Science Curriculum Statement
Science is fundamental to understanding the phenomena of the world and the teaching of science at Humberstone is designed to promote curiosity and engagement in all children. It is through rigorous planning and concept mapping that children are equipped to understand the world in which they live through the disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science subject knowledge in the school curriculum is delivered alongside the merits of Project Based Learning, where active exploration, adult connections and authenticity are key tenets. This design allows children of all abilities to become confident using and understanding scientific vocabulary and concepts. Each science project centres around a driving question which allows all children to apply their growing knowledge of scientific concepts and vocabulary and engage in a higher level of thinking within a real world context. Through projects, a broad range of opportunities are provided for children to develop strong scientific knowledge alongside 21st century skills, which include; communication, collaboration and critical thinking. Because of the child-centred and explorative nature of Science learning, ample opportunities to develop oracy skills are woven throughout the learning. The intent for Science at Humberstone is to equip all children with strong subject knowledge and skills so that they are ready for the next stage in their education and can make positive contributions in solving real world problems which demand an application of scientific understanding.
The Science curriculum has been carefully considered to ensure a broad selection of topics which allow for the progression of vocabulary and subject knowledge across the school. This careful sequencing of units allows for children to develop their existing schemas and use prior knowledge as a hook for new learning. All children will be taught between 1-2 Science projects each academic year as well as a mini STEAM project to further develop their scientific skills. Example projects include ‘How can we protect endangered species?’ and ‘What makes me human?’, where a thought provoking question is at the core of the learning. Additionally, teachers are encouraged to make cross curricular links and engage in the discussion of scientific concepts outside of PBL, for example through Novel Study. Teachers are supported to plan and deliver these Science projects through project tuning and gallery walks where teams work together to challenge thinking and ensure academic rigour.
In order to plan Science projects, teams create detailed project overviews on a yearly basis to map out scientific vocabulary that will need to be taught as well as potential assessment opportunities at each stage of the sequence of learning. Alongside this, teams develop assessment rubrics which draw upon national curriculum objectives as well as 21st century and oracy skills and are used to monitor the learning attained as a result of Science teaching. These rubrics are shared with children so that they can play an active role in taking responsibility for their learning as well as to maintain an ethic of excellence; children are aware of what it looks like to be successful in Science. Progression of scientific knowledge seen in the planning is evident across the school in the increasingly complex outcomes that children produce to showcase their learning which draw on a range of skills. For example, in Year 1, children may consider the practical implications of the choices of materials for a given concept and design a prototype as a consequence of this, whereas in Year 4, children may consider the importance of protecting specific endangered species and deliver a TedTalk style speech to raise awareness and offer potential solutions.
Science Route Map
Understanding the world:
Use the local area for exploring both the built and the natural environment
Living things and their habitats
Y3 Animals including humans
Y4 Animals including humans
Living things and their habitats
Earth and Space and Forces
Animals including humans
Evolution and inheritance
They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.
Y1 Animals including humans
Y2 Animals including humans
They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
Uses of everyday materials
Forces and Magnets
States of matter
Properties and changes of materials
The impact of the Science curriculum is measured through various means. Learning walks and book scrutinies allow for the assessment of the quality of Science learning and data collection enables tracking of the progression of Science subject knowledge across the school. Data collection is informed by the aforementioned rubrics which are used to assess children against Science National Curriculum objectives and wider skills. Teachers themselves, as with other subjects, can use appropriate assessment for learning opportunities over the course of projects to monitor the learning attained by individual pupils. Pupil voice is used as an important tool to hear first-hand the experiences of the children and the knowledge they have acquired through Science projects. Providing children with this voice validates their experiences and shows to children that what they have to contribute to the teaching of Science is important.
By the end of their time at Humberstone Academy, and as a result of their experiences of Science teaching, the children will be inquisitive learners who are excited by understanding the world in which they live through a scientific lens. All children will be able to use scientific vocabulary and, as a result of various opportunities throughout their school life, be able to confidently communicate their understanding with excellence, both in written and oral form. They will be equipped to become lifelong learners who go on to apply their scientific knowledge to make a positive difference in their communities.