” The important thing is to never stop questioning”
Science, directly and indirectly, influences all aspects of everyday life. From the food we eat to the way we get around, science is everywhere. Once you begin to see all the opportunities to learn, the relationship between science and critical-thinking skills become apparent. Beginning when children are very young, science helps shape their development. As they learn to ask questions, make predictions, observe, test, and then communicate their findings, they are developing critical science skills.
We aim to give all children a strong understanding of the world around them, whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them think scientifically, gain an understanding of scientific processes and gain an understanding of the uses and implications for science both now and for the future.
At Roskear, scientific enquiry skills are embedded throughout each topic. Units are revisited and learning is re-activated and developed throughout their time at school. Units such as ‘Living Things and their Habitats’ are taught in Key Stage One and studied again, in further detail throughout Key Stage Two. This allows children to build upon their prior knowledge, reactivate previous learning and therefore increases their enthusiasm for learning. This also helps to embed what the children have learned into their long term memory.
All children are encouraged to use and develop a range of scientific skills and to question the world around them. These skills include: planning, investigating, classifying and observing. We believe that children should be curious about the world around them and explore possible answers for scientific questions posed both by themselves and the adults facilitating the learning. Key vocabulary for each unit is taught and built upon across the school. This helps the children to communicate their ideas effectively, pose questions and report findings. Knowledge is key here at Roskear; we therefore ensure key concepts are taught in a range of different ways such as: analogies or stories so that they can be accessed by all learners.
Science is delivered through a series of lessons, carefully planned with great consideration given progression, depth and inclusion. Knowledge organisers are designed each half term to ignite discussion around the science that will be taught. These include key vocabulary, important concepts, useful diagrams and key scientists in the field. Rapid Recall quizzes are used regularly to consolidate and reactivate learning. This learning could be previous learning from the current year group science topics, or from a previous year.
Investigations are used to generate discussions, develop scientific skills and apply cross curricular skills.
Homework grids are sent home half termly, with a range of science activities which either reactivate, consolidate or extend learning.
We also encourage field trips and visits from experts to enhance learning experiences for the children.
As the science curriculum is defined and sequenced with attention to the types of knowledge, our assessment design is precise. Our assessment identifies the specific knowledge students have learnt and can apply, it pinpoints misconceptions and is incremental. We identify how far each aspect of the curriculum has been mastered. The evidence of impact is ranges from:
Assessment for learning- ( daily; in class)
- Using consistent feedback and marking strategies- against success criteria (See Marking and Feedback Policy)
- Targeted questioning
- Pupil self-assessment and peer-assessment- against success criteria
- Low stakes testing – ‘Rapid Recall’
- Learning in science is evidenced in learning conversations (adult/child, child/child, etc)
- Learning in all science is evidenced in targeted questioning and response
- Rapid Recall ( low stakes testing) shows evidence of what substantive knowledge has been retained
- Moderation and assessment of exemplar work of a range of stages shows evidence of end points being met.
- Half-termly TAPS assessment tasks
Further evidence of Impact
A systematic monitoring cycle enables the science leader to prioritise and identify a key focus from their action plan; and the most appropriate monitoring means e.g. lesson visits, book looks, planning, pupil conferencing. They complete a leadership trail, which identifies Areas of Strength, Areas for Development and informs their next steps.
Medium term plans