“The future belongs to the curious. The ones who are not afraid to try it, explore it, poke at it, question it and turn it inside out.”
Through careful planning, teaching and monitoring, children develop their scientific literacy, engaging with a curriculum rich in all aspects of working scientifically, including:
- Observing (over time)
- Grouping and classifying
- Pattern seeking
- Comparative and fair testing
The teaching of science at Our Lady & St John’s follows the National Curriculum, and the school’s principles of science, composed in collaboration with children and teachers:
- We are excited, enthused and engaged about science – so are our teachers!
- In science we find things out for ourselves.
- Everybody can take part in science lessons.
- We practice higher order thinking skills.
- We try things out, we make mistakes and learn from them.
We follow the National Curriculum for Science at Key Stage One and Two. In the Early Years, Science is taught and assessed using the Early learning goals.
Classteachers are responsible for the planning and structure of science lessons. The Science leader supports teachers with this, following the programmes of study laid out in the National Curriculum. Planning is supported by a number of resources available within school. Curriculum maps have been configured to ensure the best possible opportunities for links with other curriculum subjects. Where possible, children develop their science capital through first-hand experience, and this is an expectation across all science topics. Lessons are made accessible to children of all abilities through differentiation of task, adult support and group work.
The school implements a STEM week annually. Activities are designed to enrich and extend the curriculum and also enthuse and engage children about learning in science. Activities include projects, presentations, visitors to the school and trips.
Health, Safety & Resources
Resources are kept centrally for use by all classes and audited yearly. Classteachers are expected to notify the Science Coordinator when replenishable (or broken) resources need restocking and replacing. Staff are responsible for accessing and returning resources correctly as well as for their safe use. Safe use of equipment is planned for in all practical lessons. Children are taught to use resources safely and do so respectfully. The School is a member of the Association of Science Education (ASE) and a copy of their book, ‘Be Safe’ is available for reference and kept in the science cupboard with the resources which are catagorised and labelled.
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study. Teachers use a progressive, robust assessment grid to assess both knowledge and skills in science. Questioning is used throughout lessons, along with, concept cartoons & short quizzes, which support teachers’ formative, ongoing assessment during lessons. This enables teachers to adapt the content and resources of proceeding lessons accordingly. Assessment grids are updated at the end of each topic and judgements are made termly. These are supported by short end of topic summative assessments and the use of KWL (K=Knowledge, W=want to learn, L=Learned) grids by children. Teachers record children’s progress and track this termly.
The Science Coordinator performs a number of monitoring activities. These include:
- Formal and informal discussions with staff
- Lesson observations
- Analysing assessment data
- Scrutiny of children’s work
- Monitoring planning
- Carrying out pupil voice activities to establish children’s views to Science and learning
The school was awarded the PSQM (Primary Science Quality Mark) in September 2020 and continues to embed and develop the good practices implemented to achieve this.