At St Luke’s we are Scientists’! We believe that Science is an essential part of the curriculum and teachers ensure that a high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity. 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.
The science curriculum promotes curiosity and a love and thirst for learning. It is ambitious and empowers our children to become independent and resilient – like all curriculum areas.
The science curriculum at St Luke’s focuses on providing children to explore and discover the world around them confidently, so they can succeed in a rapidly changing world. Children and young people are naturally inquisitive and passionate about learning; we ensure science is stimulating, engaging and fun which fosters their natural curiosity and their on-going intellectual development. Through a hands-on, practical and enquiry-based curriculum the children will grow into the scientist of the future.
We want our children to love science. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be astronauts, forensic scientists, toxicologists or microbiologists. We want our children to remember their science lessons in our school, to cherish these memories and embrace the scientific opportunities they are presented with! To achieve this, it involves exciting, practical hands on experiences that encourage curiosity and questioning. Our aim is that these stimulating and challenging experiences help every child secure and extend their scientific knowledge and vocabulary, as well as promoting a love and thirst for learning.
At St Luke’s, we have 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. We want to equip our children with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the science National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
Elements of science are delivered to the reception children, through the Foundation Stage Curriculum and are incorporated into the termly topics. 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 regularly participate in cookery and baking sessions which allows them to experience changes in state as ingredients are mixed, heated and cooled.
In KS1 and KS2 Science is taught through planning linked to the new National Curriculum 2014-15 using the ReachOut Curriculum. These have been split according to the year groups and the units covered by each year group can be found cross-curricular topics. E.g. English, History, ICT and role-play. Effective learning only comes from effective teaching. When teaching we focus on motivating the children and building on their skills, knowledge and understanding of the curriculum.
The science curriculum has been carefully built and the learning opportunities and assessment milestones for each year group crafted to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills. For example, the way materials are taught in our school has been adapted so that it is revisited in each phase. In KS1, the children tackle ‘Materials’ where they look at the practical uses of everyday materials. In lower KS2, Year 4 explore ‘Phases of Matter’ and look at solids, liquids and gases, changes of state, evaporation, condensation and the water cycle. In upper KS2, Year 6 the children study ‘Particles in physical and chemical changes’ where they examine materials that will dissolve and describe how to recover a substance from a solution.
The impact and measure of this is to ensure students not only acquire the appropriate age-related knowledge linked to the science curriculum, but also skills which equip them to progress from their starting points, and within their everyday lives. Our aim for science is to increase the skills needed to navigate an ever-changing world of science and technology by immersing our students with scientific enquiry skills, key scientific knowledge and investigative skills. We aim to create a culture of high scientific aspirations, which will allow our students a platform to develop their scientific learning and careers, and to articulate their understanding of key scientific concepts. We know when our curriculum provision has been successful because this will lead to excellent outcomes by all of our pupils including disadvantaged pupils and those with SEND.
Formative assessment is used as the main tool for assessing the impact of Science as it allows for misconceptions and gaps to be addressed more immediately rather than building on insecure scientific foundations. End points are instrumental in knowing whether pupils have been successful. We aim for our pupils to recall learning with fluidity and automaticity.
Summative assessment is used in lessons every day. This information is then used to inform short term planning and address misconceptions. This helps to provide the best possible support for all pupils’. The end points for each phase have been carefully mapped out and further broken down. This means that the essential knowledge, skills and concepts in science are progressive and build year on year.
Children at St Luke’s 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.