Science is a core subject within our school's curriculum and is taught weekly. We follow the National Curriculum, supported by a clearly sequenced progression for Science, which builds on prior learning.
Planning and teaching
Science is taught in units, based on the National Curriculum. Science is always taught discretely from other subjects to ensure that a full curriculum is provided.
Models and images
To ensure a clear progression of understanding, we have developed a set of models and images which we use in our Science teaching across the school. In having this resource, we can be sure that children have clear illustrations of the various scientific processes that we study. It also means that we are able to refer back to prior learning more easily. We will continue to adapt and extend this resource in the coming year. We have received funding from the Hinkley Point developers which we aim to use in 2023/24 to create signs in relevant locations that use these images - for example, an illustration of the lifecycles of insects and amphibians next to the the school pond.
The importance of investigation in Science
Practical investigation is a key part of Science learning, and is taught in a manner that supports understanding. For example, when learning that salt can be dissolved in water and that this change is reversible, the process will first be demonstrated to the class by the teacher, rather than asking children to explore and see what they find, which may lead to mistakes and therefore a misconception that will create a barrier to understanding in the future. Children may then be asked to repeat the process themselves.
Practical investigations are used to investigate something that is not an already established fact - for example how far will this individual car travel down this individual ramp when it is covered with a different surface material?
Some units of work contain many obvious opportunities for hands-on practical learning, whilst others provide less. Our whole school planning includes at least one opportunity for a practical Science investigation in every six week unit of work. This Required Practical is a key element in allowing us to assess the progress that children are making in Science, and is the key focus in our development of the subject in 2023/24.
In our Required Practical sessions, we give children the time to complete and write down the whole Scientific process, from formulating a question, through prediction and explaining the method, to writing results in an appropriate format and then analysing and evaluating what they have discovered. Where we find gaps in these skills, we explicitly reteach them in subsequent lessons.