At Eldon Primary School we have high expectations, enthusiasm and a passion for Science. We aim for high levels of engagement and commitment to learning using a wide range of teaching strategies, incorporating practical science skills. We aim to develop knowledge, skills and understanding using a wide range of activities, discussions, quality questioning and the use of high-quality resources. We encourage active participation in learning through practical work and trips which stimulate pupil’s inquisitiveness. The creative curriculum approach is adopted using key questions as a basis for learning and investigation.
Vision for Science at Eldon!
WE ARE SCIENTISTS
At Eldon, pupils become more expert as they progress through the curriculum, accumulating, connecting and making sense of the rich substantive and disciplinary knowledge.
Substantive knowledge - this is the subject knowledge and explicit vocabulary used to learn about the content. Common misconceptions are explicitly revealed as non-examples and positioned against known and accurate content. In science, an extensive and connected knowledge base is constructed so that pupils can use these foundations and integrate it with what they already know. Misconceptions are challenged carefully and in the context of the substantive and disciplinary knowledge. In Science, it is recommended that misconceptions are not introduced too early, as pupils need to construct a mental model in which to position that new knowledge.
Disciplinary knowledge – this is knowing how to collect, use, interpret, understand and evaluate the evidence from scientific processes. This is taught.
Scientific analysis is developed through ‘Thinking Scientifically.’
identifying and classifying
observing over time
fair and comparative testing
Eldon is working alongside the CUSP partnership and use the Science curriculum resources to support the delivery of Science at Eldon.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum supports children’s understanding of Science through the planning and teaching of ‘Understanding the World.’ Children find out about objects, materials and living things using all of their senses looking at similarities, differences, patterns and change. Both the environment and skilled practitioners foster curiosity and encourage explorative play, children are motivated to ask questions about why things happen and how things work. Our children are encouraged to use their natural environment around them to explore. Children enjoy spending time outdoors exploring mini-beasts and their habitats, observing the changing seasons, plants and animals. During the spring term children have the unique first hand experience of hatching and caring for live chicks. Children regularly participate in cookery and baking sessions which allows them to experience changes in state as ingredients are mixed, heated and cooled.
KEY STAGE 1
Pupils study the Seasons and develop an early conceptual understanding of how day becomes night. An understanding of change over time connects to the study of Plants, including trees. This focus enables children to associate trees as belonging to the plant kingdom and notice the changes deciduous trees go through connected to the seasons.
Contrasting that study, pupils learn about Animals, including humans. Non-examples of plants are used to contrast the features of an animal.
Pupils are introduced to identifying and classifying materials. Scientific terms, such as transparent, translucent and opaque are taught explicitly through vocabulary instruction and pupils make further sense by applying it to what they know and then to working and thinking scientifically tasks. This substantive knowledge is enriched by pupils’ use of disciplinary knowledge through scientific enquiry.
Within the study of Living things and their habitats and Uses of everyday materials new substantive knowledge is constructed and made sense of through Working and Thinking scientifically tasks.
LOWER KEY STAGE 2
The unit on Rocks is studied and connected with prior knowledge from ‘Everyday materials’ in KS1. A study of Animals, including humans is built upon from KS1 and contrasts the physical features with the functions they perform, including the skeleton and muscles.
Rocks is revisited again to sophisticate and deepen pupils’ knowledge, advancing their understanding.
Forces and magnets are introduced and connect with KS1 materials, including twisting, bending and squashing. Contact and non-contact forces are taught and understanding applied through Working and Thinking Scientifically. The abstract concept of Light is made concrete through knowing about light sources and shadows. Plants are studied to develop a more sophisticated understanding of their parts and functions, including pollination.
A study of Living things and their habitats pays close attention to classification and is directly taught using prior knowledge to ensure conceptual frameworks are secure. Animals, plants and environments are connected in this study with a summary focusing on positive and negative change.
Electricity is introduced and pupils acquire understanding about electrical sources, safety and components of a single loop circuit.
Animals, including humans focuses on the sequence of digestion, from the mouth to excretion.
States of matter and Sound are taught using knowledge of the particle theory. Practical scientific tasks and tests help pupils build a coherent understanding of the particle theory by applying what they know through structured scientific enquiry.
UPPER KEY STAGE 2
Pupils reuse and draw upon their understanding of states of matter in the study of Properties and changes of materials.
Change is also studied within Animals, including humans, focusing on growth and development of humans and animals.
Earth in Space develops the conceptual understanding of our place in the universe.
A study of Forces sophisticates the substantive knowledge acquired in KS1 and LKS2. Enhancing this study of Forces, pupils learn about Galileo Galilei 1564 - 1642 (considered the father of modern science).
Living things and their habitats focuses on differences in life cycles of living things and how they reproduce. This study also contrasts previous scientific thinking.
A further study of Living things and their habitats enables pupils in UKS2 to revisit and add to their understanding of classification through the taxonomy created by Carl Linnaeus. More complex animals are studied.
Light is revisited and taught with advanced substantive knowledge. This is physics study with a focus on the properties of light, not the biology of the eye.
HOW DO CHILDREN LEARN?
Class timetables have been built to ensure a broad and balanced curriculum.
Subjects have been blocked in a spaced retrieval model to support catch up and to build the frequency of science and wider curriculum subjects. This maximises learning time.
We teach Science through a six phase lesson.
OVERVIEW OF KNOWLEDGE KNOWLEDGE ORGANISERS
Each unit includes an overview for the Teacher Knowledge Organisers contain core information for
which details the big ideas that children will be children to easily access and use as a point of
studying, prior knowledge, skills to be taught reference and as a means for retrieval practice.
and common misconceptions.
MAPPING OF KNOWLEDGE KNOWLEDGE NOTES
The sequence of learning makes clear Knowledge notes are an elaboration in the core
essential and desirable knowledge, key knowledge found in knowledge organisers.
questions, and task suggestions for each Knowledge Notes focus childrens' working memory
lesson and suggested cumulative quizzing to the key question that will be asked at the end of
questions. the lesson. It reduces cognitive load and reduces the
Retrieval practice is planned into the curriculum through spaced learning and interleaving as part of considered task design by class Teachers. Teaching and Learning resources are provided for class Teachers to reduce their workload and help them to focus their time on subject knowledge and task design.
The units are supported by vocabulary modules which provide both resources for teaching and learning vital vocabulary and provide teachers with Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary with the etymology and morphology needed for explicit instruction details, relevant idioms and colloquialisms to make this learning explicit.
We aim to provide a high challenge with low threat culture and put no ceiling on any child’s learning, instead providing the right scaffolding for each child for them to achieve.
Our Science curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. Our assessment systems enable teachers to make informed judgements about the depth of pupil learning and the progress pupils make over time. If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
HOW DO WE KNOW LEARNING HAS STUCK?
Pupil Book Study talking about learning with the children
Talking to teachers
Low stakes ‘Drop-in’ observations
Quizzing and retrieval practise
Feedback and marking
Progress in book matches the curriculum intent
PUPIL BOOK STUDY TELLS US:
1. What impact is our CURRICULUM having?
What effect is the curriculum architecture having?
2. Does teaching support LONG-TERM LEARNING?
Is the evidence-led practice really being deployed at a classroom level, or is it superficial?
3. Do tasks enable pupils to THINK HARD and CREATE LONG-TERM MEMORY?How impactful are tasks, and do they help pupils to think hard and generate learning?
EXAMPLE OF A QUIZ