Science

Subject Leaders

Intent

At Laycock, our Science curriculum aims to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about the world in which we live. With frequent opportunities to have hands-on experiences and plan and conduct their own investigations, pupils are able to develop deep and lasting scientific knowledge in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Children are clear which specific area of science they are working on in each lesson, building on knowledge they have embedded from previous years, while also learning about how the scientific community contributes to our past, present and future.

Our curriculum is inclusive and meaningful, with children being encouraged to work collaboratively, broadening and utilising their scientific vocabulary while actively embodying our school values of being respectful and friendly to others. Pupils learn to demonstrate resilience in the face of challenges while being constantly encouraged to follow their curiosity, taking an active role in their learning and using their personal creativity to lead their own scientific learning, both within the context of our local community and the wider world.

By working with local experts and national networks, we ensure our teachers have access to up to date professional development and that we, as a school, are at the forefront of changes to the national STEM agenda.

 

Implementation

In order to meet the aims of the National Curriculum for Science, we follow parts of the Kapow Primary Science Scheme of work. This ensures coverage of the key strands of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, whilst also ensuring that our students are working scientifically and understanding links to past, present and future. The Kapow scheme is adapted by teachers to meet the needs of our students, focusing on revisiting and building upon previous needs. Our lessons are structured with a strong sense of enquiry at their heart, allowing students to take responsibility for their learning. The question-led units encourage pupils to research and present information taking full account of their ability to retain key knowledge and skills for the long term. It also allows our students to regularly engage with a scientific enquiry cycle.

Pupils explore knowledge and conceptual understanding through engaging activities and an introduction to relevant specialist vocabulary. As suggested in Ofsted’s Science research review (April 2021), the ‘working scientifically’ skills are integrated with conceptual understanding rather than taught discretely. This provides frequent, but relevant, opportunities for developing scientific enquiry skills. The scheme utilises practical activities that aid in the progression of individual skills and also provides opportunities for full investigations.

Lessons incorporate various teaching strategies, from independent tasks to paired and group work, including practical, creative, computer-based and collaborative tasks. This variety means that lessons are engaging and appeal to those with different learning styles. Guidance for adapting the learning is available for every lesson to ensure that all pupils can access learning, and opportunities to stretch pupils’ learning are available when required. Knowledge organisers for each unit help to identify prior and future curriculum links to make the scheme as meaningful as possible and reinforce key technical terms.

 

Our units of work are planned for the six week term and cover the following areas; plants, animals including humans, living things and habitats, materials, energy, forces, earth and space. Each of the units is supported with a knowledge mat which the children use every lesson to support them. Each lesson, we work on children’s meta-cognition to help their long term memory by repeating routines, vocabulary and activities. Here is an insight into the pattern of each lesson across the school:

 

Every lesson starts with a discussion photo/link/video, where we encourage the children to ask questions using a question matrix. This allows all ages and abilities to take part in this starting activity to launch the lesson. Teachers will mark what questions have been asked and monitor children’s participation, support and challenge individuals. We then introduce the lesson’s Learning Intention (L.I.). Some lessons have an extra LI to incorporate English or Maths where it is appropriate and helpful. This gives the class an extra opportunity to revisit a learnt skill in a core subject and encourages children to understand that skills are transferable.

 

A big emphasis is put on vocabulary and so a slide is dedicated to revisiting and introducing new vocabulary. Children are encouraged to read it aloud, spell it, put it into a sentence, and challenged to use it throughout the lesson! Most of the words are linked to the knowledge mat. We put a big emphasis on communication and language so not all lessons have a written outcome. Checkout our Twitter and search for #LaycockScience to see what we get up to! However, it is also crucial that students are provided the opportunity to complete extended writing pieces in science, to show how they ‘Write as Scientists’.

Progression Map

Assessment

In order to assess the progression of children’s knowledge in the unit, we challenge them to complete a KWL chart at the beginning of a unit, noting what they know, what they would like to know, and what they have learnt before. This can be revisited throughout the lesson to ensure pupils' questions are guiding investigation in the unit.

At the end of the unit, students will complete a Quiz Style assessment to assess their understanding. This is made up of both multiple choice, written, and picture based questions that will cover the entire unit's work. This assessment provides students with the opportunity to take pride over their learning and demonstrate their scientific skills.

Scientific Skills

We plan for opportunities for children to practise and learn scientific skills by setting up experiments and practical lessons. 

Progression Plan for Primary SC1 Skills

Here are some picture of children being scientists.

Whole School Progression

Evidence

Learning Links