Science at Holystone
Science stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. It links ideas and knowledge with direct practical experience and can engage learners at many levels. Scientific method develops and supports inquiry through experimentation and practical investigations. It develops creativity in thought and analysis in practice.
In studying Science, pupils gain understanding about how ideas contribute to scientific change – impacting on industry, business and medicine and improving the quality of life. They learn to question and discuss issues that may affect their own lives, and the future of the world.
- To engage pupils as learners at many levels through linking ideas with practical experience;
- To stimulate and excite pupils’ curiosity about changes and events in the world and to enable them to satisfy this curiosity with understanding.
- To link pupils’ understanding with scientific thought and thus develop a greater understanding of the world in which we live and their responsibility to ensure its sustainability
- To work with other schools to share good practice in order to improve this policy
- To help pupils develop, model and evaluate experiments using critical and creative thought.
- To develop pupils’ questioning and analytical skills.
- To develop pupils’ understanding of how major scientific ideas contribute to technological change and how this impacts on improving the quality of our everyday lives.
- To provide a rich and varied science curriculum that will stimulate and interest all pupils.
- To ensure teaching styles and methods in science vary to suit the type of learning and the pupils’ differing learning styles and abilities.
- To provide appropriate and sufficient scientific resources for all pupils that will support effective learning and teaching.
- To develop a variety of other skills, including those of enquiry, problem solving, ICT, investigation and different means of presentation in a cross-curricular way.
Science is a core subject of the National Curriculum.
The work covered at Key Stage 1 builds on the Early Learning Goal for Knowledge and Understanding of the World for children in the Foundation Stage for pupils aged under five. Pupils in Reception continue to develop their knowledge, understanding and skills through play activities and direct teaching which begin to develop the skills needed for further scientific enquiry.
Lessons all have clear learning intentions and success criteria, which are shared with and understood by the children. They are at all times aware of what they are going to learn through the activity, and what skills the teacher is looking for in their learning.
Teachers use a range of learning and teaching styles, incorporating individual, pair, class and group work into lessons. Children are taught through discussion, practical activity, games, investigations, problem solving, recording and practice, consolidation, and regularly use IT to record and support their work. The teaching style and methods are varied according to the subject matter and the pupils being taught.
Planned activities inspire the pupils to experiment and investigate the world around them. They are encouraged to use their thinking skills and to raise their own questions such as “Why…?”, “How…?” and “What happens if…?”. Practical work develops the skills of enquiry, observation, research, experimentation, use of apparatus, measuring and checking results, making comparisons and communicating results and findings. Activities are challenging, motivating and extend pupils’ learning.
Pupils have frequent opportunities to develop their skills in planning investigative work, selecting relevant resources, making decisions about sources of information, carrying out activities safely and deciding the best form of communicating their findings. They are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning as far as possible for their ages and abilities.
We recognise the fact that there are pupils of widely different abilities in all classes and we use a variety of methods to ensure suitable learning opportunities for all pupils, by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the pupil. We achieve this by:
- setting common, open-ended tasks which can have a variety of responses;
- setting consecutive tasks of increasing difficulty, with children completing what they feel able to;
- grouping pupils by ability and setting different tasks to each ability group;
- providing resources that meet the needs of the group;
- using learning assistants to support the work of individual pupils or groups of pupils;
- giving additional teacher input to some pupils when needed
This is organized in three stages:
Long Term Planning
This is based on the National Curriculum for Science and is a separate document that is an overview of key areas of study. Specific activities/experiments/investigations are outlined to ensure progression of key concepts and knowledge and to avoid duplication. This is especially important in areas such as Animals, Humans, Living Things and Habitats. The overview shows what is taught year by year as the children progress through the school. It provides the topic basis for planning science activities for each year group. The NC PoS are the MINIMUM requirements and teachers know best what engages and stimulates children’s minds and makes them curious about the world. For example, Physics is no longer included in Key Stage 1’s PoS. However the topic approach used in the earlier years creates many activities that explore the effects of pushes and pulls that would be detrimental to the child’s development if these opportunities did not continue. Teachers will have the flexibility to treat the curriculum creatively. PoS ARE THE MINIMUM. The Science co-ordinator will monitor the coverage of topics annually to ensure progression.
Medium Term Planning
This takes the long term plan and organizes the teaching of science into termly, half termly sections or through a topic approach that may extend over time. For example, in Year 3 the children ‘explore the requirements of plants for life and growth (air, light, water, nutrients from soil, and room to grow)’ when studying Plants and how to ‘get nutrition from what they eat’ when studying Animals, including Humans in the new NC. Lessons take part throughout the year depending on the ‘food growing cycle’ of the vegetable pots, greenhouse and orchard. The planning is more detailed and the objectives are more specific in nature. This planning is developed by the class teachers working together, who respond to the needs of their pupils. It also ensures a balanced distribution of work is undertaken across each term. The teachers begins with the PoS but can develop the teaching and learning as they see fit. They are the experts regarding the children in their care.
Short Term Planning
Short term planning details the science activities that take place lesson by lesson. Lessons are planned in detail and have specific learning intentions and success criteria, in accordance with the needs of the pupils. Much of this planning is evident through the use of powerpoint and ActivPrimary flipcharts.
The teachers collaborate on the planning of science to ensure parity in provision and to share expertise.
Monitoring and assessment
Continuity and Progression
The science curriculum is monitored on a regular basis by the science coordinators, who looks at pupils’ work, discusses activities with children and asks for examples of planning and photographic evidence to be placed on the server.
They identify the training needs of the staff creating opportunities for CPD as well as supporting requests regarding resources. They also attends training for Science coordinators run by the local authority, attends the annual Science Conference.
All assessment has to have a purpose and be used to monitor children’s progress and inform subsequent planning. There is no legal requirement for assessment against the end of key stage levels until the end of each key stage, when the National Curriculum assessments take place. However, in order to provide information required by the statute to set targets for the next three years, we assess pupils against the end of key stage levels at the end of every year. This is a summative assessment and details what the pupils knows at that moment in time. It is submitted to the school tracker. Over the next two years this will change in light of the new National Curriculum.
However, it is the formative assessments which are more important in school. These are informal, continuous and ongoing, and identify the needs of the individual pupils. These are incidental, form part of the classroom activities, and are used to inform the pupil’s future learning.
A variety of strategies, including questioning, discussion, concept mapping and marking, is used to assess progress. The information is used to identify the pupils’ needs and to inform planning. Staff Meeting is timetabled during the school year to discuss these strategies especially with the assessing how children work scientifically.
Additional Educational Needs
All classes consist of pupils of varying abilities and with varying needs, and our classroom practice ensures that most of these needs can be met within the classroom organization. (See Teaching Guidelines)
However when a child has very specific additional needs, support is provided firstly by the school’s internal organizational structure, which gives personal assistance and additional practice and is administered by support assistants within the school, often within the classroom, during the lessons. The Local Authority Psychological service (EPS) is called upon to provide guidance on the forms of assistance given by the support workers, and in some cases the EPS provides tutors who visit the school to support pupils with specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia or dyspraxia.
Pupils with Additional Educational Needs are placed upon the Additional Educational Needs register, which records the support given, and provides each child with an individual education plan (IEP). Parents are given a report every six weeks, and when the pupil has achieved the necessary standard s/he is removed from the register. More details about this can be found in the school’s Additional Educational Needs policy.
Equality Impact Assessment
Under the Equality Act 2010 we have a duty not to discriminate against people on the basis of their age, disability, gender, gender identity, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation.
This policy has been equality impact assessed and we believe that it is in line with the Equality Act 2010 as it is fair, it does not prioritise or disadvantage any pupil and it helps to promote equality at this school.