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Science - Subject Leader: Mrs Nicky McDonald

Intent  Why do we teach this? Why do we teach it in the way we do?

At St Mark’s we aim to provide a high-quality science education that provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.

Our Science curriculum is designed to harness children’s natural excitement and curiosity and inspire them to pursue scientific enquiry.  Throughout the primary years, children should learn to explain and analyse phenomena, make predictions and solve problems.

As well as using technical terminology accurately and precisely, children will also apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science.

St Mark’s aims to equip the children with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

Curriculum Overview

At St Mark’s, Science is taught weekly for 1-2 hours by the class teachers.  Using the National Curriculum objectives we link planning, where possible, with other topics,  however there are times when Science will be taught as a discrete subject.  Planning ensures there is a clear progression of knowledge and skills within the year and between the year groups. In order to achieve this we refer to the PLAN knowledge matrices. Teachers are free to use whatever resources they feel are best in order to meet these objectives. The correct scientific vocabulary is used by all staff in every lesson and the children are encouraged to use it when discussing their learning.

At the beginning of each unit, children should have the opportunity to reflect on their existing knowledge through discussion and explicit links to previous learning will be made.

We are fortunate at St Mark’s to have a rich and varied outside environment, which we use within lessons. This is supplemented with trips within the local area. Other resources are regularly monitored and replenished when necessary. Teachers regularly take opportunities to bring in resources or outside agencies to help enrich the curriculum. For example, the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust workshops and more recently the STFC Lunar Rocks and Meteorites Loan Scheme.

Science

Progression of Skills

We use the PLAN Progression in Working Scientifically skills document when planning, and endeavour to teach science skills explicitly during practical work. This can be seen in the expectations of recording for practical work, where children will focus on one area. We recognise that there are five types of scientific enquiry (pattern seeking, research, fair testing, observing over time and identifying and classifying) and plan in opportunities to cover these at least once a term.

Supporting Additional Needs

Children are supported through explicit instructions, scaffolding written tasks, working in flexible groups and using technology. At St Mark’s all children have equal access to the science curriculum. As a school, we have also decided to identify children working above Age Related Expectations in Science to help monitor and support those children who are more able.

Assessment

Children are continually assessed through their written work and discussions within lessons. Alongside this, teachers use formal assessment tests or activities to support their judgement. Judgements are made at the end of each unit of study and these are used to form an overall judgement at the end of the school years.

Impact What will this look like?

By the time children leave St Mark’s they will:

  • Have experienced a broad and engaging curriculum that makes use of a range of resources, such as visitors and local attractions
  • Be enthusiastic about scientific learning
  • Speak confidently about science, including uses in the real world
  • Use appropriate scientific vocabulary in oral and written form
  • Be successful in sharing their understanding of scientific concepts
  • Make links between different areas of science and other subject areas
  • Recall prior scientific learning when required and use this to understand new learning
  • Be increasingly able to instigate their own investigations confidently and interpreting their findings
  • Have met staff who are able to anticipate potential misconceptions and address these confidently
  • Meet their age-related expectations in science consistently
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