At St. Joseph’s, it is our intention that all children will have a strong understanding of the world around them by understanding key scientific concepts that they will experience in daily life. We prioritise this by timetabling a minimum of one hour a week on all class timetables. We aim for all children to look forward to this hour and it being a highlight of their week.
Our science curriculum is a skills based curriculum focussing on the working scientifically skills, to enable children to become inquiry based learners with life long transferable skills. The aim is that children will develop knowledge to help them to think scientifically whilst gaining an understanding of scientific processes.
Following a spiral curriculum, children will revisit topics to further develop and embed their knowledge and understanding of the world in which they live and an awareness of an ever changing world. We aim for lessons to be exciting and provide a chance for children to be curious, so science will become a memorable and enriching part of their school life.
Becoming independent learners is key. Children will be encouraged to use scientific vocabulary in their explanations, which will be promoted through exploring all possible answers in a variety of ways. St Joseph’s aim is that children will be able to communicate scientific ideas effectively and confidently with their peers, teachers and wider community.
Our science curriculum is a skills based curriculum focussing on the working scientifically skills of:
- Pattern seeking
- Observing over time
- Asking questions
- Research using secondary sources
- Identifying, classifying and grouping
- Fair and comparative testing
These are highlighted in planning and learning objectives to show both teachers and students what the focus of each lesson is.
Through resources such as Reach Out CPD and staff meetings, we maintain a high level of subject knowledge across all teaching staff. This aids the delivery and promotion of subject specific vocabulary which is encouraged from all children from nursery up to Y6.
Through science lessons, books, websites and trips, we develop the children’s knowledge and skills of a variety of different topics.
Through the support of Science Curriculum Leads, the school has the equipment and resources needed to support year group lessons and resources are ordered on request.
Each new topic, for all years groups Y1-Y6, starts with a concept map of key vocabulary to see what the children already know, this is printed on A4. At the end of the topic, the concept map is reprinted on A3 and the children fill it in again showing what they have learned. This shows clearly the progress and acquisition of knowledge that the children have gained during the topic. The working scientifically skills are assessed through teacher judgement in lessons and through observed assessment games at the end of the unit.
Children are actively encouraged to question throughout all science lessons and these can often become the focus and direction of the lesson in order to maintain the children’s focus and enable them to become critical thinkers who question the world around them.
Lesson observations, book looks and planning scrutinies take place throughout the year, to ensure that we are working towards our school improvement plan and that all students are provided with high quality and engaging science lessons.
Extra curricular activities such as clubs, trips and speakers take place throughout the year. St Joseph’s also holds a school wide, annual science week which culminates with a science fair. This may include visits from STEM Ambassadors.
Differentiation, through outcome or expectation, is clear in all lessons and teachers will use a variety of strategies to ensure that all learners are able to not only access but thrive in all science lessons.
SLT and governors are kept informed of developments in the way science is run throughout the school, including updated actions plans and review meetings.
By the time children leave St Joseph’s they will:
- Be enthusiastic scientists
- Talk confidently about a range of topics using subject specific, scientific vocabulary
- Be independent learners who are curious about the world around them
- Be resourceful and able to carry out investigations exploring a question of their choosing
- Apply their skills knowledge to carry out fair tests, question to seek further understanding, spot patterns, research effectively, observe over time and correctly classify items
- Listen carefully to feedback from their teachers and peers in order to improve their understanding
- Reach age related expectations (or appropriate level for their needs)
- Have the skills and enthusiasm needed to pursue a career in science
Our science curriculum is skills based, focussing on the working scientifically skills of
Observing over time
Research using secondary sources
Identifying, classifying and grouping
Fair and comparative testing
Science lessons are fun, memorable and a chance for children to be curious and explore the world around them.
Science through the Year Groups:
Y1: Seasons, Senses, Animals, Plants, Materials,
Y2: Living Things and Their Habitats, Animals Inc. Humans, Plants, Materials, Forces
Y3: Rocks and Soils, Animals inc. Humans, Habitats, Forces and Magnets, Light, Plants
Y4: Electricity, Sound, Living Things and Their Habitats, Animals Inc. Humans, States of Matter
Y5: Properties and materials, Space, forces, living things and their habitats, Animals inc. humans
Y6: Light, Electricity, Evolutions, Living things (micro organisms) and their habitats, animals including humans