At Banks Road Primary School, we believe that a high quality Science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Our Science curriculum follows a progressive sequence of knowledge, concepts and skills linked to the National Curriculum for Science. We intend to adopt a very practical approach to teaching and learning in this subject, with opportunities to explore outdoor environments and locality, thus developing scientific enquiry and investigative skills. Children at Banks Road apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of Science by collecting, presenting and analysing data across each year group. Speaking and listening is also highly valued throughout Science lessons, as this not only encourages children to explore scientific vocabulary but also share and develop ideas with others. Children are explicitly taught scientific vocabulary and given regular opportunities to practise and apply using this, which aids children’s knowledge and understanding of the topic they are studying. Children are exposed to significant scientists and STEM careers so that links can be made between their learning and the world in which they live.
Our children begin their Science experience in Early Years Foundation Stage. Curriculum links and skills are facilitated through informal investigation which are both child led and adult led. Each half term, teachers facilitate children’s curiosity with open ended questions and clearly thought out learning experiences linked to a quality text. Children are introduced to key vocabulary and encouraged to use this verbally. The following scientific skills are encouraged: observation, explanation, investigate similarities, differences and changes.
In KS1 and KS2, children continue to build on their science knowledge with more formal weekly science lessons where they are taught age appropriate concepts and skills in a carefully planned sequence. In KS1, children are taught to use the following scientific skills: asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways, observing closely, using simple equipment and measurement, performing simple tests, identifying and classifying, using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions, gathering, recording and communicating data and findings to help in answering questions, use scientific language and read and spell age-appropriate scientific vocabulary and begin to notice patterns and relationships.
Moving in to Lower KS2 children are to use the following practical scientific skills: making decisions, asking relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them, setting up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests, making systematic and careful observations using notes and simple tables, taking accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers, gathering, recording, classifying and presenting data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions, recording findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables, reporting on findings from enquiries, using relevant scientific language, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions, using results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions, identifying differences, patterns, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes, using straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings, begin to look for naturally occurring patterns and relationships and recognise when and how secondary sources might help them to answer questions that cannot be answered through practical investigations.
Moving in to Upper KS2 children, children are to use the following practical scientific skills: planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary, taking measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate, recording data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs, using test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests, reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations, identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments, explore and talk about their ideas; asking their own questions about scientific phenomena; and analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically, recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time, draw conclusions based on their data and observations, use evidence to justify their ideas, and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings and read, spell and pronounce scientific vocabulary correctly.
At Banks Road we have implemented self-assessment sheets, which the children use as a working document to track their knowledge, questions and progress throughout a topic. We have also developed scientific vocabulary tasks, which are added to regularly throughout a topic in order to show clear progression and children’s new found knowledge and understanding. These tasks also enable the children to articulate scientific concepts clearly and precisely, assisting them in making their thinking clear, both to themselves and others. In addition, progress is tracked by teachers through end of unit quizzes to ensure that children acquire the appropriate age related knowledge linked to the science curriculum. Children are given opportunities to retrieve and use their scientific knowledge in other areas of the curriculum, including reading and writing.
All children will have:
- A wider variety of investigative skills
- An understanding of scientific concepts which they can use and apply
- A richer vocabulary which will enable to articulate their understanding of taught concepts
- High aspirations, which will see them through to further study, work and a successful adult life.
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