Science at Christopher Hatton school
Our aim is for all pupils to be informed, articulate and empowered:
In science this means children are engaged and inspired by a well-designed sequential curriculum complimented by a wide range of enrichment opportunities. Science is highly valued as part of our rich curriculum and supports children to acquire the transferrable skills, knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
- Children develop the scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding they need in order to make sense of the world, through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
- Children develop understanding of how to work scientifically through different types of scientific enquiries (comparative and fair testing; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; observing over time; research using secondary sources) that help them to answer specific questions about the word around them.
- Children acquire the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and in the future.
- Through the teaching of specific science vocabulary and opportunities to discuss their learning, children develop their ability to think critically, evaluate and understand the world.
- Children are given sentence stems within which they can frame their ideas and communicate clearly and accurately.
- The discoveries, innovations and significant scientists introduced reflect the diversity of our community, enabling pupils to see themselves within the world of science. This supports the children’s belief that they too can be successful scientists.
- The focus on having a growth mind-set is essential in the teaching of science, empowering children with the confidence to have a go, to learn from mistakes and to keep trying and improving. This is true of many significant scientists.
- Children explore the purposes of science within a context as well as its meaning within their own life and future e.g. exploring the science of climate change or that just because science now enables us to do something, does that mean we should?
- In school workshops (e.g. Zoolab) and visits to places of scientific interest (e.g. The Francis Crick Institute learning laboratory, Science Museum, Hampstead Heath) empower children to understand that the amazing resources we have in London belong to and are open to them.
- An appreciation and understanding of how science influences all of our daily lives is essential to the children feeling empowered to make a positive difference to society.
- All children, including those who have SEND or are disadvantaged, are supported to fully access the science curriculum. This may include additional adult support or use of visual/actions or Widget symbols. Structured sentence stems and taught vocabulary scaffold children in discussion.
- The science scheme of work, developed by staff across all key stages, lays out the sequential steps to be taught so that new knowledge, skills and key science vocabulary build on what has been taught before and pupils can work towards clearly defined high quality outcomes.
- Significant scientists, links to key texts (both fiction and non-fiction) and possible trips/workshops are outlined to ensure development of the children’s cultural capital.
- Science is taught in a variety of ways depending on what is best for purpose. Where possible, meaningful links are made between science and other areas of the curriculum as part of topic learning. Science is taught in units, with lessons sometimes blocked to allow immersion in the process e.g. to complete a full investigation.
- Each key strand of science across the three disciplines of biology (plants; animals including humans; living things and their habitats; evolution and inheritance), chemistry (everyday materials; uses of everyday materials; rocks; states of matter; properties and changes of materials) and physics (seasonal changes; Earth and space; light; sound; forces and magnets; electricity) is covered and revisited in line with the National Curriculum so that pupils retain and build upon prior learning.
- Long term memory of key science knowledge objectives is supported by this repetition, as well as interleaving activities such as concept cartoons and mini quizzes.
- Specific investigations are plotted for each year group, covering all age/phase appropriate enquiry types (comparative and fair testing; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; observing over time; research using secondary sources). Plotting specific investigations across each year group ensures that a child will experience the whole range of enquiry types on their learning journey through the school.
- National curriculum working scientifically objectives have been distilled into ten child friendly science skills - Asking scientific questions; Planning an enquiry; Observing closely; Taking measurements; Gathering and recording results; Presenting results; Interpreting results; Drawing conclusions (KS2 only); Making predictions (KS2 only); and Evaluating an enquiry (KS2 only). These are displayed in each classroom in order to ensure continuity across the school. Children use these to help them understand key investigation skills.
- Sentence stems and the investigation frame are used to support children’s understanding of enquiry skills. E.g. stems to support interpretation of results by giving the frame into which the variable and measurable are inserted. The thicker the string the lower the pitch. Using frames supports all children, especially those with SEND to access the science curriculum
- The science lead supports teachers and monitors standards by reviewing planning of units, teaching model lessons, team teaching, talking to children with their science learning and observing lessons.
- Children at Christopher Hatton have retained key science knowledge.
- Children can accurately use specific science vocabulary to explain their ideas and discuss their learning.
- Children are interested in the world around them and have a set of key skills which they can use to investigate it.
- Standards set in science are high and children aspire to them.
- Children enjoy learning in science and value the subject. They understand its relevance and importance in a real world context and see themselves as scientists not only in school, but in the future.