What do we want to achieve?
Science is an integral part of the curriculum as it provokes questioning and generates answers about the human and natural worlds. It educates children to understand that science is critical to life on earth. That it helps us learn about enormously important and useful topics, such as our health, the environment, and natural hazards. Throughout the curriculum we are developing opportunities to teach our children how science has changed our lives in the past and more recently and to also appreciate its importance for our future prosperity.
We have carefully designed our Science curriculum to provide a programme of study, which enables pupils to achieve the aims of the National Curriculum before the end of Year 6. The whole curriculum presents opportunities to develop scientific theory and work scientifically whilst developing strong skills in the following areas:
The curriculum provides opportunity to explore this through topics such as the exploration of light, electricity and the human body. Children are also introduced to scientists who have made significant contributions to science and who have impacted our lives such as William Harvey and his discovery of the circulatory system leading to instrumental health care and treatment. They also learn the continuing importance of science in solving global challenges such as climate change when looking at everyday materials and the effect of burning certain materials has on the environment.
Within our Science curriculum, pupils have the opportunity to explore the world in which we live and teachers encourage pupils to do this through first-hand experience where possible. The most important scientific concepts and knowledge have been identified and carefully sequenced through the curriculum in ‘chunks’ to ensure pupils can build on prior knowledge and make connections between ideas making learning more meaningful. Key questions have been created to provide opportunities for scientific enquiry and develop curiosity and excitement within topics. To ensure learning is processed into the long-term memory, regular low steak quizzes are used to revise and recall key knowledge.
Embedded across the curriculum are not only opportunities for children to develop scientific theory, but also chances for them to work scientifically to understand how theories are established, tested and revised through practical investigations and leads of enquiry. They are taught how science can be used to explain what is occurring through observations, predict how things will behave, collect and record data and evaluate and analyse causes.
For example, Year 5 children explore the effects of air resistance by observing the way in which a parachute descends. They test different materials and compare their effectiveness, recording and analysing data. This provides a deeper understanding of the physics governing real life objects such as aeroplanes, boats and cars and the materials and shapes which ensure these perform successfully.
What does Science look like at St Luke’s?
Our curriculum is taken from the statutory framework. At St Luke’s we ensure that all areas of EYFS learning are important and interconnected using planned, purposeful play and a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activities. Your child will start to gain the science knowledge that they’ll build on throughout their primary school years. Many of our science topics are covered in the ‘Understanding the World’ area and are closely linked to the learning in Year 1. We teach the children to explore the environment around them and give them hands on opportunities to investigate, observe, ask and answer questions and become inquisitive. For example, ‘What would happen if I didn’t give a plant water?’ observing objects closely, using simple equipment such as a magnifying glass, using their observations to suggest answers to questions and gathering and recording data to help in answering questions. We plan activities to enable children to experience scientific concepts and to introduce them to new scientific vocabulary and to broaden their scientific vocabulary. This will help them get ready to be eager scientists when they get to Year 1!
Key Stage One and Key Stage Two
The curriculum is progressive, including substantive knowledge, topics and skills that pupils must learn to accelerate later learning and deepen their understanding of concepts. For example when looking at the human body, they are introduced to their body parts and senses in KS1, building upon this in Lower Key Stage Two when exploring the Skeleton and digestive system and then further deepening their knowledge in upper Key Stage Two when exploring the circulatory system. They build up a detailed picture of how the human body functions and how it is kept healthy. Our aim is for our pupils to leave St Luke’s with a strong knowledge of key concepts within science across biology, chemistry and physics that will provide firm foundations to continue their understanding within secondary school.
We also aim to provide the foundation for a range of diverse and valuable careers that are crucial for economic, environmental and social development and inspire our pupils to take a keen interest in these.
In all Science lessons, this is what you will typically see:
Across our Science curriculum, there are plenty of opportunities for pupils to work scientifically and use practical skills to enhance their learning.
We are currently planning enriching trips and visits across the year for each year group as part of the Science curriculum. Please see these on our Cultural Capital document to see how we are developing scientific skills and interest through real life experiences for 2022 - 2023.
Have a look on Twitter at the fantastic science work going on at St Luke's: #Stlukesburywidercurriculum
Reading and Science
We make increasing use of high-quality non-fiction texts to further enhance the learning experience. For example, year groups throughout Key Stage 1 and 2 frequently dip into the 'Big Book Series' by Yuval Zommer. The books are captivating and visually stunning introductions to a whole range of scientific topics. Using fascinating non-fiction texts throughout our curriculum, we aim for our pupils to develop a deeper understanding of a topic through reading and writing.
Assessment in Science
Assessment has to serve a purpose and teachers are continually assessing the children in all types of ways so they can help them progress with their learning. Assessment in Science is carried out within each lesson to inform planning to meet pupils’ needs. Prior knowledge is assessed at the beginning of each lesson to allow the re-visiting of key concepts and ideas, to ensure that children are remembering what they have previously been exposed to.
All Key Stage One and Key Stage Two classes complete a pre-topic quiz, which enables teachers to see what prior knowledge pupils may have remember from previous year groups and which concepts and ideas may need revising or revisiting beforehand. Pupils then complete an assessment task at the end of each topic in the form of a range activities such as quizzes, information leaflets and fact files that assess what has been taught that half term. This will then inform teacher assessment for Science at different points in the year and help teachers to understand where there are gaps in learning.
We also undertake ‘Deep Dives’ in science where we talk to children from each class about their learning in Science. This is a great opportunity to see what the children know and also share their excitement about science!
How can I support my child’s learning in Science?
Before we start a new topic, your child’s ‘knowledge organiser’ will be available for you on the school website, under class pages. This will tell you what your child will be learning in Science and will give you some of the key vocabulary for the topic. Please have lots of conversations with your child about what they are learning about in Science, enjoying all they have to tell you about their learning and experiences! Another great way to support learning in Science is to get out and about in Manchester and the North West and visit some of these superb venues: