Science Curriculum Statement of Intent
Development and Structure
At Raglan, we have developed an ambitious curriculum with content that is relevant, progressive, broad and balanced. Our Threshold Concepts were developed across our Academy Trust to ensure full coverage of the National Curriculum and the progression in knowledge and skills across all year groups. With the agreed Threshold Concepts in place, our curriculum was created to enable children to confidently explore and discover the world around them and develop a deeper understanding of the world in which they live. Our aim is to create fun and stimulating science lessons that nurture children’s natural curiosity and their on-going development through a hands-on, enquiry-based curriculum which promotes questioning, challenge, working practically, investigating, evaluating, making choices, working independently and using scientific vocabulary. We support this by adding a rich variety of experiences within lessons, as well as through the use of outdoor learning space and extra-curricular activities. Our Science curriculum also reflects the Raglan Curriculum Drivers.
Initiative: We promote independent learning by providing challenges for children that require them to research and investigate to solve problems and answer questions. We encourage them to ask questions about their science learning and reflect on their knowledge.
Environment: We aim to provide our children with a better understanding of environmental issues and in empowering them to develop the skills and competences required to contribute to protecting and improving the environment for humans and other organisms within the school, the wider community and globally.
Community and Diversity: Our displays and contexts for teaching science reflect wider diversity; this is at all levels from children as scientists, to inventors and academics in the science field.
Communication: Key scientific language is included in every topic area across the school and is displayed, modelled and taught throughout lessons enabling our children to be familiar with and use vocabulary accurately.
Raglan is an inclusive school with the belief that every learner should have an entitlement to access excellent science teaching and learning, make progress and achieve. Our planning of teaching and learning supports the inclusion, participation and engagement of all learners, taking account of individual needs. We ensure appropriate support and adjustments to the science curriculum, environment and resources, to provide for all groups of learners including SEND, EAL and those with chronic illnesses.
EYFS: Learning from EYFS is built upon and has continuity with learning in KS1 and KS2. This is reflected in our curriculum plan in the ‘prior learning’ section of the document.
In EYFS we provide enabling environments where the children engage in activities that develop the appropriate foundational science knowledge and vocabulary that they will then build on in the topics they go on to learn in KS1 and KS2, primarily through the ‘understanding the world: the natural world’ area of learning.
The Big Ideas and Concepts:
Vocabulary: In the EYFS, children engage with activities and texts that support the development of the appropriate foundational vocabulary. Scientific vocabulary is modelled for and then discussed with the children.
In KS1 and KS2, Key scientific language is modelled and taught throughout lessons enabling our children to be familiar with and use vocabulary confidently and accurately.
KS1: Understanding Plants, Understanding Animals and Humans, Investigating Living Things.
KS2: Understanding Plants, Understanding Animals and Humans, Investigating Living Things, Understanding Evolution and Inheritance.
KS1 and KS2: Investigating Materials
KS1: Understanding the Earth’s Movement in Space.
KS2: Understanding the Earth’s Movement in Space, Understanding Light, Understanding Movement – Forces and Magnets, Investigating Sound and Hearing, Understanding Electrical Circuits, Understanding Light and Seeing.
Working scientifically is woven into our curriculum at all stages. This ensures that the working scientifically skills are built upon and developed so that children can apply their knowledge of science when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings.
At Raglan we believe that Scientific Enquiry increases children’s capacity to:
- Problem-solve and answer questions – rich opportunities are provided where children explore their own ideas, develop and deepen conceptual understanding.
- Work with independence – thinking and reasoning is nurtured alongside a host of qualities, including resilience, determination and confidence.
- ‘Be a scientist’ – a necessary toolkit of practical skills is developed and added to over time.
- Communicate effectively – technical and scientific vocabulary is learned, practised and used, as children communicate evidence in a variety of ways, often with different audiences in mind.
KS1 to KS2
Our curriculum ensures that children experience continuity and progression in concepts, knowledge and skills ensuring that pupils move eg:
- from making first hand observation to collecting real data;
- from identifying similarities and differences to investigating similarities and differences, patterns and change;
- from recognising a fair test to designing and carrying out a fair test
How Do We Ensure Children Know More, Remember More and Are Able To Do More Over Time?
Our curriculum topics are revisited and developed across the key stages. This model allows children to build upon their prior knowledge and increases their enthusiasm for the topics whilst embedding their procedural knowledge into the long-term memory.
At the beginning of each new topic area, the children are given a ‘Leaning Journey’ which states:
- Prior learning in the topic from previous years
- What children will be learning about – the Threshold Concepts
- What children are learning to do – Working Scientifically
At the start of each new topic, the children will engage in an activity to elicit any existing knowledge and/or misconceptions that they may have.
Our Science Curriculum is high quality, each topic area sets clear objectives and outcomes for the pupils in terms of knowledge and understanding and skills acquisition. The curriculum document also suggests a range of ways in which the teacher can assess whether a pupil has achieved these outcomes. We ensure that when assessing our pupils, evidence is drawn from a wide range of sources to inform the process including:
- Interaction with pupils during discussions and related questioning
- Day to day observations
Practical activities such as practical enquiries, the gathering, presentation and communication of data and writing in different genres.
- The outcomes of each topic serve to inform the teacher’s developing picture of the knowledge and understanding of each pupil and to plan future learning accordingly.
At the end of each term we make a summative judgement about the achievement of tracked pupils against the Threshold Concepts covered. At this point we decide upon a ‘best fit’ judgement as to whether the pupil has achieved and embedded the expected concepts or is still working towards them.