Science at St. Gildas
Science Lead - Miss R Vincent
At St Gildas Catholic Primary School, science is an important part of our broad, and balanced curriculum. By following the aims of the National Curriculum, we strive to develop a fun, practical and engaging high-quality curriculum that inspires a curiosity and an interest in the sciences and how they link to the everyday world around us.
Scientific enquiry skills are embedded in each topic of study at St Gildas Catholic Primary School. Children are given the opportunities to undertake enquiries using the five key scientific enquiry skills: observing over time, comparative and fair testing, identifying and classifying, pattern seeking and research using secondary sources. While children are carrying out their scientific enquiries, staff support them in recognising that working scientifically can help them acquire new knowledge or adapt and change their current understanding.
To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in science, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. Science is taught as part of a half-termly or termly topic.
The science curriculum at St Gildas Catholic Primary School is based upon the 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England, which provides a framework and outlines the knowledge and skills taught in each year group. We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. This is assessed through our pre-topic ‘vocabulary maps’ where teachers can identify misconceptions that need addressing. Teachers plan lessons for their class using the progression of knowledge and skills from the National Curriculum. To support the planning of these progressive lessons, teachers have access to Switched on Science resources, alongside PLAN Knowledge Matrices. These resources support the complete coverage of National Curriculum aims while also ensuring all staff and children are using the correct scientific vocabulary. To ensure progression and coverage of the working scientifically aims, all classes undertake a half-termly TAPS assessment. These assessments are also used to aid teacher assessment of children’s working scientifically skills.
At St Gildas, children present their science work in either their topic book (KS1), science book (KS2) or the whole class floor book. EYFS science work is placed into a floor book also.
Children are encouraged to continue their science learning outside the classroom. Educational visits are another opportunity for the teachers to increase children’s engagement in scientific discovery.
Our science curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. Cross-curricular links can been found in all years group and we focus on progression of knowledge, skills and understanding of scientific vocabulary. We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Assessing children’s understanding of key topic linked vocabulary before, and after the unit. This is done using ‘vocabulary maps’.
- Completion of half-termly TAPS assessments.
- Summative assessment of pupil discussions about their learning.
- Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
- Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum.
- Marking of work in children’s individual books.
- Recording of whole class work in floor books.