At St. James CE Primary School, our curriculum is the primary way that we seek to achieve our vision: Teach – spiritual and moral values, Nurture – a sense of love and hope in ourselves and others, Celebrate – achievements, creativity and enquiring minds. Our vision is driven by a desire for all pupils to live life in all its fullness and to ensure that every pupil leaves our school with the ability and desire to: learn more; unlock their potential and make their mark on the world.
The St. James curriculum has been adapted and developed to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to meet Key Stage requirements and allow for smooth transition to the next phase of education. It has been designed to meet the needs of our pupils and to develop learners that strive to learn knew information through exploring big questions and concepts.
At St. James we think about our curriculum at 4 levels:
- The intended curriculum: what we intend pupils to learn, including the explicit knowledge we expect them to remember, which we set out in detail.
- The implemented curriculum: the resources and structures teachers use to deliver the curriculum.
- The enacted curriculum: the approaches our teachers use to bring this knowledge to life for their pupils.
- The impact of the curriculum: the changes to pupils’ long term memory our curriculum leads to and how we check and evaluate how well our pupils understand what they are taught.
The intended curriculum
At St. James our curriculum is:
- Rich in powerful knowledge, skills and vocabulary, which are specified, taught, assessed and remembered by pupils
- Well-planned and sequenced so that key concepts are built on year by year in a clear and logical progression.
- Rooted in the strongest available evidence about how pupils learn and retain knowledge in the long term.
- A well designed, cumulative curriculum structure, starting with EYFS provision, ensuring prior knowledge is always a pre-cursor to study.
- Taught by expert teachers who make skillful connections to prior knowledge as they are aware of the previous units of study.
- Underpinned by a sharp use of assessment to support and progress learning.
- Supportive of teacher workload, wellbeing and professional development.
- Diverse and forward thinking, enabling children to make connections between their local area and the wider world.
- Reflective of core British values which are embedded within the curriculum ensuring children are taught tolerance, respect and individual liberties through the conscious curriculum choices made.
At St James C E Primary School, we believe that science stimulates and excites children’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. It also satisfies their curiosity with knowledge. Because science links direct practical experience with ideas, it can engage learners at many levels.
At St James C E Primary School, we believe that science will lead to a better understanding of ourselves and the world. It provides opportunities to appreciate scientific facts and concepts and to experience scientific discovery.
Science at is about developing children’s ideas and ways of working that enable us to make sense in the world in which they live through investigation, as well as using and applying process skills.
Aims of our Science Curriculum
- Engage children as learners at many levels through linking ideas with practical experience;
- Help children to learn to question and discuss scientific issues that may affect their own lives;
- Help children develop, model and evaluate explanations through scientific methods of collecting evidence using critical and creative thought;
- Show children how major scientific ideas contribute to technological change and how these impacts on improving the quality of our everyday lives;
- Help children recognise the cultural significance of science and trace its development
- To increase the child’s knowledge and understanding of the world.
- To develop attitudes of curiosity, originality, co-operation, perseverance, open mindedness, self-criticism, responsibility and independence in thinking.
- To enable children to effectively and confidently communicate their scientific predictions and discoveries as they are given the opportunity to observe, describe, illustrate, hypothesise, evaluate and interpret, using appropriate scientific vocabulary.
- To develop children’ understanding of the effects of their actions on the environment.
Expectations in Science
At the end of KS1 children should:
- asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways
- observing closely, using simple equipment
- performing simple tests
- identifying and classifying
- using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
- gathering and recording data to help in answering questions.
At the end of LKS2 children should:
- asking relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them
- setting up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests
- making systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, taking accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers
- gathering, recording, classifying and presenting data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions
- recording findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables
- reporting on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions
- using results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions
- identifying differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes
- using straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.
At the end of UKS2 children should:
- planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary
- taking measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate
- recording data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs
- using test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests
- reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations
- identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.
Early Years Foundation Stage
At St James, children in EYFS will be introduced to science through the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum Guidance. The Early Learning Goals (ELGs) for ‘Understanding of the World’ forms the foundation for later work in science, design and technology, history, geography and ICT.
Wherever possible the children are provided with activities based on first-hand experience that encourage exploration, observation, problem solving, prediction, critical thinking, decision making and discussion. We provide an environment with a wide range of indoor and outdoor experiences that stimulate their interest and curiosity.
At St James, children are provided with a broad range of opportunities and experiences in science, enabling them to work towards their Early Learning Goals.
Children develop their understanding of the world around them on a daily basis, using their senses to explore and learn about objects and materials. Children are given holistic learning experiences, incorporating elements of science in their everyday activities.
At St James, children observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and physical phenomena. They begin to work together to collect evidence to help them answer questions and to link this to simple scientific ideas. They begin to evaluate evidence and consider whether tests or comparisons are preparing for the future in a caring environment.
They use reference materials including ICT to find out more about scientific ideas. They share ideas and communicate them using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables with the help of ICT where appropriate.
The KS1 curriculum follows the National Curriculum, ensuring all areas of the Programme of Study are covered across both Years 1 and 2. Children further develop their understanding of the world around them which they have gained in the Foundation Stage. Children are able to observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and physical phenomena.
Children begin to work collaboratively with others, enabling them to develop their scientific knowledge and understanding and to link scientific concepts. Children communicate ideas orally using taught scientific language and begin to develop written methods for communicating their ideas (to include drawings, diagrams, use of ICT, tables and charts).
In KS2 children learn about a wider range of living things, materials and physical phenomena. They make links between ideas and explain things using simple models and theories. They apply their knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas to familiar phenomena, everyday things and their personal health. They think about the effects of scientific and technological developments on the environment and in other contexts. They carry out more systematic investigations, working on their own and with others. They use a range of reference sources including ICT in their work. They talk about their work and its significances, using a wide range of scientific language, conventional diagrams, charts, graphs and ICT to communicate their ideas.
The KS2 curriculum follows the National Curriculum, ensuring all areas of the Programme of Study are covered across Years 3, 4, 5 and 6. Children learn, explore and ask questions about a wider range of living things, materials and physical phenomena. Children think about the impact of scientific developments and technologies on themselves and the world around them.
Children are encouraged to develop an independent approach to their science learning, through asking questions, suggesting improvements to their work and supporting each other towards achieving a heightened understanding of scientific concepts.
Sc1 is promoted across KS2 with children being given the opportunity to plan, carry out and evaluate experiments. Children are encouraged to develop their own methods for presenting their ideas (to include drawings, diagrams, use of ICT, tables and charts.)
The implemented curriculum
We have used the best research to create a well sequenced and progressive curriculum map containing the key concepts children need to be procedurally fluent in to work and think like professional scientists.
Science pedagogy is based on the development of these key scientific concepts:
- Conceptual understanding
- Skills of enquiry
- Scientific attitudes
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. Our Science curriculum includes an extensive and connected knowledge base, 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.
The key substantive knowledge in Science is as follows:
(the study of living things (organisms), their structure and environments)
(the study of matter, forces and motion, sound, light and waves, electricity and magnetism and Earth in Space)
(the study of the composition, behaviour and properties of matter, and of the elements of the Earth and its atmosphere)
Animals, including humans
Living things and their habitats
Evolution and Inheritance
Forces and Magnets
Forces and Earth in Space
Uses of Everyday Materials
States of Matter
Properties and changes of materials
Disciplinary knowledge is knowing how to collect, use, interpret, understand and evaluate the evidence from scientific processes. This is taught. It is not assumed that pupils will acquire these skills by luck or hope. Pupils construct understanding by applying substantive knowledge to questioning and planning, observing, performing a range of tests, accurately measuring, comparing through identifying and classifying, using observations and gathering data to help answer questions, explaining and reporting, predicting, concluding, improving, and seeking patterns. We call it ‘Working Scientifically.’
The key disciplinary knowledge in Science is as follows:
- Pattern seeking
- Observing over time
- Fair and comparative testing
At St James, scientific method is about developing and evaluating explanations through experimental evidence and modelling. This is an ignition to critical and creative thought. Through science, children understand how major scientific ideas contribute to technological change – impacting on industry, business and medicine and improving the quality of life. Children recognise the cultural significance of science and trace its world-wide development. They learn to question and discuss science-based issues that may affect their own lives, the direction of society and the future of the world.
The impact of our curriculum
At St. James CE Primary School, we have a concise whole school shared definition of learning: ‘Learning is a change in long term memory.’ In order to identify the impact our curriculum is having on our pupils, teachers employ a range of assessment strategies both at the point of teaching and after.
Regular assessment of pupil needs and understanding plays a vital role here as does the provision of appropriate resources, the internet and our whiteboards offer a wealth of materials that can be matched to suit individual or group needs, enabling all pupils to develop their science knowledge and skills.
At St James CE Primary children should be assessed against their progress in understanding and applying Science knowledge and skills against the curriculum map. This will be self-evident from the work produced in a situation where no teacher support is given once a task has been assigned.