All that we do at St Joseph’s is shaped by our commitment to our Faith. Our Mission Statement is reflected in our science curriculum when we:
- recognise the wonder of the world around them
- appreciate the progress humans have made within science with regard to technology
- understand the advances in medical science with treatment for illnesses
- build on children’s natural curiosity; enabling them to understand and care for the world
- encourage them to develop lively, enquiring minds and the ability to question.
- provide opportunities to work together through scientific investigations to develop skills
Our Vision for Science
We want our children to speak and think like scientists.
Children will develop a solid foundational knowledge of science, taught through a series of topic areas. We want them to develop quick and accurate recall of their knowledge and skills.
Children develop an 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.
Children are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. They will acquire the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
Key concepts and themes are revisited across topics and these help children to make links in their learning. In science, some of these are living things, materials, electricity and light.
Children are taught scientific enquiry skills. Over time, they will hone their scientific enquiry skills for:
- Questioning asking scientific questions, which can be investigated, tested or researched.
- Observing and Measuring using science equipment.
- Planning enquiries recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
- Identifying and classifying recognising similarities and differences.
- Gathering and recording data using scientific diagrams and labels, tables, scatter graphs, graphs.
- Reporting on and presenting findings from enquiries, including concluding, identifying causal relationships and explaining whether the results are reliable.
- Analysing evidence to conclude recognising when scientific evidence supports their ideas and that some scientific ideas change and develop over time.
- Research skills discovering information to answer their scientific questions.
The Framework for Learning in Science
How teachers embed knowledge and skills?
Teachers plan regular science lessons through each term. Often the lesson is new learning but sometimes it is retrieval practice of previous learning, ensuring that we interrupt any forgetting of key information.
Lessons consist of a range of approaches to learning. Automatically in science, children experience a lot of hands-on learning through experiments and investigations they carry out. They record their findings and hypothesise about what these suggest.
Children have ‘Power Pages’ for various science topics, which capture key facts, processes, diagrams and other knowledge into motivating learning challenges for the children. Children demonstrate a high level of engagement with using them.
There is a strong focus on securing subject specific vocabulary, and children have word banks which they are challenged to read fluently and explain. Children are assessed regularly on these words and there is an award made each term to reflect their efforts.
Children are encouraged to read for pleasure and borrow non-fiction science books of interest to take home to read.
Extensive School Grounds
The advantages gained by having a meadow on site, with a pond where children can dip for animals and plants and an extensive variety of habitats in the woodlands and meadow mean that our children’s experience of science is active and relevant.
We have a well established Forest School in our wonderful school grounds to further enhance the children's learning. On a weekly basis, groups spend time in the forest with our trained Forest School teacher, Mr Randall. We have named the space Randall's Forest.
Achieving Mastery in Science
So, are our children thinking and working like scientists? We are pleased to say that they are.
Regular mini topic tests show teachers that the children develop a good level of automaticity in their subject knowledge.
Assessments designed to show how well a child has embedded key scientific learning skills indicate that we are developing good scientific practice with the children. End of each year assessments inform teachers that the majority of children meet our age related expectations.
Our Science Scholar Award is a motivational challenge which assesses not only the work they have done over the past year, but also from previous years. The outcomes favourably tell us that the children are learning well and are ready for the next academic year.
The teachers know from the quality of work in the children’s books that learning is effective. Children have the opportunity to share their work with their parents on three open days through the year, a shared time, which they relish.
In summary, we lead children towards mastery in subject knowledge in science.