At Hexham First School we believe that all children should be offered opportunities to take part in knowledge rich science lessons. We aim to ensure that our curriculum ensures that children learn science knowledge (Substantive) but also that all the strands of working scientifically are covered in each year group throughout the year. The children will learn the skills to access science lessons confidently, they will learn the disciplinary knowledge to be a 'scientist.' We want to provide the children with opportunities for independent as well as collaborative learning, working together to gather evidence and discuss ideas. The importance of science has been raised due to the Covid pandemic so we intend to present science as a lesson that is relevant and can make a difference as well as improving the children's well-being by providing opportunities to take part in lessons outside making use of the school grounds. We want to introduce scientists to the children, both famous scientists from the past, women scientists, scientists from a range of ethnic backgrounds as well as scientists working locally and within the families of our school opening the eyes of the children to future careers in science. The Science Capital of the children will be increased by providing science activities during British Science Week, taking part in visits that promote science and visitors to the school for example Newcastle University and The Royal Institute of Science in London. We intend to supplement our curriculum and take advantage of opportunities when available for example this year we have booked astronomers from a local observatory to carry out workshops.
We follow the National Curriculum as the basis of our curriculum and are ensuring that the children are provided with a progressive sequence of learning. The scheme we use is supplemented by additional resources that provide opportunities for discussions so we ensure that the children develop their understanding of science concepts but also develop the skills to work like scientists. In the Foundation Stage Science is taught as part of the Area of Learning “Understanding of the World” and is approached in a holistic style involving lots of “hands on” activities that place scientific concepts firmly within an everyday context. Children are encouraged to learn to observe objects and events carefully and talk about their findings using accurate descriptive vocabulary. This learning often takes place in our outdoor provision. Teachers are supported to develop their own knowledge of science by the Science Lead who directs them to websites and activities that will engage the children. We are working with Hexham Middle to receive training from a recognised Science Lead. Children are provided with practical activities in small groups with enough equipment so all children can participate, this includes dataloggers for Key Stage 2. Stories can be used in Key Stage 1 as a hook and classrooms have the current topic words displayed.
The children in our school enjoy science as seen in their responses to Pupil voice questionnaires and they can talk about science knowledge and enquiries that they carry out. They are learning new substantive knowledge in each year group and our focus this year is to ensure that the children develop the skills to work scientifically(learning disciplinary knowledge) Scientific vocabulary is taught specifically and children love sharing it! Science lessons are planned based upon the children’s existing knowledge which teachers assess at the beginning of each unit and continue to assess. Recording in science is varied and is appropriate to the age of the child, this includes writing, drawings, pictograms, bar charts and labelled diagrams.
Due to Covid 19 and school closures we have recorded the units children have been taught in school and at home to inform teachers in succeeding classes of any potential gaps in knowledge. We have monitored science across the school through discussions with teachers, drop in sessions, Pupil conferencing, book scrutinies and lesson observations. We have begun using class Big Books to record discussions taking place during science lessons and occasions when an annotated photograph will record learning.