The important thing is to never stop questioning.
Remember to look up at the stars, not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.
Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
At Ivy Bank Primary School, our intent is to give every child a broad and balanced science curriculum which enables them to confidently explore and discover what is around them, so that they have a deeper understanding of the world we live in. We want our children to love science; we aim for them to have ambitions to grow up to be astronauts, botanists, chemists, meteorologists or forensic scientists. We want our children to embrace the scientific opportunities they are presented with and aim to provide stimulating and challenging experiences to help every child secure and extend their scientific knowledge and vocabulary, as well as promoting a love and thirst for learning. To achieve this, science will be delivered through exciting, stimulating and practical lessons, where hands on experiences encourage curiosity and questioning. At Ivy Bank, we have a varied, progressive and well-mapped-out curriculum which has been carefully designed and developed to build upon and link prior learning to new learning, with the needs of all children considered. At the centre of this are plentiful opportunities to develop scientific enquiry skills and the ability to work and think scientifically through activities which encourage research, prediction, investigation, measurement, observation, recording and evaluation. We want to prepare and equip our children with not only the statutory requirements of the science National Curriculum, but also for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences that life in an increasingly scientific and technological world will provide them in future by linking their learning to real-life career possibilities.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum supports children’s understanding of science through the planning and teaching of ‘Understanding the World.’ Children find out about objects, materials and living things using all 5 senses, looking at similarities, differences, patterns and change. Effective teaching, a stimulating learning environment and exciting activities foster curiosity and encourage explorative play; children are encouraged to ask questions about why things happen and how things work. Our children are encouraged to use their natural environment around them to explore. Children enjoy spending time outdoors exploring mini-beasts and their habitats, observing the changing seasons, plants and animals.
In KS1 and KS2, science units are taught within each year group in accordance with the National Curriculum. Units are blocked to allow children to focus on developing their knowledge and skills, studying each topic in depth and regularly recapping previous learning. Our science scheme allows each year group to build upon the learning from prior year groups, developing an increasing depth of understanding and progression of skills.
To support teaching, our science scheme provides overview videos for each unit of work, as well as presentation materials and detailed lesson plans. Staff are encouraged to develop their delivery of the science curriculum through additional stimulating practical activities to further children’s understanding and scientific enquiry skills.
Our children are given opportunities to explore, question, predict, plan, investigate and observe, as well as conclude their findings through practical, hands-on learning. Findings are presented using specific scientific vocabulary and using a range of scientific/mathematical diagrams when possible. The progression of skills for working scientifically are developed through the year groups and scientific enquiry skills are of key importance within lessons. Scientific knowledge and enquiry skills are developed with increasing depth and challenge as children move through the year groups. They complete investigations and hands-on activities while gaining the scientific knowledge for each unit.
Knowledge organisers are provided for each unit of work at the beginning of each topic; these are used to support the children’s acquisition of knowledge and are regularly referenced in lessons. They form the basis of the recapping of prior learning and the children are regularly quizzed on them to identify knowledge and opportunities to strengthen learning.
Children are enabled to make links between their learning and real-world opportunities through scheme-provided videos featuring people in industry; these provide enrichment and allow the children to consider future career aspirations.
Teaching staff use highly effective assessment for learning in lessons, identifying and addressing misconceptions and working with children to ensure learning is consolidated. Differentiation is facilitated by teaching staff where required, adapting and extending the curriculum to ensure that all pupils can access their learning and additional challenge is provided for those who demonstrate a deeper understanding.
Investigative learning is carefully scaffolded and modelled where needed, allowing children to develop their scientific enquiry skills and to make independent connections to previous learning, reasoned predictions and accurate conclusions.
End of unit assessments are used to gauge children’s understanding; these are used to revisit misconceptions if required and to inform future planning. Staff formally record assessment of children’s attainment in science termly using our assessment tracker, DC Pro. These assessments are also used to inform future planning.
Where possible, links between science and other subjects are made by staff; this includes the study of Charles Darwin through a writing unit in year 6 and opportunities in all year groups to link maths to science investigations when recording results using graphs or charts.
Staff will be given the opportunity to engage in quality CPD to improve their subject knowledge/skills to ensure the best possible science experiences for our children during lessons.
Educational visits, where available, will be used to enrich the children’s experience within the subject.
The impact of the science curriculum delivery at Ivy Bank will lead to outstanding attainment and progress over time, across EYFS and both key stages, relative to a child’s individual starting point. Children will be expected to leave Ivy Bank reaching at least age-related expectation for science. Through the delivery of exciting, stimulating and practical lessons, the science curriculum will lead pupils to be enthusiastic scientists who have a clear knowledge of the curriculum, its vocabulary and can accurately plan, deliver and evaluate investigations across the whole of the primary curriculum. Our children will be confident in their ability to work scientifically and will relish scientific enquiry as a method to improve their knowledge and understanding. This will be evidenced in a range of ways, including pupil voice, work in books and informal and formal assessments.