Science Curriculum Statement
Our Federation Science curriculum has sequenced the national curriculum into meaningful and connected ‘chunks’ of content to reduce the load on the working memory as well as creating coherent and strong long-term memories. The sequence of substantive and disciplinary knowledge enables pupils to become ‘more expert’ with each study and grow an ever broadening and coherent mental model of the subject. This guards against superficial, disconnected and fragmented scientific knowledge and weak disciplinary knowledge. High frequency, multiple meaning words (Tier 2) are taught explicitly and help make sense of subject specific words (Tier 3). Each learning module in science has a vocabulary module with teacher guidance, tasks and resources to enhance and deepen understanding.
Our Science curriculum is taught in conceptual topic blocks. Pupils follow a structured curriculum based on the CUSP scheme of work, which covers a wide range of topics linked to biology, physics and chemistry. As children progress through the school, they have the opportunity to revisit and build on prior knowledge whilst learning new information as they develop scientific understanding. Our cumulative quizzing ensures that as units progress, key facts, vocabulary and information are regularly revisited, helping children to learn effectively. Teachers use a range of both formative and summative methods to assess Science with each topic having a knowledge assessment focus.
Units begin with a ‘big picture’ which introduces children to the topic and shows what their learning will cover. We are careful to address any misconceptions and record any specific questions the children would like to cover, making the sessions personalised and relevant to their experience.
Our Science curriculum is rooted in vocabulary knowledge and the children use structure strips to organise their writing, to explain their thinking and as they progress through the school to write longer pieces of writing or essays, on specific topics. These demonstrate the cumulative knowledge and understanding the children have gained over time.
A variety of practical experiences, set in meaningful contexts, help our pupils to ask scientific questions and then apply their knowledge, skills and understanding in order to find the answers. Working individually, or given a specific role within a group, the children develop the life skills of both independence and collaboration.
Our science curriculum topics are enriched by having visitors and organised workshops in school. In addition, we organise trips to local places of scientific interest and often go further afield, i.e. London Science Museum to provide the children with a range of learning opportunities. The school grounds are used extensively to support learning in science through Forest school activities.