Science and How My World Works Overview
The principal focus of science teaching at the Vale of Evesham School is to enable pupils to experience and observe phenomena and look more closely at the natural and humanly constructed world around them. Pupils are encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. They are helped to develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of scientific enquiry to answer their own questions, including: observing changes over a period of time; noticing patterns; grouping and classifying things; carrying out simple comparative tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. Pupils are encouraged to use simple scientific language to talk about what they have found out and communicate their ideas in a variety of ways. Most of the science learning is done through the use of first-hand practical experiences, but there is also the use of appropriate secondary sources, such as books, photographs and videos.
Conceptual Understanding and Science Enquiry Skills
The Science curriculum at Vale of Evesham School is planned and sequenced so that new knowledge and skills builds on prior learning.
Vale of Evesham School places extremely high value on the Science Capital of our pupils. We have developed strong sustained links with STEM Ambassador Hub, West Midlands and KS3 pupils regularly take part in the Worcestershire Primary STEM Challenge run by STEM Works.
The Formal curriculum takes place in a specialised science laboratory and is taught in a progressive way, for 2 hours per week, with a very visual approach using real objects, moving to the more abstract and formal approaches as students progress through the key stages. The skills of working scientifically are taught throughout all of the topics and in all discovery activities, investigations and experiments.
The Semi-Formal curriculum focuses on practical skills, developing curiosity and broadening horizons by being outward facing and exposing pupils to the world around them. KS1 have a weekly taught session. KS2 has 1 hour per week and KS3 and KS4 have science delivered for 2 hours per week, through a topic-based approach, this area of learning encompasses Science, Sense of Place (Geography) Sense of Time (History) and the use of technology for access and communication.
Vale of Evesham School has a consistent, well-constructed and well-taught Science curriculum that all builds on prior learning so that pupils are always being prepared for the next stage of their education.
Vale of Evesham School’s Science Curriculum ensures that Nursery and Reception years prepare the children for KS1 the KS2. Children have explored the three strands of Understanding the World: The World, Technology and People and Communities alongside Thinking Skills to prepare them for their learning in Year 1.
KS1 and LKS2
The focus in science for KS1 and LKS2 in understanding scientific concepts. The teacher’s role is to help children develop their understanding, starting from the ideas they already have about the topic under study. In brief, this role involves planning a topic, or area of investigation, around the development of understanding of key ideas and skills. Children are given opportunities to explore new materials, events and situations, and then to express their ideas about what they are exploring. The key ideas are generalisations that link a range of experiences. From each of these experiences, children will gain ‘small’ ideas relating to the particular contexts encountered.
Our Science Curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- A reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes
- Tracking of knowledge in pre-and post-learning assessments
- Pupil discussions about their learning
Our High School curriculum is sequenced in a logical order to ensure students are constantly building on their prior knowledge as they progress from KS3 to KS4. As they revisit each idea, therefore, their depth of understanding grows and their ability to apply their thinking to unfamiliar contexts develops. Our intention is to engage and enthuse students in this process as they test out their ideas practically, through investigating, observing and experimenting, thereby reflecting the enquiry process used by scientists. High School follows the Edexcel Entry Level Certificate in Science and assessment takes place termly. All of these qualifications develop and embed existing skills but our primary purpose is to make these skills be used functionally to enable our pupils to apply them to real-life situations.
Assessment in KS1 and KS2 is used to support the next steps. It focuses on scientific skills and provides stepping stones for progression. Our assessment criteria are used for the next steps in the classroom, with pupils, to support their development and advance them as independent learners.
In KS3, science knowledge, terminology and concepts are assessed effectively and simply so that a child’s ability ‘falls out’ of a lesson to support clear assessment and enable progress to be tracked between units over time. Children’s learning is assessed throughout the teaching activities and takes place in the form of observation, discussion with pupils and between staff (the language of learning). Staff supporting sessions make take photographs and complete written observations, where appropriate, during or after the taught session.
These strategies combined will form constant formative assessment which will allow for planning for learning in subsequent sessions. As a result of this medium-term plans may be adapted and changed as children’s skills and understanding progresses. Assessment is simple and focuses on the depth of understanding, not just superficial knowledge recall. Termly, summative assessment focuses on skill acquisition.
We have developed progress paths from Key Stage to Key Stage so we can set challenging targets to be achieved annually and across the Key Stage.
The progress paths also help determine what exam or accreditation pathway each individual will require in High School.
English and Mathematics are developed in tandem through scientific enquiry. Developing cross-curriculum blended learning is vital for problem-solving skills necessary for STEM approaches.
Science and How My World Works Long Term Plan Semi-Formal and Formal
Semi-formal Curriculum- Enquiry skills
|KS1 (year 1/2)||Lower KS2: (Year 3/4)|
|Year 1: 30 mins Year 2: 1 Hour x 1 per week||1 Hour x 1 per week|
|Upper KS2 (Year 5/6)||KS3 (Year 7/8)|
|60 min x 2 per week||60 min x 2 per week|
|Semi formal High School (Year 9, 10, 11)|
|60 min x 1 per week
ASDAN Transition Challenge
Pre-entry Level working towards entry level
|Upper KS2 and KS3|
|60 min x 2 per week|
|High School (Year 9, 10, 11)|
|60 min x 2 per week||Accreditation:
Entry Level 1 – Entry Level 3
|1.The development of scientific thinking:
a the ways in which scientific methods and theories develop over time
b using a variety of concepts and models to develop scientific explanations and
c appreciating the power and limitations of science and considering ethical issues.
which may arise.
d explaining every day and technological applications of science.
e evaluating risks in practical science
|2 Experimental skills and strategies
a using scientific theories and explanations to develop hypotheses.
b planning experiments to make observations, test hypotheses or explore phenomena.
c applying a knowledge of a range of apparatus to select those appropriate for experiments.
d carrying out experiments appropriately, having due regard to the correct manipulation of
apparatus, the accuracy of measurements and health and safety considerations
e making and recording observations and measurements using a range of apparatus and
f evaluating methods and suggesting possible improvements and further investigations
|3 Analysis and evaluation
Applying the cycle of collecting, presenting and analysing data, including:
a presenting observations and other data using appropriate methods.
b translating data from one form to another.
c carrying out and representing mathematical and statistical analysis.
d representing distributions of results and making estimations of uncertainty.
e interpreting observations and other data, including identifying patterns and
trends, making inferences and drawing conclusions.
f presenting reasoned explanations, including relating data to hypotheses.
g being objective, evaluating data in terms of accuracy, precision, repeatability and
|4 Vocabulary, units, symbols and nomenclature
a developing their use of scientific vocabulary and nomenclature
b recognising the importance of scientific quantities and understanding how they
c using SI units and IUPAC chemical nomenclature unless inappropriate
d using prefixes and powers of ten for orders of magnitude (e.g. tera, giga, mega,
kilo, centi, milli, micro and nano)
e interconverting units
f using an appropriate number of significant figures in calculations