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Science

Science at Prince Rock

 

Intent

Creating a sense of ‘Awe and Wonder’ and ‘Excitement and Curiosity about Natural Phenomena’ has provided the basis for the LAT Science Curriculum Overview. A clear vision that Science, as a core subject, should often be independent from themes and/or topics to ensure that children develop a secure understanding of each ‘key block of knowledge and concepts’. However, high-quality science education subsequently helps drive our curriculum alongside the LAT ‘We Will’s’, ensuring that all of our children have the opportunity to find out about the world around them and explore their place within it.

 

A sense of rigour and clear structure means that the National Curriculum is set as the minimum expectation for all schools within the LAT, with additional non-statutory guidance used to further develop children’s understanding and capabilities. Underpinning our entire curriculum and each and every lesson is the processes and methods of ‘Working Scientifically’: comparative and fair testing, sorting and grouping, identifying and classifying, pattern seeking, observation over time and research. This is not taught as a separate strand but permeates throughout all science teaching to enable the high-quality delivery of the curriculum content.

 

Implementation

EYFS

The EYFS curriculum at Prince Rock provides the children with a firm foundation to develop scientific enquiry and critical thinking. They begin to work scientifically by asking questions to find out more and to check what has been said to them. The children also use talk to help work out problems and organise thinking and activities, and to explain how things work and why they might happen. Children are able to explore the world around them and describe what they see, hear and feel while they are outside. Carefully planned provision and teaching encourages them to know and talk about the different factors that support their overall health and wellbeing, including the importance of regular physical activity and toothbrushing. Adult interactions are designed to extend children's ideas, scaffold their inquiries and develop their language through play.

Key Stage One
Children at KS1 develop an understanding of the variance in plants and animals and what they need to survive and flourish. As Prince Rock is an inner-city school, with little green space, children are given opportunities to visit different environments within their locality. They study the materials in the natural world around them and begin to make conscious choices about which materials to used, based on their scientific properties (e.g. durability or strength) and whether or not they would be fit for purpose. Additionally, they observe and explain the changes in seasons and their effect on the environment and the various food chains within them.

Key Stage Two

As they move into KS2, the key knowledge and understanding children require widens with the breadth of topics now covered. Each child explores how different rock types are formed and their uses, how and why animals have evolved over time, the differing states of matter and develop an understanding of space and the solar system. Throughout KS2, in every year group, the children gain a deeper understanding of the human body, focusing on a particular area of human anatomy via teeth, skeletal structure, the digestive system and reproduction and puberty. They also visit and then re-visit topics like ‘Electricity’ and ‘Light’ to ensure they build upon previous learning and how an in-depth knowledge in fundamental areas of the curriculum to then make a smooth transition into secondary schooling.   

 

This curriculum also outlines the progression in data handling skills from Year 1 to Year 6, allowing children to record, present and analyse their findings in more complex and coherent ways. Furthermore, a progression in the ‘use of scientific equipment’ is outlined to ensure that children can use a range of recording equipment accurately and choose which one they think it best to carry out an investigation or prove a hypothesis.

 

Children record their learning in their science books. At the end of each unit of work, summative assessments take place. We follow the Plymouth Science assessments for Year 1 – Year 6; these summative tests include a number of questions which assess the key knowledge children have learned linked to the key content objectives and working scientifically skills. There is a year group grid which teachers use to assess whether children are meeting, working towards or exceeding age-related expectations. An age related assessment is reported to parents/carers at the end of the academic year.

 

Our aim is to enhance our children’s science capital, whereby they make connections with local experts. We provide rich opportunities for our children to engage with science in authentic contexts, extending their conceptual knowledge and learning about the nature of science and how it works. This includes asking questions, conducting investigations and interpreting the results in a real-life context. Our aim is to provide the foundations of understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics as science has changed our lives and will continue to do so in the future. A strong understanding of scientific principles is vital to the world’s future prosperity and will enable children to flourish in a fast-paced and ever-evolving job market.

 

At Prince Rock, the school deprivation indicator is in the top 20% nationally. Our aim is to enhance our children’s science capital, whereby they make connections with local experts, such as STEM ambassadors at Babcock and The Devon Wildlife Trust. We provide rich opportunities for our children to engage with science in authentic contexts, extending their conceptual knowledge and learning about the nature of science and how it works. This includes asking questions, conducting investigations and interpreting the results in a real-life context. By broadening the profile of STEM at Prince Rock, we hope that building upon our children’s science capital is a tool for social justice, which helps improve their lives and life chances. Our aim is to provide the foundations of understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics as science has changed our lives and will continue to do so in the future. A strong understanding of scientific principles is vital to the world’s future prosperity and will enable children to flourish in a fast-paced and ever-evolving job market.

 

A whole school focus on improving oracy skills and frequent vocabulary development is very important in the teaching of Science. This approach provides the opportunity for language development and ensures that disadvantaged groups, as well as SEND and Pupil Premium children, can access the Science curriculum at Prince Rock.

Science Matrix

Enrichment

British Science Week

During this year's British Science Week, the children at Prince Rock celebrated this year’s theme - 'Growing for the Future'. The topic linked to areas of sustainability, incorporating working scientifically skills, careers, the idea of reduce/reuse/recycle and the theme of growth. 

 

 

Each year group had a different focus: 

 

  • EYFS: Our oceans 
  • Y1: Climate change and weather 
  • Y2: Plastic pollution 
  • Y3: Deforestation 
  • Y4: Our carbon footprint 
  • Y5: Renewable energy 
  • Y6: Air quality and pollution 

Club

On Tuesdays, some children from across Year 2 - 6 take part in 'science and nature' club. Some weeks, we have helped to tidy the school ground with some litter picking; we've also began to think about developing our 'Prince Rock Farm'. Recently, we have developed an initiative to recycle soft plastics. The children created posters and thought of ways to share this message with the school community.

Nature Friendly Schools

 

Since Summer 2021, Prince Rock Primary School have been working alongside The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, who have funded a project to help develop teachers’ confidence and ability to drive forward outdoor learning at our school. We have kindly been gifted a range of outdoor resources to enable our pupils to get closer to nature and benefit their learning, health and wellbeing and care and concern for the environment. The children are looking forward to developing 'Prince Rock's Farm' in the near future - watch this space!

 

Photos to follow.

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