Chesham Bois CE School
The 2014 National Curriculum for Science aims to ensure that all children:
develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
are equipped with the scientific skills required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. We understand that it is important for lessons to have a skills-based focus, and that the knowledge can be taught through this
At Chesham Bois CE School, we encourage children to be inquisitive throughout their time at the school and beyond. The Science curriculum fosters a healthy curiosity in children about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes. Throughout the program of study, the children will acquire and develop the key knowledge that has been identified within each unit and across each year group, as well as the application of scientific skills. We ensure that the Working Scientifically skills are built-on and developed throughout children’s time at the school so that they can apply their knowledge of science when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings.
The aims of our Science curriculum are:
Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in science. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following;
Science will be taught in planned and arranged topic blocks by the class teacher, to have a project-based approach, building upon prior knowledge to culminate, when possible in a relevant real life example. For example, ending a electricity topic by making a working lighthouse to support the story of ‘The Lighthouse Keepers Lunch’. This is a strategy to enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge.
Through our planning, we involve problem solving opportunities that allow children to find out for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. This curiosity is celebrated within the classroom.
Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, often involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all children keep up. Scientific vocabulary is embedded throughout each unit, adding to interactive displays and working walls to support their learning. The use of red topic boxes delivered termly supports the teachers and children with their knowledge, vocabulary and curiosity to discover Science in the real world.
We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, and they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.
Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being developed throughout the children’s school career and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching. This is developed through the years, in-keeping with the topics.
Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding.
Children are offered a wide range of extra-curricular activities, visits, trips and visitors to complement and broaden the curriculum. These are purposeful and link with the knowledge being taught in class.
Regular events, such as Science Week allow all pupils to come off-timetable, to provide broader provision and the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills. These events often involve families and the wider community.
Teachers plan to suit their children’s interests, current events, their own teaching style, the use of any support staff and the resources available.
We ensure that all children are provided with rich learning experiences that aim to:
Prepare our children for life in an increasingly scientific and technological world today and in the future.
Help our children acquire a growing understanding of the nature, processes and methods of scientific ideas.
Help develop and extend our children’s scientific concept of their world.
Build on our children’s natural curiosity and developing a scientific approach to problems.
Encouraging open-mindedness, self-assessment, perseverance and developing the skills of 3 investigations – including: observing, measuring, predicting, hypothesising, experimenting, communicating, interpreting, explaining and evaluating.
Develop the use of scientific language, recording and techniques.
Develop the use of computing in investigating and recording.
Make links between science and other subjects.
In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in science, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. We have raised the profile of Science and lesson take place in the morning to increase productivity and ensure children see the importance of the subject.
Planning for science is a process in which all teachers are involved to ensure that the school gives full coverage of, ‘The National Curriculum programmes of study for Science 2014’ and, ‘Understanding of the World’ in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Science teaching involves adapting and extending the curriculum to match all pupils’ needs. Where possible, Science is linked to class topics. Science is taught as discrete units and lessons where needed to ensure coverage. Due to one form year groups in our school, Science units are taught on a year rolling programme. This ensures progression between year groups and guarantees topics are covered.
Science is taught consistently, once a week for up to two hours, but is discretely taught in many different contexts throughout all areas of the curriculum. For example, through English, i.e. writing a letter to a local politician regarding the closure of a park/biography of a famous scientist’s life, etc.
We have also implemented a compulsory writing lesson, at the end of a Science topic, to develop the children understanding of how Science links to purposeful tasks along with developing their literacy skills within the curriculum.