Intent: The national curriculum states:
A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.
Science at St. Mark’s is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that children can achieve depth in their learning. We have identified the key knowledge and skills of each blocked topic and these are mapped across the school, ensuring that knowledge builds progressively and that children develop skills systematically. Existing knowledge is checked at the beginning of each topic, as part of the KWL strategy (What I know, What I would like to Know and What I have Learned). This ensures that teaching is informed by the children’s starting points and that it takes account of pupil voice, incorporating children’s interests. Tasks are selected and designed to provide appropriate challenge to all learners, in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. At the end of each topic, key knowledge is reviewed by the children and rigorously checked by the teacher and consolidated as necessary. Cross curricular outcomes in science are within overarching topics and links with other subjects are made if appropriate, bringing depth of knowledge and understanding. Within the science teaching and learning, children demonstrate and apply developing skills in English, Maths and ICT. Teachers plan for science using the five E model outlined below, giving teachers the opportunity to include a variety of ways for children to record and evaluate science learning outcomes. It will also ensure all areas of the curriculum are covered in depth and that working scientifically is embedded. Teachers are encouraged to consider opportunities available to use the school grounds and the local area for fieldwork to enable children to base learning on first hand experiences to enhance teaching and learning in science.
Planning for science the 5E Model:
At the beginning of each science lesson, the science skills children are going to be using is highlighted on the ‘working scientifically’ learning slide. Ensuring that ‘working scientifically’ is embedded within the context of topic being taught.
The Engage phase in action – sparking children’s interest, stimulating their curiosity, raising questions for inquiry and eliciting existing children’s beliefs about a topic.
- Create interest and stimulate curiosity
- Provide opportunity for diagnostic assessment
- Allow students to compare their ideas (What we think we know)
- Start to raise questions for inquiry (What we would like to know)
The explore phase in action – students exploring ideas of the science phenomena, collecting evidence, discussion, observations and keeping records.
- Provides hands on experience of the phenomenon
- Provide opportunities for students to test their ideas and solve problems
- Build students inquiry skills
- Collect evidence and develop claims
- Provide opportunity for formative assessment
The Explain phase in action – students discussing and identifying patterns and relationships within observations, developing their own scientific explanations, and considering the current views of scientists.
- Support students to construct explanations and use evidence to justify claims
- Encourage students to compare their explanations with others
- Introduce scientific explanations and terminology (teacher background information)
- Provide opportunity for formative assessment
The Elaborate phase in action - planning and conducting an open investigation to apply and extend new conceptual understanding in a new context.
- Enable students to apply concepts and explanations in new contexts
- Provide opportunity to extend students’ skills and understanding
- Assist students to make generalisations
- Provide opportunity for summative assessment of inquiry skills
The Evaluate phase in action – students reflecting on their learning journey and creating a representation of their conceptual understanding by building on literacy skills.
- Create opportunities for students to reflect on their learning
- Gather evidence of change to students’ beliefs and understanding
- Enable students to represent and communicate their learning
- Provide opportunity for summative assessment of the students’ conceptual understanding
- Children develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena
- Children develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
- Children develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
- Children are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future