It is our intent that science at St Michael’s inspires, empowers and challenges all pupils, enabling them to develop the skills and confidence to effectively analyse, adapt and communicate their thoughts and ideas of the world around them.
Science not only teaches pupils about the world they live in, but also how to study it and make sense of various phenomena. As such, it is a fundamental aspect of all children’s learning. We therefore aim to build the pupils’ critical thinking and observation skills along with their ability to both ask and logically answer their own questions.
Our scientific curriculum is concerned with increasing pupils’ knowledge and understanding of our world, and with developing skills associated with science as a process of enquiry. It develops the natural curiosity of the child; encourages respect for living organisms & the physical environment and provides opportunities for critical evaluation of evidence.
We believe that science knowledge is best learned and retained through memorable, hands on practical enquiries that allow pupils to design, record, discuss and evaluate their own experiments within the context of the topic.
Implementation (Organisation across the school including EYFS)
Our science curriculum linked with National Curriculum objectives, provides a structure and skill development for the science curriculum being taught throughout the school.
At St Michael’s, children have weekly lessons in science throughout Key Stage 1 and 2, using different schemes of work and resources to ensure the best possible teaching. In Early years, science is taught through the children learning about the world around them through play, continuous provision and engaging provocations.
We endeavour to ensure that the science curriculum we provide gives children the confidence and motivation to continue to further develop their skills into the next stage of their education and potential careers.
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:
Science is taught via learning questions such as ‘How does air resistance affect moving objects?’ or ‘Which materials make the best bubble blower?’ This is a strategy to enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge and understanding of science in the wider world,
Enrichment and Resources
In order to facilitate our practical oriented approach to teaching science, we are stocked with a broad range of scientific equipment and resources including but not limited to:-
Volumetric vessels, measuring vessels and plasticware,
Thermometers, newtonmeters, data loggers and measuring devices,
Biological, geological, anatomical, astronomical and material models and samples,
Electrical components and pneumatic materials,
Light and sound exploration packs,
Interactive computing software.
In addition to this we are fortunate to have a broad range of habitats and micro habitats within our school grounds.
We are also able to further enrich our science curriculum by regularly offering:-
Extra-curricular science and gardening clubs,
Forest school provision delivered by specially trained staff members,
School trips to scientific locations of interest,
An annual science enrichment week as part of British Science Week.
Impact (Assessment, Recording and Reporting)
Teaching and learning is informed by assessment with pupils being assessed continuously throughout the year.
Within lessons, teachers use assessment for learning techniques and at least once per half term children complete practical focussed assessments. These allow teachers to observe, record and make notes of what the pupils know and what scientific skills they have developed from the working scientifically framework.
While some assessments have written or statistical elements, assessment in science is based upon scientific knowledge and understanding, rather than achievement in English or maths.
Assessment is undertaken in various forms, including the following:-
Talking to pupils and asking questions,
Discussing pupils’ work with them,
Marking work against the learning objective,
Observing practical tasks and activities,
Pupils’ self-evaluation of their work,
Focussed TAPS assessments.
Formative assessment, which is carried out informally throughout the year, enables teachers to identify pupils’ understanding of subjects and informs their immediate lesson planning.
Data from teacher judgements (both of curriculum content and the working scientifically framework) is reported to school leadership once per Autumn, Spring and Summer term. This data is also passed onto future teachers as part of end of year transition.
Parents are provided with a written report about their child’s progress during the Summer term every year. These include information on the pupil’s attitude towards science, progress in understanding scientific methods, ability to investigate, and the knowledge levels they have achieved.
Inclusion and Differentiation
Our experiential, approach to science allows all of our pupils to develop their logical, analytical and critical skills regardless of their abilities or encumbrances. At St Michael’s, all pupils have equal access to our full scientific curriculum and enrichment opportunities. Access to the curriculum for all is facilitated within class by teacher’s inclusive planning with targeted scaffolding for pupils that are identified as benefitting from support or additional challenge. In addition to this, our nurture and inclusion unit empowers pupils to develop their own scientific enquiries with a consistent link back to the national curriculum.
Science lessons are consistently differentiated and pupils identified through Assessment for Learning and TAPS assessments as proficient are challenged with open questioning and opportunities to dig deeper.