00 - 01
Science/STEM Lead: Mrs L Balding, BA (Hons)
Our vision for Science is to ensure children have an understanding of natural phenomena. We aim to stimulate a child’s curiosity in finding out why things happen, in the way they do.
In Science, we teach methods of inquiry and investigation, to stimulate creative thought. Children learn to ask scientific questions and begin to appreciate the way in which science will affect the future on a personal, national, and global level. At St Wilfrid’s, we believe scientists have changed our way of life more drastically than television stars, political leaders or generals. Our children are encouraged to value the people and ideas that have shaped the way we live and afforded us a better understanding of our lives and the world around us.
Our children are always encouraged to embrace what we do not know, what we do not understand and what we are yet to discover, through exploration and investigation.
We are committed to build on and question existing evidence and theory; to equip children with the knowledge to appreciate the contribution of science to our world and provide an educational platform of opportunity and self-discovery.
We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in science lessons. Our principal aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills, and understanding. Sometimes we do this through whole-class teaching, while at other times we engage the children in an enquiry-based research activity. We use big questions at the start of every lesson to encourage the children to analyse and think like scientists. We encourage the children to ask, as well as answer, scientific questions. They have the opportunity to use a variety of data, such as statistics, graphs and pictures.
In our teaching, we use photographs, videos and demonstrations, in addition to as many practical resources as possible. They use ICT in science lessons because it enhances their learning and is a big part of our STEM curriculum. Children take part in role-play and discussions, and they present reports to the rest of the class. They engage in a wide variety of problem-solving activities. Wherever possible, we involve the pupils in real scientific activities, for example, investigating a local environmental problem, or carrying out a practical experiment and analysing the results.
St Wilfrid's uses the National Curriculum for science as the basis of its curriculum planning. The National Curriculum has been adapted to the local circumstances of the school in that we make use of the local environment in our fieldwork, although we choose a locality where the physical environment differs from that which predominates in our immediate surroundings.
We carry out our curriculum planning in science in three phases (long-term, medium-term and short-term). The long-term plan maps the scientific topics studied in each term during the key stage and specific year group. The science subject leader works this out in conjunction with teaching colleagues in each year group. The subject leader then applies any key days and cultural capital activities, related to the topic, throughout the long-term plan.
Our medium-term plans are created by the subject lead, in conjunction with the long-term plan. Objectives are decided and ordered in a logical way, allowing children to follow and navigate natural stepping stones in science. The subject lead also ensures that any trips, local studies or workshops are included in this area.
The class teacher is responsible for writing the daily lesson plans for each lesson (short-term plans), using provided teaching PowerPoints and suggested activities for each. These PowerPoints and activities should be appropriately adapted, depending on the needs of the children in a particular class. At times, specific objectives and activities must be followed explicitly, to allow progression of working scientifically skills throughout the year groups.
We have planned the topics in science so that they build on prior learning. We ensure that there are opportunities for children of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge in each unit, and we also build progression into the science scheme of work, so that the children are increasingly challenged as they move up through the school. We have also ensured that the time of year is included in the planning, specifically for topics, such as seasonal changes.
The impact of our science/STEM curriculum is that we enable the children to:
• ask and answer scientific questions;
• plan and carry out scientific investigations, using equipment (including
• know and understand the life processes of living things;
• know and understand the physical processes of materials, electricity, light,
sound, and natural forces;
• know about the nature of the solar system, including the earth;
• evaluate evidence and present their conclusions clearly and accurately.
Science/STEM in EYFS
In our school, we believe that all our children matter. We give our children every opportunity to achieve their best. The science curriculum is contained in the Early Years Framework, particularly from the understanding the world strand. Our children are encouraged to observe and handle objects in their environment from Nursery. Describing what they see and making simple predictions are early scientific skills to be fostered, and are vital as the children develop their scientific understanding.
Children will be able to have access to a computer to develop their skills, especially mouse control, by using a variety of appropriate software.
The children will have the opportunity to regularly learn outside of the classroom, which supports the development of healthy and active lifestyles. It gives them contact with the natural world and offers them experiences that are unique to outdoors, such as direct contact with the weather and seasons.
Supporting SEND children in Science/STEM
At our school, we teach science to all children, whatever their ability and individual needs. Science forms part of the school curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education to all children. Through our science teaching, we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make good progress. We strive hard to meet the needs of those pupils with special educational needs, those with disabilities, those with special gifts and talents, and those learning English as an additional language, and we take all reasonable steps to achieve this.
When progress falls significantly outside the expected range, the child may have special educational needs. Our assessment process looks at a range of factors – classroom organisation, teaching materials, teaching style, differentiation, inclusive teaching – so that we can take some additional or different action to enable the child to learn more effectively. Assessment against the National Curriculum allows us to consider each child’s attainment and progress against expected levels. This ensures that our teaching is matched to the child’s needs. If a child’s progress is still falling outside of the expected range, discussions and cause for concern forms would be completed with our SEND lead - Mrs G Trood.
Children’s individual learning plans or EHCPs may include particular science targets and objectives and will be independently catered for in classrooms.
We enable all pupils to have access to the full range of activities involved in learning science. Where children are to participate in activities outside the classroom (a trip to a science museum, for example), we carry out a risk assessment prior to the activity, to ensure that the activity is safe and appropriate for all pupils.