At St Leonard’s Lower School, we are growing and learning together with God’s Love. Our Christian values are embedded in all that we do.
We recognise that every child is a unique individual within God’s creation and our aim is to provide the rich soil (the learning environment and curriculum) that enables our children to develop deep roots, flourish and grow in their own unique way.
We aim to provide a relevant, creative, exciting and challenging curriculum to support all learners to achieve their full potential and to be prepared for their future.
We will ensure an inclusive education for all, enabling each child to learn and develop the skills and knowledge they need to thrive.
At St Leonard's it is our intention to recognise the importance of Science in every aspect of daily life. We give the teaching and learning of Science the prominence it requires.
The Scientific area of learning is concerned with increasing pupils’ knowledge and understanding of our world, and with developing skills associated with Science as a process of enquiry. It will develop the natural curiosity of the child, encourage respect for living organisms and the physical environment and provide opportunities for critical evaluation of evidence.
Learning appropriate scientific vocabulary is key in giving the children the tools to express their understanding in an articulate and intelligent manner. Developing questioning skills allows for further investigation, consideration and scientific enquiry. Understanding and explaining physical processes will offer insight into ‘how things work’. Practical work, as well as discussion, is geared towards promoting a love of learning.
We try to create as many opportunities as possible for the children to experience practical science and we are very lucky to have such beautiful school grounds and a school pond that lend themselves to this. We also work closely with the Greensand Trust as Rushmere and Stockgrove Country Parks are within walking distance.
A key concept throughout our Science curriculum is 'people' and throughout their science learning the children are introduced to inspirational scientists and inventors, we hope that this in turn will inspire young scientists of the future!
Our science teaching is carefully linked to other curriculum topics and high quality texts so that the children develop further depth of understanding and experience relevant and relatable lessons.
Our children should develop a respect for the materials and equipment they handle with regard to their own, and other children’s safety.
Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards in science.
Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following;
Early Years Foundation Stage
In the Foundation Stage, children are taught Science through the key areas of learning set out within the EYFS Statutory Framework.
Through a broad range of teacher-led, child-initiated and continuous learning opportunities, children will be taught to:
- Use their senses to investigate a range of objects and materials
- Find out about, identify and observe the different features of living things, objects and worldly events
- Look closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change
- Ask questions about why things happen and why things work
- Develop their communication and co-operation skills
- Talk about their findings, sometimes recording them
- Identify and find out about features of the place they live and in the natural world around them
Key Stage 1 and 2
In Key Stage 1 and 2, Science will be taught in planned and arranged topic blocks by the class teacher, these are, where appropriate linked to the Year group’s overall topic theme and high quality texts are used to promote depth of understanding. We use the Twinkl Planit scheme of work to support our Science teaching and we also use resources from STEM to support our teaching.
Children have weekly Science lessons, with teachers following the scheme of work, but adapting lessons where necessary to suit the needs of their class.
- Existing knowledge is checked at the beginning of each topic to identify misconceptions.
- At the beginning of each lesson, teachers plan opportunities for pupils to recall prior learning. This enables pupils to consolidate their previous learning, while also preparing them for future learning, in line with the sequence of lessons. This is particularly important for our SEND children, who may need more opportunities to retain and embed scientific vocabulary and concepts.
- Through our planning, we involve problem solving opportunities that allow children to apply their knowledge, and find out answers for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. This curiosity is celebrated within the classroom. Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, often involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess pupils regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all pupils keep up. Tasks are selected and designed to provide appropriate challenge to all learners, in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion.
- Teachers encourage children to use a developing scientific vocabulary as they progress through each year group. Time is spent during lessons introducing and reinforcing age appropriate scientific vocabulary. Children are given opportunities to consolidate their use of scientific vocabulary as they move through the year groups. Children are encouraged to use scientific vocabulary, both written and verbal, to explain their ideas and make sense of their observations and findings.
- Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure that skills are systematically developed throughout the children’s school career and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching. This is developed through the years, in-keeping with the topics.
- Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills in order to embed and develop scientific understanding. Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning and workshops with experts.
- Children are offered a wide range of extra-curricular activities, visits, trips and visitors to complement and broaden the curriculum and develop children’s Science capital.
- At the end of each topic, key knowledge and skills are reviewed by the children and rigorously checked by the teacher to assess progress and understanding.
- Most children will achieve age related expectations in Science at the end of their cohort year.
- All pupils make at least expected progress in their learning in Science.
Monitoring and evaluation of our Science teaching has indicated that:
Science books show evidence of experimental work and the scientific recording of facts.
Children are encouraged to plan experiments, make plausible predictions, carry them out correctly and record results accurately in a variety of ways.
Children can apply their knowledge and understanding of science to other areas of the curriculum. Children enjoy science as a subject and enjoy their learning experiences.
The children are able to build upon knowledge gained on their learning journey.