Science

Intent – What is the purpose of our Science curriculum?

At Tranmere Park Primary, we believe that Science is a vital part of our curriculum; it is designed to be active, and to engage and challenge our children whilst ensuring they build their Science Capital and understand the value and importance of Science in the world around them.  We aim to equip our pupils with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. To ensure that all pupils reach their full potential, it is taught as a fine balance of knowledge-based and investigative approaches that is responsive to the children’s needs and interests. The lessons are often practical and exploratory, and deepen children’s understanding, and the learning is recorded in a variety of ways. The importance of feeling like a scientist and seeing the relevance of Science to their daily lives is instilled from the beginning, in Early Years, linked to Understanding the World and the Characteristics of Effective Learning. Here we strive to harness children’s natural excitement and curiosity and inspire them to pursue scientific enquiry. This is achieved through a variety of strategies: observations of nature, continuous and enhanced provision, linking science to stories, role play areas and practical exploration and investigation across the curriculum. This learning is then built upon as children move through the key stages, allowing the children to develop their enthusiasm and engagement as well as their knowledge and skills in working scientifically. Children are encouraged to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings; a love of science and nature is nurtured throughout school.

Our Children will:

Our Teachers will:

  • • Largely progress through the curriculum at the same pace and differentiation will be achieved by individual support and scaffolding to allow knowledge and skills to be developed.
  • • Be intrinsically motivated – they are eager to build on their existing knowledge, skills and understanding. Their desire to learn is innate and thought-provoking teaching is used to guide the children to discover phenomena for themselves.
  • • Be curious, ask questions, pose ideas and eagerly tackle challenges – recognising that they can be scientists and can use their knowledge and skills to solve these problems.
  • • Be resilient to mistakes and persevere when faced with a challenge; they regroup, review and evaluate when investigations don’t produce the answers they were expecting.
  • • Possess highly positive attitudes towards the subject and will be aspirational in their goals.
  • • Provide a practical, progressive and challenging curriculum which is sequenced to ensure that skills and knowledge are built upon.
  • • Identify gaps in understanding and swiftly overcome these with precise teaching.
  • • Provide the children with a rich curriculum of carefully crafted lessons that ensures the opportunity to develop skills in working scientifically as well as knowledge.
  • • Nurture a love for the natural world and the excitement for future possibilities in science.
  • • Provide opportunities for pupils to respond and record creatively in a variety of ways to demonstrate their learning.
  • • Utilise precise questioning to teach and assess responsively and develop children’s own questioning skills allow them to explore science and the world around them with curiosity.
  • • Provide opportunities for our children to: think scientifically, undertake scientific enquiry and to work collaboratively thus developing an understanding of the environment, sustainability and the breadth and depth of science beyond the classroom.


Implementation – How do we do it?

The Learning Journey

Science is taught at Tranmere Park Primary as an area of learning in its own right, as well as being integrated (where appropriate) with other curriculum areas so that children achieve a greater depth of understanding and so that we cultivate curiosity and promote retention. A progressive thread of learning – underpinned by the importance of developing Science Capital and understanding the value and importance of Science in the world around them – will be taught to all abilities, ensuring that the knowledge and skills from the previous year are built upon. Our teachers are acutely aware of the previous and subsequent year group’s content, allowing them to fit the unit of work into the bigger picture of the Science curriculum. To ensure this, the key knowledge and skills that children acquire and develop throughout each topic have been carefully mapped onto Knowledge Progressions. Working scientifically skills are also embedded into lessons to ensure that skills are systematically developed throughout a child’s career at our school. Time is taken to identify and teach the specialist vocabulary associated with each topic and particular attention is paid to identifying possible misconceptions or confusion around a familiar word that may have a different and specific meaning in Science: conductor, key, theory, law, solution etc.

Teachers, at Tranmere Park, adapt plans to suit the individual needs of their class. Progression and continuity are shown through the short, medium and long-term plans, with all plans meeting the requirements of science set out in the National Curriculum. All children have the opportunity to participate in science at their own level of development, with teachers ensuring that lessons cater for individual needs.


Assessment

– Short-term assessments aim to assess the children’s learning on a lesson-by-lesson basis and are key to our curriculum. These could include observations of groups, observation and recording of achievement in a practical context, analysis of whole class feedback, the marking of work, either in written or oral form. The criteria for assessment will be related to the objective of the lesson which will relate to the National Curriculum requirements of both scientific knowledge and working scientifically skills. Teachers often note informal assessment data onto their plans.
– Often, at the start of a unit of work, children will undertake an elicitation activity to allow teachers to observe and assess the children’s prior knowledge and understanding of the topic. These activities could include a carousel of practical activities, creating a concept map, or another practical activity.
– At the end of a unit of work, formal assessment data is completed in the assessment folder and highlights those children who are work above/below the nationally expected standard for the objectives covered.
– Long-term assessments assess our children against national expectations. These are summative judgements made by the class teacher based on the data recorded in the assessment folder throughout the year. These are used to provide extra information about individual children’s attainment and progress so that the teacher can report to the next teacher and the child’s parent. These individual pupil results are entered into OTrack (a data management system) at the end of each academic year.

Monitoring

The science subject leader will use their expertise to support other teachers. Completing an annual deep dive into science, they will undertake: learning walks, planning and book scrutinies, pupil and teacher interviews and analysis of the most recent data point to identify trends and variation. The focus of this monitoring is also linked to the school development plan and whole school development priorities. The monitoring cycle will evaluate current practice and the subject leader will be responsible for providing timely feedback, coaching and support. The results of monitoring inform next steps and subsequent action planning, and are noted on the subject leader audit completed at the end of the academic year.

Impact – What knowledge and skills are obtained?

At Tranmere Park, every pupil will:
• Believe that they can be scientists and ask questions and are curious about the world around them, thinking critically and using their scientific skills to undertake enquiries.
• Make excellent progress to meet or exceed national expectations, irrespective of background and entry points, whilst developing their knowledge and skills so that they meet the requirements of the science National Curriculum
• Be excited and hold a curiosity about the world around them. Alongside this, the foundations of the knowledge needed to understand the world around them will be fostered.
• Undertake informal assessments which check existing knowledge and identify gaps in their understanding so that we are certain about the individual goals of each child. This way, by the end of Year 6, we will endeavour for all children to have developed a love of science as well as the knowledge and working scientifically skills that will allow them to continue to be curious about science as they continue their development in KS3 and above.
• Be curious, analytical thinkers who ask inquisitive questions, pose ideas and eagerly tackle challenges.
• Be resilient to mistakes and persevere when faced with a challenge, recognising that they can use their knowledge and skills to solve these problems.
• Be exposed to high quality teaching, designed to captivate and stimulate their curiosity.
• Develop enquiry skills to pursue their own interests within the topics and further questioning.

Further to the above, our Curriculum, at Tranmere Park, is designed to ensure that each and every child achieves or demonstrates the following:

 

The Team Tranmere Way
Be Yourself Be Your Best Be Team Tranmere
Our children will learn to like who they are; they respect themselves and live their lives in their own way, regardless of the opinions of others. Our children ‘give it everything they have got’ to achieve their full potential across the curriculum. Our children are a part of a community and have respect for the resources and people in it and that surround it.
Our Learning Values and Behaviours
Self-Manager Effective Participator Independent Enquirer Team Worker Resourceful Thinker Reflective Learner
Our children set their own goals and manage their own time, motivation and concentration. Our children participate in lessons and persuade and encourage others to do so. Our children set goals for their research with clear success criteria. Our children understand that we are stronger together and implement this. Our children are problem-solvers who can adapt to new or difficult situations. Our children critically analyse their work ensuring future improvements.