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SCIENCE IN ACTION AT BELVEDERE INFANT SCHOOL

Introduction

At Belvedere Infant School, Science is viewed as having a vital role in developing well-rounded pupils.  Science stimulates and excites pupil’s curiosity about natural phenomena, while allowing them to understand scientific ideas and their effect.  We aim to give all pupils a strong understanding of the impact of Science in their everyday and future lives by asking them to think scientifically, gaining an understanding of the scientific processes and the implications in the real world, which is contextualised in an engaging curriculum.

Each lesson develops the pupils’ scientific skills through practical activities focusing on observation, enquiry, planning and investigations, as well as encouraging ongoing pupil questions based on their scientific experiences.

Our Science Lead is Miss Wallerson.

Aim

The National Curriculum for Science states:

During years 1 and 2, pupils should be taught to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills through the teaching of the programme of study content:

  • asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways
  • observing closely, using simple equipment
  • performing simple tests
  • identifying and classifying
  • using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
  • gathering and recording data to help in answering questions.

Curriculum/Scheme of Work

We currently focus our teaching of KS1 Science through the Kent Primary Scheme. 

In the Early Years, children learn to  recognise similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes. Many of the activities planned  for  'The World' take place in our outside areas, for example planting, observing seasonal changes, mini beast hunts, plying in the mud kitchen and harvesting herbs and vegetables.

Planning

The Science Curriculum at Belvedere Infant School is well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression using a Science Knowledge Organiser for each new Science topic through the year. Each lesson taught includes two learning objectives, one focusing on the subject knowledge taught, the other on the skill developed.

The Science plans ensure progression of knowledge and skills across both Early Years and Key Stage One. A new science topic will begin with a class discussion to recap and assess prior knolwedge.

Lessons will include a practical investigation and/or scientific observation. Children are encouraged to question and find out, developing their enquiry skills and deepening knowledge. They are regular opportunities to recap and revisit in order to build on previous learning.

Teaching

Key Stage One Science is taught at least once a week.  Lessons include: a starter activity focused on learning from a previous lesson; opportunities for discussions and questions; Investigating, observing or researching in groups or pairs; a recording of the learning in science books, and a reflection or activity to close to recap and assess progress

The way in which Science is recorded will varies depending on ability and the content of the lesson. These may include:

  • Written accounts including: instructions, reports and explanations
  • Annotated diagrams
  • Charts, graphs and tables
  • Model making

Opportunities for outdoor learning will be provided wherever possible. The Science lead is responsible for organising themed Science days, where the whole school spend the day immersed into scientific topic and investigation. 

Differentiation

In order to achieve and provide an inclusive science curriculum, we differentiate the learning in a lesson to challenge all pupils while also supporting pupils who may require it. Using formative assessment, teachers establish what their class already know and plan tasks which build on this knowledge. Teachers think about which questions they ask different groups and individuals to check understanding as well as encourage discussions. To support SEN pupils, teachers can provide additional resources or plan for smaller steps to achieve the learning goal, where appropriate.

Challenging pupils is done by (but is not limited to): asking questions that promote deep thinking and learning; limiting the number of instructions given; providing opportunities for cognitive conflict (presenting information that is incompatible with pupils’ current thinking).

Assessment

Teachers will assess children’s Science work against the Science Knolwedg organisers to ensure they gain a full understanding of what each child has learnt, and what is needed to progress their understanding. Teachers use this assessment to directly inform their planning for future lessons. Assessment strategies include:

  • Lesson starter activities (Flashback Four, Do Now, quadrants)
  • Reflection / closing activity at the end of a lesson
  • Observations of pupils during lessons;
  • Use of questioning;
  • Marking of pupil books;
  • End of unit ‘quiz’

In addition, the Science Lead measures the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • General pupil discussions about their learning;
  • Reflection on standards achieved for knowledge and skills through book looks;
  • Observations of learning in classrooms
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