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Our School  »  Curriculum  »  Science

Subject Overview - Science

INTENT 

Science teaching at Barkston Ash Catholic Primary School (BACPS) aims to give all children a strong understanding of the world around them through discrete teaching of biology, chemistry and physics, whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them to think scientifically to gain an understanding of scientific processes and also an understanding of the uses and implications of science today and for the future. We want our students to develop a natural curiosity of the world around them and for teachers to teach the skills that will help students to answer questions their curiosity brings them.

At BACPS, scientific enquiry skills are embedded in each topic the children study and these topics are revisited and developed throughout their time at school. Some topics, such as forces or plants, are taught in Key Stage One and studied again in further detail throughout Key Stage Two.

Each year, we have a Science week to celebrate and develop children’s scientific understanding and skills. EYFS develop topics around children’s interest to further allow them to further develop their scientific knowledge and understanding and enthusiasm of the subject. This model of curriculum and theme week allows children to build upon their prior knowledge and increases their enthusiasm for the topics whilst embedding this procedural knowledge into the long-term memory. All children are encouraged to develop and use a range of skills including observations, planning and investigations, as well as being encouraged to question the world around them and become independent learners in exploring possible answers for their scientific based questions. Concepts taught should be reinforced by focusing on the key features of scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions.

HOW IS THE CURRICULUM ORGANISED TO ACHIEVE THIS?

The school follows a two-year rotating long-term plan for science that each class follows. Learning challenges within KS2 offer further enhancement to the teaching received in school, allowing children chance to further consolidate their knowledge and understanding. The science subject leader is currently looking at this plan to further enhance the teaching and learning experience for staff and students. 

IMPLEMENTATION

Science is taught in an engaging way to develop children’s curiosity about the world around them. They develop respect for living organisms, environment, equipment and knowledge and are provided opportunities for critical evaluation of evidence as they develop understanding through school. In EYFS and KS2, learning challenges and ‘learning at home activities’ are developed to allow children to embed their knowledge and to allow parents to engage with the developing curiosity of their child. Teachers carefully plan engaging and appropriate lessons that interest the children and allow the children to develop their own questions and ideas about what they already know, what they see and what they think. Through their planning, teachers identify ‘working scientifically’ skills children will be using in each session so these skills are developed through the year. Teaching builds upon prior knowledge from other year groups through the use of vocabulary and concepts.

In EYFS, opportunities are taken to use children’s interest to teach topics to enhance their understanding of the world, e.g. seasonal changes through changes, patterns and similarities. The children are encouraged to excel by posing their own scientific questions to explore. 

In KS2, children develop their skills in knowledge and observation by asking questions and thinking scientifically about what they see, notice and think. This takes place in discrete science sessions throughout the year. They develop an in-depth understanding of topics building up on their prior learning from KS1 and prior KS2 classes. 

IMPACT

This approach results in an engaging and high-quality education that will given children the skills and knowledge to allow them to question what they see around them and to begin to answer these. Teachers have worked hard to ensure there is a mix of teacher-led and child-led learning through high-quality teaching and the use of investigations and letting children get things wrong to allow them to understand, improvise and discuss what they have seen. Children enjoy their science teaching and speak highly of the sessions teachers plan and deliver to the children.  

What is the attainment for this subject?
 
End of year results 2018-2019.
 
  BWT WTB WTA ILB ILA EXB EXA
Y1   5%   38% 38% 19%  
Y2     6%   38%   56%
Y3   13%     55% 13% 19%
Y4   5% 5% 5% 27% 53% 5%
Y5     6% 6% 41% 41% 6%
Y6       9% 55% 18% 18%
 
  Working Towards (%) Inline (%) Exceeding (%)
Y1 5 76 19
Y2 6 55 56
Y3 13 55 32
Y4 10 32 58
Y5 6 47 47
Y6   64 36


Attainment in science has increased from 2017 onwards. There is a high level of attainment in each class, though there are small groups of children who are below ARE. 
56% and 58% of Y2 and Y4 children respectively exceeded ARE in the subject.

95% of children in EYFS achieved GLD with a high percentage of children exceeding.

Standards of teaching in science are extremely high. Children have a good understanding of concepts taught within lessons and books show a good range of learning styles – some self-led, some taught by the teacher and others through open-ended investigations. Book scrutinies and data correlate well with this. 

The subject is assessed using teacher assessment judgements and assessment grids based on the statements of learning given in the National Curriculum. The science subject leader led the staff on a journey to identify and develop targets in key areas that we believe children at BACPS be the absolute minimum that a child comes away with in a subject. Through these targets, staff are able to identify children that have or haven’t understood these key principles so that further or future teaching can build upon.  

OTHER DETAILS

Specialist vocabulary for topics is taught and built up, and effective questioning to communicate ideas is encouraged. The science subject lead introduced targets for science in 2018 to ensure children are able to work on the absolute core knowledge needed for the subject for children to build on later in life.

Each year, orders are placed for resources and are linked to the long term plan and teacher feedback.

Every child in school has an opportunity to take part in Science Week. Class 3 have had visits from volcanologists at the university to link to their science and geography, EYFS and KS1 are visited annually by ‘Farmer Carl’ to further consolidate and embed knowledge on living things.