Science Curriculum Intent
At Byron Primary School, we recognise the importance of Science in every aspect of daily life. We aim to develop the natural curiosity of our children and an enthusiasm and enjoyment of scientific learning and discovery. We want our children to remember their science lessons in our school. To achieve this, it involves exciting, practical hands on experiences that encourage questioning. We will also encourage our children to respect their physical environment. Our intention is to provide opportunities for all our children to develop the essential scientific enquiry skills to deepen their scientific knowledge and help them to ask and answer scientific questions about the world around them. We will help children to communicate their ideas in Science using appropriate Scientific vocabulary, use a range of methods to communicate their scientific information and present it in a systematic way. We will provide enrichment opportunities to enhance the Science curriculum by developing partnerships with STEM and the Science Media museum and through educational workshops. We endeavour to ensure that the Science curriculum, which is coherently planned and sequenced, will give our children the confidence and motivation to continue to further develop their skills into the next stage of their education and life experiences.
At Byron Primary School, Science topics are taught within each year group in accordance with the National Curriculum, linked to year group topics such as ‘The Vanishing Rainforest’ and ‘Chocolate’. Stand-alone Science lessons are taught where natural links to year group topics cannot be made.
- Science is taught weekly.
- Topics are blocked to allow children to focus on developing their knowledge and skills, studying each topic in depth.
- Every year group will build upon the learning from prior year groups, developing depth of understanding and progression of skills.
- A progression of skills ladder is used to ensure there are opportunities to revisit working scientifically skills.
- Teachers promote enjoyment and foster interest of the scientific disciplines; Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
- Children have the opportunity to carry out practical investigations in Science that help them to develop their working scientifically skills (asking questions, making predictions, setting up tests, observing and measuring, recording data, interpreting and communicating results and evaluating).
- Teachers refer to the working scientifically skill being taught using the PLAN symbols which are displayed on the Science Working Wall.
- Children present their findings and learning using appropriate Science language, through observations and labelled diagrams.
- In order to support children in their ability to ‘know more and remember more’ there are regular opportunities to review the learning taken place in previous topics as well as previous lessons using Explorify and retrieval practice skills such as ‘Quiz, Quiz, Trade’.
- At the start of each topic children will review previous learning and will have the opportunity to share what they already know about a current topic.
- Children are given a knowledge organiser at the start of each topic which details some key Science facts, labelled diagrams and vocabulary. This is not used as part of an assessment, but to support children with their acquisition of knowledge and as a reference tool.
- Effective modelling by teachers ensures that children are able to achieve their learning intention, with misconceptions addressed within it.
- Through using a range of assessment tools, differentiation is facilitated by teachers, to ensure that each child can access the Science curriculum. Teachers differentiate working scientifically skills using the progression of skills ladder, tracking back to the appropriate stage of the child’s learning.
- Children are given clear success criteria in order to achieve the learning intention with differing elements of independence. Pre-skills lessons are taught where appropriate such as reading intervals on a scale thermometer.
- A structured and effective CPD is available to staff to ensure high levels of confidence and knowledge are maintained.
- Effective use of educational visits and visitors are planned, to enrich and enhance the children’s learning experiences within the Science curriculum. This includes visits from STEM Ambassadors and workshops run at the Science Media museum. Themed events are also used to further promote a love of Science, including Engineering and Space days.
- Science learning opportunities are planned within the Forest School environment. This also helps children to understand the importance of respecting their physical environment.
- Our children begin to make links to the importance of conserving our planet through carefully planned topics such as ‘Plastics’, ‘Energy Heroes’ and ‘The Vanishing Rainforest.’
- High quality Science texts are used to promote a love of reading in Science, which are accessible to children in the school and class libraries. Additional opportunities to promote reading in Science takes place during Discrete Reads.
- Cross-curricular links are planned for, with other subjects such as Maths, English and Geography.
- Teachers use assessment for learning in each lesson to ensure misconceptions are highlighted and addressed.
- The Arbor Assessment Tracker is used to assess the ‘Big Ideas’ at the end of each Science topic. This data is used to inform future practice.
- Pupils are regularly given the opportunity to talk about their learning using ‘Talk Partners’ and dialogic talk strategies to promote communicating in Science.
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 of their senses looking at similarities, differences, patterns and change. Both the environment and skilled practitioners foster curiosity and encourage explorative play, children are motivated 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. The outdoor environment is designed to promote curiosity which includes a garden, where children grow seasonal fruit and vegetables, a pond and a wet area. The children also learn to respect their physical environment, including looking after their classroom wormeries, filling bird feeders and watering plants. Children participate in cookery sessions which allows them to experience changes in state as ingredients are mixed, heated and cooled. In order to promote language development, high quality books are used as a stimulus to introduce Science topics.
The impact of this curriculum design will lead to good progress over time, across key stages, relative to a child’s individual starting point and their progression of skills. Most children will be expected to leave Byron reaching at least age related expectations for Science. For children accessing alternative curriculums, they will have made good progress for their stage of development. Curriculum design and delivery has helped children to ‘know more and remember more’ which is evidenced using the Arbor assessment tracker. Through the enrichment programme and themed days, which includes workshops, trips and interactions with experts, our Science curriculum will lead pupils to be enthusiastic Science learners and understand that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future.
Our children will be developing into responsible citizens, by respecting our local environment and the habitats within it. This includes keeping our school grounds clean and understanding how litter can be a danger to animals. Our children will be developing into global citizens, and are beginning to understand how our actions impact on our planet and what changes we can make to help to protect our planet in the future.
Children will have a love of Science and enjoy the hands-on, practical experiences that our curriculum offers. Our curriculum has encouraged our children to be aspirational, where children are able to ‘Dream Big’ and have an awareness of future Science careers. It has also given them the confidence and motivation to continue to further develop their skills into the next stage of their education and life experiences. This is evidenced in a range of ways, including pupil voice, through observations, their recorded work and their overwhelming enjoyment for Science
Below is the Progression of Skills taught in Science at Byron