As pupils begin their scientific journey with us at Longthorpe Primary School, they come with a natural curiosity about the world and phenomena around them. Therefore, a core aim of our science curriculum is to build on this by celebrating and developing pupils’
inquisitive minds. Through our curriculum’s wide range of purposeful, planned and structured learning opportunities, pupils will gain a solid understanding of scientific processes, the scientific method and an understanding of the purpose and implications of the three core disciplines of science: biology, chemistry and physics. It is our intent that pupils will begin to understand how these disciplines link to their daily lives, the different stages of their education and through their future life experiences. We also think it is important for pupils to see themselves reflected in the science curriculum, by highlighting present-day role models and the contributions of scientists from a wide range of backgrounds. It is our aim that all pupils will transition to year 7 with a solid set of scientific skills and knowledge alongside the strong sense of awe and wonder that they began school with, setting them up successfully to be the scientists of tomorrow.
Our science curriculum has been chosen because it promotes the structured acquisition of substantive scientific knowledge based on Wynne Harlen’s ‘Big Ideas of Science Education’. These ideas are weaved through the curriculum as ‘vertical concepts’ that, when understood together, allow pupils to begin comprehend the complex world around them. Our curriculum has been deliberately designed for pupils to master substantive knowledge by:
- Ensuring pupils master core content through the development of key concepts and the timely revisiting of key knowledge.
- Sequencing the curriculum and selecting knowledge to allow for gradual development of our vertical concepts – the ‘Big Ideas’ in science – to provide firm foundations for KS3.
- Preventing common misconceptions that are often formed at an early age and prove problematic at the later stages of pupils’ science education.
- Purposefully teaching appropriate knowledge that goes beyond the KS1 and KS2 national curriculum, to aid current and future understanding, and to smooth the transition to KS3.
- Encouraging pupils make connections between the disciplines of science, the wider curriculum and the wider world.
Our curriculum has also been designed to teach our pupils to ‘think as scientists’ and work scientifically. The Working Scientifically elements of the science curriculum have been mapped out throughout each year group to ensure pupils have many opportunities to apply their scientific skills. The curriculum has been sequenced so that the content is reviewed in subsequent units (and is also reviewed in other subject areas). This is achieved by:
- Sequencing Working Scientifically elements so that they are explicitly taught and practised alongside the substantive knowledge, and regularly reviewed and built upon across the years and key stages.
- Making deliberate and explicit links to other curriculum areas – particularly geography and mathematics – to ensure there is a consistent approach to teaching content.
- Planning practical tasks that have a clear purpose: to demonstrate or prove substantive concepts, or to allow pupils to deliberately practice working scientifically skills in a relevant context.
Science is taught each week and deliberately given extended time to ensure that the curriculum can be explored in depth by our pupils. A range of teaching and learning strategies are used in science to keep all pupils engaged and to teach and inspire them to want to investigate the world around them in different ways, such as: group discussions, delivering presentations, watching and taking part in demonstrations, engaging with various media content, practical explanations, and experiments, pupil-led instruction and investigative work.
The use of subject-specific vocabulary is a key part of our science lessons and is expected to be used in both oral and written work by our pupils. The key tier 2 terms (below) are used frequently alongside the teaching of science-specific tier 3 specific words which are highlighted in the Progression of Knowledge and Skills section later in this overview.
Lessons incorporate many practical, collaborative and investigative activities which ensure that pupils are able to be full participants in their learning and apply the ‘working scientifically’ skills they have learned. Pupils are also expected to record their learning in a range of appropriate formats that may include: written accounts including instructions, reports and explanations, illustrations, annotated diagrams, spreadsheets (data collection), charts, graphs and tables.
To find out more about our curriculum please contact the school office.