At Christ Church First School, it is our intention to provide a very high quality science curriculum that provides children with secure foundations to recognise the importance, necessity and abundance of science in every aspect of our daily lives.
Our INTENT is founded on a few key facts relevant to the current approach of teaching and learning in science:
Firstly, we recognise that progress in science is pupils knowing more and remembering more about:
the products of science (SUBSTANTIVE KNOWLEDGE) e.g., concepts, laws and theories.
the practices of science (DISCIPLINARY KNOWLEDGE) knowing how knowledge is gained through scientific enquiry (aka working scientifically.)
Secondly that to understand one concept in science you need to understand many other concepts. Children must know and remember what has been taught previously. This knowledge must be accurately LEARNED, REMEMBERED and UNDERSTOOD in order to move on, because children can’t make sense of a new concept if they haven’t understood earlier ones.
Thirdly that science seeks to explain the material world, science always starts with knowledge and that pupils can only make accurate and worthwhile use of their science skills when they have a clear and substantive knowledge.
With this in mind, our intent is to give every child a broad and balanced science curriculum which enables them to confidently explore and discover what is around them, so that they have a deeper understanding of the world we live in. We want our children to be passionate about science and the importance of what they learn. We want them to be confident in their knowledge and skills and not only to remember their amazing and inspiring science lessons but to know more, remember more and understand more.
At Christ Church First School, we achieve this through a coherently planned and sequenced curriculum which has been carefully designed and developed with the need of every child at the centre of what we do. This curriculum is based on providing secure scientific knowledge and vocabulary which is explored through a wealth of stimulating and challenging experiences in which all children will be taught and supported in their use of scientific enquiry.
A ‘science capital’ approach to teaching is being developed to raise the confidence of all pupils so that they ALL have ownership of science. The concept of science capital is a way of encapsulating all the science-related knowledge, attitudes, experiences and social contacts that an individual may have. It can be useful to think of science capital as a bag you carry throughout life that contains all your science related knowledge (what you know), attitudes (what you think), experiences (what you do) and contacts (who you know).
Through this approach, we can break down barriers of social injustice within the world of science. It supports in building relationships between children and science by broadening the ways in which science is represented, by valuing what all children bring with them and by connecting science with children’s identities, experiences and what matters to them and their communities. The approach asks teachers to adopt a social justice mindset - that is, thinking critically about power relations that can exist in classrooms and inequalities that may go unnoticed.
It is our intent to ensure ALL children leave Christ Church First School with an equal opportunity, confidence and desire to continue learning science in their future schools.
At Christ Church First School, science topics are taught within each year group in accordance with the National Curriculum.
Topics are blocked to allow children to focus on developing their knowledge and skills, studying each topic in depth.
Every year group will build upon the learning from prior year groups therefore developing depth of understanding and progression of skills.
Teachers promote enjoyment and foster interest of the scientific disciplines; Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
Children explore, question, predict, plan, carry out investigations and observations as well as conclude their findings.
Children present their findings and learning using science specific language, observations and diagrams.
In order to support children in their ability to ‘know more and remember more’ there are regular opportunities to review the learning taken place in previous topics as well as previous lessons.
At the start of each topic children will review previous learning and will have the opportunity to share what they already know about a current topic.
Effective CPD and standardisation opportunities are available to staff to ensure high levels of confidence and knowledge are maintained.
To support teaching, teachers access a range of resources and planning from the Collins Connect SNAP SCIENCE scheme of work. Teachers also cross reference and make use of the ASE (The Association for Science Education) planning matrices for each topic. Both of these resources highlight key learning, vocabulary and misconceptions and provide teachers with secure knowledge in which they can then be confident to teach with.
Effective use of education visits, for example, the Think Tank Science Museum, Cannock Chase, Wolseley wildlife centre, Apedale mining museum and the surrounding local environment are used to enrich and enhance the pupil’s learning experiences. Science teachers from CCA, parents and local professionals with a science link are encouraged to visit the school, especially in YR.
Use of the school grounds, town and green spaces is made to develop a clear understanding of science in their daily lives.
Teachers use formative assessment for learning in each lesson to ensure misconceptions are highlighted and addressed.
Effective modelling by teachers ensures that children are able to achieve their learning intention, with misconceptions addressed within it.
Through using a range of assessment tools, differentiation is facilitated by teachers, to ensure that each pupil can access the science curriculum. Learning activities, investigations and recording opportunities are differentiated within the resources of the Collins Connect SNAP science scheme.
Children are given clear success criteria in order to achieve the learning intention with differing elements of independence.
Pupils are given the opportunity for self or peer assessment, which will then be used to inform planning, preparation, differentiation and address misconceptions within that lesson, or for the next lesson.
Cross-curricular links are planned for, with other subjects such as Maths, English and Computing.
Staff have been introduced to the Science Capital Teaching Approach and are now implementing some small changes to begin our quest to break down barriers of social injustice within the science curriculum. Each class has a ‘Science Capital’ rucksack where any science related knowledge or skill in each pupil’s individual lives and experiences, can be celebrated by adding a pompom to the bag to BAG IT, OWN IT, USE IT.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum supports children’s understanding of science through the planning and teaching of ‘Understanding the World.’ Children find out about objects, materials and living things using all of their senses looking at similarities, differences, patterns and change. Both the environment and skilled practitioners foster curiosity and encourage explorative play, children are motivated to ask questions about why things happen and how things work. Our children are encouraged to use their natural environment around them to explore. Children enjoy spending time outdoors exploring mini-beasts and their habitats, observing the changing seasons, plants and animals. Children participate in cookery and baking sessions which allows them to experience changes in state as ingredients are mixed, heated and cooled.
The impact of this curriculum design will lead to outstanding progress over time, across key stages, relative to a child’s individual starting point and their progression of skills. Children will:
Our science curriculum and the introduction of the PSCTA will enable all children, from any background to be confident yet resilient science learners who are passionate about exploring new concepts.
They will understand that science has changed our lives and that they are the future scientists that will change our lives in the future.