At Saviour, we have developed our curriculum to be knowledge-led and we aim to build the science capital of all the children in the school. Our science curriculum is designed to meet the aims specified in The 2014 National Curriculum.
Our learning objectives are taken from The National Curriculum and organised into units by Rising Stars. Coverage and progression are carefully mapped across the key stages to give teachers a clear understanding of the children’s prior knowledge and where the learning fits into the bigger picture. Where key concepts are not taught until KS2, they are introduced when working scientifically in KS1. Scientific vocabulary is also clearly planned and built upon across the key stages. Our clear progression of knowledge, skills and vocabulary allows them to be embedded into the children's long-term memory.
Our science lessons reflect the importance of spoken language in the pupils’ development. They also include opportunities for the children to apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science. Reading is also incorporated into lessons when researching and acquiring new knowledge. For each unit, we have selected high-quality texts (non-fiction and fiction) to introduce, support or contextualise learning. Using high-quality texts within science also aims to enhance the children’s reading development.
As a core subject, science is taught weekly or fortnightly for the equivalent of 2 hours per week.
The Rising Star’s programme of study ensures all pupils can access the objectives from the National Curriculum by providing the teacher with assessment statements for emerging, expected and exceeding. Teachers use mixed ability pairings or ability groups to support and extend the pupils. Science vocabulary will be written on the working wall and included in knowledge organisers which will support all children. Maths and English skills needed within the science lessons will be supported as appropriate. Speech and language resources and those recommended by the EP for specific children, such as task boards and visuals, will be used in lessons.
Teachers use knowledge organisers to outline the knowledge (including vocabulary) all the children must master. Scientific knowledge is also included in the children’s weekly homework through our online learning platforms and knowledge organisers are also taken home. The children will be taught to use them to recall key knowledge and quiz themselves.
In each lesson, the children are supported to reason, think deeply and use scientific vocabulary in discussions. This is called Bright Ideas time and discussion prompts include:
- Odd one out
- PMI (Positive, Minus, Interesting)
- Big Question
Teachers also link the children's scientific learning to topical science as well as scientists from the past.
Our curriculum demonstrates progression and the children's knowledge and understanding are closely monitored. We measure the impact in each lesson by using assessment statements for our learning objectives. We also use the end of unit assessment tasks provided by Rising Stars.
Teachers also assess the children's knowledge through low stake quizzes, discussions in the Bright Ideas slot and discussions with pupils about their learning.
The children's science books are used to evidence the children's knowledge and understanding of key concepts, their ability to apply vocabulary, skills and a range of recording methods.
Enhancing the Science Curriculum
- We are part of the Farmer time initiative which enhances our scientific knowledge and understanding.
- The school celebrates British Science Week each year. Last year, each class took part in their own STEM project and showcased them to parents in an assembly.
- Trips and visits are used to enhance learning experiences.
Past visitors to the school have included: The RSPB, Manchester Fayre Nutrition Support, Wonderdome, Silly Science Workshop and a Forensic Science Workshop.
Science trips have included: local walks, Eureka! and Magna Science Adventure Centre.
- The school has greatly improved the outdoor learning environment. The children now have access to a forest school site, which has a great variety of plants, raised beds, a willow tunnel and dome, a mud kitchen, a den building area, fire pits and a pond. This particularly enhances the teaching and learning in biology.
Weekly Forest School sessions in EYFS enhance the children’s knowledge and understanding of the world. The school is currently training another member of staff to become a Level 3 Forest School Leader, in order to provide other year groups with Forest School sessions.
- The school’s ‘Bee Green Team’ are developing the whole school’s environmental awareness and driving initiatives to reduce our environmental impact. They are currently working with MEEN (Manchester Environmental Education Network) and they recently received their bronze Eco-Schools Award.