Science is given high priority at the Dales Partnership schools with all staff taking responsibility to develop a science curriculum that is creative, exciting and ambitious for all pupils. We want the science lessons to be fun and inspiring, engaging all children regardless of need or ability. We want to instil a sense of curiosity, enquiry and love of learning for our budding scientists who love asking questions about the world around them. We start our science topics with the children’s current level of knowledge and build on it; exploring their ideas and allowing them to find out answers to their own questions as we go. Throughout the programmes of study, the children will acquire and develop the key knowledge that has been identified within each unit and across each year group, as well as the application of scientific skills. We ensure that the Working Scientifically skills are built on and developed throughout the children’s time at school so they can apply their knowledge of Science. We teach the Science National Curriculum through exploration, investigations and discovery! Our intent is to excite and engage children with science, therefore, we frequently plan science visits, invite visitors and encourage outdoor science lessons in order to do this. All children are encouraged to build resilience particularly when learning the scientific skills they need to help them become scientists; helping them to understand the importance of fair testing, recording results and interpreting their findings.
Our Science curriculum is planned on a two-yearly programme to ensure coverage and progression within our mixed age classes. Key Stage Two are split into Years 3/4 and 5/6 for Science lessons. It is very much a subject within its own right – a skills based subject, a practical subject and very much a doing subject. We develop a bespoke scheme of work which offers a progressive skills-based curriculum as well as some cross-curricular activities, especially ICT and linking STEM subjects so that children learn the real world applications of their learning. We teach Science using various units of work that meet the requirements of the National Curriculum, and the Foundation Stage Early Learning Goals. Planning ensures children cover the necessary programmes of study by the end of a key stage. Where possible, programmes of study are taught within an appropriate topic, but also as a discrete subject. We recognise scientific skills as an essential strand of scientific learning and therefore ensure every unit taught contains at least one scientific skill appropriate for each child’s ability. Whenever possible, children are encouraged to lead investigations, with the teacher taking the role of facilitator. Children have the opportunity to learn about and experience science experiments, scientists, science festivals and celebrations of science such as British Science Week and the Great Science Share.
As science is a practical subject, assessment will include observing, discussing and recording the children. Teachers will make a professional judgement of progress made for each child against the National Curriculum programmes of study and statements on Target Tracker. Teachers complete an end of unit assessment tracker identifying pupils who have met, not met or exceeded expectations and will identify strategies to be used the following term to ensure all pupils experience challenge and reach their potential. The unit title pages help ensure coverage and pupil understanding as the pupils tick off with objectives and vocabulary, they feel confident with.
In each school, we aim to meet the needs of all our children by differentiation in our Science planning and in providing a variety of approaches and tasks appropriate to ability levels. This will enable children with learning and/or physical difficulties to take an active part in scientific learning and practical activities and investigations and to achieve the goals they have been set. Some children will require closer supervision and more adult support to allow them to progress whilst more able children will be extended through differentiated activities. By being given enhancing and enriching activities, more able children will be able to progress to a higher level of knowledge and understanding appropriate to their abilities.
This will result in a fun, engaging, high-quality science education, that provides children with the foundations for understanding the world. Our engagement with the local environment will ensure that children learn through varied and first-hand experiences of the world around them. As Science lends itself to outdoor learning in so many areas, our school will provide children with opportunities to experience this. This can also be done through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts, which will allow the children to have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity. Children will learn the possibilities for careers in science as a result of our community links and connection with outside agencies. The Subject Leader for Science is involved in teaching Science, supporting colleagues and monitoring the quality of Science provision throughout each of the schools with a termly visit involving book looks, learning walks and discussions with colleagues.