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Christ Church CE Primary School

'With God,
all things are possible' (Matthew 19:26)

  Science  

Science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated.

Rosalind Franklin

Intent

At Christ Church, our vision is firmly rooted in our belief that ‘With God, all things are possible’ (Mathew 19:26). To achieve this the God-given talents of each child are nurtured, developed and celebrated within a caring Christian community. At the heart of all we do are our Christian values. They underpin the teaching and learning of Science and every aspect of daily life in school. These values help us to aspire to become local, national and global citizens by influencing our behaviour and our motives. They are based on our belief that CHRIST is within all of us.

Our ambitious Science curriculum has been designed to take account of the legal requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and the Primary National Curriculum. It exposes our children to enriching experiences, immersing them in progressive knowledge and skills; equipping them with personal characteristics required to succeed in life. Science provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. All pupils are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of Science.

We ensure that all aspects of Science are considered when planning progressive, appropriate, engaging and challenging curriculum for all of our pupils. A curriculum that incorporates scientific knowledge and working scientifically. Children are encouraged to then apply their knowledge and skills when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings.

We strive every day to push our pupils to have big ambitions and high expectations of themselves. Our Science curriculum meets the needs of our children and is driven by the children’s voices. Science is rich, exciting and balanced, supporting each individual child to develop academically, emotionally, creatively, socially and physically. Our Science curriculum will enable children to enquire, explore, record and explain. They will be able to apply knowledge and skills learned throughout Science in a wide range of meaningful contexts.

A Christ Church scientist:

  • Has a depth of scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding, gained through the disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
  • Has a good 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
  • Has the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future

At Christ Church, threshold topics link together common concepts that run between subjects and through the curriculum. Children are able to process information in relation to previously learned knowledge because they are presented new information as another example of the threshold topic. These topics are progressive throughout school, as is the specialist vocabulary which is taught and built up throughout these units of work. This ensures that all learners have a good exposure to vocabulary which will support them in being able to learn, develop and move on.

This pedagogy is built on John Sweller’s Cognitive Load Theory being central to developing learning and understanding. It allows children to build upon their prior learning, increasing their enthusiasm for topics whilst embedding this procedural knowledge into the long-term memory, creating a firm foundation of knowledge and skills. In addition to this, we have adopted a whole-school approach of collaborative learning within lessons to further the Sweller approach and promote inclusion. As a school we have embedded Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset in order to empower all children to achieve their best and persevere in the face of challenges. This approach allows children to build resilience and encourages personal growth. 

Implementation

As a Church of England School, the Christian faith is the foundations of everything that we do at Christ Church. The skills that are taught here enable learners to develop skills and understanding which equip learners to make positive choices, widen horizons and create aspirations for life as local, national and global citizens.

As a school community we strive to ensure our pupils’ voices are heard and valued throughout all aspects of school life, including the curriculum. We encourage children to be actively involved in whole school decision making through the School Ethos Group, School Council and Eco Team. In Science specifically, Pupil Voice surveys are carried out to ensure that their voices are heard in the shaping and reviewing of the Science curriculum.

At Christ Church, Science lessons are carefully planned, structured and sequenced to ensure progression across units of work and across year groups. Our threshold topics ensure consistency and a drive to support all of our pupils. Each learning sequence is carefully planned to ensure the relevant key features of scientific enquiry have been taught: observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing; and researching using secondary sources, and careful modelling of key scientific vocabulary has been used throughout. Science lessons incorporate modelling; retrieval practice and, over time, revisit teaching and knowledge skills. Pre-teaching and the use of practical resources are used to ensure that all pupils can access the Science Curriculum.

Planning is based on the 2014 National Curriculum and we use KENT resources and planning to support in the planning and delivery of Science in addition to Association for Science Education (ASE) resources. With exception in Early Years Foundation Stage, Science is taught discretely once a week, however, links across the curriculum are made where they are considered to be relevant and purposeful. In Early Years, Science in taught through the children learning about the world around them through various topics and play. Progression documents and explicit vocabulary links are planned to ensure that teaching is sequential with staff ensuring that knowledge and skills and linked throughout the school.

Reading and Writing are interwoven with the Science curriculum. As a school we believe that in order to create firm foundations, learners must be able to speak clearly and articulately and to read and write effectively. Reading is a priority at Christ Church and there are purposeful cross-curricular links explored in all year groups, as well as high-quality texts used in Science. This supports us in developing a love of reading and ensuring children continuously build on their prior learning.

Mathematics is a key part of the Science curriculum and an integral aspect of life. Skills and knowledge which the children develop during Mathematics lessons are therefore applied throughout Science lessons in the form of working scientifically skills. Again this ensures that children continuously build on their prior knowledge, in support of Cognitive Load Theory. We aim to create a firm foundation of knowledge and develop skills in order to build confidence, resilience and a passion for Maths in our children and this is supported by additional learning and applying opportunities throughout this area of the curriculum.

As a school Continuing Professional Development for all staff is priority. This ensures that teachers have good subject knowledge and are supported to maintain and improve this knowledge through coaching, training, observing best practice and undertaking relevant research. Where possible, STEM ambassadors and specialists work alongside teaching staff to enhance curriculum provision. Within Science, there is a clear progression of skills and knowledge across all year groups, underpinned by a robust assessment system, which is the product of Subject Leader CPD. Our whole school belief in Sweller’s work and how learning is re-visited and developed year-on-year, ensures there is a depth of learning in Science across the school.

We celebrate a diverse range of both local and worldwide role models within Science. The classroom is a base, with opportunities in the local and wider environment and a range of after school activities are seen as a key tool in enriching and empowering learning. Additional opportunities are provided in Science across the school. This includes regular events, such as Science week and visits from STEM ambassadors, which provide broader provision and the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills. In addition, as part of our dedication to providing children with a range of extra-curricular activities, each year children have access to STEM club. These additional opportunities are always purposeful and expand on the substantive and disciplinary knowledge being developed within the classroom.

We want every child to see themselves as a scientist and never stop being amazed by the wonders our world has to offer; to carry on asking questions and explore the possibilities open to them. To fully achieve this we remain committed to working in partnership with parents as we believe that when home and school work closely together we get the best outcomes for pupils. We strive to ensure that Science nurtures talent and widens our pupils’ horizons.

Impact

Our approach to the teaching of science results in engaging, high-quality lessons, which provide children with the foundations for understanding the world, that they can take with them once they complete their primary education, preparing them for life as local, national and global citizens. By creating a firm foundation for individual growth, all children will make good progress academically, from their starting points. Staff across school use INSIGHT on a termly basis to assess statements pupils are working towards, secure in or exceeding. At the end of the academic year, each pupil is then be given a level to show their attainment for the year.

Pupil voice is used throughout the year to ascertain enthusiasm for science across school, the understanding of taught concepts and pupils’ ability to talk about science and how it relates to their life. In order to evidence the knowledge developed throughout school, each child has a science book which clearly shows their progress throughout the curriculum. To evidence skills developed throughout science, pupils understand and utilise subject specific vocabulary. In lessons, pupils demonstrate their ability to combine the knowledge they have learnt with working scientifically skills through various enquires. As well as this, BLIPPIT is used to showcase investigations, discussions and extra-curricular activities which take place throughout the Science curriculum. By the end of key stage 2, pupils will be able to:

  • Continue to develop their natural curiosity for the world around them;
  • Understand and apply subject specific vocabulary;
  • Work scientifically and with increasing independence;
  • Develop their knowledge of a wide range of scientists and their impact on the world;
  • All pupils will understand that there are various careers in STEM which they can explore
  • Learn through a science curriculum which teaches the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Additional Information and Resources

Please click on the links below to find out more about our Science Curriculum:

 National Curriculum Programme of Study: Science

Science Long Term Plan

Science Knowledge Progression Document

Science Vocabulary  Progression Document

Science and Development Matters

Science Early Years Overview

Science Reading Spine

Eco Reading Spine

Science Recovery Curriculum

Science Risk Assessments