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Science

Brownmead Academy

Science  Curriculum Statement

NATIONAL CURRICULUM PURPOSE OF STUDY

Purpose of study

A high-quality Science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. 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.

Topic overview

Science overview

Aims

The National Curriculum for Science aims to ensure that all pupils:

* 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 knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

Scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding

The programmes of study describe a sequence of knowledge and concepts. While it is important that pupils make progress, it is also vitally important that they develop secure understanding of each key block of knowledge and concepts in order to progress to the next stage. Insecure, superficial understanding will not allow genuine progression: pupils may struggle at key points of transition (such as between primary and secondary school), build up serious misconceptions, and/or have significant difficulties in understanding higher-order content.

Pupils should be able to describe associated processes and key characteristics in common language, but they should also be familiar with, and use, technical terminology accurately and precisely. They should build up an extended specialist vocabulary.

They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data. The social and economic implications of science are important but, generally, they are taught most appropriately within the wider school curriculum: teachers will wish to use different contexts to maximise their pupils’ engagement with and motivation to study Science.

The nature, processes and methods of Science

‘Working scientifically’ specifies the understanding of the nature, processes and methods of Science for each year group. It should not be taught as a separate strand but should focus on the key features of scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions. These types of scientific enquiry should include: observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations); and researching using secondary sources. Pupils should seek answers to questions through collecting, analysing and presenting data.

Voice 21

The National Curriculum for Science reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are key factors in developing their scientific vocabulary and articulating scientific concepts clearly and precisely. They must be assisted in making their thinking clear, both to themselves and others, and teachers should ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions.

Subject Content

(The National Curriculum 2014 outlines specific schemes of work for each individual year group - refer to our School Science Progression Document)

KEY STAGE 1

The principal focus of Science teaching in Key Stage 1 is to enable pupils to experience and observe phenomena, looking more closely at the natural and humanly-constructed world around them. They should be encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. They should be helped to develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of scientific enquiry to answer their own questions, including observing changes over a period of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative tests, and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They should begin to use simple scientific language to talk about what they have found out and communicate their ideas to a range of audiences in a variety of ways. Most of the learning about science should be done through the use of first-hand practical experiences, but there should also be some use of appropriate secondary sources, such as books, photographs and videos.

‘Working scientifically’ is described separately in the programme of study, but must always be taught through and clearly related to the teaching of substantive science content in the programme of study. Throughout the notes and guidance, examples show how scientific methods and skills might be linked to specific elements of the content.

Pupils should read and spell scientific vocabulary at a level consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge at key stage 1.

KEY STAGE 2

Lower Key Stage 2 – Years 3 & 4

The principal focus of Science teaching in lower Key Stage 2 is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. They should do this through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments, and by beginning to develop their ideas about functions, relationships and interactions. They should ask their own questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, including observing changes over time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative and fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They should draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out.

‘Working scientifically’ is described separately at the beginning of the programme of study, but must always be taught through and clearly related to substantive Science content in the programme of study. Throughout the notes and guidance, examples show how scientific methods and skills might be linked to specific elements of the content.

Pupils should read and spell scientific vocabulary correctly and with confidence, using their growing word reading and spelling knowledge.

Upper Key Stage 2 – Years 5 & 6

The principal focus of Science teaching in upper Key Stage 2 is to enable pupils to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. They should do this through exploring and talking about their ideas; asking their own questions about scientific phenomena; and analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically. At upper Key Stage 2, they should encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. They should also begin to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time. They should select the most appropriate ways to answer science questions using different types of scientific enquiry, including observing changes over different periods of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out comparative and fair tests and finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information. Pupils should draw conclusions based on their data and observations, use evidence to justify their ideas, and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings.

‘Working and thinking scientifically’ is described separately at the beginning of the programme of study, but must always be taught through and clearly related to substantive science content in the programme of study. Throughout the notes and guidance, examples show how scientific methods and skills might be linked to specific elements of the content.

Pupils should read, spell and pronounce scientific vocabulary correctly.

Teaching and Learning

At Brownmead Academy our principal aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills, and understanding, as well as a sense of enjoyment in Science. Sometimes we do this through whole-class and small group teaching, while at other times we engage the children in an enquiry-based research activity. We encourage the children to ask, as well as answer, scientific questions. They have the opportunity to use a variety of data, such as statistics, graphs, pictures, and photographs. They use ICT in Science lessons where it enhances their learning. They take part in role-play and discussions and they present reports to the rest of the class. They engage in a wide variety of problem-solving activities. Wherever possible, we involve the pupils in practical activities as these increase enthusiasm and motivation and provide first-hand experience. Opportunities for developing the range of intelligences are presented to the children, and staff teach to visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning styles.

Practical activities provide the children with a range of contexts allowing safe exploration of the world without the need to master facts and theories. By taking part in practical activities children with special educational needs are given the opportunity to develop fine motor skills and co-ordination. Knowledge and skills can be developed in small steps through practical work. Sequencing of written work becomes easier after practical experiences.

We recognise that there are children of widely different abilities in all classes, so we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child.

We achieve this in a variety of ways by:

 Setting common tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses.

 Setting tasks of increasing difficulty (not all children complete all tasks).

 Mixed groups and grouping children by ability in the room and setting different tasks to each ability group.

 Providing resources of different complexity depending on the ability of the child.

Curriculum Planning

Our school uses the National Curriculum in England 2014 Framework for Science as the basis for its curriculum planning which is drawn from the Science Scheme of Work. We develop our Medium Term Plans using a range of sources, including commercial on-line resources available from PlanBee . While there are opportunities for children of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge in each teaching unit, the planned progression built into the Science curriculum means that the children are increasingly challenged as they move through the school. Links are made to termly themes and other curriculum subjects where appropriate and these are identified on the termly theme Curriculum Maps and individual Medium Term Plans. Long-term plans identify individual science units taught across the year groups. Science is taught by individual class teachers who take responsibility for planning, resourcing and delivering this area of the curriculum.

EYFS

We teach Science in the Reception classes as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. As the Reception class is part of the Foundation Stage of the National Curriculum, we relate the scientific aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged three to five. Science makes a significant contribution to developing a child’s knowledge and understanding of the world, for example through investigating what floats and what sinks when placed in water.

SEN

We teach Science to all children, whatever their ability, in accordance with the school curriculum policy of providing a broad and balanced education to all children. Teachers provide learning opportunities matched to the needs of children with learning difficulties.

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development

Science teaching offers children many opportunities to examine some of the fundamental questions in life, for example, the evolution of living things and how the world was created. Through many of the amazing processes that affect living things, children develop a sense of awe and wonder regarding the nature of our world. Science raises many social and moral questions. Through the teaching of Science, children have the opportunity to discuss, for example, the effects of smoking and the moral questions involved in this issue. We give them the chance to reflect on the way people care for the planet and how Science can contribute to the way we manage the earth’s resources. Science teaches children about the reasons why people are different and, by developing the children’s knowledge and understanding of physical and environmental factors, it promotes respect for other people.

Rights Respecting

As a RRS Silver Award school, we work hard to ensure that the conventions and articles of the UNICEF Rights of the child are encompassed in all that we strive to achieve at Brownmead. Through our Brownmead Values and ethos it is important that opportunities to reflect upon and learn about the rights of the child through all activities. All children have the right to:

  • develop to their full potential 

  • meet and join with other children

  • live a full a decent life with dignity and independence and to play an active part in the community

  • have the best possible health

  • be educated

  • develop their personality, talents and abilities to the full

  • relax, play and take part in a range of cultural and artistic activities

Assessment, monitoring and review

The monitoring of the standards of children’s work and of the quality of teaching through monitoring planning, lessons and pupil voice in Science is the responsibility of the Science lead and Head Teacher also Individual teaches are responsible for the standard of children’s work and for the quality of their teaching in Science. Teachers and phase teams work collaboratively to support each other in the teaching of Science, understanding and applying current developments in the subject, and providing direction for the subject in the school.

The work of the Science lead also involves supporting colleagues in the teaching of Science, being informed about current developments in the subject, and providing a strategic lead and direction for the subject in the school. Pupils and staff also have opportunities informally and more formally to make suggestions e.g. through pupil voice, questionnaires and in curriculum staff meeting tim