Our Science Curriculum
Intent – Why Do We Teach What We Teach?
At New Close we believe that it is crucial that our children develop a thorough understanding of the key scientific concepts and knowledge. Our curriculum is developed in line with the National Curriculum, and is delivered in a way that is interesting, relevant to our children and links to other areas of learning, wherever possible. Our desire is that students build richly connected knowledge, vocabulary and skills that they can carry forward through their education and their lives. Our aim is that we inspire our children to become practical and inquisitive in regards to science. We want our pupils to develop the tools to understand key knowledge and master scientific skills. We believe it is crucial that children learn how and why things work. Furthermore, it is important to have a strong understanding of the scientists who have shaped the world yet think ahead the important role Science will play in the future. We want our children to be the next generation of scientists who can be at the cutting edge of future developments.
Implementation - How Do We Teach What We Teach?
Each scientific unit is taught through a carefully prepared sequence of lessons sitting within the overall framework of our 2 year rolling programme. Progression of knowledge and skills is mapped out, which forms the core of our units of work and learning objectives. The Rising Stars schemes of work, is used as the basis of our work. This is adapted, using a variety of resources, to ensure it meets the needs of our New Close children and each class that we teach.
Units of science are taught in blocks or 6 lessons over a 6 week period. This allows the teacher to more effectively use formative assessment to address misconceptions and errors pupils may have had during the previous lesson and address these quickly.
Within each session, children develop their understanding of the learning objective sat within a sequence of lessons. Typically this follows a structure of:
- Recall prior learning: knowledge organisers, mini quizzes, partner work etc • Vocabulary introduction: previous vocabulary recapped, new vocabulary introduced
- Everybody reads: short piece of reading based around the theme for the lesson designed to broaden understanding and ensure that reading skills are applied to all contexts
- Task: teacher input and task which links to input and learning objective- this could be independent, paired or group based
- Plenary: This the recap/recall/application of skills and knowledge in relation to learning objective.
Impact - How Do We Know What Our Pupils Have Learnt And How Well They Have Learnt It?
Science at New Close is a multi- facetted approach. We need to recognise the limits of placing any summative judgement against the children’s knowledge of science because the validity of this data is relatively low. We equally need to be wary of purely looking at the outcomes from within a lesson, and judge the performance of children, rather than what has been committed to long-term memory.
Scientific knowledge is revisited across different strands but this is often within different year groups. The vast majority of our efforts within assessment should be towards responsive teaching, in order that misconceptions and are addressed at the point they are made. However, we can use our ‘Need to Know’ facts as a barometer to assess long-term learning.