Through the Holy Redeemer, we seek to grow in faith and love, to become great people who make a difference in our world.
Science at Holy Redeemer
At Holy Redeemer Catholic Primary School we want all children to develop a life-long, lasting love of science. We wish our children to grow up to become caring individuals that have a deep respect and appreciation for the natural world and all its phenomena. We have developed our curriculum so they can revel in the awe and wonder of everyday life; observing and engaging in the world. We understand the importance of giving our children the skills and knowledge to become our proficient scientists of tomorrow, and this, coupled with our whole school, cross-curricular focus on Building Learning Power and developing higher order thinking, underpins our curriculum design, with a particular focus on communication, and vocabulary and on resilience and risk-taking; both of which are identified needs within our context.
‘The mind that opens to new ideas never returns to its original size’ Albert Einstein.
The 2014 National Curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:
- develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics;
- 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;
- are equipped with the scientific skills required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
We understand that it is important for lessons to have a skills-based focus, and that science knowledge can be taught through this.
At Holy Redeemer Catholic Primary School, we believe that all children should have access to a broad and balanced science curriculum that is stimulating and enjoyable. This early love of science should be exciting and create a curiosity that carries children through and beyond their school life and into the wider world. We understand the need to develop strong links across the curriculum by creating wider opportunities and meeting the needs of all our pupils.
Our curriculum allows children to question and challenge what they are learning, whilst developing resilience and analytical skills through investigations. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of scientific concepts, scientific processes, an understanding of and ability to develop the skills of working scientifically and embedding of scientific vocabulary. Children will be equipped with key knowledge that has been identified within each unit and across each year group. Knowledge and key skills are mapped across year groups in order to ensure progression. We weave the skills of ‘Working Scientifically’ throughout. We believe in giving a broad range of experiences using equipment, designing and conducting investigations, constructing arguments and debates, and opportunities to explain concepts and build confidence. Our intent is to make the learning in science active and exciting, in order to develop scientific curiosity outside of the classroom, in everyday life.
Planning is in line with the 2014 National Curriculum requirements and follows the PLAN (Pan London Assessment Network) approach. Careful monitoring ensures the National Curriculum Programmes of Study and Statements of Attainment are covered. Medium term plans are drawn up using the themed approach wherever possible and outline the progression in scientific concepts scientific processes, the skills of working scientifically, vocabulary, learning objectives and suggested activities and assessment opportunities (using TAPS [Teacher Assessment in Science] resources). All identified enrichment opportunities are also detailed here. Where the science topics detailed on the curriculum overview do not fit within the theme chosen for the half term, then separate science week/s will be planned within the half term to accommodate the discrete teaching of the science curriculum.
We implement a whole school approach to maintaining a high level of subject knowledge. Teachers engage in regular training and professional development. Assessment for learning enables teachers to plan and create bespoke lessons reacting to children’s next steps.
Knowledge of specific topic vocabulary is essential for success. Children are encouraged to use this vocabulary correctly in the spoken and written word. Support is given to target groups or individuals who may need additional literacy support. Mathematical support is also an area that is supported, if needed. Teachers encourage children to learn through a positive culture of learning through trial and error and investigation. At Holy Redeemer we believe learning happens when mistakes are reflected upon, as part of the knowledge process. Children are encouraged, through their Building Learning Power, to be resilient and reflective.
Existing knowledge is checked at the beginning of each topic, so that teaching and learning builds on prior learning. Teaching takes account of pupil voice, incorporating children’s interests. Children are asked to apply their knowledge, and find out answers for themselves. They are given opportunities to develop skills in questioning and to use their scientific and research skills to discover answers. Teachers use precise and skilled questioning, underpinned by the use of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Adults assess conceptual knowledge and skills to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all pupils have opportunity to succeed.
Teachers build upon the knowledge and skill development of previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, they become more proficient in selecting and using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, and become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.
Working Scientifically: these skills are embedded in lessons to ensure that skills are systematically developed throughout the children’s school career and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching.
Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various skills of working scientifically. They find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning and science experts.
Children are offered a wide range of extra-curricular activities, visits and after school clubs, to complement and broaden the curriculum. These are purposeful and link with was is being taught in class.
Regular events, such as National Science Week events, or super-learning days, allow all pupils to come off-timetable, to provide broader provision and the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills. These events often involve families and the wider community.
At the end of each topic, children are encouraged to self-assess, and key knowledge is reviewed and consolidated as necessary.