“Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge.” Stephen Hawking
“The important thing is to never stop questioning” Albert Einstein
Science teaching at Courtwood aims to give all children a strong understanding of the world around them whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them to think scientifically, to gain an understanding of scientific processes and also an understanding of the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. Our knowledge organisers set out the minimum knowledge children must acquire during the duration of the topic, to be successful in their learning and understanding. This includes key scientific knowledge about the topic, scientific vocabulary and information about a scientist of importance.
At Courtwood, scientific enquiry skills are embedded in each topic the children study and these topics are revisited and developed throughout their time at school. These include observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative testing; and research using secondary sources. This model allows children to build upon their prior knowledge and increases their enthusiasm for the topics whilst embedding this knowledge into their long-term memory.
All children are encouraged to develop and use a range of enquiry skills including observations, planning and investigations, as well as being encouraged to question the world around them and become independent learners in exploring possible answers for their scientific based questions. Specialist scientific and academic vocabulary is built upon through the years that can be applied to future learning and other academic areas and effective questioning to communicate ideas is encouraged.
Science is taught as a discrete subject discipline within a Learning Journey but has numerous links to other curriculum areas. These include but are not limited to, relationships and puberty in PSHE, cooking and nutrition in DT, physical health and wellbeing in PE and plants and habitats as part of our Edible Playground outdoor learning. Maths and English skills form an important part of science learning and children are guided to apply these skills within their science work. Our Edible Playground and Wise Owl Woods are planned for use to support the delivery and resourcing of at least one science unit each year, for every year group and our local area is also utilised to support understanding and learning. This can include trips and visits to local places which complement and enhance the curriculum, which are purposeful and link with the knowledge being taught in class, as well as developing children’s foundational knowledge and cultural capital.
We use Ready-to-Progress assessments at the end of each unit of work, to ascertain whether children have learned and remembered the content of the intended curriculum well enough to be deemed ‘ready to progress’ to the next stage in their science learning. These assessments support pupils to feel confident they have made progress in their learning and show them how they have built on previous knowledge; allow teachers to respond to any gaps at both an instructional and a curricular level; and allow curriculum leaders to know how well the curriculum is being taught, learned and remembered and implement intervention as necessary.
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