Science at Charles’ Catholic Primary School
At St Charles’ Catholic Primary School a high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. We want our children to develop a love of science and have no limits to what their ambitions are. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and give reasons for the outcome. Our curriculum enables our children develop their scientific knowledge and ability.
To achieve this, it involves exciting practical hands on experiences and encourages curiosity and questioning. Our aim is that these high-quality science lessons should engage and inspire pupils, which will help every child develop and extend their understanding and vocabulary, as well as promoting a thirst for learning.
At St Charles’ Catholic Primary School, we use the Rising Stars Primary’s scheme of work. Our curriculum is ambitious for all pupils and is progressively planned and well sequenced. In line with all areas of our school curriculum, we have high expectations for all children to achieve their potential in Science – regardless of their starting points. In our Science there is an expectation that pupils should not only be able to talk about what they have been doing, but also why and what they have learned.
We strive to develop children’s curiosity through child led enquiry; developing a range of skills which will enable them to work scientifically in a range of ways. We aspire for our children to be confident scientific communicators, who share their scientific ideas and knowledge in a safe and nurturing environment.
At St Charles’ Catholic Primary School, science topics are taught within each year group using the Rising Stars Primary’s scheme of work. This allows year groups to build upon previous learning and therefore develop depth of understanding and progression of skills.
The school has planned each science topic for each year group using the National Curriculum at its heart and has devised multiple opportunities where pupils can gain first-hand experience through practical activities to enhance their scientific knowledge and love of their science education.
Teachers aim to promote enjoyment and foster interest of the scientific disciplines: Biology, Chemistry and Physics, whilst the children explore, question, predict and plan, carry out investigations and observations as well as conclude their findings.
Our Medium-Term-Planning shows when each unit is taught in each year group and that meaningful cross curricular links are made across subjects when and wherever possible, linking prior knowledge to new learning which deepens children’s knowledge, understanding and skills and promotes a broad and balanced curriculum.
At the start of each topic the children will review previous learning and will have the opportunity to share what they already know about the current topic. They will also be given a knowledge organiser which details some key Science Curriculum Statement information, dates and vocabulary.
Throughout the scheme pupils are engaged in asking questions and using one of the five science enquiry activities:
- observation over time
- fair or comparative tests
- identification and classification
- pattern seeking.
Our curriculum is designed to ensure that the expectations of literacy and mathematics are appropriate to each year group in science and therefore application of literacy and numeracy skills are embedded throughout. Where appropriate, links with other curriculum subjects are included in the introductory section to topics and individual activities. This includes STEAM suggestions for arts related visitors, such as engineers, photographers, artists, poets to work with pupils and visits to places where science and other subjects naturally link.
Pupils develop their knowledge and skills through a series of planned activities linked to the curriculum which build on previous and personal knowledge. To assess the impact, teachers evaluate the knowledge and skills that pupils have gained against the original expectations of activities (the intent). This is indicated by the outcomes assigned to each activity. What and how well pupils have achieved will be accessed through using a range of approaches to assessment for learning. It is important that assessment supports a pupil’s journey through the science curriculum to ensure appropriate outcomes for each individual. The focus of Switched on Science is to support this journey so that teachers know how well pupils are doing at each point in a topic. The material is written in such a way that assessment is an integral part of activities. The learning objectives at the beginning of each activity show the intention for learning and these are then used as the basis for assessment, the criteria for which are outlined in the assessment section, split into subject knowledge and working scientifically.
It is expected that teachers will use a range of evidence to assess pupil’s progress. This includes observing them working, listening to their discussions and using questions to probe understanding and reasoning, alongside their writing and other products such as video clips, models and role play activities.
A feature of Switched on Science is the application of ‘Working Scientifically Skills’ and ‘Knowledge and Understanding’ through regular problem solving activities. Challenging pupils to apply their learning in new contexts provides opportunities for them to further embed ideas and skills. Assessing how pupils respond to applying their knowledge and skills is an indicator of how successful their learning has been.
The impact of our Science curriculum will lead to outstanding progress over time, across key stages, relative to a child’s individual starting point and their progression of skills. Our Science curriculum will lead pupils to be enthusiastic Science learners, understand that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity. We want to empower our children so they understand they have the capability to change the world.