‘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.’
DFE, National Curriculum
At Fairfield Primary School, it is our intention to provide a high quality science education that provides children with the foundations they need to recognise the importance of Science in every aspect of daily life. We give the teaching and learning of Science high prominence.
Our curriculum will enable children to become enquiry based learners collaborating through researching, investigating and evaluating experiences. It will encourage respect for living organisms and for the physical environment.
Teachers will ensure that all children are exposed to high quality teaching and learning experiences. These will hook the children’s interest, enabling them to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They will be encouraged to ask questions about the world around them and work scientifically to further their conceptual understanding and scientific knowledge.
Children will be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. It will provide opportunities for the critical evaluation of evidence and rational explanation of scientific phenomena as well as opportunity to apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data. Children will be immersed in key scientific vocabulary, which supports in the acquisition of scientific knowledge and understanding.
All children will be provided with a broad and balanced science curriculum which reflects the equality and diversity policies and practice in school.
Fairfield Primary School provides full coverage of the National Curriculum, following the programmes of study for each year
group carefully. It provides the right balance between working scientifically and learning scientific facts.
The Science curriculum links directly to scientific knowledge, skills and understanding to ensure that learning is progressive and continuous.
Our curriculum is built around the principle of greater learner involvement in their work. It requires deep thinking and encourages learners to work using a question as the starting point, considering different avenues for further research. They do this through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments, and by beginning to develop their ideas about functions, relationships and interactions. They ask their own questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, including observing changes over time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative and fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They draw simple conclusions and use scientific language to talk and write about what they have found out.
Each science unit begins with a ‘wow’ tasks that provides a hook for learning, developing a sense of excitement and curiosity for children. Teachers check on what children already know and then invite children to think of their own questions. Children will be able to build on prior knowledge and link ideas together, enabling them to question and become enquiry based learners. Children are also asked to review their learning at the end of each topic. These ‘reflection’ tasks provide children with an opportunity to share their learning more widely with other children and parents through a variety of means e.g. learning presentations, talks, report writing etc.
Memorable knowledge and skills have been identified for each of the units to provide progressive acquisition of knowledge. This is supported by the use of ‘sticky vocabulary and sticky knowledge’ which are displayed on science working walls and subject specific knowledge mats. Teachers regularly refer to this knowledge and key vocabulary with meanings so that it ‘sticks’. This enables children to readily apply knowledge and vocabulary to their written, mathematical and verbal communication of skills.
The successful approach to the teaching of science at Fairfield Primary School will result in a fun, engaging, high quality science education, that provides children with the foundations for understanding the world that they can take with them once they complete their primary education.
Assessment at Fairfield Primary School is teacher based and formed using formal strategies (e.g. periodic year group assessment tasks, quizzes) and informal strategies (Use of concept maps, verbal/written outcomes, reflection tasks/presentations).
Formative assessment is used as the main tool for assessing the impact of Science at Fairfield Primary School as it allows for misconceptions and gaps to be addressed more immediately rather than building on insecure scientific foundations.
Children at Fairfield Primary School will:
- demonstrate a love of science work and an interest in further study and work in this field
- retain knowledge that is pertinent to Science with a real life context.
- be able to question ideas and reflect on knowledge.
- be able to articulate their understanding of scientific concepts and be able to reason scientifically using rich language linked to science.
- demonstrate a high love of mathematical skills through their work, organising, recording and interpreting results.
- work collaboratively and practically to investigate and experiment.
- achieve age related expectations in Science at the end of their cohort year.
‘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 about 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 Leads: Alex Maunder and Jen Wilson