Long Term Plan
We believe that in order for children to operate as successful scientists, they need to be taught a wide range of essential enquiry skills. These skills should build upon earlier opportunities they have had to play, explore, create, engage in active learning, and think critically in the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Science should aim to inspire a curiosity and fascination about the world around us in all pupils. It should instil a respect for the environment which will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
At Brereton, we believe that good teaching of science offers pupils an opportunity to access a wealth of information and knowledge that contributes to a secure understanding of why things work like they do.
Science will enable children to develop their skills of co-operation through working with others, and should encourage them to explore science in ways which are meaningful and relevant to them.
It should develop, through practical work, the skills of observation, prediction, investigation, interpretation, communication and questioning.
Our curriculum provides all children with a range of opportunities to access high quality science learning in order to reach their potential. The work set may, at times, be appropriately differentiated in order for children with identified SEND to achieve and succeed in their learning objectives.
Science should mostly be taught on a weekly basis. There may be occasions when observing over time requires several shorter lessons over a week or two – such as investigating what plants require to remain healthy.
Lessons should start with an opportunity to use scientific language – Explorify is a website that contains hundreds of resources including short-burst activities that allow children to discuss, hypothesis and explain what they understand about a specific science topic.
New topics should begin with a simple form of assessment (KWL grid, vocabulary test, mind maps, quiz) to ascertain the starting point of understanding for each pupil. In KS1, this may be done as a group or class activity depending on the levels of need and/or number of adults in the class at the time.
The lesson should include around 15 minutes of explanation and introduction to the new learning, followed by an activity that can allow the children time to work scientifically and demonstrate what they are learning.
Finally, 10 minutes of the lesson should be spent allowing the children to share what they have learned, or to discuss challenges or difficulties with the activity.
At the end of the unit, the teacher should use an appropriate method of assessment which will allow the children to demonstrate progress made with their understanding.
Presentation of results and data is an important skill for the children to develop. Whilst many of the online science schemes available include table and graph templates for the children to use, it is beneficial on occasions for the children, particularly in KS2, to choose their own method of accurate data presentation.
Teacher should have the same expectations for presentation of written science work as in English, but the subject does allow for significant dialogic learning – and this removes the barrier of lengthy written work for children who struggle particularly in this area. Presentation of ‘pupil voice’ to accompany photos is particularly encouraged.
Most of the science units allow opportunities for demonstrating all 5 working scientifically enquiry skills:
Investigating, classifying, grouping
Observing over time
Fair and comparative testing
Research using secondary sources.
We also believe that parents are involved in their children’s science learning, and during lockdown we encouraged children to try different home experiments with their parents. The success of this has prompted an idea about organising a whole school science event which the children will work on at home before bringing their completed activity into school for display.
We want all of our pupils to develop a love of learning and enquiry; to plan, to question, to think critically and to evaluate and reflect. We want them to appreciate that learning and understanding comes when we demonstrate critical thinking, resilience, endeavour and perseverance.
In addition, we measure the impact of the science curriculum by:
• Assessing children’s understanding of topic-linked vocabulary before and after the unit is taught.
• Marking of written work in books
• Using dialogic learning tasks to assess understanding
• Images and videos of practical learning
• ‘Pupil voice’ present in books and on displays.
• Book scrutiny and peer moderation with opportunities for dialogue between teachers to discuss and understand their class’s work.
The science leader will continually monitor the impact of science throughout the school in order to ensure progress of knowledge and skills is being taught.
In addition, the science leader will continue to access CPD in order to identify new activities and learning opportunities that will keep the subject fresh, exciting and relevant for an ever-changing world.