Knowledge-Rich, Diversity-Led Curriculum
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” – Marie Curie
“Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world.” – Louis Pasteur
At Stoneydown, we recognise the importance of science as a core subject and give it the prominence it requires. We believe that science should excite pupils’ interests, build on their prior knowledge and strengthen their confidence, enabling them to take risks, work out problems and raise further questions. Our aim is to equip our children with the key working scientifically skills, knowledge and vocabulary motivated by our core skills of active learning, basic skills and creative thinking. Our science curriculum is shaped by the National Curriculum for Science, our school curriculum, our school values and the ethos at Stoneydown. It aims to ensure all children:
- 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 skills required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
At Stoneydown we are committed to providing all children with an equal entitlement to scientific activities and opportunities regardless of race, gender, culture or class. We plan for the Working Scientifically skills to be built-on and developed year on year so that they can make connections in their learning and become thinkers and investigators. This will enable them to apply their knowledge of science when using equipment, conducting experiments and explaining concepts confidently. We will encourage a natural and healthy curiosity about the world around us and respect for living and non-living things. Our intent is to deliver a science curriculum that is accessible to all and one which allows the opportunity for critical evaluation of evidence, to be reflective, responsible and to ask questions. By doing this, we maximise the outcomes for every child so that they develop an enthusiasm and enjoyment of scientific learning and discovery. Through group work, carrying out experiments and research, we will provide opportunities for children to understand the power of collaborative working in the science community. We aim to ensure the science curriculum we provide will equip children at Stoneydown with the confidence and motivation required to continue to further their skills into the next stage of education and beyond.
At Stoneydown, teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards. Continuous progression is the core of our science curriculum design; ensuring children develop and build on their learning throughout their time at school. The science overview shows which topics are being taught with cross-curricular links where possible. Where meaningful links are not found, science topics are taught as stand alone units.
As well as the science overview, our progression in knowledge framework sets out the prior and future learning of each science topic. This helps to ensure that our teachers know what the children have already learnt and what they will be learning in the future which aids in planning units of work at the right pitch.
Teachers complete medium term overviews which set out the objectives, aims and outcomes for each unit of work, including the differentiation needed for any pupils. This is done as a year group to ensure that all teachers are part of the planning process which results in clearly sequenced weekly lessons. The medium term overviews provide teachers with some of the possible misconceptions that children may have which can be used as teaching points. At the end of the topic, we encourage teachers to add any misconceptions they found whilst teaching the unit of work. Every classroom has a science working wall which is used to display key vocabulary and modeling of any diagrams and images. Children use this to support them with independent tasks.
At the start of each topic, children map out what they already know and add to this knowledge map every lesson. This process of self-assessment provides teachers with an overview of what each child has learnt and where the gaps are. Assessment is on-going throughout the learning process and includes observing children at work, questioning, class discussions, quizzes, marking and written and verbal feedback, practical sessions to apply knowledge and skills and independent learning in books. Every term, teachers assess their own classes against the sticky knowledge statements and make time in future topics to consolidate any gaps in learning.
The approach to teaching science at Stoneydown results in a hands-on, fun and engaging education which enables children to become life-long curious learners. Our passionate and enthusiastic teachers plan and deliver exciting science lessons based around practical investigations and enquiries, resulting in children being able to articulate the knowledge and skills they have learnt. Assessment for learning in science is continuous throughout the planning, teaching and learning cycle, including subject monitoring and feedback. Below is an outline of the impact we are looking for in our pupils in the curriculum area of science:
- Children are knowledgeable about the scientific content of each unit of learning
- Children are engaged in science lessons; asking scientific questions and being curious
- Children’s work shows a range of topics and evidence of the curriculum coverage for all science topics
- There is a clear progression of children’s work and teachers’ expectations in our school
- Children are becoming increasingly independent in science, selecting their own tools and materials, completing pupil lead investigations and choosing their own methods for recording
- Children can use scientific vocabulary to communicate their understanding
- Children can make meaningful cross-curricular and wider world links
- Next step questions to move learning on
- Verbal, and occasionally written, feedback from teachers has impact on our pupils’ learning
At Stoneydown, we enrich childrens’ learning through visits to museums and frequent local visits to the wetlands and Walthamstow Marshes. We use the expertise of our parents and members of the local community with science backgrounds during science week to stimulate further curiosity of the wider world.
Click here to see the National Curriculum Science Programmes of Study: Key Stages 1 and 2.