Science at St Matthews
Our science threshold concepts are to be able to:
- Ask simple questions
- Observe closely, using simple equipment
- Perform simple tests
- Identify and classify
- Use observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
- Gather and record data to help in answering questions
Our curriculum drivers shape our curriculum breadth enabling us to provide meaningful and ambitious curriculum opportunities – these drivers are our vision and values as well as our locality and pupils’ backgrounds.
Curriculum breadth is also driven by cultural capital, subject topics and our ambition for our pupils to be provided with experiences and skills that equip them for life.
The Science curriculum fosters a healthy curiosity in children about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes.
Throughout the programs of study, the children will acquire and develop the key knowledge and vocabulary that has been identified within each unit and across each year group, as well as the application of scientific skills.
We ensure that the Working Scientifically skills are built-on and developed throughout children’s time at the school so that they can apply their knowledge of science when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings.
Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in science. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following;
- Science will be taught weekly by the class teacher using the Kent Scheme of Work as a basis for their planning and teaching. Through our planning, we involve problem solving opportunities that allow children to find out for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills to discover the answers. This curiosity is celebrated within the classroom. Planning involves teachers teaching engaging lessons, often involving resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess children at the end of a unit of work to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all children keep up.
- We build upon the learning and skills of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, and they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results.
- Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being developed throughout the children’s school career and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching.
- Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding. Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning.
- Children are offered a wide range of trips to complement and broaden the curriculum. These are purposeful and link with the knowledge being taught in class.
- Regular events, such as Science Week or Outdoor Learning, allow all pupils to provide broader provision and the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills.
The successful approach at St Matthews’s results in a fun, engaging science education that provides children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world. Our engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first-hand experiences of the world around them. Frequent, continuous and progressive learning outside the classroom is embedded throughout the science curriculum. Through trips and interactions with experts, children have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity. Children at St Matthews enjoy science and this results in motivated learners with good scientific understanding.