At Sandon JMI School we believe that all children are super scientists! We want to harness their natural curiosity and enthusiasm and equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to excel and succeed in science and make sense of the world around them. The science curriculum at our school strives to encourage children to become more independent scientists who are able to question and explore their own ideas and thinking as well as those of others using their scientific knowledge and related vocabulary. We aim to provide our pupils with the skills needed to seek out answers to scientific questions they have and to help them to make sense of the world. Science lessons are planned to build on children’s existing knowledge while introducing new ideas and vocabulary. The aim of lessons is to promote curiosity both within and beyond the classroom and to give the children the opportunity to experience memorable, practical learning.
At Sandon JMI School, we aim for our children to have a love of science. Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in science. Planning for science is based on the National Curriculum 2014 with the working scientifically skills following a progressive approach. Science will be taught in topic blocks on a two year rolling cycle, ensuring that previous knowledge is built upon. At the start of each topic children will review previous learning and will have the opportunity to share what they already know about a current topic. Through our planning, we involve problem solving opportunities that allow children to find out answer and explore concepts 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. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all children keep up. Each learning sequence is carefully planned to ensure the relevant key features of scientific enquiry have been taught: observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing; and researching using secondary sources, and careful modelling of key scientific vocabulary has been used throughout. The Association for Science Education (ASE) resources (TAPS and PLAN) as well as Explorify are used to support the planning, assessment and progression framework. Science is taught discretely but we ensure our children have the opportunity to make strong connections between scientific concepts and use these to support their learning and understanding across other subject areas, especially mathematics and technology. Attainment is recorded each term on SIMs to indicate where those at, above or below ARE.
We aim to create a culture of high scientific aspirations, which will allow our students a platform to develop their scientific learning and to articulate their understanding of key scientific concepts. The impact of our science curriculum is measured through the monitoring cycle in school. This includes lesson observations, book looks, learning walks, professional dialogue and staff voice questionnaires. Pupil voice is also used to develop the science curriculum, through the questioning of pupil’s views. These measures give us a clear view of children’s attitudes to science as well as monitoring whether there is a clear progression of children’s work and whether pupils’ work shows a range of topics and evidence of the curriculum coverage for all science topics. Feedback from teachers has an impact on our pupils, often with next step questions to push learning on. Our engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first hand experiences of the world around them. So much of science lends itself to outdoor learning and so we provide children with opportunities to experience this, both locally and further afield. Through various workshops, trips and interactions with parents and other STEM professionals, 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 participation in various initiatives such as Farmer Time, Primary Engineer Leaders Award and CIEC’s Children Challenging Industry scheme.