One and studied again in further detail throughout Key Stage Two. This model allows children to build upon their prior knowledge and increases their enthusiasm for the topics whilst embedding this prior knowledge into the long-term memory. In addition, progression booklets have been produced to enable children and staff to plan their curriculum with progression in mind. They will be used to recap prior learning, explain the new learning and give an insight into where this learning will take them.
Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children can achieve high personal standards in science. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following.
Science will be taught in planned and arranged topic blocks by the class teacher, we use Snap Science as a tool to ensure key skills are built on a firm foundation. This is a strategy to enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge.
Through our planning, we involve problem solving opportunities that allow children to find out for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. This curiosity is celebrated within the classroom. Planning involves teachers creating and delivering engaging lessons, often involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills and assess children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all children keep up.
We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. Progression booklets will be shared with the children at the beginning of their lesson to enable them to revisit their prior learning, be confident articulating their new learning and see what their learning will take them as they move through school. This will develop a knowledge of the purpose of their learning and where they sit upon their journey. 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. This is developed through the years, in-keeping with the topics.
Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills to embed scientific understanding. Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning and workshops with experts.
Pupils at all levels are helped to achieve their potential. Those who are most able are challenged, encouraging to expand their skills and knowledge through varied curriculum opportunities. Those who find learning more difficult are encouraged and given targeted support to embed skills, to develop at their own pace and to learn in a style that best suits their individual needs.
Regular events, such as Science Week or project days, allow all pupils to come off-timetable, to provide broader provision and the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills. These events sometimes involve the wider community.
The successful approach at OLMC results in a fun, engaging, high-quality science education, that provides children with the foundations for understanding the world. Our engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first-hand experiences of the world around them. Science lends itself to outdoor learning and so we provide children with opportunities to experience this. Through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts, children have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity.
We measure the impact of our curriculum and the progression of pupils through the following:
• A celebration of learning for each year group, which is displayed in school, demonstrates progression across the school.
• Tracking of knowledge in pre and post learning quizzes
• Pupils discussion about their learning.
• Pupils voice is used to develop the science curriculum, through questioning of pupil’s views and attitude to science to support children’s enjoyment of science and to motivate learners.
• Against ‘I can statements’ at the end of each academic year. This assessment will be against each area of science learning.