Curriculum intent for Science at Tudor Primary School
Our curriculum intent in Science is that children learn substantive and disciplinary knowledge wherever possible through first hand experiences.
We aim for children to be able to discuss, debate and ask questions to evoke scientific curiosity and thinking. Through the scientific curriculum pupils learn about a wide range of scientists from different cultural backgrounds and their impact as well as different careers that involve scientific knowledge or a scientific background.
We ensure that all children are provided with rich learning experiences that aim to:
- Prepare our children for life in an increasingly scientific and technological world today and in the future.
- Help our children acquire a growing understanding of the nature, processes and methods of scientific ideas.
- Help develop and extend our children’s scientific concept of their world.
- Build on our children’s natural curiosity and developing a scientific approach to problems.
- Encouraging open-mindedness, self-assessment, perseverance and developing the skills of investigation – including: observing, measuring, predicting, hypothesising, experimenting, communicating, interpreting, explaining and evaluating.
- Develop the use of scientific language, recording and techniques.
- Develop the use of computing in investigating and recording.
- Make links between science and other subjects.
The curriculum map incorporates the required learning and understanding of the world through specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics – these underpin the areas of the Science Curriculum.
The learning is outlined in blocks of units in the National Curriculum and EYFS framework, where children gain new knowledge, learn about the process of exploration and develop important life skills. Certain units have been allocated to take into account the time of year. For example, the ‘Seasons’ unit is taught throughout the academic year to develop a stronger understanding about the passage of time through exploration and observations. Science has links with other areas of the curriculum including geography, English, maths, art and design technology which widen deeper knowledge around the topic in a range of ways.
Science at Foundation Stage is covered in the ‘Understanding the World’ area of the EYFS Curriculum. It is introduced indirectly through activities that encourage every child to explore, problem solve, observe, predict, think, make decisions and talk about the world around them.
During their first years at school our children will explore creatures, people, plants and objects in their natural environments. They will observe and manipulate objects and materials to identify differences and similarities. They will also learn to use their senses, feeling dough or listening to sounds in the environment, such as sirens or farm animals. They will make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur and talk about changes. Children will be encouraged to ask questions about why things happen and how things work. They might do activities such as increasing the incline of a slope to observe how fast a vehicle travels, or opening a mechanical toy to see how it works. Children will also be asked questions about what they think will happen to help them communicate, plan, investigate, record and evaluate findings.
In Key Stage 1 pupils observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and the world around them – physical phenomena. They begin to collect evidence to support their questions and to link them to scientific ideas. They then consider whether tests and comparisons are fair and unbiased. Ideas are shared through pictures, drawings and creating tally charts and tables.
In Key Stage 2, through a variety of models and theories, pupils will develop an understanding of physical and living things through simple models and theories. They also think about the effects of technological developments on society and the environment. They talk about their work and the significance of it. By the end of Key Stage 2, pupils carry out investigations independently or with others. They show their results using a range of mathematical knowledge.
Teachers primarily assess pupil progress through questioning (Rosenshine’s Principles), observation and pupil work.
TAPS assessments are used in KS1, these tasks are ‘plan, do and review,’ tasks. Review tasks are completed at the end of a unit to support teachers with their formative assessment.
Another assessment tool used is the Explore, Engage and Extend book. This book helps teachers in KS2 to elicit children’s knowledge and understanding in science to inform the planning of new learning experiences. Explore, Engage, Extend includes twenty sets of highly engaging practical activities to support teachers with assessment for learning in science. These activities generate rich assessment data, enabling the teacher to plan the topic in response to the children’s specific needs. KS2 pupils complete a quiz at the end of each of the science modules. These support teachers to monitor progress and if required support pupils who are not secure within their learning.
All pupils from EYFS to year 6 take part in Forest School. With their focus on nature-based learning and hands-on experiences, forest school has ignited a deep appreciation for the outdoors in children and revolutionized traditional teaching methods. One of the most significant impacts of forest school is their ability to foster a sense of wonder and curiosity in young minds. By taking learning beyond the confines of a classroom and immersing children in natural environments, forest schools awaken a deep connection to the natural world. Pupils engage in activities such as exploring the forest, building shelters, identifying plants and animals, and learning practical skills like fire-building and knot-tying. Through these experiences, children develop a profound respect for nature and a desire to protect and conserve it.