Science at Tirlebrook Primary School
The Delivery of the Science Curriculum at Tirlebrook
Science Curriculum Intent
At Tirlebrook Primary School we have designed a bespoke curriculum for the teaching of science.
It is our intention to create a science curriculum that fosters curiosity in children about our universe. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts and skills. Our children develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Children will be exposed to a range of resources and engage in a number of hands-on activities; building on their scientific enquiry skills to help them answer scientific questions about the world around them. Children are responsible for their working environment and the equipment and resources they select. Working both independently and collaboratively, children are given opportunities to explore their environment indoors and outdoors.
Our science curriculum progressively develops children’s skills and understanding and builds on prior learning. Our curriculum will allow children to be equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. All children will explore the impact of science in the wider world and take responsibility for their choices and actions in the classroom environment and beyond. Children will enjoy varied first-hand experiences of scientific learning and flourish in the excitement of ‘lightbulb moments’. Through the study the work of great scientists, teachers will foster an aspirational environment for children to achieve great things. We intend for our children to experience the joy of discovering something new, allowing them to articulate what they have found out using scientific specific vocabulary. At every opportunity for scientific exploration, children will use a range of methods to communicate their scientific understanding and present it in a systematic, scientific manner, including ICT, diagrams, graphs and charts.
It is our intention that our curriculum will provide children with the opportunity to communicate, share ideas and build confidence together in their scientific endeavours as well as develop a respect for the materials and equipment they handle with regard to their own, and other children’s safety. Furthermore, our children will develop an enthusiasm and enjoyment of scientific learning and discovery.
We believe that at Tirlebrook Primary School we provide a fun, engaging, high-quality science curriculum that will provide all children with the foundations for understanding the world now and in the future, allowing them to be ready to make informed choices about future scientific learning and endeavours.
Science Curriculum Implementation
Our approach to the delivery of science at Tirlebrook Primary School is flexible to suit the needs of the children and the science unit being taught, with lessons either being taught through a sequence of weekly sessions or as a block of learning.
Following the National Curriculum for science, teachers plan and deliver high-quality sequences of learning using carefully selected resources. Alongside the National Curriculum documentation, teachers are guided by a framework of skills to ensure a progressive approach and that scientific skills are secured, developed and built on over a period of time in parallel with knowledge that is secured, developed and built on through the National Curriculum. Within each science unit of learning and each sequence of learning, children are provided with opportunities for hands-on enquiry-based learning opportunities.
Each unit of learning begins with children being introduced to the area of science being studied through a ‘learning mat’. Each learning mat displays the learning journey that children will take through each unit, shares key scientific vocabulary that the children should aim to understand and use throughout the science unit, outlines a line of scientific enquiry that will be explored and introduces the children to a target scientist. Children are also invited to consider questions they would like to find answers to at this stage and draw on their prior scientific knowledge.
During each science unit, teachers focus on an inspirational scientist who is currently working or who has historically had an impact on the world’s scientific knowledge and understanding. Children study the influential work of the scientist and discuss how this has had an impact globally. Scientists are selected to ensure coverage across a wide-range of scientific fields of study, as well as for their diversity which further enriches our Tirlebrook Primary School science curriculum.
Learning and lesson outcomes will vary according to the lesson content, the scientific skills being developed and the style of the activity being completed by the children. Teachers will select an appropriate medium for children to record their responses to a specific aspect of learning and may take the form of formal written work, informal written work, annotated pictures and drawings, as well as verbal responses. Learning may be documented in an individual science book or may be recorded digitally and may be supported by photos and/or video media to illustrate learning and understanding.
Science in our early years setting is supported by continuous provision, with activities carefully selected by the teacher to develop and contribute to ‘Communication and Language’, ‘Personal, Social and Emotional Development’ and ‘Understanding the World’. Activities selected to explore scientific areas of learning are also be supported by a framework of skills that starts the learning journey of our young scientists at Tirlebrook Primary School.
The science curriculum at Tirlebrook Primary School is regularly supplemented and enhanced through annual themed science days and STEM weeks where children are offered varied enquiry-based learning activities and one-off experiments that may sit outside the objectives of the National Curriculum but support the development of the children’s scientific skills. Additionally, our curriculum is enriched with expertise provided by external sources. Recent experiences have included whizzy science experiment assemblies led by a visiting team, a mobile planetarium filling the school hall and STEM workshops that build meaningful cross-curricular links with Design & Technology, Art & Design and Maths (to name but a few).
Teacher observations, pupil responses, written work, quizzes and mini-assessment checks (for example) are used to informally assess the children’s knowledge and understanding at the end of each science sequence of learning. National Curriculum objectives and a framework of scientific skills allow the progress and attainment of each child to be tracked against age related expectations.
Science Curriculum Impact