The Purpose of studying Science:
At SSMJ we follow the National Curriculum Programme of Study for Science. Our science lessons consider the children’s interests, as well as the context of the local area. The science curriculum at SSMJ is carefully planned and structured to ensure that current learning is linked to previous learning and that the school’s approaches are informed by current pedagogy.
Science is a body of knowledge built up through experimental testing of ideas. Science is also methodology, a practical way of finding reliable answers to questions we may ask about the world around us. Science in our school is about developing children’s ideas and ways of working that enable them to make sense of the world in which they live through investigation, as well as using and applying process skills.
We believe that a broad and balanced science education is the entitlement of all children, regardless of ethnic origin, gender, class, aptitude or disability. In line with the national curriculum 2014, the curriculum at SSMJ aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Are prepared for life in an increasingly scientific and technological world.
- Foster concern about, and active care for, our environment.
- Acquire a growing understanding of scientific ideas.
- Develop and extend scientific concepts of their world.
- Develop an understanding of the international and collaborative nature of science.
- Make connections and draw contrasts from prior learning.
Science is held in high regard at SSMJ. The teaching of science allows children to appreciate, understand and utilise our unique local environment, namely the school field and garden, as well as the near locality of Clitheroe Castle and Salt Hill Quarry, which may be used for a variety of scientific investigations. The Science curriculum at SSMJ makes full use of resources within the immediate and wider local area, including the school field and local area, enabling children to develop a deep understanding of the environment within their locality, making links, where possible, with our faith, which is at the heart of our curriculum.
Science is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that children achieve depth in their learning. Key knowledge and skills have been identified and distributed to teachers to ensure progression across lessons and units of work, throughout each year group and across the school. By the end of year 6, children will have a scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics, they will show understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them. The children will be equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
Cross curricular outcomes in Science are specifically planned for with strong links between the Science curriculum, English, maths, computing, art, design and technology. The local area is also fully utilised to achieve the desired outcomes with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice such as regular use of the school garden and field as well as trips to the castle. Planning is in line with the national curriculum. Teachers’ lesson design is informed by national agencies e.g. through the school’s membership of the Association for Science Education (ASE) and the PLAN (Planning for Assessment) website for exemplar work as well as assessment guidance. Consideration is given to provision for our most able children as well as support for SEND children in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. Outcomes of work are regularly monitored to ensure that they reflect a sound understanding of the key identified knowledge.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance which aims for all children in reception to have an ‘Understanding of the World; people and communities, the world and technology’ by the end of the academic year. It is further supported by the Lancashire Document ‘EYFS: A Framework to Support Curriculum Planning’
Outcomes in Science, English and maths books, alongside work in other subjects such as computing and design technology, evidence a broad and balanced science curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. There is also an extra emphasis on the creation and use of graphs and tables to support children moving on to high school. Children review the agreed successes at the end of every session and are actively encouraged to identify their own target areas, with support from their teachers. Children also record what they have learned comparative to their starting points at the end of every unit of work.
Emphasis is placed on scientific enquiry and questioning which helps pupils ask their own questions and make decisions as to which approach would best suit their enquiry question (observation over time, identifying and classifying, pattern seeking, research or comparative and fair testing.)
Through this study, pupils learn to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Our science curriculum also engages members of the community in children’s learning and provides positive role models from the community for children to learn from.
St Michael and St John's School has achieved a Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM) Silver award for our wonderful science teaching and learning - Well done!!