Science is a core subject within the National Curriculum and is an area that covers both scientific knowledge and skills.
At Corfield we believe in fostering and nurturing the natural curiosity of all of our children. Hopefully we will be inspiring future scientists and the next generation of great thinkers!
We take the opportunity to create as many meaningful learning experiences as possible and Science lessons are an amazing way to do this. This being said, we teach science as an integral part of our broad and balanced curriculum right from reception to year 2.
Our vision is to provide children with a Science curriculum that enables them to explore and discover the world around them. To accomplish this, we aim to provide lessons rooted in scientific enquiry with practical hands-on experiences that encourage a deeper understanding and curiosity with questioning. They are encouraged to use logical thinking to formulate their own questions and evaluate problems, then develop these ideas into testable experiments to challenge their thoughts and gain an in-depth understanding of key concepts. We believe it is vital to promote and develop transferrable skills such as observation, communication and team work to evolve the whole child as a lifelong learner. Our objective is to provide lessons which consolidate prior knowledge, encourage deeper understanding and that are rooted in scientific vocabulary. We strive to create as many ‘WOW’ moments as possible. We want to create learning experiences that the children will carry with them forever.
At Corfield, we aim for our children to have a love of science. We want them to acquire and then secure knowledge and transferable skills that are progressively embedded from the very beginning of their learning journey to transitioning from KS1 into KS2 and beyond. Planning for science is based on the National Curriculum 2014. The teaching of science across Corfield has an underpinning focus on the working scientifically elements of scientific learning; looking to challenge the ideas of children and to encourage development as scientists across KS1. Science is taught weekly allowing children to develop their knowledge and skills effectively whilst also maintaining knowledge from previous learning. At the beginning of each science lesson, previous knowledge and vocabulary is recapped. Children record their learning in their personal science books or as part of their topic folders. Science is taught as an independent subject, however, meaningful links across the curriculum are made to ensure creative cross-curricular learning. We want our children to make strong connections between scientific concepts and use these to support their learning and understanding across other subject areas, especially mathematics and technology.
At the start of each new topic, class teachers strive to provide ‘WOW’ moments linked to real life contexts to engage the children’s minds and evoke critical thinking when questioned on their existing knowledge and what they want to find out. Each learning sequence is carefully planned to ensure the relevant key features of scientific enquiry have been taught, including: observing over time; finding patterns; identifying, classifying and grouping; carrying out experiments; and researching using secondary sources. Our school has a clear focus on the development of speech and language and allowing children to make links and embed key scientific vocabulary. We use wall displays, visual prompts and often pre-teach some vocabulary to enable children to develop a deeper understanding and apply it in different contexts. This also supports children to make links and develop their speaking and listening skills as well as their writing across the curriculum.
We are lucky enough to have some wonderful outdoor space that we like to utilise as much as possible. We hope to develop a Forest School provision in the future.
At Corfield our intended impact is for all our children to achieve their full potential in science and marvel at the ‘awe and wonder’ of how science emulates throughout every aspect of our daily lives. We want the children to recall the rich learning experiences they have been provided with and know that each new taught concept has broadened their knowledge and hopefully enhanced their lives. We want our children to think critically, ask questions and be curious. We want our children to be excited to learn, willing to experiment and inspired to explore. We want them to challenge what they learn and become lifelong investigators.
We have a range of ways to find out what the children know. We observe children during set independent activities to see how they are using the new vocabulary they have been introduced to, and to see their understanding of what has been taught. We encourage the children to talk during class discussions, group and paired work. We collect photographic evidence in our lessons and encourage children to revisit topics throughout their time in school, this allows us to ascertain their knowledge recall and gives them an opportunity to develop their skills further. The children record their work in the books for formal marking as well as being observed doing practical outdoor experiments. At the start of lessons, we use quick activities to activate prior knowledge and assess what has been recalled from previous sessions. Lesson plenaries allow us to recap and do a further assessment of during-lesson attainment. The children are given homework that covers a variety of subjects so Science homework can be used as either pre-learning or a chance to deepen the children’s learning.
Standards in Science are monitored in a variety of ways; book scrutinies, professional dialogue, lesson observations (Covid restrictions allowing) and learning walks (Covid restrictions allowing). The School Governors are informed of standards and progression of the subject area. They are also invited (Covid restrictions allowing) to observe and participate in lessons with the children so they can obtain a first-hand experience of the quality first teaching provided by all of us at Corfield. Teachers are given statements for each topic to assess children against throughout the topic. We have also developed ‘I can . . .’ assessment sheets, with statements taken directly from the National Curriculum Programmes of Study. As each unit of work is covered, we use these statements to aid our teacher assessment that is recorded using iTrack.