Here at Holy Trinity we are all scientists! We want our children to enjoy science and to embrace the scientific opportunities they are presented with. Science plays a crucial role in developing our understanding of the world around us. Our science teaching helps us to prepare children for life through experiences and exploration through the world in which they live in. Children can discover, explain and develop skills of enquiry through working scientifically.
The science curriculum promotes curiosity and a thirst for learning. It is ambitious and empowers our children to become independent and resilient. They learn to question and discuss science-based issues that may affect their own lives, the direction of society and the future of the world.
The National Curriculum provides a learning framework for schools but there is not enough structure to provide schools with the necessary detail. Through the Cornerstones Curriculum, Holy Trinity has broken down the programmes of study into a series of skills and knowledge that shows how we intend to cover the fundamental concepts of each national curriculum subject. Clear progression is evident through the ‘sticky knowledge’ described for each year group.
Science teaching at Holy Trinity aims to give all children a strong understanding of the world around them whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them to think scientifically, to gain an understanding of scientific processes and also an understanding of the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future.
Scientific enquiry skills are embedded in each topic and the topics are revisited and developed throughout their time at school. Topics, such as Plants, are taught in Key Stage One and studied again in further detail throughout Key Stage Two. This model allows children to build upon their prior knowledge and increases their enthusiasm for the topics whilst embedding this procedural knowledge into the long-term memory.
All children are encouraged to develop and use a range of skills including observations, planning and investigations, as well as being encouraged to question the world around them and become independent learners in exploring possible answers for their scientific based questions. Specialist vocabulary for topics is taught and built up, and effective questioning to communicate ideas is encouraged.
Science is incorporated into school trips to allow children to look at different environments away from the school grounds and help bring science to life through hands on experiences. Visits to Wisley in Reception, Nower Wood in Key Stage One and Portsmouth Aquarium in Lower key Stage Two are just three examples where science learning of ‘habitats’, ‘living things’ and ‘plants’ may be reinforced, within Cornerstones Topics.
Concepts taught should be reinforced by focusing on the key features of scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions. Teachers are supported through knowledge organisers which enable them to focus on key learning points or the ‘sticky knowledge’ that each child should have secured, ready to build on throughout their school journey and onwards throughout life.
Science is carefully planned within the different Cornerstones topics and the coverage checker ensures all learning objectives are taught. The teachers use Cornerstones’ ‘Love to Investigate’ across the school. ‘Love to Investigate’ investigative plans are incorporated into lesson sequences and provide opportunities to develop scientific enquiry skills both inside and outside the classroom. These use innovative, engaging ideas to capture interest and inspire children to experiment with everyday objects and materials like mud and some less ordinary, such as octopuses.
EYFS Early Learning Goal
Knowledge of the World is delivered through the organisation of hands on experiences and adult guided questioning and observations. Indoor and outdoor learning are carefully balanced and children observe lifecycles with chicks and ducks hatching in their classroom and tadpoles growing into frogs. School trips provide opportunities to visit new places and explore science in a variety of ways e.g. observing plants from around the world in the glass house at Wisley and handling minibeasts.
In Year One children spend half a day each week participating in Forest Schools activities in the school woods. Continuation of hands on experiences in the outdoor covered area provides opportunities to explore under adult supervision and to be guided through questioning as in EYFS. This ensures a smooth transition and builds enquiry skills going into Year Two. Nature Friday continues in Year Two and seasonal changes continue to be observed, building on Year One science learning and EYFS knowledge of the world.
Extra curricula learning through trips and workshops such as ‘Centre of the cell’ are provided in addition to science lessons inside and outside the school. Children have opportunities to observe investigations in class e.g. the effect of fizzy drinks on teeth and use these experiences to reinforce learning at home e.g. setting up their own experiments and observing changes.
Children are assessed in science under two criteria for each unit: knowledge of topic and investigative skills acquired during topic. The science leaders then look at this data to form a whole school picture of science.
Teachers are provided with an additional half a day out of classroom teaching time to monitor Science data, conduct learning walks, organise pupil conferencing and to moderate written and photographic evidence across the school.