Science is taught and planned across five topic blocks throughout the year to enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge and mastery. All learning is underpinned by our school mission statement and the National Curriculum to ensure every teacher teaches the knowledge and understanding appropriate to that age group. This is further supported by the use of the progression map from which teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills that should be learnt by the end of each topic, ensuring appropriate progression across topics.
By the end of KS2, children will have been exposed to all enquiry types and given opportunities to carry out different types of enquiry skills as appropriate, skills that will be revisited with increasing complexity as the children progress to secondary.
What does Outstanding Science learning look like at St John XXIII?
- A curriculum relevant to the diversity of backgrounds of the children, reflecting and celebrating these.
- Science displays in the classroom supporting and celebrating learning.
- Pupil led enquiry and investigation.
- Teachers understanding the additional opportunities that can be provided.
- Using varied teaching methods, adapting to reach all abilities in the classroom.
- Providing pupils with feedback that focuses on the science objectives. Teachers providing regular feedback through marking and class discussion.
- Creating a positive attitude to Science learning and reinforcing an expectation of all children being capable of achieving high standards.
- Teachers utilising homework to encourage research and further investigation.
Delivery of the curriculum
Science lessons mostly take place in our state-of-the-art STEAM Room which is designed to allow for enquiry, creativity and hands on investigations. Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment and the various Working Scientifically skills to embed scientific understanding. Safe and engaging learning environments are highly prioritised and teachers find opportunities to develop the children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning such as growing plants in the school grounds. The local area is utilised where possible with opportunities over the year to venture further out. Cross curricular outcomes in Science are specifically planned for, with strong links between the Science curriculum, Maths, Literacy and Computing lessons. For example, research relies heavily on the reading of non-fiction texts and use of ICT resources and collecting and interpreting data relies on their ability to record data and draw tables/graphs.
Planning is informed by and aligned with the national curriculum, supplemented by Explorify, visual representations and a whole school Oracy approach, building upon the learning and continued skill development of the previous years. Children are supported by the Knowledge Organisers throughout the unit so they have key vocabulary and illustrations available to supplement their learning. Consideration is given to how children will be challenged within their scientific learning as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion.
Work outcomes are monitored regularly through formative and summative assessment to ensure that they reflect the learning and understanding of the key knowledge and working scientifically skills embedded across the lessons. Within our approach, children are encouraged to ask their own questions and use their skills to discover answers, becoming increasingly more independent as they move throughout the school.
As part of the assessment process, teachers plan for the following;
- All topic units begin with a Big Question for children to apply their learning in a philosophical and open manner and this is revisited in the Double page Spread at the end of a unit.
- Assessment is used daily in the form of Assessment for Learning. This informs the planning for future lessons and identifies where further individual or group support is needed.
- Success Criteria Ladders which will be used in the marking and assessment of writing pieces inform children of their learning objectives and knowledge goals.
- Use of the feedback policy deepens learning and addresses misconceptions in a unique and specialised way for each child.
- At the end of a topic, the use of a Double Page Spread reveals how learning is embedded throughout the topic. Target Tracker is used to track pupil progress and attainment.
Wider offer – Science Capital
At St John XXIII, we think Science is outstanding when we inspire and spark curiosity through scientific thinking for all. Our curriculum provides all children with Science Capital so that their learning relates to their personal experiences, communities and interests.
We achieve a curriculum rooted in Science Capital through;
- Pupil led learning based on questioning, research and resources linked to their interests, stereotypes, the wider world and local communities.
- Science Bags – A weekly bag filled with topic related Science equipment sent home enabling children to continue learning in their home environment and sharing learning with parents.
- Trips and visits – Throughout the Curriculum, each year group ventures out on trips and visits to enhance the learning experience. This supports and embeds learning through real life exposure.
- STEAM Committee – Select children across Years 4-6 meet bi-weekly to listen to Scientists share about their careers and workshops followed by a hands-on investigation.
- Assemblies – Led by the Science Leader and the STEAM Committee where investigations and live demonstrations are shared with the whole school.
- STEM Ambassadors – Volunteer Scientists support the curriculum by sharing their careers and answer questions around topic content.
- Scientist of the Week – Teachers share with pupils information about a different Scientist every week to enable children to see that anyone can be a Scientist even them.
- My life My Science Board – Incorporating Science and Literacy, children can submit personal science stories in the form of poetry, narrative, photos, presentation. These are displayed in the hall and the top 3 best entries will be celebrated in assembly.
- The Zone – Children and teachers will have the opportunity to interact with Scientists live in the classroom through a chat program during lessons to support learning.
- Science Certificates – Children will be awarded termite Science Certificates based learning achievements during the term.
Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) are introduced to science through the EYFS curriculum guidance. The Early Learning Goals (ELGs) for ‘Understanding the World’ forms the foundation for later work in science, design and technology, history, geography and ICT. Wherever possible children are provided with activities based on first-hand experience that encourage exploration, observation, problem solving, predictions and decision making. We provide an environment with a range of indoor and outdoor experiences that stimulate interest and curiosity.
At St John XXIII, we believe in ‘Quality First’ teaching where learning is accessible to all children. We aim for all children to participate in mainstream lessons. Work is differentiated and extra support is in place for children with S.E.N where necessary. Pupils are withdrawn from class to receive specialist help from school devised intervention programmes when needed and a range of resources that reflect the diversity of culture and language within our school community and the wider local community are provided.