Science

Science Vision Statement

“The important thing is not to stop questioning”

Albert Einstein

Science teaches an understanding of natural phenomena. At St Elizabeth’s, we aim to stimulate a child’s curiosity in finding out why things happen in the way they do. It gives opportunities for children to carry out experiments and investigations, building individuals into confident communicators.

Following the National Curriculum, we aim to create a lively interest in science encouraging children to ask How and Why. We deliver creative, engaging lessons allowing children to develop a range of skills, enabling them to work scientifically in different ways. Through this we hope to encourage a scientific approach to problem solving and an understanding of the world around them. 

Curriculum Intent

The science curriculum promotes curiosity and a love and thirst for learning. It is ambitious and empowers our children to become independent and resilient – like all curriculum areas. 

We want to equip them with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the science National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.  For example, all children and classes are encouraged to look after the school garden. Year 1 are particularly involved as they have a gardening club with children from Reception after school. Year 1 have planted bulbs, seeds, vegetables and salads yearly, they also planted 30 trees donated by the Woodland Trust.

Nursery and Reception have a regular yearly visit from the farm; the animals are brought into school for the day. They learn all about the animals, how they are cared for, where they live and what they eat. Reception also have a visit to the Pinewoods as part of their Autumn topic and then to a restaurant for their healthy eating topic.

Year 6 children are given the opportunity to design and make their own electronic games; which are then given to younger children to test and evaluate.

We want our children to use the vibrancy of our great city to learn from other cultures, respect diversity, co-operate with one another and appreciate what they have. We achieve this by providing a strong SMSC curriculum, with British Values and our core values placed at the heart of everything we do. This often feeds into the science curriculum. 

Year 2 are encouraged to respect and look after the environment around them by having a yearly visit to the recycling centre. They also participate in the RSPB birdwatch every year and grow their own potatoes. They went on a trip to Gorse Hill nature reserve in Aughton and enjoyed sketching the wild flower meadow and looking at animal habitats.

In July 2019, all children from Nursery to Year 6 participated in a Science week. This included all children being timetabled to do a variety of experiments with Miss Supple and volunteers. The children were all lucky enough to experience a session in the Planetarium we had in the Junior hall. We also had ‘Crosby Lounge Lizards’ into school for the day and the children were given exciting opportunities to handle a variety of animals.

We enrich their time in our school with memorable, unforgettable experiences and provide opportunities which are normally out of reach – this piques their interests and passions. For example, Year 3 were given the opportunity in Autumn to go bulb planting with Mersey forest. Year 4 went to Martin Mere and the Safari park as part of their birds and animals topics. Year 5 have a yearly visit to the museum and are lucky enough to have a talk in the Planetarium. Year 1 visited Windmill farm in May. They were given a tour of the farm, which included talks about the habitats and diets of the animals.  They were all given the opportunity to feed a range of animals and they had a fun tractor ride!

We firmly believe that it is not just about what happens in the classroom, it is about the added value we offer to really inspire our children. 

Curriculum Implementation

Our Science curriculum has learning opportunities and assessment milestones for each year group crafted to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills. Our Science curriculum is based on a big question which links to the National Curriculum. Every year group has a question for each of their Science topics, which act as a theme around which the learning is planned.

Teachers create a positive attitude to Science learning within their classrooms and re-inforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in Science. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of Science involves the following:

  • Science is taught in planned and arranged topic blocks by the class teacher. This is a strategy to enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge and to ensure all the requirements of the National Curriculum are covered.
  • We build on our children’s natural curiosity and encourage their ability to think independently, developing a scientific approach to problems.
  • Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being developed throughout the children’s school career, with new vocabulary and challenging concepts being introduced though direct teaching. This is developed through the years, in keeping with the topics.
  • Confidence and competence in the full range of practical skills, taking the initiative in, for example, planning and carrying out scientific investigations.
  • Excellent scientific knowledge and understanding which is demonstrated in written and verbal explanations, solving challenging problems and reporting scientific findings.
  • The ability to undertake practical work in a variety of contexts, including fieldwork.
  • A passion for Science and its application in past, present and future technologies.

We empower our staff to organise their own year group curriculums under the guidance of our subject leaders. Teachers are best placed to make these judgements. Staff develop year group specific long-term curriculum maps which identify when the different subjects and topics will be taught across the academic year. The vast majority of subjects are taught discretely but staff make meaningful links across subjects. They link prior knowledge to new learning to deepen children’s learning. For example, in Year 1 when the children explore ‘Which birds and plants would Little Red Riding Hood find in our school garden?’ they link it to their D.T. topic ‘Design and make bird feeders’. This is then reinforced with fiction and non-fiction books about birds. The link is made with their year-long topic about seasons and weather, as the children learn about Autumn; birds migrating and the need to provide food for birds at certain times of the year.

Our short-term plans are produced on a weekly and daily basis. We use these to set out the learning objectives for each lesson, identifying engaging activities and resources which will be used to achieve them.

All staff teach a weekly science lesson. This helps to ensure that scientific subject matter can be revisited frequently. We believe that by crafting our curriculum this way, we improve the potential for our children to retain what they have been taught, to alter their long-term memory and thus improve the rate of progress they make. 

Curriculum Impact

Through our Science teaching and learning, children should be able to recall knowledge, use scientific vocabulary and develop scientific skills. This should result in children achieving age related expectations in Science at the end of their cohort year. They will retain knowledge that is pertinent to Science with a real life context. Children will be able to question ideas and reflect on knowledge. They will be able to work collaboratively and practically to investigate and experiment. Children will be able to explain the process they have taken and be able to reason scientifically.

Through a fun, engaging, high quality Science education, we provide children with the foundations for understanding the world. We provide children with opportunities to experience and explore outdoor learning in our school garden, as so much of the Science curriculum lends itself to outdoor learning.

Our staff use Science formative assessment grids to systematically assess what the children know as the topic progresses and inform their future planning. These formative assessment grids then inform summative assessment judgements for each topic. Staff use the information to inform their short-term planning to provide the best possible support for all of our pupils, including the more able. The assessment milestones for each phase have been carefully mapped out and further broken down for each year group. This means that skills in Science are progressive and build year on year. 

Assessment information is collected frequently and analysed as part of our monitoring cycle. This process provides an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the quality of education in Science. A comprehensive monitoring cycle is developed at the beginning of each academic year. This identifies when monitoring is undertaken. The last Science monitoring took place on the 5th February 2020. Monitoring in Science includes: book scrutinies, lesson observations and/or learning walks, pupil/parent and/or staff voice.

All of this information is gathered and reviewed. It is used to inform further curriculum developments and provision is adapted accordingly.