Science

Statement of Intent

At Ladysmith Junior School, we build on the children’s scientific learning during Key Stage 1, encouraging children to question, investigate and discover more about the world around them. Units are introduced with a problem or story that instigates discussion and leads into a process of learning through practical experiments and research – going from problem to solution in much the same way that scientists do in the wider world. As a STEM subject, science lessons can often overlap with technology, engineering and maths enabling children to use and apply developing skills across the curriculum to design and build working models such as balloon-powered cars. For each unit, children produce at least one output to communicate their understanding to others: this may include a model, presentation, scientific poster (complete with graphs or charts), lap book or through ICT.

The Scientific curriculum is concerned with increasing pupils’ knowledge and understanding of our world, and with developing skills associated with science as a process of enquiry. It develops the natural curiosity of the child, encourages respect for living organisms and the physical environment, provides opportunities for critical evaluation of evidence and an insight into how famous scientists have developed scientific understanding over time.

We endeavour that all children will see themselves as scientists, understand the value and relevance of science in the world of work and that they would leave us confident and motivated to develop their science skills in the next stage of their education and beyond.

At Ladysmith Junior School, in conjunction with the aims of the National Curriculum, our Science teaching offers opportunities for children to:

  • develop enthusiasm and enjoyment for science;
  • 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 as well as the skills required to carry out scientific enquiry
  • be equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science today and for the future.
  • Use a range of methods to communicate their scientific information and present it in a systematic, scientific manner, including orally, I.C.T., diagrams, graphs and charts.
  • Develop a respect for the materials and equipment they handle with regard to their own, and other children’s safety.

Statement of Implementation

At Ladysmith Junior School, science is taught by the class teacher in planned topic units, with one science lesson per week. Lessons are resourced from STEM learning, BBC bitesize and Explorify. Our curriculum is enriched by visits from outside organisations such as Explorer Dome and staff & students from nearby Secondary schools. We make the most of our location by visiting different habitats, including Dawlish Warren, Dartmoor, local rivers and the Jurassic Coast. Additionally, our school grounds provide a rich resource for scientific learning and lessons frequently occur outside to allow children to: explore minibeast habitats; observe changes in trees across the year; grow vegetables; looking after and study our chickens.

  • Children are given opportunities to ‘be scientists’ in all lessons. Teachers plan activities to engage children through investigation, observation, communication and cooperation.
  • Working Scientifically skills are embedded into topics rather than being taught separately.
  • Wherever possible and appropriate, topics will have a STEM focus – with activities that incorporate technology, engineering and maths with outcomes that relate to real life.
  • Teachers use a range of questioning skills to enable children to think more deeply about their ideas and observations.
  • Children are encouraged to explain their ideas freely and to challenge or affirm the ideas of their classmates, creating an environment of trust and exploration together.
  • Topic vocabulary is displayed on each class’ topic working wall. In lessons, teachers consistently refer to these, reinforcing and explaining as appropriate. Vocabulary games are also used to reinforce. Children are expected to use the correct scientific vocabulary with growing confidence during each topic and be able to transfer vocabulary from one topic to another. E.g. the concept of conductors and insulators in electricity relates to conductors and insulators in the sound topic and then in the materials topic.
  • Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various ‘working scientifically skills’, in order to embed scientific understanding. Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning and workshops with experts from organisations such as Devon Wildlife Trust.
  • Teachers build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases they are given more opportunities to select and use scientific equipment, organise how they collate and interpret results and then make their own choices on how they creatively present their conclusions and communicate their understanding to others.

Statement of Impact

Our science curriculum is regularly reviewed for effectiveness in enabling our children to become increasingly confident scientists. We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Teachers continuously, formatively assess the children during science lessons by asking questions and observing how children carry out practical tasks as part of ‘Working Scientifically’.
  • At the end of a unit, children complete an online quiz, composed of 10 questions which test their knowledge, vocabulary and scientific skills that they have been taught during the unit. In this quiz, they also have the opportunity to feedback what they enjoyed the most and what they found most difficult.
  • At the end of each topic, after the children have completed their online quiz, teachers record summative judgements (informed by observations, questioning and quiz results) on the whole school progress documents.
  • In addition to learning walks, the coordinator and SLT regualrly review progress to monitor the impact of teaching.
  • Moderation activities are held in Science Professional Development Meetings where teachers can review and discuss expectations in different year groups and progress across the school. The coordinator also uses these to reinforce the expectations and lead discussions regarding planning, how to teach particular science skills and effective lessons.

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