Science Curriculum Statement
At St John Fisher RC Primary School, the intent of our science curriculum is to ignite curiosity in our children and to encourage them to question why things happen and the way things work. Furthermore, as a Catholic school, we believe through our science curriculum we can promote respect for nature and the environment in accordance with the message from Pope Francis in Laudato Si where he encourages us all to care for our common home, the earth. We believe that science inspires pupils, encouraging them to be inquisitive about the world; fosters their natural curiosity and enables them to develop a range of skills that are valuable across their learning. We aim to provide children with opportunities to ask questions, make observations, investigate their ideas and ultimately improve their understanding. Through making good use of a variety of environments, resources (including our own school tortoise!), visitors and trips to places of scientific interest, we will ensure that all of our pupils have a chance to excel in this area of the curriculum. We aim to inspire the future learning of our children by introducing them to a variety of inspirational scientists linked to each of our topics. So even if they are not intending to work in an area of Science when they grow up, they will have a desire to engage in and understand the world around them. We believe science is for everyone and that understanding science will support children throughout their lives by allowing them to make informed decisions about new technologies, their health and the environment. This in turn should help them to become responsible and informed members of society.
At St John Fisher RC Primary School, we use the ‘Challenge Curriculum’ to support the planning of creative science units that allow the children to experience ‘wonder and wow!’ moments. We endeavour to bring real experiences to their learning so that pupils make meaningful links to the world in which they live. We ensure a wide variety of lines of enquiry are taught so that pupils are immersed in investigative and practical skills that underpin the development of scientific knowledge. By providing a range of practical experiences, we develop pupils’ investigative skills and allow children to take risks and learn from their mistakes; enabling them to become more confident, independent learners.
Planning a new unit of work always includes an idea on how we can ‘hook’ the pupils in. Ideas such as:
- Mystery mixtures - pupils predict what may happen
- Microscopic images- pupils guess what the magnified image is
- Current affairs- use the news for what is current and relevant
- Fictional stories (esp KS1) - books with a theme that links to topic
- Film clips (esp KS2) – programmes that link to topic
This is then further developed by using modelling or drama, if necessary, where pupils can actually ‘be’ the science and, by doing so, fill the void between their current understanding and the reality of the concept. We involve the pupils in ‘hands-on’ investigations wherever possible as the pupils are much more likely to remember what they have learnt if they are physically engaged in the task. Ideas such as:
- Electricity-Pupils are parts of an electrical circuit, change components
- Earth and Space- Pupils are the planets in the solar system
- Light- Fire nerf pellets to show how light travels and bounces off
- Digestive system- Feeding food through an old pair of tights
- Animals inc. Humans- Food tasting/Smelling
Pupils are made aware of the importance of their planning, recording and concluding after an investigation or experiment. The post it poster is used in KS2 and a more pictorial form (Discovery Dog) is used in KS1. Pupils will always be brought back to the enquiry question to ensure they are clear on what they have learnt and so that any mis-conceptions can be addressed.
Our science curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate
progression. We focus on progression of knowledge and skills alongside the use of key scientific vocabulary.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Assessing children’s understanding of topics using pre- and post-learning assessment tasks.
- Feedback of written work in books
- Images of the children’s practical learning
- Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice)
- Moderation of books where pupil’s books are scrutinised and feedback given
- Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum to parents
The science subject leaders will regularly (termly) monitor the impact science teaching is having on the children’s learning and feedback to staff and SLT.