Our science curriculum encourages a sense of awe and wonder throughout all year groups. Children will recognise that science is a huge subject encompassing everything from light, sound and gravity in physics to the wonder of life in the tiniest microbe to the biggest whale in biology, and the chemistry that makes plastic toys and their favourite cakes possible. The lessons at Westcott encourage problem solving as a group, creating a learner who can use the necessary social and communication skills to share, develop and record findings. Westcott creates a safe, secure environment where children can develop their understanding of the world in a practical, hands-on way. They will understand the importance of fair testing, why it is important to be systematic when conduction an investigation and be explicit in the vocabulary to avoid misunderstanding, and the importance of clear recording of method and findings.
Science is planned by class teachers and taught in topic blocks according to our science curriculum overview. Our curriculum overview ensures that key concepts are built upon each year to ensure a deep understanding. Within Science lessons, previous learning is reviewed and new learning is introduced in small, memorable blocks. These are displayed as ‘sticky knowledge’ within the classroom and within their science books, so they can be referred to at any time.
When relevant, an interdisciplinary approach means science content is also explored in other areas of the curriculum, for example:
- In a KS1 DT topic on Structures, children explored materials and their properties investigating their strength and water resistance.
- In a KS2 Geography topic on Rainforests, children explored animals’ lifecycles, habitats and the water cycle.
This encourages the learning to go beyond the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers collaboratively. Curiosity is celebrated within the classroom and discussion is encouraged, developing reasoning, social and listening skills whilst giving children a safe place to practice scientific vocabulary.
Through learning about earlier scientific ideas and how these have either been dismissed or built upon, they will understand that science is a fluid subject that is constantly building upon earlier understanding and scientists do not yet have all the answers. For example, Galileo Galilei’s model of the solar system and Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection were once ridiculed but is now accepted as scientific fact. As well as scientists of the past, attention will also be given to scientists from a wide range of nationalities and cultures, as well as understanding women’s contributions, past and present, plus the barriers they faced to succeed.
Teachers regularly use questioning effectively in classrooms to test children’s knowledge and conceptual understanding and quickly identify any misconceptions. Regular practical investigations and experiments in classrooms provide opportunities for teachers to formatively assess children’s skills and understanding of scientific working.
Target tracker is used to monitor progress and attainment in Science. We want our children to leave Westcott with a solid foundation of scientific understanding on which they can build upon. The scientific knowledge and skills they will have developed within the school, and a positive attitude to science that will have been fostered, they will be ready to meet the challenges Secondary school’s science curriculum and their adult life. They will also have developed a questioning, curious and inquisitive mind which they will carry on into their adulthood.