Our Science curriculum is designed to inspire children to have a love for understanding the world around them. We aim to provide a stimulating curriculum where children appreciate the phenomenal impact science has had on the world and how science is vital to future prosperity. The curriculum is designed to ensure children systematically build scientific skills through a range of enquiry types which enables them to work scientifically. Children will learn the skills of asking, predicting, conducting investigations, presenting data and evaluating the results of their findings. In addition, children will learn key concepts and blocks of knowledge which are built upon as they progress through the school. Our curriculum intends to support children to understand technical vocabulary and to use this to express their understanding of scientific knowledge and concepts.
Science is taught discretely during an afternoon each week. Our curriculum covers all objectives set out in the National Curriculum. The curriculum is cyclical meaning children revisit key concepts and understanding as they move through the school, deepening their understanding as they do.
St Gabriel’s curriculum weaves together best practice pedagogy, strategies and lesson content from a range of educational resources. Units have been designed using nationally recognised resources produced by Hamilton Trust and Developing Experts. Children also learn through engaging with concept cartoons and completing anchor tasks which encourage children to talk about science and apply scientific vocabulary.
At St Gabriel’s, key blocks of knowledge have been identified as being imperative to building an understanding of history as well as promoting the wider values of the school. These ‘core knowledge’ blocks are centred on communication; diversity, impact on the world and significant scientists. The ‘core knowledge’ blocks are outlined in each unit of work to ensure our children understand change over time. This knowledge is built upon as the children progress through the school.
Scientific enquiry and its related skills are at the heart of our science curriculum. Each unit of work has been designed to ensure children apply these skills routinely. The school’s long and medium term plans highlight the key aspects of enquiry skills to be developed to ensure the breadth of skills is visited and revisited across year groups. As well as having regular first-hand practical experiences of learning science, children also build on the knowledge of scientists before them by reading and engaging with secondary sources of information.
Assessment for learning strategies are employed to enable teachers to identify the strength of understanding of the children. Teachers will use this information to make adaptations to their planning to meet the needs of the children. Teachers may also change the focus of learning during a lesson to ensure children are supported and challenged. Each term, teachers will use evidence of learning in children’s books, Snap Science activities and their responses in ‘roll-over’ quizzes to ascertain children’s progress within and across units of work. Verbal feedback and written feedback is used to support children in understanding more about science. School leaders monitor pupil’s books termly and hold individual termly meetings with all teachers to ensure they are supported to provide a high-quality science curriculum. In addition, children’s views and understanding are ascertained through pupil interviews/surveys.