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Archbishop Courtenay Primary School

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Archbishop Courtenay Primary School

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Science

God’s love and care guides us along our spiritual path making us strong, resilient and a proud community ready to learn, thrive and flourish together...

 

Science Lead:  Miss Copley 

 

At Archbishop Courtenay Primary School, we have strived to design a high-quality Science curriculum that serves to provide our children with coherent, progressive and challenging experiences that will inspire both our students and wider school community to be inquisitive, creative and motivated learners, so that they may flourish and fulfil their potential.   Our curriculum develops children’s understanding of the world through the scientific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

In an ever-changing world, where our children’s future jobs may not even exist yet, it is vital that our children understand how science has already influenced and changed their lives and how it may shape their future prosperity.

We seek to provide our children with scientific knowledge, methodologies and processes, but also, to provide them with real life applications of this science through the advancements in medicines, information-communication-technologies and engineering to name a few.  Our children are encouraged to recognise the power of “I wonder…” and rational explanation through exciting investigations, which build on their natural curiosity.  They are expected to:

  • Try to predict what they believe will occur, based on their existing knowledge
  • Use appropriate scientific vocabulary, terminology and ideas
  • Explain the “why”

We encourage the use of different types of scientific enquiry throughout the children’s time at Archbishop Courtenay Primary School and we also encourage open-ended questioning, where they decide how to try to find the answer.  It is important that our children are not always directly guided to the “right” answers and that they realise that some of the most significant scientific discoveries and advancements have occurred as a result of mistakes and someone saying “What if…?”

We believe as well as being able to use and apply technical vocabulary and terminology accurately and precisely, children will also apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including:

  • Collecting data
  • Presenting data in suitable tables, charts and graphs
  • Analysing data for patterns and trends

We believe that as well as being able to understand a scientific enquiry for themselves, it is important that our children can also explain this coherently and with a critical mind to someone else.

At Archbishop Courtenay Primary School, we are committed to providing our pupils with a broad and balanced science education and that this is the entitlement of all learners, regardless of ethnic origin, gender, class, aptitude or disability.  Through the promotion of our school values of Compassion, Aspiration, Resilience, Respect and Friendship our children will foster the life skills of open-mindedness, self-assessment, perseverance and responsibility.

“Somewhere, something is waiting to be known,” Carl Sagan – Astronomer and Astrophysicist

 

British Values:

At Archbishop Courtenay Primary school, we understand clearly our responsibility in preparing children for future opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life, laying the foundations so that they can take their place successfully in modern British society. We promote a respect for and understanding of different faiths and cultures. The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of each child is central to everything that we do as a school and central to our school vision. This is evidenced through our teaching and learning, our inclusive environment and through the many opportunities provided for our children to understand democracy, law, liberty, mutual respect and tolerance.

 

Planning:

At Archbishop Courtenay Primary School, we have a 2-year planning cycle that enables us to ensure that all pupils and year groups are exposed to the objectives from the National Curriculum for England 2014.  These objectives have been mapped to fit with associated umbrella topics, within an appropriate time of year and within the children’s developmental stages so that they are best able to access learning.  All science learning is taught within blocks to enable children to focus on one subject at a time and make links within their subject learning.  To aid engagement, all science learning is directly and clearly linked to the Kent Scheme of Learning for Science as set out on our Long-Term Planning Cycle.  At the beginning of each unit, children have the opportunity to reflect on their prior existing knowledge and through discussion make links to pervious leaning in science.  In each science lesson we use a range of strategies to introduce, explore and fully understand scientific learning.  Where required this is adapted to best suit the need of each class and individual learner so that they are able to make their personal best progress with their learning.  The use of “I wonder…?” and Big Questions for the topic are encouraged.  Staff are encouraged to access members of our local community such as parents, STEM ambassadors, Secondary teachers etc to support aspects of topics. Where possible, lessons also reflect an element of real life / world scenarios where scientific learning applies or show children the types of occupations that might use this learning.

Key questions aim to:

  • Draw out and deepen understanding
  • Move learning forward
  • Address potential misconceptions
  • Be planned for in advance

Tasks show clear differentiation between groups of learners to allow all to show their understanding of the learning objective.  Differentiation supports a variety of learning styles and recording mediums.  It is not by literacy ability/written output or a degree of adult support.  All children have an equitable opportunity to show their level of understanding, regardless of literacy ability.  Any children with SEN requirements need to be planned for, so they also have the same opportunities to learn and show understanding.

Provision for extension within the lesson or between different ability groups is provided for where possible, to ensure all children have the opportunity to show a developing understanding within the lesson

Across the year, children are given the opportunity to complete relevant investigations

that engage them with their learning and further their understanding.  They have the opportunity to focus on particular working scientifically objectives and develop their skills within this area.  These will progress across the year and also between year groups.

Children must have the opportunity to use a variety of practical equipment.

Links between relevant Literacy and Maths skills are made (where these have been previously taught) to support the embedding of this learning and show the practical application of these skills.

Children need to be shown that there are a variety of types of scientific investigations and be taught these across their time in school:

  • Fair testing
  • Surveys and patterns in data
  • Classification
  • Exploring and observing over time
  • Problem solving
  • Investigating a “model”
  • Secondary research

They will develop an understanding of what the differences are between these types of investigations, the positive and negative associations of each, as well as when it is best to select a particular approach.  As children move through key stage 2 they may then be given opportunity to choose their own approach to learning and how best to investigate.

Every classroom has a science working wall that displays core scientific vocabulary relevant to the current unit, definitions, relevant diagrams, key questions, supporting imagery, real life examples of the application of the learning, relevant examples of scientists/occupations in this field, particularly BAME representations and examples of pupil’s work including flip chart sheets, photographs and copies of their book work.

 

Assessment:

At Archbishop Courtenay Primary School the Science Lead will conduct regular monitoring to check coverage and progression, feeding back to SLT in the first instance and sharing findings with individual teachers.  Actions points raised will be addressed through dedicated time in the next staff meeting to ensure that clear and concise messages about the development needs of the subject and children are addressed quickly and reviewed regularly.  We are aware that this is an ongoing area of development for staff.  Science CPD sessions and other resources to improve teacher subject confidence and ability to teach science effectively need to be implemented.  The Science Lead is also pursuing subject leadership training through the British Science Museum outreach Program, The Primary Science Teacher Trust and The Primary Science Quality Mark.

 

Collective evidence:

At Archbishop Courtenay Primary School, we regularly conduct pupil voice conferencing sessions to provide our children with the opportunity to feedback on their learning and how they would like to develop their subject knowledge, skills and assessment techniques.  The science lead is keen to use IRIS as a means of sharing subject findings with senior leaders, SIPs and key stakeholders.

 

Enrichment opportunities:

Throughout the year we are hoping to foster links with out local feeder secondary schools and share their subject laboratories and staff expertise across sites. Due to Covid-19 this may need to take the form of Zoom or Teams online meetings and learning sessions.  A number of off-site local visits have been planned and some already successfully implemented including the recent visit of “WonderLab” to school.  There are planned trips to the Science Museum in London and the South East Coast.   British Science Week will be taking place in March 2022, and we are awaiting confirmation of funding grants to help revive and develop our school pond and allotment areas for the wider community to use.

 

Targets 2021-2022:

  • Develop accurate use of scientific vocabulary and terminology from EYFS to Year 6
  • Develop planning to reflect dual learning intentions that demonstrate both science knowledge and science skills
  • Develop opportunities for outdoor learning on site
  • Develop assessment opportunities in science across key stage 1 and 2
  • Raise the profile of science to match that of English, Maths and RE as a core subject
  • Improve the presentation, quality and quantity of book-based evidence in key stage 2

Impact:

If our intent and implementation are successful, then at Archbishop Courtenay primary School we would expect to see:

  • A broad and balanced curriculum that makes use of a range of pupil starting points to develop better scientific knowledge and understanding
  • Children and staff who are enthusiastic about science learning
  • Science Club will gain popularity
  • Children and staff who can speak confidently about science, including uses in the real world
  • Children who can use appropriate scientific vocabulary and terminology in oral and written form
  • All children being successful in sharing their understanding of scientific concepts
  • Children who can make links between science and other areas of the curriculum
  • Children who can recall prior scientific learning when required and use this to understand new learning
  • Children increasingly being able to instigate their own investigations confidently and interpreting their findings
  • Staff who are able to anticipate potential misconceptions and address these confidently
  • Children meeting age-related expectations in science consistently

 

Science at home:

1. Be Interested:

Find out your child’s termly topics and take an interest — find relevant books in the library or bookshop, do some research, brush up your own knowledge about the topic! Then you can have interesting conversations where you are both learning at the same time.

2. Take a trip:

Why not take a trip to a science museum, a zoo or an aquarium? These don’t necessarily need to be completely related to what they are learning about at school. Any visit can help their curiosity and engagement with science generally.

3. Make it personal:

Find out about famous scientists and research unique and exciting inventions up to and including the present day. Who knows, you may have the next Stephen Hawking or Marie Curie at home!

4. Get hands-on

Look up fun, practical science experiments you can do at home with everyday objects. For example:

  • Ask ‘What happens when you mix food colouring in milk?’ Then add washing up liquid and watch what happens.
  • Why not try making your own mini exploding volcano? Just add bicarbonate of soda, food colouring, washing up liquid and vinegar. Then stand back and watch the eruption!
  • Cooking is also a great opportunity to mix ingredients, add heat and examine changing states.
  • Try exploring changing states with ice and water to begin to see those changes that can be reversed and those that can’t.
  • A real favourite would have to be ‘gloop’ — use water and cornflour (add food colouring too if needed) to explore solids and liquids. Just be prepared to get messy!
  • Of course, there are also some wonderful science kits available to buy to push your scientists further – making crystals, rockets and even bouncy balls.

Anything where they can be hands-on and see the science happen in front of their eyes is guaranteed to be get them interested.

5. Check updates from these sites for help with topics:

www.hamiltontrust.co.uk

www.pstt.org.uk

KS2 Science - BBC Bitesize

 

 

 

Term 1 Working Walls

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