It is our intent to provide creative opportunities for pupils to develop their scientific curiosity by taking risks and fostering the growth of their knowledge and understanding.
We want pupils to appreciate how science has changed our lives and its vitality to future prosperity. At Albion, we believe that science is best learned by developing a sound knowledge of the subject and through working scientifically. We aim to motivate and engage pupils so that they develop an independent interest and curiosity for the world around them and how it works.
We follow the National Curriculum but have developed a hands-on practical approach by linking where possible to a topic. Pupils are taught to use practical scientific methods, processes and skills to develop their knowledge of science. Areas of study include animals, humans, plants, seasonal changes, living things, electricity, materials, rocks, states of matter, light, sound, earth, space, evolution and inheritance.
Pupils learn to raise questions and turn ideas into investigations. They make predictions and observations as they either work individually, as a pair or in a team. Pupils use their skills taught in English and maths to take measurements, record and evaluate the evidence they have found. They also have opportunities to log data using their computing skills. Consequently, pupils make conclusions based on what they have investigated. Pupils build on these skills year on year to achieve depth in their learning.
Scientific vocabulary develops and evolves from EYFS to KS1 and through to KS2. The promotion of a language rich science curriculum is essential to the successful acquisition of knowledge and understanding in science. Our pupils use technical terminology accurately and precisely.
As well as working within the classroom, science lessons provide a great opportunity to work outdoors and explore the local environment. Our fantastic forest school, chickens and balconies are used as an important resource to maximise the children’s learning experiences. Pupils across the school also regularly visit Lavender Pond Nature Park, Surrey Docks Farm, The Paper Garden and Russia Dock Woodlands (to name a few) to enhance their scientific knowledge and experiences. Pupils in KS2 have the opportunity to attend a residential educational visit offering the chance to apply their scientific knowledge and skills.
At the beginning of a new unit teachers recap previously taught knowledge and skills to ensure that the children are retaining key fundamentals. These will also be revisited at the end of a topic. Greater depth will be taught, learnt and demonstrated over a unit through specific questioning, engaging challenges and applying learning into different contexts.
At the end of each topic, the children’s learning is assessed by teachers against the specific objectives set out in the 2014 National Curriculum statements for Science and tracked on Insight. Teachers assess enquiry skills by making informal judgements. Assessments are summarised in the end of year pupil reports.
Our curriculum links pupils’ learning to real-life experiences to draw on as well as wider whole school concepts to support understanding. Key life skills are developed within the curriculum where possible to develop values, morals and empathy.
At Albion, we use summative assessment to determine children’s understanding and inform teachers planning as well as ongoing formative assessment and questioning. This is reviewed on a termly basis by the subject leader. The quality of the children’s learning is also evident through subject leader monitoring, displays and evidence within Science books.
Each year Albion has a dedicated Science week. This is a key opportunity to deepen some of the skills each class has been developing and open their understanding of careers at the earliest appropriate age. It is also an opportunity to showcase our pupils’ enthusiasm and excitement around science, as we have whole school silly science workshops and an assembly to end the week. Our curriculum includes Science challenges such as potato growing that develops a whole school differentiated investigation.
We use a variety of strategies to evaluate the knowledge, skills and understanding that our pupils have gained in each unit:
- informal recordings of observations during lessons
- end of unit quizzes
- skilful questioning lesson by lesson
- summarising learning at end of topics
- science investigations
Evidence of this learning will be recorded within pupils’ books and will form the basis of moderation within the year at school.
The Science Lead will monitor the quality and impact of the Science Curriculum through regular book looks, talking to teachers and pupils to assess the extent to which pupils are progressing in knowledge and skills as they move through the school.
At Albion we use summative assessments to determine children’s understanding and to inform teacher’s planning. Assessments are summarised in end of year reports to parents.