At Withycombe Raleigh Primary School our children are scientists! Our intent is to provide a broad and balanced science curriculum which progresses skills, knowledge, scientific vocabulary and a love of learning. We want our children to confidently explore the world around them so they develop a deeper understanding of the world they live in. We believe in building a strong foundation, beginning with learning through play and exploring in the EYFS, to give children the tools to confidently explore and discover, whilst developing enquiring minds as they progress though the school. We want our children at Withycombe to love science, to have no limits to what their ambitions might be and to remember and cherish their science lessons. Our aim is to make these lessons as exciting and engaging as possible in every year group, providing stimulating and challenging experiences that develop their knowledge and vocabulary, curiosity and questioning.
We believe in developing skills and knowledge alongside one another with skills that are transferrable to different areas of learning, through a coherently planned and sequenced curriculum which has been developed to be inclusive of the needs of every child.
An important aspect of science in Withycombe is to capture the awe and wonder of the everyday, linking this to scientific concepts but also to the spirituality we aim to develop in every year group; stopping to ponder the ‘awe’ful and the awful in everyday life and showing the children that science is all around us every day.
At Withycombe we teach science in accordance with the National Curriculum.
Planning is differentiated and accessible for all through a varied curriculum.
We start each topic by reviewing previous learning and also allowing children to share what they already know about the new topic. At Withycombe, we believe in giving teachers the freedom to choose how the do this elicitation in a variety of ways, allowing the freedom to break away from worksheets.
Every year group builds upon the learning from prior year groups, developing depth of understanding and progression of skills. This links to Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction (2010). The four strands (Reviewing Material, Questioning, Explaining and Modelling and Practising) suggested by Rosenshine are embedded throughout the Science curriculum, helping children to avoid overload of their short-term memories. Whenever possible and suitable, our Science lessons begin with a ‘review’ activity which encourages children to retrieve and recall their prior learning, vocabulary, skills and/or knowledge. This is carefully planned and designed by teachers, allowing them to draw upon previous successes and content and/or to prepare children for what they are about to learn in the current teaching session.
Children use mind maps as a tool to support acquisition of knowledge and to be used as a support tool during lessons.
The science learning is modelled by teachers who are then able to address misconceptions and tailor the learning to each childs’ individual needs and ensure it is accessible for all children.
Children question, predict and carry out investigations aswell as concluding their findings. They are encouraged to present their findings using scientific and appropriate language, alongside pictures and diagrams.
To support teaching, teachers access a range of resources and planning from different sources which are age appropriate; CPD is also provided for teachers to ensure levels of knowledge and confidence and maintained.
Assessment is present at the end of each unit; this is then used to inform planning and to address any misconceptions or individual need. Each class has a clear assessment tracker which enables teachers to track the learning of individual children and plan for effective future learning. The same tracker is used across the school so progress can be easily seen across year groups.
Cross curricular links are carefully thought out and planned throughout the year to ensure children are able to make links in their learning and connect to the wider world.
Through our implementation, children have a secure knowledge of science concepts and will have built a set of enquiry transferrable skills. We hope they are able to talk excitedly about what they have learned and use a range of age appropriate vocabulary to go with this. Our aim is that children have learned and remembered new concepts and will be enthusiastic science learners.
We aim to foster children who are independent thinkers and who question the world around them, making connections in their learning with skills which are transferable across the curriculum. We aim to teach our children to care for the planet they live on and question why things happen and how things work. The impact of this will lead to good progress over time, relative to a child’s individual starting point. This will be evidenced in a range of ways but most importantly by speaking to the children who have a love and excitement for science!