Blackfell Primary School

Science

Intent

At Blackfell Primary School, Science is fully inclusive to every child and excites their curiosity about the world around them. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for science; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum; ensuring the progressive development of knowledge, skills and vocabulary and for the children to develop a love of science. Furthermore, we aim to inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the natural and man-made world and a respect for the environment that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. This includes the lesson they complete in the classroom but also the other experiences they are offered, such as educational visits and enrichment days.

The aims of teaching science in our school are to:

  • Equip children to use themselves as starting points for learning about science, and to build on their enthusiasm and natural sense of wonder about the world.
  • Provide children with the language and opportunities to be able to discuss their learning and confidently explain their scientific understanding in small groups and larger groups where appropriate.
  • Develop through practical experiences, the skills of questioning, predicting, investigating (including fair testing), observation (increased use of precise measurement), exploring findings, concluding findings (linking them to scientific concepts).
  • Encourage and enable pupils to offer their own suggestions, and to be creative in their approach to science, devising their own investigations and taking lines of enquiry in a way that interests them.
  • Gain enjoyment from their scientific work.
  • Enable children to develop their skills of co-operation through working with others, and to encourage where possible, ways for children to explore science in forms which are relevant and meaningful to them.
  • Teach scientific enquiry through contexts taken from the National Curriculum for science.
  • Encourage children to collect relevant evidence and to question outcomes.
  • Build resilience to persevere, at times children will need to repeat elements of their investigations as they may encounter unexpected results.
  • Encourage children to treat the living and non-living environment with respect and sensitivity
  • Stress the need for personal and group safety by the correct usage and storage of resources
  • To critically question the world around them.
  • To enable children to appreciate that we do not always know the answers when carrying out scientific enquiry as the world around them is continually changing and developing.

Based on the Rosenshine Principles by providing instructional support; teaching new material in manageable amounts; good use of modelling; helping pupils when they have made errors and providing for sufficient practice and review we ensure that the children at our school efficiently acquire, rehearse, and connect background knowledge.

Special Educational Needs Disability (SEND) / Pupil Premium / Higher Attainers

All children will have Quality First Teaching. Any children with identified SEND or in receipt of pupil premium funding, may have work additional to and different from their peers in order to access the curriculum dependent upon their needs. As well as this, our school offers a aspirational and varied curriculum, providing children with a range of opportunities in order for them to reach their full potential and consistently achieve highly from their starting points.

Implementation

The Science subject leader is responsible for the curriculum design, delivery and impact in this subject. This includes regularly meeting with staff, Governors and Science network meetings to review and quality assure the subject areas to ensure that it is being implemented well and coverage and breadth and balance is adequate. To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in science, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. Science is taught weekly, in distinct lessons, for at least 1 hour in Key Stage One and in Key Stage Two.

The science curriculum at Blackfell Primary School is based upon the 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England, which provides a broad framework and outlines the knowledge and skills taught in each Key Stage. The Science curriculum is mapped out with clear pathways in learning, recapping learning and building on previous learning.

Teachers plan lessons for their class using our “Blackfell Scheme of Work”. This provides an outline for both staff and pupils about the content within each Science unit and incorporates Working Scientifically. When teaching science, teachers, where appropriate, follow the children’s interests to ensure their learning is engaging, broad and balanced. Every lesson begins with an enquiry question that will be explored within the lesson. Before planning a unit of work, teachers will assess children’s prior knowledge and understanding through questioning and Flash Back grids, to ensure work is pitched at the correct level. A variety of teaching approaches are used based on the teacher’s judgement. Teaching subject specific vocabulary is also a key part of our science curriculum and should  be displayed within the classroom and updated regularly to reflect the current learning. The vocabulary children will need for that unit is identified on “Blackfell’s Scheme of Work” and this builds upon the vocabulary they have learnt in earlier years.

Science assessment is based on teacher’s assessment of children and incorporates “Locked in Learning” and end of unit quizzes. During lessons, Braindrops are used for children to demonstrate what they have learnt during a lesson. Teacher will also ensure 2 Flash Back Grids are completed within each unit to ensure the retention of learning. These judgements are then reported on the school’s assessment document and the percentage of children working at, above and below the expected standard are identified for each unit. At the end of each year, a judgement is also made as to whether children had met the expected standard within Science. This information is then passed on to the next class teacher as a record of the child’s progress throughout the year. In addition, at the end of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, the results are submitted. The Science Lead ensures science work is moderated against the exemplification document published and throughout the school year moderations are made with cluster schools.

Science provides excellent opportunities to enhance the learning of all pupils including more able pupils through planning lines of enquiry, asking opened ended problems, analysing results and drawing conclusions based on scientific findings. At Blackfell Primary School, we provide a variety of opportunities for science learning inside and outside the classroom. Learning outside of the classroom (including learning outdoors and school visits) and providing these experiences in our setting, is an essential part to learning science. We also believe it is important that parents/carers are involved in their children’s science learning in an ever-evolving world and we share children’s learning via our school website, sharing books at consultations and through our class assemblies. Every year, we have a “Science Week or Event,” where the subject leader plans simple, engaging practical activities for the children to complete linked to the given theme that year. This encourages them to ask questions about the world and demonstrates how they can think scientifically and investigate using simple everyday objects. CPD will be offered to staff, this may be a course to attend, an online CPD programme to take part in or the subject leader delivering training to the rest of the staff, at Blackfell we use Gateshead’s Local Authority training packages including termly Science network updates.

Impact

Within science, we strive to create a supportive and collaborative ethos for learning by providing opportunities for children to question and investigate to discover answers for themselves. Our science curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. We focus on progression of knowledge and skills and discreet vocabulary progression also form part of the units of work. We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Pupil voice, regular opportunities to talk with pupils about their experiences within Science, for example within lesson observations and providing children time to talk through their books.
  • Assessing children’s understanding of Science units through our end of unit quiz and assessing any prior knowledge through Flash back grids.
  • Marking of written work in books.
  • In EYFS/Key Stage 1, the use of teacher scribing any notable discussions with pupils.
  • Using learning tasks to assess children’s understanding within sessions.
  • Summative assessment of pupil discussions about their learning.
  • Images of the children’s practical learning.
  • Moderation staff meetings where pupil’s books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.
  • External moderation of children’s work.
  • End of unit judgement made by the class teacher which informs the end of year judgement.
  • Formal reporting of standards at the end of each Key Stage.
  • Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum to parents.

The science subject leader will continually monitor the impact science teaching is having on the children’s learning through scrutinising children’s work including their books to ensure the progress of knowledge and skills is being taught. As a school, we will also ensure the knowledge taught is retained by the children and continually revisited and that the learners are able to apply the skills they have been taught to a variety of different settings, showing independence with their learning.

Miss. J. Dodds

September 2021