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Science

Subject Leaders - Miss Powell and Mr Culpin

Intent:

Our intent at Woodcote Primary School is to give all children the skills and knowledge they need to support them to think scientifically as they progress through primary school so they can understand and respect the world around them. We give opportunities to stimulate our children’s interest and curiosity of our world and encourage them to ask questions and seek answers. All children are supported to develop and use a range of scientific skills including planning, observing, recording, concluding and evaluating. In addition, children are encouraged to use a wide range of appropriate vocabulary to question, communicate and explain. Over time, these skills support the children to become independent learners, preparing them for life in an increasingly scientific and technological world.

Implementation:

At Woodcote School we use a variety of teaching approaches to achieve the aim of developing children’s knowledge, skills and understanding of science. Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards in science. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following;

  •  Science will be taught in planned topic blocks by the class teacher (and, if applicable, in cross curricular themes such as teaching non-renewable and renewable energy links after teaching coalmining in the local area in history; fitness and it’s the importance on physical activity which links to P.E.) This is a strategy to enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge.
  •  Through our planning, we encourage problem solving opportunities that allow children to apply their knowledge, and find out answers for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess pupils at the end of units to identify those children with gaps in learning.
  • We are in the process of producing Knowledge Organisers, which are documents that outline the essential knowledge that teachers will be covering across a unit of work; including dates, key vocabulary, definitions and other contextual information. These Knowledge Organisers will be shared with pupils with the aim that everyone knows exactly what is being taught and what the children need to learn by the end of the unit. The Knowledge Organisers also act as a tool to not only support children in retaining and retrieving knowledge, but also to enable them to apply the knowledge, offer informed explanations, make links and spot patterns.
  • From September 2020, both KS1 and KS2 will teach the recommended units of study for their individual year groups to build on prior knowledge and ensure progression of scientific enquiry skills. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, and they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.
  • Working scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being developed throughout the children’s school life and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching. This is developed through the years, in-keeping with the science topics.
  • Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various working scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding. Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning.
  • Children are offered a range of extra-curricular activities, visits, trips and visitors to complement and broaden the curriculum. These are purposeful and link with the knowledge being taught in class.
  •  Regular events, such as the whole school science fair or 3M competition entries, allow all pupils to come off-timetable, to provide broader provision and the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills. These events often involve families and the wider community.
  • Investigations – children are given opportunities for exploration and enquiry. They may hypothesise, carry out a test and then draw conclusions based upon knowledge and understanding of their work as appropriate. They are encouraged to look for patterns, classify and group objects, and make observations over time.
  • Children research and interpret information from secondary sources e.g. books, ICT, videos, photographs.

Impact

Our Science Curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

Book looks

Pupil voice

Regular feedback each lesson

The successful approach results in a fun, engaging, high-quality science education, that provides all children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world. From our teaching and exposure to a range of opportunities, all children feel they are scientists and capable of achieving. Children enjoy science and this results in motivated learners with sound scientific standing.

Cross-Curricular

Everyone’s experience of the world is cross curricular, as everything that surrounds us can be seen and understood from multiple perspectives. Our Science curriculum at Woodcote Primary  School  aims to take advantage of this in order to create rich, meaningful learning. For example, Forest School is a fantastic area of the curriculum that lends itself to the Science curriculum. P.E. and science have excellent cross curricular links, especially in learning about and how to look after our bodies and physical health. Understanding our planet and how to protect it comes into our Geography lessons and we are proud that we have many opportunities for children to make links between different subject areas, supporting the use and application of what has already been taught. 

Find our whole school curriculum plan here: Whole Learning Overview

 Find our science long term plan here: Long Term Plan

Enrichment

At Woodcote we place great emphasis on the importance of educational visits and visitors to enhance the teaching and learning of Science. These visits and visitors, which provide valuable opportunities for learning through first-hand experience, are therefore an integral part of the curriculum and allow our children to make valuable connections between what they have learned in class and their first hand experiences in the real-world.

We have been lucky to have visitors in from scientists from 3M and Tarmac; had visits to the local secondary school to take part in experiments and investigations; had visits from the life education bus; visited the Zoo on numerous occasions to extend our learning of animals; visited local garden centres to extend our learning of plants and visited Leicestershire Space Centre to extend our learning of the Earth, Sun and Moon. 

Children have been able to take part in whole school science fairs which we very much look forward to holding again this Summer term. 

We have enjoyed taking part in various 3M challenges over the years. The 3M Young Innovators Challenge comprises practical, creative challenges for primary age children to encourage early interest in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) with the aim of inspiring the next generation of original thinkers. In 2018 we were proud runners up for the Marble Run challenge and we won the eco-tech music challenge!

Eco-tech winner!

In 2019, for the third consecutive year, we were invited again to the final, where we got into the top 5 entries. 

 

Please find the National Curriculum here: National Curriculum Science

Please find our science curriculum here: Long Term Science Plan

 

Please find words here that we expect your children to learn and know in different year groups: 

Key Vocabulary