At St Ann’s Heath we have a clear vision for science. We believe science is for everyone. Our aim is to provide a science curriculum that fosters and nurtures children’s curiosity about the world around them and the wider universe. We believe that inspiring science lessons provide children with awe and wonder moments which develops further interest and understanding for both now and in their further lives. In addition, we know that the science curriculum should have a clear progression and balance of both skills and knowledge. We aim to develop their scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding to a level where they can be used to understand the implications of science, today and in the future and enable them to make informed decisions about new technologies, their health and other important matters. We promote scientific enquiry skills: research, pattern seeking, observing over time, identifying and classifying and planning a carrying out comparative and fair tests.
Science topics are taught either as discreet units or form part of the Creative Curriculum. Topics such as Rocks (in year 3), The Blue Abyss (in year 4), Earth and Space (in year 5) and Galapagos (in year 6) form a large part of the Creative Curriculum unit. We look for opportunities to combine scientific learning and other subject areas to enhance the children’s understanding across the curriculum. Where there is no meaningful link or we feel the scientific understanding would improve from a discrete unit, we teach in this style. We cover all areas of the National Curriculum and cover a range of biology, chemistry and physics and a balance of conceptual knowledge and development of enquiry skills are developed through each unit. Children are taught to use a range of scientific equipment and the health and safety risks associated with them.
Dr Metcalfe, our Outreach Science specialist, has worked alongside the subject leader to discuss the secondary science curriculum and has worked collaboratively to ensure the knowledge and skills being covered will prepare students well for Key Stage 3 and 4.
At the end of a unit of science, the children complete an assessment paper from the HeadStart scheme. These papers help to support teachers with their assessment and combined with the teacher’s knowledge of the child in class, help to give an accurate picture of where the children are. Staff assess the children as Working Towards the Expected Standard, Working At the Expected Standard or Working Above the Expected Standard.
This assessment information is then recorded on a class overview which can then be handed over to new teachers on transition and allows for tracking of a child’s progress in science throughout the school.
During the course of the year, children will have the opportunity to take part in designing and carrying out scientific enquiries which enables the teacher to see which scientific skills the children are most secure with and areas that need further development. At the end of the year children are assessed on their ability to work scientifically; these are judged with the same assessment descriptors.