A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science.
The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:
- 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
- are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future
Through teacher surveys and pupil voice, we have created our own Principles of Science. The principles of science, collectively combines thoughts from children and staff outlining what good science will look like at Tattershall Primary School. See our Principles of Teaching Science.
Our Science Curriculum aims to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena and an understanding of how the scientific community contributes to our past, present and future.
We want pupils to develop a complex knowledge of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, but also adopt a broad range of skills in working scientifically and beyond. Our Science Curriculum is inclusive and meaningful, so all pupils may experience the joy of science and make associations between their science learning and their lives outside the classroom. Studying science allows children to appreciate how new knowledge and skills can be fundamental to solving arising global challenges.
Our curriculum aims to encourage critical thinking and empower pupils to question the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of the world around them. Our curriculum ensures:
- A strong focus on developing knowledge alongside scientific skills across Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
- Curiosity and excitement about familiar and unknown observations.
- Challenging misconceptions and demystifying truths.
- Continuous progression by building on practical and investigative skills across all units.
- Critical thinking, with the ability to ask perceptive questions and explain and analyse evidence.
- Development of scientific literacy using wide-ranging, specialist vocabulary.
- Pupils are enabled to meet the end of Key Stage Attainment Targets in the National Curriculum and the aims also align with those set out in the National Curriculum.
At Tattershall Primary School we have used the curriculum design model from ‘Kapow Primary’.
In order to meet the aims of the National curriculum for Science and in response to the Ofsted Research
review into Science, we have identified the following key strands:
● Scientific knowledge and understanding of:
- Biology - living organisms and vital processes.
- Chemistry - matter and its properties.
- Physics - how the world we live in ‘works’.
● Working scientifically - processes and methods of science to answer questions about the world around us.
● Science in action - uses and implications of science in the past, present and for the future.
Our Science Curriculum is a spiral curriculum, with essential knowledge and skills revisited with increasing complexity, allowing pupils to revise and build on their previous learning. A range of engaging recall activities promote frequent pupil reflection on prior learning, ensuring new learning is approached with confidence. The Science in action strand is interwoven throughout the scheme to make the concepts and skills relevant to pupils and inspiring for future application. Cross-curricular links are included throughout each unit, allowing children to make connections and apply their Science skills to other areas of learning.
Each unit is based upon one of the key science disciplines; Biology, Chemistry and Physics and to show progression throughout the school we have grouped the National Curriculum content into six key areas of science:
Animals, including humans
Living things and habitats
Forces, Earth and space.
Pupils explore knowledge and conceptual understanding through engaging activities and an introduction to relevant specialist vocabulary. As suggested in Ofsted’s Science research review (April 2021), the ‘working scientifically’ skills are integrated with conceptual understanding rather than taught discretely. This provides frequent, but relevant, opportunities for developing scientific enquiry skills. Our curriculum utilises practical activities that aid in the progression of individual skills and also provides opportunities for full investigations.
Each year group has an optional exploratory ‘Making connections’ unit that delves beyond the essential curriculum, assimilating prior knowledge and skills to evoke excitement and to provide an additional method of assessing scientific attainment.
Lessons incorporate various teaching strategies from independent tasks to paired and group work, including practical, creative, computer-based and collaborative tasks. This variety means that lessons are engaging and appeal to those with different learning styles. Guidance for adapting the learning is available for every lesson to ensure that all pupils can access learning, and opportunities to stretch pupils’ learning are available when required. Knowledge organisers for each unit help to identify prior and future curriculum links to make the scheme as meaningful as possible and reinforce key technical terms.
At Tattershall Primary School Science is taught discreetly from Year 1 to Year 6, mostly through a weekly lesson. Each year group is taught independently, despite our two mixed age classes, due to the nature of the progression of skills and knowledge within the Science curriculum. To enable us to do this, we utilise an additional teacher so that Class 4 (Years 3 and 4) and Class 5 (Years 4 and 5) can be taught in year groups rather than mixed age classes.
For full information about our Science Curriculum (including curriculum design, Knowledge Organisers and assessment procedures) please look at our Curriculum Handbook here.
The Science Team recently got together and talked about what Science meant to them and what science learning they have enjoyed at school. Here were some of the responses:
What does science mean to you?
“Been able to discover things”
“Learning about materials”
“Learning that is interesting”
What has been your favourite science learning/topic since September?
- Human lifecycles
- The Human Diet
- Animal Classification
- Classification of plants
- Female and Male parts of the flower
How can science be improved in our school?
- Even more science lessons
- More investigations
- Field trips