Learning & Curriculum
Science embodies the acquisition of knowledge and understanding of the natural world and beyond through the process of rigorous testing, observation and experimentation, which constantly challenge and build upon prior discoveries. This process results in technological advancements through the application of Science within engineering, which in turn has a profound impact on the world around us. Consequently, we believe that it is our duty to further develop this Science capital through the study of a diverse range of scientists, noting how these key individuals contributed to their fields.
Our ‘Science Curriculum’ challenges us to develop children who understand what Science is, what it is for and its relevance in the world around us. We aim to nurture and develop their inquisitive nature in order to advance their knowledge using scientific vocabulary in order to discuss and confidently question the world around them, as they explore new concepts using a practical, ‘hands-on’ approach through scientific enquiry. Overall, we strive to expose the children to have a deeper understanding of the world, widening their opportunities for science capital and fostering a life-long love of Science and STEM.
At Masefield, Science is taught as a discrete subject in order that the development of knowledge, vocabulary and scientific enquiry skills are taught both meaningfully and explicitly. Naturally, links are made to other areas of the curriculum, especially English, Mathematics, Design Technology and Computing, but this does not dilute the quality and entitlement of high quality Science teaching.
The school’s long-term plan for Science follows the Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 National Curriculum (2014) and sets out the content of teaching within in each year group. This is supported by the school’s Science progression document which demonstrates learning outcomes and expectations for Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Working Scientifically within each Science stand and subsequent units of work. Short term planning details how this content is developed over a series of lessons within the unit of work. The organisation of the Science curriculum provides structured opportunities for pupils to:
- Develop and use key scientific vocabulary within their correct contexts.
- Explore concepts and dispel common misconceptions through the use of investigation.
- Explore the world around them, developing their understanding of key physical and biological processes.
- Approach Science through practical scientific enquiry, through the process of enquire, explore, record and explain.
- Opportunities for working scientifically are provided, using a combination of observation over time, pattern seeking, identifying, classifying and grouping, comparative and fair testing and research using secondary sources of information.
- Devise their own lines of enquiry, which can be planned and subsequently implemented.
- Understand the essential role of Mathematics as a quantifiable source of evidence for scientific understanding.
- Understand the role of Science in the wider world, including its cultural impact on our everyday lives.
- Develop their Science capital through their understanding of the work of scientists and naturalists, from a range of times and cultures, understanding how their discoveries contribute to the cumulative nature of scientific understanding. This is covered through year-group unit linked scientists and Masefield’s four House Teams.
Below is an example knowledge organiser from each year group for Science:
These are sent home each half term as part of the curriculum overviews.
*EYFS Knowledge Organisers be found in the EYFS tab*
Primary Science Quality Mark (PQSM) is a year long CPD programme that helps schools to achieve a quality mark. It focuses on developing effective, confident science leadership for whole school impact on science teaching and learning. The Primary Science Quality Mark enables science subject leaders to develop and articulate a clear intent and aspirational vision for science.
The process of achieving a PSQM raises the profile and quality of science across the whole school. It supports subject leaders to effectively implement a curriculum for science that is informed by research evidence and best practice data. PQSM also ensures strong and positive impact; children make good progress, building and consolidating their knowledge and skills, developing positive attitudes about science and its value to their lives and globally.
Achieved September 2020
Walk into one of our science lessons at Masefield and watch as our children build upon prior learning and develop substantive scientific knowledge which they reinforce whilst working scientifically. Step into a range of sessions across different phases of school and our carefully, sequenced curriculum becomes apparent, highlighted by our children’s ability to make meaningful connections within and across scientific disciplines. You will observe staff using assessment to address misconceptions and identify next steps.
You will witness staff using a variety of strategies including drama and role play to help all our children, including our SEND to understand abstract scientific phenomena.
A range of high quality resources will be in use, including engaging fiction and non- fiction texts, to support substantive and disciplinary knowledge acquisition as well as reinforcing reading strategies.
Dig deeper into our science provision and you will find a variety of WOW learning opportunities, aimed at increasing children’s science capital. Opportunities which include: using forensics to catch a criminal; growing plants in our school allotment and launching a rocket!
You will also find, scientific vocabulary being taught and revisited in a variety of creative ways. Delve into our books and notice how our written recording of science is of a high quality with teachers and children taking pride in how work is presented. See how written feedback to children, builds confidence, addresses misconceptions and identifies next steps.
Examine our medium term plans to discover how the five enquiry types are embedded throughout all units with carefully planned opportunities for children to: seek out patterns within results; research phenomena which they cannot experience first-hand; engage in fair and comparative testing; make close observations including those over time and classify and group objects based on scientific criteria.
Speak to our subject lead and link governor and they will outline how best practice from the PLAN and STEM websites are embedded in our personalised curriculum, which has been designed with the big ideas of science at its core.
Experiences beyond the school – bringing Science to life for our children
At Masefield, there are many opportunities for year groups to participate in activities led by external visitors within school. These memorable experiences provide opportunities for our children to engage with a wider range of scientific phenomena, which complement and extend children’s learning. As well as providing stimulating activities based around the scientific content of the National Curriculum, workshops and visitors enable our children to gain an insight in the possibilities of a career in science, thereby increasing pupils’ science capital. Partaking in real life science within a range of different contexts, beyond science lessons, allows children to gain hands on activities and unforgettable learning experiences.
Opportunities to apply Science in real life contexts outdoors
We make good use of the outdoor facilities within and beyond our school community. The immediate school grounds enable us to compare and contrast animals and plants in different habitats during different seasons. Our school allotment provides opportunities for us to observe plants first hand, as well as helping us forge links with members of our local community. For activities such as pond dipping, which cannot be conducted within our immediate locality, we travel to Brockholes. To support our work across all year groups, regarding the ‘Humans and other animals’ strands of the National Curriculum, we invite external agencies into school to enable all our children to observe animals close up.
Extra-Curricular Provision – promoting a love of Science
Science Clubs run throughout the year, providing opportunities for children wishing to partake in extra -curricular science activities. The club focuses on ‘Working Scientifically’; revisiting and recapping key skills, as well as providing a platform to lay the foundations for future learning and a range of exciting opportunities.