Science

Intent 

Through teaching Science, we aim to provide our pupils with the foundations to understand the world around them. 

At Fairstead Community Primary School and Nursery, Science is about enabling our pupils to experience and observe phenomena in the natural and man-made world.  They are encouraged to be curious, ask questions about what they observe and should be helped to understand scientific ideas by using different types of enquiry to answer their own questions. 

The main aims of our Science vision are to:  

Learners’ vision of Science  Teachers’ vision of Science 
We do things that are both strange, new and exciting.  Lessons are fully planned and researched, giving confidence in delivery. 
We use Science in Maths and other subjects.  Children are inquisitive. 
We use technology to discover.  Children can connect with their existing knowledge and what they are learning and real life contexts. 
We work in groups and listen to others’ ideas.  Children and engaged motivated and enthusiastic about their learning. 
We want to learn more about our science topics and not just the boring curriculum parts.  Children apply their knowledge to other areas of the curriculum and deepen their understanding beyond the curriculum strands. 
We want our minds opened and our brains to fire with inspiration.  Children to apply their prior knowledge and vocabulary to explain the world that they live in. 
We want to learn outdoors and go on trips or have visitors to inspire us.  Children are confident using a variety of scientific enquiry types and are able to carry out age-appropriate investigations. 
We want to do, not listen.  Children experience, explore and explain, not just see, hear and write. 
We want to do stuff and need to do it again.  Children will full use of our resources, both indoors and outdoors, as well as enhancing our science with technology. 
We want to do science without knowing it.  Children become scientific in their approach and language. 
We want to show our good learning behaviours.  Children engage actively in science, showing responsibility, respect and having positive approaches to their learning. 

Good Science Teaching and Learning is a shared responsibility, with all school stakeholders having an important and strategic leadership role in guaranteeing its success. The image below exemplifies the roles and responsibilities of each groups and the ways in which good and better outcomes for learners can be achieved. 

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Implementation 

Early Years Foundation Stage and Year One: 

Exploration is vital to learning Science and in the EYFS and Year One at Fairstead Community Primary and Nursery School Science should be a practical experience. 

EYFS Assessment and evidence gathering: 

The Specific Area of Understanding the World in the Early Years Foundation Stage contains the Science objectives which should be covered.  Pupils should be learning scientific knowledge and vocabulary and ‘working scientifically’ appropriate to their developmental age.  Evidence will be kept in several places:  Tapestry, Floor books, wall displays and within our Science folder on Google Drive. 

Year One to Year 6 Science Curriculum: 

In order to provide a broad and balanced educational experience, at Fairstead Community Primary and Nursery School we have devised our own bespoke curriculum,  using a spiral milestone based model and criteria for the Foundation subjects and Science as set out in the National curriculum. 

Our curriculum operates within three, 2-year Milestones: 

  • Milestone 1: Years 1 and 2 
  • Milestone 2: Years 3 and 4 
  • Milestone 3: Years 5 and 6 

Within each Milestone, children develop the knowledge and most importantly the transferable skills which allow them to access all areas of the curriculum.  Over the two-year cycle, children will be taught and assessed against the Milestone criteria for each individual subject to determine whether they have met the Age Related Expectation.  

These documents will show the knowledge and skills taught in our Science curriculum at each Milestone: 

Click here for the Fairstead Community Primary and Nursery School – Science Curriculum Overview and Progression 

Within Science, the milestone based curriculum outlines that following ‘Essential Characteristics’: 

  • The ability to think independently and raise questions about working scientifically and the knowledge and skills that it brings.
  • Confidence and competence in the full range of practical skills, taking the initiative in, for example, planning and carrying out scientific investigations. 
  • Excellent scientific knowledge and understanding which is demonstrated in written and verbal explanations, solving challenging problems and reporting scientific findings.
  • High levels of originality, imagination or innovation in the application of skills.
  • The ability to undertake practical work in a variety of contexts, including fieldwork.
  • A passion for science and its application in past, present and future technologies.

 Year One to Year 6 should be following the National Curriculum, through milestones, and specifically the school’s agreed Curriculum prepared for September 2020. 

 Y1-Y6 Assessment and evidence gathering: 

All years should plan six practical investigations per year (one per half term) in which children build on practical skills in accordance with the planned curriculum (click here for Science Curriculum Overview). Teachers should assess the children’s learning against the age appropriate Working Scientifically outcomes on the school’s assessment system (SIMS). 

Evidence of work for Years One to Six should be in children’s Science books.  Specific evidence of working Basic, Advancing and Deep learning should also be stored within the Evidence File on Microsoft One Drive (in the Science folder).  This evidence should be dated with notes about milestones that are being achieved and evidenced.  

The Science Lead will also use book looks and evidence files to create Science Topic Case Studies that will evidence learning at the expected level for each Threshold Concept in the subject. (These will inform future planning and assessment.) 

Achieving Greater Depth (Deep Learning) in Science: 

Children will be the opportunity to show their knowledge and skills at this level each half term.  The children are given topic appropriate materials and some criteria but then are allowed to work independently to achieve these criteria.  Teachers should look for scientific skills and language being used at a level greater than expected. This will be achieved by children problem-solving, reasoning and asking / responding to deep questioning. 

Teachers and the Science subject lead will work together to ensure that there is suitable and secure evidence for learning in each curriculum area. We use the ASE PLAN assessment document exemplars which can be accessed using this link. 

Feedback and next steps can be given and evidence will be captured and stored in the Science folder on the school’s One Drive as well as in Science Topic Case Studies, evidencing learners demonstrating Greater Depth in Science. Concepts, prior learning and vocabulary should be revisited and promoted throughout topics, to ensure that the children can move from Basic to Advanced and finally Deep during each two year milestone. 

Impact 

The Science Lead is to work with Class Teachers to develop systems for collecting data to inform future planning.  Impact will be assessed by Class Teachers during each unit of scientific learning against the milestones through the use of: 

  • Evidence in books 
  • Data taken from pre-assessment and end of unit ‘Knowledge Quizzes’ 
  • Data taken from pre-assessment and end of unit ‘Vocabulary Quizzes’ 
  • Evidence of scientific vocabulary use and the progression throughout each year group. 
  • Feedback given to class teachers following planned scrutinies to ensure good progress towards the milestones 
  • Learning Walks 
  • Pupil Voice discussions 

 By the end of the school year, we want to be able to evidence, the visions set out in the Intent vision statements above for both learners and teachers. 

 We want science to be real, relevant and visible. 

Curriculum Coverage and Progression 

By clicking on the links below, you will be taken to the curriculum coverage maps and vocabulary progression documents.  

Scientific vocabulary progression

Science across the school term by term