Science Subject Leader: Jade Mobbs
At Rushton Primary School, we provide a high-quality science education that provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. We have designed our ambitious, carefully sequenced and cohesive curriculum offer using ‘Curriculum Maestro’ from Cornerstones Education. The curriculum design fully complies with the National Curriculum and distinguishes between substantive knowledge (key knowledge) and disciplinary knowledge (skills). Scientific skills and concepts such as ‘Identify and Classify’, ‘Measurement’ and ‘Investigation’ are interconnected so that pupils’ knowledge builds progressively from year to year. Pupils understand and use a wide range of scientific vocabulary which enables them to develop the disciplinary skills needed to ask and investigate scientific enquiry questions and ‘think like a Scientist’.
Our science curriculum ensures that pupils build a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. As pupils progress through the curriculum, they develop an understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries. This disciplinary knowledge enables them to answer scientific questions about the world around them. In preparation for secondary education, pupils are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
At the end of EYFS
Pupils in Reception will develop knowledge and understanding of the Early Learning Goal ‘The Natural World’ which serves as a foundation for further Science learning. Pupils will know about plants and animals in their natural environment. They will know about the seasons, seasonal change and the weather. Pupils will be able to name and sort materials according to their properties. They will explore magnetism and simple electrical circuits. Pupils will conduct tests and explain the results.
At the end of Key Stage 1
Pupils will be able to demonstrate practical scientific methods, skills and processes including observing closely, testing, identifying and classifying and gathering and recording data to help in answering questions. Pupils will continue to build on their scientific language and communicate their ideas to a range of audiences in a variety of ways.
At the end of Key Stage 2
Pupils will be able to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. They will do this through exploring and talking out their ideas, asking their own questions about scientific phenomena and analysing functions, relations and interactions more systematically. They will have encountered more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates
Pedagogy: How the Curriculum is Taught
Our Science curriculum is taught using the following key components:
Teaching of subject-specific vocabulary is embedded sequentially throughout the science curriculum. Scientific language is explicitly taught, deliberately practiced, and rooted through retrieval practice. As a result, pupils are confident in their oral use of words in multiple oral and written contexts.
Knowledge and conceptual understanding. This is sequenced and imparted via direct instruction and retrieval practice. It is vital that pupils gain a secure understanding of each block of learning to support progression, and a depth of understanding, as they progress through their learning.
Nature, process and methods of science (working scientifically) is not taught as a separate strand but instead, woven through every lesson. This enables pupils to develop their skills as a scientist through applying their knowledge and understanding to deepen their own scientific understanding.
Critical thinking around big questions that are current and relevant to pupils in today’s world.
We use a multi-faceted approach to assessment within science.
Pre-unit quizzes to ascertain existing knowledge.
Retrieval practice of key knowledge from previous lessons and units of study.
Assessment for learning is used within each lesson through skilful use of questioning and live feedback.
Pupil voice to support the evidence that pupils know and remember more over time.
Written outcomes such as short reports facilitate pupils to independently apply appropriate substantive knowledge and disciplinary skill of pupils developing in thinking like a scientist. These begin in EYFS with verbalising answers to a question at the end of a topic and continue throughout every year group.
Enrichment is an essential part of our science curriculum which provides pupils with discrete time to deepen their learning. They provide opportunities for new experiences as well as nurturing and developing a thirst for learning.
We use a multi-faceted approach to enrichment within science:
Career Professional Development
We develop strong subject knowledge amongst all staff which is achieved through comprehensive middle leadership development, a focus on developing all teachers’ subject knowledge and pedagogy. All staff benefit from implementing the high-quality planning resources provided by the Trust which is amended to meet the needs of all pupils.
Below is a summary of the CPD activities bespoke to science:
Sharing knowledge from trust-wide meetings
Bespoke training videos
1:1 discussions with staff about lessons