At Toner Avenue Primary School, we strive to provide a high-quality science education that develops children’s understanding of the world through the scientific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
In an ever-changing world, where our children’s future jobs may not even exist yet, it is vital our children understand how science has already changed their lives and how it may shape future prosperity.
We seek to provide children with scientific knowledge, methodologies, and processes but also to give them the real world uses of this science. Our children are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation through scientific yet exciting investigations, which build on their natural curiosity. They are expected to:
- Try to explain what is occurring;
- Use appropriate scientific vocabulary and ideas;
- Explain the ‘why?’
We provide a range of different types of scientific enquiry throughout children’s time at Toner Avenue and also encourage open-ended questioning, where they decide how to try to find the answer. It is important children are not always directly guided to the ‘right’ answer and they realise that some of the most significant scientific advancements occurred from mistakes or someone saying ‘What if…..?’
As well as using technical terminology accurately and precisely, children will also apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including:
- and analysing data.
We believe that as well as being able to understand a scientific enquiry for themselves, it is important our children can also explain this coherently and with a critical mind to someone else.
At Toner Avenue, we are passionate that a broad and balanced science education is the entitlement of all children, regardless of ethnic origin, gender, class, aptitude or disability. Enabling all children to access a scientific education should also encourage open-mindedness, self-assessment, perseverance and responsibility, which are skills they can apply in all walks of life.
Toner Avenue Primary school will use a range of strategies to introduce, explore, and fully understand scientific learning. When required, this will be adapted to best suit each class and each individual learner so that they are able to make their personal best progress with their learning.
Each year group’s learning objectives will come from the national curriculum and these have been aligned to fit with the associated umbrella topic and ‘big question’, within an appropriate time of year, within an appropriate sequence and within the children’s developmental stages so that they are best able to access the learning. Science learning will be taught cross-curricularly to ensure links with the overarching curriculum ‘big question’ for each year group.
To engage the children and support them making links to the real world, all science learning should be directly and clearly linked to the unit, which should link to the big question where possible,unless there are specific reasons not to.
At the beginning of each unit, children should have the opportunity to reflect on their existing science knowledge through discussion and explicit links to previous learning will be made (concept cartoons and gamification)
Each science lesson is to be planned with one overarching lesson objective for all children and learning then differentiated to reflect this. Learning is planned and taught weekly across a two hour session with a clear progression of learning across lessons and between year groups. Planning should ensure that by the end of the unit the children have met the science objectives.
If possible, teachers will also encourage members of our local community such as parents, STEM Ambassadors, etc to support aspects of topics. Where possible, lessons should also refer to real world scenarios where scientific learning applies, which can take place through the school’s termly Welly Week or show the children the types of occupations that might use this learning.
Key questions that aim to:
- draw out and deepen understanding;
- move learning along;
- or address potential misconceptions
should be planned for in advance.
Tasks should show a clear differentiation between groups of children to allow them all to show their understanding of the learning objective. Differentiation should be by supporting a variety of learning styles and recording mediums. It should not be by literacy ability/written output or degree of adult support. All children should have an equitable opportunity to show their level of understanding, regardless of literacy ability. Any children with specific SEN requirements need to be planned for, so they also have the same opportunities to learn and show understanding.
Provision for extension within the lesson or between different ability groups should be provided for where possible, to ensure all children have the opportunity to show a developing understanding with the lesson.
Across the year, children should have the opportunity to complete relevant investigations that engage them with their learning and further their understanding. They should have the opportunity to focus on particular working scientifically objectives and develop their skills in these areas. These will progress across the year and also between year groups.
Children must have the opportunity to use a variety of practical equipment.
Links should be made between relevant literacy and maths objectives where these have already been taught, to support the embedding of this learning and show the practical application of these skills.
Children need to be shown that there are a variety of types of scientific investigations and be taught these across their time in school:
- Fair testing
- Surveys and patterns in data
- Exploring and observing over time
- Problem solving
- Investigating a ‘model’
- Secondary research
They will develop an understanding of what the differences are between these types of investigations, the pros and cons of each, as well as when it is best to select a particular approach. As children move through KS2, they may then be given the opportunity to choose their own approach to learning and how best to investigate.
Where possible, a display will be in class to support new scientific learning and could include: • Relevant diagrams
- Supporting imagery
- Useful scientific vocabulary
- Real-life examples of the application of the learning
- Relevant examples of scientists/occupations in this field, particularly from minority groups/female representatives
The subject coordinator will conduct regular monitoring to check coverage and progression, giving timely and focused feedback to all staff. Staff members will have access to ongoing training and other resources to improve their confidence and ability to teach science effectively.
If our intent and implementation are successful, then at Toner Avenue we would expect to see:
- A broad and engaging curriculum that makes use of a range of resources, such as visitors and local attractions
- Children and staff who are enthusiastic about scientific learning
- Children and staff who can speak confidently about science, including uses in the real world •Children who can use appropriate scientific vocabulary in oral and written form
- All children being successful in sharing their understanding of scientific concepts
- Children who can make links between different areas of science and other subject areas
- Children who can recall prior scientific learning when required and use this to understand new learning
- Children increasingly being able to instigate their own investigations confidently and interpreting their findings
- Staff who are able to anticipate potential misconceptions and address these confidently
- Children meeting their age-related expectations in science consistently