Science at Redhill


Intent

It is our intention that our curriculum offer will inspire children with a sense of awe and wonder at the world around them. We also aspire to both stimulate and carefully nurture, develop and sustain their innate curiosity through engaging activities and experiences. Alongside this, we want children to appreciate the value of and the contribution made by science, and thereby see it as relevant to and part of their day-to-day lives. We also want them to see themselves as scientists and enjoy a sense of success when engaged in the subject and see a STEM-related career as something to aspire to. Furthermore, we want them to understand that, by engaging with the world as a scientist, they can, themselves, make a positive contribution in ways that accord with our school values. For example, we want them to respect the natural world and understand that we all have a responsibility to live as sustainably as we can. To achieve these aims we intend to equip children with the full range of both substantive and disciplinary knowledge to enable them to answer scientific questions with increasing levels of independence. We are especially keen to develop their ability to think critically so that they can grow into reflective scientists, individuals and citizens.

Implementation

Units of work are initiated by well-chosen assessment for learning tasks which are revisited for summative evidence as learning progresses. Using these tasks we seek to identify misconceptions, and gaps in the prior knowledge which we deem necessary to access age-appropriate learning. Planned learning is then adjusted where appropriate to address misconceptions and gaps.

Regular opportunities to make observations are planned in, and through effective modelling by adults the children’s observational skills are developed, and, wherever possible, enquiry questions are derived directly from the children’s observations. Substantive and disciplinary knowledge are taught in tandem so that children are able to appreciate that the former is arrived at via the latter. This is informed by the principle that science’s substantive knowledge is founded on evidence and that the evidence is arrived at and tested using scientific method.

Our curriculum has been designed to be progressive: composite topics such as ‘Mixtures and reactions’ and ‘Evolution and inheritance’ build upon component subjects taught lower down the school; and ideas, evidence and concepts progress from the concrete to the increasingly abstract. To ensure progression between year groups, and avoid unnecessary repetition, planning is based upon objectives set on within our scheme of work.

To help children know and remember more, classroom displays and working walls feature the ‘Big Ideas’ for the current unit of study together with the essential prior knowledge. The children’s books also feature assessment sheets featuring ‘I can statements’ which allow them to self-assess and gain a sense of how their learning is progressing. We place special emphasis on children knowing and using scientific vocabulary, and to achieve this it forms part of our assessment for learning. Children are asked to share their initial understanding of the key vocabulary they’ll be meeting within a given a unit. Then, as these words and their attendant knowledge are taught, they are given the opportunity to edit and refine their definitions providing valuable summative evidence.

To achieve the ambitions of our curriculum in terms of both disciplinary and substantive knowledge, science should be taught for a minimum of two hours per week, and during a unit of work the children should be involved in the planning and carrying out of a minimum of three investigations.
Cross-curricular and wider learning opportunities are used of in order to strengthen schemas and, ultimately help children know and remember more. Visits from STEM Ambassadors and other practitioners together with the opportunity to attend our afterschool STEM club are also aimed at developing our children’s science capital.

Open-ended assessment tasks are used to enable children to demonstrate the depth of their understanding.

To view our subject overview for Science, please click here.

To view our subject principles for Science, please click here.

Impact

Our pupils often state cite Science as a favourite subject, can explain its relevance and impact upon their daily lives and frequently talk about aspiring to a STEM-related career.

By the end of each key stage 2, pupils will:
  • Have a thorough understanding of the substantive knowledge set out within the National Curriculum programmes of study and be able to relate this to the separate disciplines of physics, chemistry and biology.
  • Have a thorough understanding of the disciplinary knowledge of science (Working Scientifically) including the characteristics of the different enquiry types that will enable them to show independence in their approach to answering scientific questions.
  • Be ready to meet the expectations set out within the KS3 curriculum for science.




No Mow May

Palaeological Visit 2019

Stem related Activities

Opticians Visit 2017

Examples