Cultivating the next generation of scientists and empowering our pupils to bring positive change to an ever-changing world.
In science, we aim to spark children's curiosity about the natural world and foster a deep appreciation for scientific inquiry. Our vision is for children to see the clear link between science and their place in the world. Science is a significant part of human culture and represents one of the pinnacles of human thinking capacity. In this ever-increasing world of social media and ‘fake news,’ it is essential that we teach our children about the role of research, evidence, and experimentation in understanding the world around them.
We intend to facilitate a love of exploration and inspire a career in the sciences to improve life and the future life of the planet.
- In science, we have a two-year cycle. Science is taught in 2-year group phases: Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception), Key Stage 1 (Years 1 & 2), Lower Key Stage 2 (Years 3 & 4) and Upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 & 6). We teach using this 2-year cycle to allow for more in-depth exploration of topics, reinforcement of key concepts, better retention of knowledge, support cross-curricular links and allowing teachers to deepen their expertise. We use the PLAN Primary Science Resources to ensure accurate curriculum coverage and their examples of work to ensure we are making consistent judgements about standards.
- In science, we use knowledge organisers to help children organise, review and revise key learning material efficiently. The knowledge organisers are our bank of substantive knowledge for the Learning Challenge. They help children to consolidate learning and retain information. Teachers use them to check knowledge and understanding through classroom quizzes and self-testing which leads to improved retention and recall. They guide teachers in what needs to be taught and children in what needs to be learnt. They are also a tool to signpost parents and carers to if they want to know what their child will cover in science.
- In science, we teach disciplinary knowledge throughout each Learning Challenge, with one additional 5-week block to focus on any areas of working scientifically that have been identified by prior assessments. The Science Ambassadors have created a 'Working Scientifically Wheel' based on TAPS tools. Teachers and children document when each focused skill is explicitly taught. Colouring or dating a section for each focused skill provides an opportunity to check that all of the skills are covered across the year.
- In science, we aim to have rich classroom assessment information produced by ‘active pupils’ and ‘responsive teachers’. Assessment data is used to inform the next steps in learning and to support reporting data. TAPS assessments are carried out 3 times a year to test pupil's learning in working scientifically. It supports teacher assessments and provides a valid, reliable and manageable system that has a positive impact on children's learning. In addition to this retrieval exercises and Learning Challenge assessments are used to assess substantive knowledge alongside teacher assessments.
- In science, we engage with outside agencies and visitors to further develop our pupil’s life skills and have strong cross-curricular links throughout the curriculum to give real-life applications of science.
- In science, the subject leader supports teachers and monitors standards through rigorous monitoring of teaching and learning, talking to children, staff feedback and data tracking.
- In science, whole school CPD takes place through the subject leader delivering training about current research; external CPD courses through TTSA; and online learning through Reach Out CPD.
- The 3-day FOCUS4TAPS (Sarah Earle) course has been instrumental in setting up effective science systems throughout the school. There is a greater emphasis on working scientifically and greater teacher confidence in teaching. Pupil Voice shows the confidence in how pupils working scientifically grew during the 2023-2024 academic year. Pupils now have the opportunity to ask and answer questions scientifically in a structured way with AfL at the heart of the process. https://taps.pstt.org.uk/ informs training, teaching and learning.
- Teachers support the acquisition of substantive and disciplinary knowledge well thanks to the PLAN documents introduced in the 2023-2024 internal and external training. At St Anne's we use the matrices to inform planning, highlight misconceptions, identify key vocabulary and prior learning. Using Developing Experts as a further planning tool allows teachers to add challenges to children who are exceeding age expectations.
- Using the PLAN matrices and exemplifications we plan a curriculum that allows curiosity, originality and open-mindedness. Pupils use their questions and ideas to plan and carry out investigations about the world around them.
- We also use the PLAN exemplification documents to ensure assessment is reliable and standards are reached. The quality of evidence within science is standardised and there is a whole school understanding of age-related expectations.
- Events such as Environmental Science Week 2023 promoted science and the connections within STEM subjects throughout the school. The wider community supported the week. Parents helped to create an Environmental Area with a Bug Hotel designed by the children and gave the Spiritual Garden a spruce up. Visitors such as Nuclear Power, marine biologists and Water Aid opened the children's eyes to real-life environmental plights as well as career opportunities. This week also launched the teacher's application of the wealth of CPD that had taken place throughout the year.
- The science curriculum has heavy cross-curricular links with STEM subjects but also subjects like RE (Creation and Science: Conflict or Complimentary) and history (The Islamic influence on the European Rainessance and modern science).
- EYFS work closely with the subject lead to ensure a smooth transition up to Key Stage 1.
- Using books as hooks provides context for science learning outside science lessons. Using science texts within reading sessions has inspired children who did not see themselves as scientists. It reinforces science vocabulary and provides extra opportunities for scientific learning. Our Science Ambassadors have once again been chosen as judges for the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize and promote these books throughout the school.
- Pupil Voice has highlighted that the children have good scientific vocabulary and know the importance of this. Teacher observations and discussion show a high level of importance placed on scientific vocabulary during teaching. Lesson observations show knowledge organisers are an integral part of teaching and learning. They are referenced throughout lessons by teachers and learners during retrieval of knowledge activities and presentation of new knowledge.
Cycle 2 Overview
Look at our learning
Environmental Science Week 2023
Environmental Science Week Newsletter 2023
Science Curriculum 2022-2023