Science Curriculum Intent
At Stillness Infant we recognise that ‘a high-quality science education provides children with the foundations for understanding’ and furthering our world. We believe ‘all children should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science’ whilst also providing the opportunities ‘to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, to predict how things will behave, and analyse causes’. At Stillness Infant School our self-designed, sequential and ambitious science curriculum will:
- spark children’s curiosity and encourage them to ask questions at every turn. The curriculum seeks to develop the determination, perseverance and independence of all childrenas they investigatethe world around them. In combination this allows our children to contribute positively to the school, local and wider community.
- celebrate a diverse range of scientists through our in-class learning, assemblies and our school science library. This range of individuals reflects our local and wider community and reinforces to our children our belief that we all can be and are scientists. Our learning within the units focussed on the human body remind our children of what is the same and what is unique about each one of us that make up our diverse school.
- through a secure staff subject knowledge and a coherently sequenced curriculum, ensure that children build on their prior science knowledge, skills and vocabulary. We revisit learning from earlier in the year and/or previous years through ‘Science Flashbacks’. We ensure that children, including SEND and EAL, are challenged appropriately so that they are able to build a fluency and independence when working scientifically.
- expose our children to a rich level of scientific vocabulary. We explicitly teach our children this vocabulary and seek to build their understanding of it and their confidence using it so that they are able to articulate their scientific findings and knowledge effectively. The vocabulary for each unit is established in advance by teachers through our ‘Scientific Knowledge Organisers’.
- be broad and engaging. We adopt a multi-sensory approach that often includes practical activities and experiments that provide children with first hand experiences to explore and reflect on science. Children experience science beyond the classroom through outdoor activities, regular trips, home based activities and visitors coming into the school.
- be presented in meaningful, at times cross curricular, contexts that encourage our children to make links to real life. In other subjects, we often read books with a scientific relevance to spark activities and further reinforce already taught knowledge. Additionally, all classes have access to a rich library of science books which provides reading opportunities and contributes to our whole school focus on reading.
Science Curriculum Implementation
What does Science look like at Stillness infants?
The teaching of Science at Stillness Infants builds on the foundation laid during Early Years. The rationale behind the sequence of learning we have chosen is to foster and develop an understanding and curiosity for our world. This is delivered in an age appropriate way, with teacher created planning that is in line with the National Curriculum where teaching and learning shows progression across key stages within the strands of science.
Our Science curriculum follows a clear and consistent teaching sequence. Teachers plan lessons with the starting point of the class in mind and a clear understanding of the desired end goal for all children. To aid with the sequence, progression and coverage the Plan Bee science scheme is available for teachers utilise.Ourunits are carefully designed. They are positioned throughout the Key Stages so learning is revisited and deepened, and used as a basis to acquire new learning. For example, our Year 1 unit ‘Animals of our World’ feeds into our Year 2 unit ‘Living Things and their Habitats.’
Lessons are designed around the end of unit question. By the end of the unit, after following the progressive and sequentially planned lessons, children are able to use their learnt knowledge to answer the question. This enables children to be able to call upon the vocabulary, skills and subject knowledge taught during the unit in order to answer the unit question. An example of this is the Year 1 unit, ‘Animals of our World’, and it’s question ‘Would a giraffe survive in Antarctica? Explain your thoughts.’ This is also utilised as a method of assessment for our teachers.
Our careful planning ensures our children gain a rich and wide range of skills, knowledge and vocabulary that is effectively built on year by year. At the beginning of each unit year group teams establishe a Scientific Knowledge Organiser that outlines vocabulary that must be learnt by every child. As they are taught, these words are displayed on the science working wall and referred to to embed them in the minds of the children. To support the learning of scientific vocabulary, spark curiosity and widen knowledge of the world around us the school has a variety science themed reading books within each the class and in our ‘School Science Library’.
We provide varied lessons in both presentation and outcome to allow students to fully engage with the subject. Lessons, depending on key stage, can include: experiments, observational walks, group work, research, adult led activities, child led activities and learning through play. All lessons use materials for teaching which avoid stereotyping, and bias towards race, gender, role or disability. We utilise a ‘Working Scientifically’ skills wheel at the start and end of each lesson to ensure we are building on our scientific skills. The complexity of skills employed in lessons advances as a child progresses through the school.
At Stillness Infant School, children are given the opportunities of broad experiences through trips, visitors and theme days. For example, during Science Week children get a first-hand experience animal birth as eggs hatch and duckling grow. Additionally, we provide the children with optional ‘Holiday Experiments’ and ‘Half Term Science Questions’ to foster this spirit at home. At Stillness Infant School we promote a curiosity and love of science that let’s our children know they are all scientists no matter race, gender, age, role, disability or where they are. Our children are able to feedback to the subject leader and shape their learning experience through the Science Council – a democratically peer selected group of 12 children from KS1.