“A high quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, 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, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity of natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.” DfE National Curriculum, Science Programmes of Study
At The Oaks Primary School, we pride ourselves on recognising the importance of Science as a core subject within the curriculum, and giving it the acknowledgment it deserves.
Science provides a sense of excitement and ignites curiosity within our pupils to explore scientific concepts as part of our broad and balanced curriculum. Science gives the opportunity for children to experiment, explore, and undertake an enquiry-based approach to solve problems.
The teaching of Science at The Oaks enriches our school curriculum by providing cross curricular links with other subjects and a range of ways of recording the children’s learning to allow learning to be accessible to all pupils.
At The Oaks Community Primary 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 and learning of Science the prominence it requires.
The Scientific area of learning is concerned with increasing pupils’ knowledge and understanding of our world, and with developing skills associated with Science as a process of enquiry. It will develop the natural curiosity of the child, encourage respect for living organisms and the physical environment and provide opportunities for critical evaluation of evidence.
At The Oaks Community Primary School, in conjunction with the aims of the National Curriculum, our Science teaching offers opportunities for children to:
- develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding;
- 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;
- be equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future.
- 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.
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 curriculum themes to provide a creative scheme of work, which reflects a balanced programme of study.
How do we deliver Science at The Oaks Primary School?
Children have weekly lessons in Science throughout Key Stage 1 and 2, using various programmes of study and resources. In Early years, science is taught through the children learning about the world around them in their learning through play. Additional opportunities are provided in Science, such as British Science Week for children, Science fairs in school and educational visits linked to the science curriculum, such as visits to Imagine That!.
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 have access to Science Bug which provides high quality science lessons with progression between units. Science Bug allows the children to revisit and review previous subject knowledge, and then builds upon this with new learning. Teachers use their own professional judgement to supplement the planning provided in order to ensure maximum engagement.
Each class from Year 1 upwards has a Science working wall within their classroom to support their learning in lessons and have a place to showcase their knowledge.
Science is also celebrated through Science Week in the spring term of each academic year where each class undertakes scientific projects across the week which are then showcased in a Science Fair that parents and carers can attend. The Science Fair is interactive and parental engagement is high.
Learning through Science is showcased in personal learning journeys in EYFS, class floor books in Years 1 to 4 and individual Science books in Years 5 and 6.
..of Purposeful Science Differentiation
As we believe differentiation allows all our children to become successful scientists, our differentiation occurs through support and scaffolding. Our content is differentiated through questioning. High attainers are challenged through more demanding problems, which deepens their knowledge of the same content. Children’s misconceptions and difficulties are identified and addressed through class discussion and investigation.
…of a Carefully Enhanced SEND Provision
To ensure that our SEND children can access all our scientific concepts, we are guided by the 2020 EEF Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools Guidance Report. Therefore, we focus on:
- Ensuring all pupils can access the best possible teaching by creating a positive work environment for all pupils;
- Assessment is regular and purposeful, and this is conducted through AFL strategies throughout the lesson as well as pre and post unit assessment where alternative methods of recording is offered. Assessment is meaningful and purposeful;
- Teachers are empowered and trusted to use the information they collect to make a decision about the next steps for teaching that child and therefore supplementing the ScienceBug planning where needed. .
- Every member of the science teaching team is effectively used to ensure that each child makes the progress that they are able to. All teaching staff are valued to a high degree and are trained accordingly.
- Teaching assistants are used within the science lesson to support a variety of children’s learning and do not replace the teacher.
...of Presentation to be Proud of
At the Oaks, we believe every child should be proud of the work that they produce. Therefore, we have high expectations of the children’s and teaching staff’s presentation. Teaching staff model the school’s letter and number formation accurately and expect children to do the same. In science we record in a number of different ways and the children respond well to this.
Children in the Reception class complete science through provision and learning through play in continuous or enhanced provision. Their work is recorded through their individual learning journeys and then they are assessed using the knowledge and understanding of the world segment of the EYFS curriculum.
Year 1 – Year 4
These year groups focus on science skills and working scientifically and their learning is recording in a class science floorbook. The children use the floor book to record science learning, individually and collaboratively. Floorbooks are used as a strategy for developing and assessing children’s understanding of science.
The floorbooks can include photographs, children’s comments, drawings, tables, graphs, annotated diagrams, classification keys and writing. Having a class record means it is easier to track changes in children’s ideas and understand how children are developing their understanding of science. The floorbooks provide an insight into how the children are working scientifically, provide evidence of the different science enquiry types and promote collaboration and group work in science.
Year 5 and Year 6
Upper Key Stage Two have individual science books and this is so they can build on their science recording skills and they can write up full science experiments. The individual books also support the transition to high school having already worked on their collaborative skill working skills.
…of an Effective Classroom Environment
Within each classroom environment, the science display is a working wall. This is updated as the children develop skills and learn more throughout a science unit of work. At The Oaks we recognise the importance of reading and therefore books are often promoted using bookshelves by the working wall. Science resources are kept central for staff to enhance the children’s learning and so they can support children when conducting experiments and investigations.
…of a Targeted Approach for our Children who receive Pupil Premium
Through the EEF Guide to Pupil Premium (2019), we know that a tiered approach tailored to our children that receive Pupil Premium funding allows them to make the greatest progress and close any attainment gaps that may have arisen due to their background. This is balanced through two key areas:
- Ensuring our teaching staff, especially those early in their career, have high-quality science training and support. This enables them to understand how to teach with high expectations whilst closing the gaps.
- Removing wider barriers through tailored strategies. For example, personalised attendance strategies, extra emotional support or funding further provision like technology for accessing platforms at home.
…of Valued Professional Development for our Motivated Teaching Team
As a science teaching team, we constantly strive to ensure high-quality, rich learning for all our children. We also value professional development for our staff. We have tailored professional development for our teaching staff linked to their year group. This is with a hub of schools across Ellesmere Port and is run by a local high school. This also provides opportunities for staff to work with teachers in the same year group from other settings. As a school we are completing the Primary Science Quality Mark and this has enabled staff to access additional professional development. The science lead also holds the occasional staff meeting linked to science and the development of teaching and learning in science.
…of tailored support for the Parents and Carers of our Children
It is key for us at The Oaks Community Primary school to work in partnership with parents and we thrive on our parental engagement with our annual science fair. We aim to include parents in science where possible and encourage children to talk about science at home.
….of clear and useful assessment
In line with The Oaks Assessment Policy, the purpose of science assessment is to inform the teaching and learning sequence as well as identify gaps in learning. Therefore, the following assessments are used.
- Formative assessment by the on-the-spot addressing of misconceptions. AfL strategies are used constantly throughout the lessons for the teaching team to gage the level of understanding the children have.
- summative assessments, pre and post a unit of work is used in order to assess progress and identify gaps in learning. These are also used to back up teacher professional development.
The development of this science curriculum is inline with our 3 year school development plan.
What will it look like when we have achieved our intent?
The successful approach at The Oaks Community Primary school 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. So much of science lends itself to outdoor learning and so we provide children with opportunities to experience this. Through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts and local charities, children have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity. Children learn the possibilities for careers in science as a result of our community links and connection with national agencies such as the STEM association. Pupil voice is used to further develop the Science curriculum, through questioning of pupil’s views and attitudes to Science to support the children’s enjoyment of science and to motivate learners.
At The Oaks, we offer a range of additional activities for children to attend out of school hours. At present we have three STEM clubs. These are offered to children from EYFS to Year 6. One is ran by MGL a computing specialist and two are ran by experienced class teachers.