Together we are; Curious, REACHing and Growing
Our curriculum is all the planned activities that we organise in order to promote learning and personal growth and development. It includes not only the requirements of the National Curriculum, but also the range of extra-curricular activities that the Dassett organises in order to enrich the experience of the children. It also includes what the children learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave.
We aim to teach children how to grow into positive, responsible people, who can work and co-operate with others while developing knowledge and skills needed in life, so that they achieve their true potential.
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 natures, 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 the knowledge can be taught through this.
At The Dassett, we encourage children to be inquisitive throughout their time at the school and beyond. The Science curriculum fosters a healthy curiosity in children about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living. We believe Science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes.
Throughout the programmes of study, the children will acquire and develop key knowledge that has been identified within each unit and across each year group, as well as the application of scientific skills. We ensure that the Working Scientifically skills are built-on and developed throughout the children’s time at The Dassett so that they can apply their knowledge of Science when using equipment, conduction experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings.
Teachers create a positive attitude to Science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that ll pupils are capable of achieving high standards in Science. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of Science involves the following;
- Science will be taught in planned topic blocks by the class teacher, to have a project-based approach. This is a strategy to enable the achievement of a greater depth knowledge. As a school we follow a Cornerstones Curriculum and teachers will use this to support their planning and sequencing of lessons.
- Lessons will include opportunities for children to problem solve and apply their knowledge to find out answers for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. This curiosity is celebrated within the classroom.
- Teachers will use high-quality resources wherever possible to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess pupils regularly to identify those children with gaps in their learning.
- We build upon children’s prior knowledge and skill development of the previous years. As the children knowledge and understanding increases, and they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.
- Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being developed throughout the children’s school career and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching. This is developed through the years, in-keeping with the topics.
- Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment safely, and the various Working Scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding. Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning and workshops with external providers.
- Children are offered a wide range of extra-curricular activities, visits, trips and visitors to complement and broaden the curriculum. These are purposeful and link with the knowledge being taught in class.
- Regular events, such as Science Week, 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.
The successful approach at The Dassett results in fun, engaging, high-quality Science education, that provides children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world. Our engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied first had experiences of the world around them. Frequent, continuous and progressive learning outside the classroom is embedded throughout the Science curriculum. Through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts and local charities, children have the understanding that Science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity. Children learn the possibilities for careers in Science, as a result of our community links and connections with STEM ambassadors and The Military Community Outreach Team. Children have the opportunity to learn and work with professionals, ensuring that children have access to positive role models within the field of Science from the immediate and wider local community. From this exposure to a range of different scientists from various backgrounds, all children feel they are scientists and this results in motivated learners with sound scientific understanding.
Teaching and Learning:
- Science is taught for at least 1 hour per week in Key Stage 1 and 2 hours per week in Key Stage 2.
Scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding:
The programme of study describes a sequence of knowledge and concepts. Whilst it is important that pupils make progress, it is also vitally important that they develop secure understanding of key knowledge and concepts in order to progress onto the next stage in their learning. Children’s starting points are identified at the beginning of each Science topic and the children are able to convey and record what they already know. At the end of each Science topic, children’s knowledge is checked in line with the key knowledge identified prior to teaching the topic. Pupils should be able to describe associated processes and key characteristics in common language, but they should also be familiar with, and use, technical terminology accurately and precisely. They should build up a bank of vocabulary and teachers will ensure that this is developed within each lesson and throughout each Science topic. The Science curriculum ensures that children are provided with regular opportunities to apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of Science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data. Through use of the Know, want to know, learned strategy, children are also able to suggest what they would like to learn at the start of each teaching sequence and this ensures that teachers are able to adapt the programme of study to ensure that is informed by children’s interests and to maximise their engagement with and motivation to study Science.
The nature, processes and methods of Science:
‘Working scientifically’ specifies the understanding of the nature, processes and methods of Science for each year group and this is embedded within lessons and focuses on the key features of scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions. To support the children, identify the five different types of scientific enquiry we use superheroes, these are displayed in each classroom and referred back to in Science lessons:
The National Curriculum for Science reflects on the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. At The Dassett Science lessons provide a quality and variety of subject specific language to enable the development of children’s confident and accurate use pf scientific vocabulary and their ability to articulate scientific concepts clearly and precisely. They are encouraged and assisted in making their thinking clear, both to themselves and others, ad teachers ensure the pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probing and addressing misconceptions.
Children’s progress is continually monitored throughout their time at The Dassett and is used to inform future teaching and learning. By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study asset out in the National Curriculum. These are set out as statutory requirements. Teachers may also draw on the non-statutory requirements to extend and challenge our children.
Children receive effective feedback through teacher assessment, both orally and through written feedback in line with the learning objective / success criteria.
Assessment for learning is continuous throughout the planning, teaching and learning cycle. However, children are more formally assessed half termly in KS1 and KS2 using a variety of methods: -
- Observing children working, individually, in pairs and groups.
- Questioning, talking and listening to children.
- Considering work/materials/investigations produced by children together with discussion about this with them.
In line with the know, want to know and learnt strategy, children can identify what they know already about each topic, as well as what they would like to know. The programme of study takes is responsive to the children’s starting points, as well as their specific interests. It also ensures a focus on the key identified knowledge of each topic, which is mapped within and across year groups to ensure progression.
In EYFS, we assess the children’s Understanding the World and Expressive Arts & Design activities which are often Science based.
Planning and Resources:
Planning is a process in which all teachers are involved. Teachers use the Cornerstones curriculum to support their planning and adapt where needed. All teachers should keep the school’s long-term plan updated and all planning must be recorded on Curriculum Maestro. We use a Cornerstones curriculum to plan our Science lessons from. Teachers will also use ‘planning matrices’ from planning for assessment to support identifying key vocabulary and potential misconceptions to address.
Further evidence of ‘good Science’ taking place in classrooms include:
- An active learning environment, using our adopted scientific enquiry superheroes and relevant Working Scientifically posters (in progress).
- Children being encouraged to ask and answer questions and discuss their work and ideas.
- Children devising and conducing investigations within the context of the relevant curriculum content, as well as being given opportunities to develop their working scientifically skills.
- Children recording their findings in a variety of ways.
- Children showing enjoyment in activities they are undertaking.
- The cross-curricular teaching of Science.
We have sufficient science resources to aid and support the teaching of all units and topics taught, from EYFS to Year 6. These are kept in the designated science area, where they are labelled and easily accessible to all staff. EYFS have a range of resources kept in their classroom, for simple access for children during exploration. The library contains a good supply of science topic books to support children’s individual research.
To support our teaching and learning of a comprehensive and progressive science curriculum, we use the Cornerstones curriculum throughout the school. The children are supported to make meaningful links between their learning in different topics. These topics are carefully sequenced to ensure children extend their learning by revisiting and building upon their substantive and declarative knowledge.
Oracy and vocabulary development are a key focus here at The Dassett. Throughout our learning in science, the children are introduced to and encouraged to use tier 3 vocabulary in context. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are key factors in developing their scientific vocabulary and articulating scientific concepts clearly and precisely. When working scientifically, children are taught and modelled to use a variety of approaches for how to ask and answer scientific questions. These include; observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations); and researching using secondary sources.