At The Westborough School, it is our intention to recognise the importance of Science in every aspect of daily life. The teaching and learning of Science is given the prominence it requires so that all children have the opportunity to gain an understanding of the world around them whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them to think scientifically. Our aim is that children gain an understanding of scientific processes and also an understanding of the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. We intend to foster a natural curiosity and respect for living organisms and the physical environment in all children. Opportunities for critical evaluation of evidence will be developed. The Science curriculum will develop learning and result in the acquisition of knowledge while enabling children to become enquiry based learners.
The science curriculum follows the year by year progression of knowledge and skills as set out in the National Curriculum. Children in Foundation are taught science as part of the Early Learning goals. In order to teach the Science National Curriculum, The Westborough School uses a curriculum plan developed by Primary Assessment Network (PLAN) and also Teaching and Assessment of Primary Science (TAPS) assessment materials. This provides clear guidance to all teaching staff on the progression and application of skills and knowledge expected for each topic, in each year group. Key vocabulary is identified for each science topic and it is expected that these keywords will be explored through teaching and be displayed in classrooms.
The ’Star’ Science scheme of work and text books are available for teachers to use to complement the main PLAN scheme if required.
Explorify is used throughout the school as discussion starters/plenaries.
Big questions and key ideas (and misconceptions) are included within the curriculum planning; these promote discussion, challenge thinking and ensure the full coverage of all five types of scientific enquiry.
The Science Curriculum is complemented by weekly Outdoor Curriculum lessons and use of the outdoor areas of the school when appropriate by all year groups where the science explored provides a real context for the children to apply their knowledge and skills.
Short, 10 minute, low impact quizzes are used at the start of each new unit to check on the children’s level of understanding and to inform forward planning. A similar summative quiz is used at the end of the unit to inform assessment (including formative assessment) as well as the development of science across the school and to identify areas needed for development.
Children have the opportunity to develop their science knowledge and skills through extra-curricular activities such as after school science club, visitors and trips and special science learning days. The school takes part in national science events such as British Science Week.
Although the majority of the science teaching (y1-6) is taught as a discrete subject, there is an expectation that all class teachers will promote and incorporate science across the wider curriculum. The implementation of this is monitored by the subject leader. Class teachers are supported by the science lead, who resources equipment and CPD.
The teaching of science at The Westborough School will enable children to enjoy and value the effect of science in their lives while learning and becoming proficient in new knowledge and skill. This is the impact we want to achieve for our children before they move into secondary education, and for this effect to continue throughout their education and beyond.
An essential part of the children becoming scientists is promoting curiosity and encouraging the children to ask questions. By the end of KS2, our expectation is that children will be able to develop their own questions, plan different types of enquiries to answer those questions and communicate their findings in a variety of ways. Children will understand that science teaches us, through investigation, that things do not always turn out how we expect, and therefore they learn how to overcome unexpected problems.
Children will have a clear understanding of how scientists both past and present have contributed to society's understanding of the world around them. They will understand the role that science and other STEM subjects play in solving some of the key problems facing the world, such as climate change and pandemics. Pupils become confident in presenting their ideas and become more aware of what they can achieve in the future.
Teachers use a variety of assessment tools, including: pre and post learning unit tasks as mentioned, pupil discussions about their learning and scrutiny of books by the subject leader and SLT to check for progress. Progress of the science curriculum is demonstrated through outcomes and the record of coverage in the process of achieving these outcomes. The use of TAPS and PLAN assessment materials and the subject leader’s involvement in meetings and courses through STEM seminars, impacts on the support teachers receive which enables an effective internal moderation process of the children’s progress.