Subject Statement – Intent, Implementation and Impact
Subject Lead: Mrs Ahmed
In Science, we intend to provide high quality education, where we develop an eagerness for Science, nurturing the pupils' natural curiosity to allow them to ask questions and develop the skills they need to answer their curiosity. Pupils will gain confidence and competence in a range of practical skills through thought-provoking questions, which stimulate and challenge the pupils to answer the big question by the end of each lesson through a particular enquiry type and the skills of Working Scientifically.
Scientific work can be undertaken independently and in groups, supporting each other with various scientific roles and responsibilities, fostering the need for compassion. With all this in mind this should allow for our school’s mission to be carried out where, the best learning occurs when the pupils and adults feel safe. To support the progress in the path to adulthood for our pupils, there needs to be exciting, stimulating and challenging activities, where everyone enjoys learning with each other. This is underpinned by the understanding that the skill of reading is essential for a successful, responsible and happy pupil.
The science projects at VJS are sequenced to develop both children’s substantive and declarative knowledge, and if possible, make meaningful links to other projects. For example, in Year 3, the projects Plant Nutrition and Reproduction and Light and Shadows are taught alongside the design and technology project Greenhouse and the art and design project Beautiful Botanicals. These links allow for children to embed their substantive knowledge in new and often real-life contexts. The sequencing of projects ensures that children have the substantive knowledge and vocabulary to comprehend subsequent projects fully. Each project’s place in the year has also been carefully considered. For example, projects that involve growing plants or observing animals are positioned at a suitable time of year to give children the best possible opportunity to make first-hand observations. Within all the science projects, disciplinary knowledge is embedded within substantive content.
Lower Key Stage 2
Pupils focus on specific body systems and nutrition in Key Stage 2. In the autumn term of Year 3, they learn about the skeletal and muscular system in the project Skeletal and Muscular Systems. This learning again links to other animals, with children identifying similarities and differences. Children also learn about healthy diets alongside the autumn term design and technology project Cook Well, Eatwell. In the spring term, properties of materials are revisited in the project Forces and Magnets, with children identifying magnetic materials and learning about the non-contact force of magnetism. They also begin to learn about contact forces, investigating how things move over surfaces. Science learning about rocks and soils is delivered through the geography project Rocks, Relics and Rumbles. Children begin to link structure to function in the summer Plant Nutrition and Reproduction project, identifying the plant parts associated with reproduction and water transport. Children finish the year with the project Light and Shadows, where they are explicitly introduced to the subject of light, with children learning about shadows and reflections, revisiting language from Key Stage 1, including opaque and transparent. In the autumn term of Year 4, children learn about the digestive system, again making comparisons to other animals, in the project Digestive System. The second autumn term project Sound introduces the concept of sound, with children identifying how sounds are made and travel. They learn and use new vocabulary, such as pitch and volume, and identify properties of materials associated with these concepts. In the spring term project States of Matter, children learn about solids, liquids and gases and their characteristics. They understand how temperature drives change of state and link this learning to the project Misty Mountain, Winding River, in which children learn about the water cycle. Up to this point, children have had many opportunities for grouping and sorting living things. In the spring project Grouping and Classifying, children recognise this as ‘classification’ and explore classification keys. Finally, in the summer term, children study electricity by creating and recording simple circuits in the project Electrical Circuits and Conductors. They also build on their knowledge of the properties of materials, identifying electrical conductors and insulators.
Upper Key Stage 2
In the autumn term of Year 5, children broaden their knowledge of forces, including gravity and air and water resistance, in the project Forces and Mechanisms. They revisit learning from design and technology projects, including Making It Move and Moving Mechanisms, to explore various mechanisms and their uses. Their knowledge of gravity supports the autumn term project Earth and Space, so they can understand the forces that shape planets and our solar system. Having learned that animals and plants produce offspring in earlier projects and studied plant and animal life cycles in Sow, Grow and Farm, children now focus on the human life cycle and sexual reproduction in the spring term project Human Reproduction and Ageing. In the summer term project Properties and Changes of Materials, children revisit much of their prior learning about materials’ properties and learn new properties, including thermal conductivity and solubility. To this point, children have learned much about reversible changes, such as melting and freezing, but now extend their learning to irreversible changes, including chemical changes. In Year 6, the final body system children learn about is the circulatory system and its roles in transporting water, nutrients and gases in the autumn term project Circulatory System. Science learning about classification is delivered through the spring term geography project Frozen Kingdoms. In the spring term, children also build on their knowledge about electrical circuits from Year 4, now learning and recording standard symbols for circuit components and investigating the function of components and the effects of voltage on a circuit in the project Electrical Circuits and Components. In the summer project Light Theory, children recognise that light travels in straight lines from a source or reflector to the eye and explain the shape of shadows. Finally, in the project Evolution and Inheritance, children learn about inheritance and understand why offspring are not identical to their parents. They also learn about natural selection and how this can lead to the evolution of a species.
Throughout the science scheme, there is complete coverage of all national curriculum programmes of study and allows you to interrogate the sequencing of curriculum aspects and concepts, vocabulary and connectivity of the science scheme with other curriculum subjects. This can be seen below in more detail.
The impact of Science is measured by teacher assessment throughout the topic. Teachers are starting each lesson by recapping last lessons and lots of quizzes are used to help pupil put knowledge into their long term memory. All year groups use a Science knowledge organiser that clearly identifies the learning that takes place over the course of the topic. Pupils highlight what they have learnt. End of topic tests and quizzes can are used as well as teacher judgments to assessment pupils progress. Learning walks, pupil voice and Book looks are done yearly and planning is scrutinised termly to action any improvements needed in order to provide a consistently rich skills-based Science curriculum.
Pupils show independence: they are able to think for themselves and raise their own questions about science. They are confident and competent in the full range of stage-related practical skills, taking the initiative in planning, carrying out, recording and evaluating their own scientific investigations. Pupils frequently use their scientific knowledge and understanding very effectively in written and verbal explanations, solving challenging problems and reporting scientific findings formally. They work constructively with other pupils, demonstrating common understanding in discrete well-focused roles, with all playing a part in successful investigations. Pupils show high levels of originality, imagination and innovation in their understanding and application of their knowledge and skills. Their practical work incorporates a variety of contexts, including fieldwork. Pupils research contemporary issues and understand the impact of science on society. They develop a sense of passion and commitment to science, showing strong application and enthusiasm to learn more through scientific endeavour.