St Katherine’s Church of England Primary School
At St. Katherine’s Church of England Primary School, we want our children to be naturally curious about the world around them. We aim to develop each child’s spirituality through experiences, reflection and opportunities. In our school vision, we celebrate diversity, as all people are special and equal in God’s sight and interweave our curriculum around the Christian belief and our school vision ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ (Mark 12.31)
We aspire to encourage children to be inquisitive throughout their time at school and beyond. The Science curriculum will foster a natural curiosity in children, encourage respect for our living organisms and the physical environment and provide opportunities for critical evaluation of evidence.
We are committed to providing a stimulating, engaging and challenging learning environment. Throughout our school, we aim for children to develop and independently use a range of working scientifically skills, including questioning, researching and observing. We want our children to have a broad vocabulary. Scientific language will be taught and built upon as topics are revisited in different year groups and across key stages. We intend to provide all children regardless of ethnic origin, gender, class, aptitude or disability with a broad and balanced science curriculum.
Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards. We ensure that teachers have excellent subject knowledge, and leadership supports and develops the acquisition of this for NQTs and non-specialist teachers. We regularly review, develop and adapt our curriculum through pupil voice, monitoring and assessing outcomes.
Planning for science is a process in which all teachers ensure that the school gives full coverage of The 2014 National Curriculum programmes of study for Science and Understanding of the World in the Early Years Foundation Stage. To secure high standards of teaching and learning, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. Units are taught in two-week blocks, half-termly. Teaching is designed to ensure children know more and remember more by building upon the learning, vocabulary and skill development of the previous years.
We include the use of technology, wherever appropriate, to aid teaching and learning. Through teacher modelling and planned questioning, we encourage our children to wonder about, be amazed and surprised by the world around them. We incorporate diverse role models into science activities, whenever possible. Teachers carefully check learning and identify misconceptions, providing direct feedback. Key scientific language is modelled throughout lessons enabling our children to be familiar with and use vocabulary accurately. All classrooms incorporate a science display that supports learning.
We recognise that our children sometimes lack experiences so we provide many possibilities to develop and broaden these, both inside and outside the classroom. Teachers are encouraged to explore the local environment, plan trips and invite visitors to enhance our children’s learning experiences. Regular events, such as Science Week or project days, allow all pupils to come off-timetable, to provide broader provision and the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills. Wherever possible, we involve families and the wider community in science homework, activities and events, such as the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch. All year groups have Science Ambassadors who promote science around the school and we recognise science achievements in our weekly celebration assembly.
This approach at St Katherine’s results in fun, engaging and a high-quality science education that equips children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world. Our curriculum ensures children recognise how to develop their learning through varied and first hand experiences of the environment around them. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, they become proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, which increases confidence in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.
The progressive nature of the science curriculum provides children with the opportunity to know more, remember more and understand more, and also to develop a complex scientific vocabulary. Children retain prior-learning and make explicit connections between what they have previously learned and what they are currently learning. The children at St Katherine’s overwhelmingly enjoy science and this results in motivated learners with sound scientific understanding.
The impact of the science curriculum ensures that children at St Katherine’s are equipped with the skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world. Children recognise the possibilities for careers in science, from exposure to positive and diverse role models. They demonstrate courageous advocacy in their understanding that science has changed our lives and this it is vital to the world’s future prosperity.