Our Core Principles (CPs)
Here at St Nicholas we ensure science is taught around our key teaching and learning principles.
We believe in:
- building on what pupils already know and inspiring them ask high quality questions to further their curiosity
- all children having access to active, well resourced, pupil centred learning opportunities which will engage and encourage future aspirations
- the success for every child and that learning is meaningful to all
- the development of child independent learning and effective, quality feedback
At St Nicholas, the National Curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum define our science curriculum. We have chosen to follow the Programme of Study (PoS) SnapScience. This PoS covers all areas of the curriculum in a balanced, exciting and interactive way and fits in with our schools CP’s.
As part of the Long Term Plan, year groups are allocated science topics to ensure that children cover all aspects of science as they progress through the school. SnapScience comes with planning, interactive resources and follow up ideas and is also what we use for all of our science assessment. Lessons are supplemented with extra resources and real life experiences to maximise opportunities for practical work and cross-curricular links.
We aim for all children at St Nicholas to:
- develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics;
- develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer
scientific questions about the world around them develop knowledge and understanding of important scientific ideas, processes and skills and relate these to everyday experiences;
- equip children with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
- to develop attitudes of curiosity, originality, co-operation, perseverance, open mindedness, self-criticism, responsibility and independence in thinking;
- learn about ways of thinking and of finding out about and communicating ideas;
- retain and develop their natural sense of curiosity about the world around them;
- ask and answer scientific questions;
- develop the accurate use of scientific vocabulary through a range of enjoyable and interesting experiences;
- develop the skills to make systematic enquiries.
The practicalities of science at St Nicholas
- Science is taught weekly;
- It is taught by the class teacher;
- Science is linked to practical experiences whenever appropriate;
- Visits, visitors and real life experiences are encouraged where possible;
- Teachers use a variety of teaching methods: modelling, demonstration, use of internet links and video, experiments (both immediate and over time), research, discussion and debate;
- Topics are re-visited but expanded and developed as children move up the school;
- Cross-curricular links are made where possible – for example explanation texts in literacy or links to history and geography topics;
- Children record work in science books and whole class science big books;
- Every class should have a science working wall containing key vocabulary for their topic and investigative language relevant to the year group.
- ICT and DVDs are used to support the curriculum;
- Relevant discussion is encouraged;
- Children utilise active learning strategies such as ; odd one out, concept maps, observations overtime;
- Children are encouraged to communicate their findings in a variety of ways, such as: diagrams, posters, mind maps, talking partners and group scribing;
- The development and monitoring of science is managed by the subject leader, which includes termly monitoring of teaching and learning and
assessment. Findings of monitoring are reported to Governors and areas for development form an action plan and are fed into the school development plan.
We provide challenge for all learners through a variety of approaches and tasks appropriate to ability levels. These include:
- groups are often mixed in ability to promote peer teaching;
- learning experiences are adapted where necessary to enable all learners to access the curriculum;
- support for children with learning barriers or who are having difficulty in understanding particular concepts or vocabulary;
- teachers and support staff who work with specific children to promote understanding;
- the more able pupils given suitably challenging tasks;
- the use of good quality resources, centrally stored, and provide enough so that children have access to hands on experiences.
Snap Science Assessment allows you to review, track and record every child’s progress – with complete coverage of all concepts and skills from the new Teacher Assessment Framework providing a comprehensive assessment solution. Teachers are expected to update science assessment after each lesson and state whether a child has understood the concept/objective or if they need more work. If children are struggling with particular objectives, extra intervention/ snap shots are put in place to ensure that children are not left behind and gaps are filled. We aim for 100% of all children to leave their year group with full and secure understanding of their science curriculum.