At St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School all children are encouraged to develop and use a range of 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 vocabulary for topics is taught and built up, and effective questioning to communicate ideas is encouraged. Concepts taught should be reinforced by focusing on the key features of scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions.
The staff at St Augustine’s Catholic ensure that all children are exposed to high quality teaching and learning experiences, which allow children to explore their outdoor environment and locality, developing their scientific enquiry and investigative skills. They are immersed in scientific vocabulary, which aids children’s knowledge and understanding not only of the topic they are studying, but of the world around them. We intend to provide all children regardless of ethnic origin, gender, class, aptitude or disability, with a broad and balanced science curriculum.
Through our Science Principles, we ensure the children at St Augustine’s develop not only their knowledge but other important values such as teamwork, engagement, making links, reasoning, exploring, stewardship, play and having fun.
Science is good when….
We work as a team
We reason why and how to prove it
We are stewards to God’s world
We have fun and are enjoying learning
In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in science, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. Planning for science is a process in which all teachers are involved to ensure that the school gives full coverage of, ‘The National Curriculum programmes of study for Science 2014’ and, ‘Understanding of the World’ in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Science teaching at St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School involves adapting and extending the curriculum to match all pupils’ needs. Where possible, Science is linked to class topics. Science is taught as discrete units and lessons where needed to ensure coverage. This ensures progression between year groups and guarantees topics are covered. Teachers plan to suit their children’s interests, current events, their own teaching style, the use of any support staff and the resources available. Science in enhanced through the Enrichment activities that are planned throughout the curriculum.
We ensure that all children are provided with rich learning experiences that aim to:
· Prepare our children for life in an increasingly scientific and technological world today and in the future.
· Help our children acquire a growing understanding of the nature, processes and methods of scientific ideas.
· Help develop and extend our children’s scientific concept of their world.
· Build on our children’s natural curiosity and developing a scientific approach to problems.
· Encouraging open-mindedness, perseverance and developing the skills of investigations – including: observing, measuring, predicting, hypothesising, experimenting, communicating, interpreting, explaining and evaluating.
· Develop the use of scientific language, recording and techniques.
· Develop the use of maths and computing in investigating and recording.
· Make links between science and other subjects. Science is taught consistently, once a week for up to two hours, but is discretely taught in many different contexts throughout all areas of the curriculum. For example, through Topic, i.e. writing a letter to a local politician regarding the closure of a park or learning about recycling. Each year group has the opportunity to learn about a famous scientist and their impact on the world today.
At St Augustine’s Catholic we aspire to promote children’s independence and for all children to take responsibility in their own learning, therefore we have implemented an investigation planner which was designed by the children. This has allowed them to take ownership of their learning where they implement the science principles of the school, exploring, teamwork, play, reasoning, making links, investigating, stewardship and fun. We have also developed scientific vocabulary through the use of displays, a glossary and discussion to show the children’s knowledge and understanding. We also use a range of resources from Explorify to engage higher order thinking to also enable the children to articulate scientific concepts clearly and precisely, assisting them in making their thinking clear, both to themselves and others.
The impact and measure of this is to ensure children not only acquire the appropriate age related knowledge linked to the science curriculum, but also skills which equip them to progress from their starting points, and within their everyday lives. All children will have: · A wider variety of skills linked to both scientific knowledge and understanding, and scientific enquiry/investigative skills. · 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.
Children’s progress is continually monitored throughout their time at St Augustine’s Primary School and is used to inform future teaching and learning. By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study as set out in the National Curriculum. These are set out as statutory requirements. We also draw on the non-statutory requirements to extend our children and provide an appropriate level of challenge.
Children receive effective feedback through teacher assessment, both orally and through written feedback when appropriate in line with the schools marking policy. Children are guided towards achievement of the main objective by effective questioning, teaching and resources that provide them with the skills and knowledge to achieve the learning intention. Assessment for learning is continuous throughout planning, teaching and learning. However, children are more formally assessed half termly in KS1 and KS2 using a variety of methods:- · Observing children at work, individually, in pairs, in a group, and in classes. · Questioning, talking and listening to children · Considering work/materials / investigations produced by children together with discussion about this with them. · Using End of Unit tests to inform their teacher judgements which are recorded for each unit. In EYFS observations are recorded in their individual Learning Journals. Development Matters is used to track the children’s progress and plan next steps for learning. It is recorded termly on OTrack.