How do we teach Science at Abbeyfield?

The National Curriculum

The national curriculum for science aims to ensure all pupils:

  • 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 knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future

Intent

We live in an increasingly scientific and technological age where children need to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes to prepare them for life in the 21st century. At Abbeyfield Primary Academy we believe that the teaching of science develops in children an interest and curiosity about the world in which they live, and fosters in them a respect for the environment.

We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes. Through the programmes of study in the National Curriculum science document children will acquire and develop these skills throughout their Primary years.

 

Implementation

The curriculum is planned to build pupils’ skills and knowledge systematically in order to ensure they develop a good understanding of key  concepts whilst engaging in units of work that offer ample opportunity to be ‘working scientifically’.

Children in KS1 and KS2 are taught science as a discrete subject for one hour a week in KS1 and 90 minutes per week in KS2. Children in FS2 are taught science elements through knowledge and understanding of the world.

The development of children’s vocabulary is crucial. At Abbeyfield, teachers have developed subject-specific vocabulary, learning objectives and visual aids which are referred to throughout the lesson. This year the Science subject leader will work with the curriculum lead to identify tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary for each Science unit in order to develop art as a subject discipline with specific vocabulary.

Impact

Assessment for learning is continuous throughout the planning, teaching and learning cycle.  A variety of assessment methods are used: –

  • Observing children at work, individually, in pairs, in a group and in classes.
  • Questioning, talking and listening to children
  • Monitoring of pupils’ work through regular book scrutinies, together with discussions with pupils about their work.

Children’s progress is continually monitored and tracked throughout their time at Abbeyfield Primary Academy by updating the Science tracker on Insight tracking. Progress in science is also reported as part of End of Key Stage Assessment.

Working Scientifically KS1

During years 1 and 2, pupils should be taught to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills through the teaching of the programme of study content:

  • Asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways
  • Observing closely, using simple equipment
  • Performing simple tests
  • Identifying and classifying
  • Using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
  • Gathering and recording data to help in answering questions

    Working Scientifically LKS2

    During years 3 and 4, pupils should be taught to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills through the teaching of the programme of study content:

    • Asking relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them
    • Setting up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests
    • Making systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, taking accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers
    • Gathering, recording, classifying and presenting data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions
    • Recording findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables
    • Reporting on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions
    • Using results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions
    • Identifying differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes
    • Using straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.

    Working Scientifically UKS2

    During years 5 and 6, pupils should be taught to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills through the teaching of the programme of study content:

    • Planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary
    • Taking measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate
    • Recording data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs
    • Using test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests
    • Reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and a degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations
    • Identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments

    Curriculum Overview

    We have then used these strands to map out our curriculum overview.

    Vocabulary Progression

    We believe strongly in deliberate vocabulary instruction. We have therefore mapped out the tier 2 and tier 3 words for each topic.