Science is knowledge about the natural world that is based on facts learned through experiments and observation.
At Elmhurst, children develop an enthusiasm for and enjoyment of science through a range of engaging and hands-on activities. Their knowledge and understanding of important scientific ideas are developed, along with key processes and skills. Children are taught different ways of thinking, how to find things out and how to communicate their ideas effectively. We endeavour to make lessons thought provoking and inspiring, leading children to wonder, ask questions, research and then discuss their learning at home. Ultimately we aspire to ensure the children become successful, confident learners, enjoying the process of exploring values and ideas through science.
Our Science curriculum 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
Science at Elmhurst is taught as discrete units, or alongside a knowledge-rich project, linking with other key curriculum areas such as Geography, DT and Curriculum For Life.
Our Science curriculum ensures that children attain key scientific knowledge in order to construct a secure, new understanding of concepts. In addition to this, working scientifically is developed through the understanding of scientific methods, degrees of certainty and conducting investigations. Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in Science.
In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in Science, our curriculum is progressive throughout the whole school. This ensures progression between year groups and guarantees topics are covered. We develop the use of scientific language as well as creating problem solving opportunities that allow children to find out for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and vocabulary when collecting, presenting and analysing data, and curiosity is promoted within the classroom.
Knowledge of substantive concepts and disciplinary concepts have been interleaved across the curriculum, allowing children to encounter and apply these in different contexts. From year to year, unit to unit, the curriculum supports children in making connections and building upon prior substantive and disciplinary knowledge.
Science knowledge organisers highlight the key knowledge and vocabulary for each lesson. Medium term planning shows key questions for each lesson so the learning intention is clear. The learning journey for each half term is culminated by a final piece of work showcasing the knowledge that has been learnt. Sticky knowledge is checked through the use of retrieval questions and through interactive displays. All children have access to the full curriculum and tasks are adapted to provide appropriate challenge and support depending on individual needs. Misconceptions that may arise throughout the unit are identified and addressed appropriately by the teacher and live feedback techniques help all children to move forward, deepening their understanding of key scientific knowledge and concepts.
Science resources are allocated to year groups and specific units of work, allowing teachers to support effective learning. Elmhurst’s Science curriculum and resource bank is well supported by Millfield School who contribute to our timetable during Science Week, providing opportunities for pupils to engage in a wide range of scientific activities and workshops.
Pupils’ work and end of unit pieces, provides evidence in written and photographic forms and is used to secure and demonstrate children’s learning. It informs teacher assessment and is used by the Science subject leader as part of the monitoring process. Weekly celebration assemblies, shared on the school website, showcase a variety of Science activities and work completed in all year groups.
Key questions are planned into each unit of work for pupils to show progression of knowledge and understanding of key concepts taught, either through verbal or written feedback. This allows teachers to assess pupils’ skills and knowledge throughout each unit. Specific knowledge retrieval activities like Talk Like A Scientist are used to enable teachers and children to monitor the depth of understanding of core substantive knowledge and vocabulary and the strength of its retrieval.
The subject leader talks to pupils about their learning as part of the monitoring process to gauge attainment and enthusiasm. Children’s books and knowledge organisers are used to guide discussion and provide the subject leader with the necessary information to measure how much core knowledge and vocabulary has been remembered and understood.