Statement of Intent
At Ladysmith Junior School, we recognise the importance of Science in every aspect of daily life. Our aim is for our children to see themselves as scientists, to explore the ways in which science is all around us and to recognise how science in a key part of the jobs that many of their parents do and that they will do in the future.
We endeavour to ensure that the Science curriculum we provide will give children the confidence and motivation to continue to further develop their skills into the next stage of their education and life experiences.
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 and provides opportunities for critical evaluation of evidence.
At Ladysmith Junior School, in conjunction with the aims of the National Curriculum, our Science teaching offers opportunities for children to:
- develop an enthusiasm and enjoyment of scientific learning and discovery of the world;
- 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 through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them;
- be equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future.
- develop the essential scientific enquiry skills to deepen their scientific knowledge.
- 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.
The National Curriculum provides a structure and skill development for the science curriculum being taught throughout the school. We endeavour to link our science topics, where appropriate, to other curriculum topics and to keep strong links between science, English and maths skills.
Statement of Implementation
At Ladysmith Junior School, children have weekly lessons in Science throughout Key Stage 2, using various programmes of study and resources. 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.
Our school grounds provide a rich resource for scientific learning and lessons frequently are done out of doors. For example, our tree study project in Year 4; exploring micro habitats for minibeasts; growing vegetables; looking after and studying our chickens.
Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and encourage children to see themselves as scientists. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following;
- Science is taught by the class teacher in planned topic blocks. A range of planning resources are used as support, including STEM organisations, ASE, Ogden Trust and Explorify.
- 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 and outcomes related to real life situations.
- 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, without immediately being told they are correct or not. Other children are encouraged to challenge or affirm the ideas of their classmates, creating an environment of trust and exploration together.
- Problem solving opportunities that allow children to find out for themselves are embedded in our planning. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and ideas to research to discover the answers.
- 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 & 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.
- Teachers build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, and they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.
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:
- At the start of each topic, children have the opportunity to explore the ideas they already have about the concepts involved. This is recorded in their Science Progress Book. Teachers carry out ongoing formative assessment within lessons and then, at suitable moments during the topic and at the end, the children have opportunities to record their learning – again in their Progress Book. These books go with the child through the school and are used by the children to look back on their learning and rethink their ideas when returning to similar topics. They are also a useful tool for the teacher, coordinator and SLT to review progress across the school.
- After each topic is completed, teachers record summative judgements about achievements on the whole school progress documents.
- The coordinator and SLT regularly review progress on children, classes, year groups and whole school to monitor the impact of teaching. The coordinator also takes the opportunity to talk to children about their learning and enjoyment of science.
- SLT learning walks – visits to classes during lessons and seeing learning taking place and seeing where support is needed.
- 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.
At Ladysmith Junior School we enjoy seeing our children progress as young scientists; their growing enthusiasm and interest in exploring the world around them. `