Catholic Primary School
"Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious." Stephen Hawking
At St Mary’s, we provide our children with a high-quality science education through following Ark Curriculum. This is a fully resourced, knowledge-rich curriculum that aims to ensure children leave primary school with skills that are vital to the learning process. By having a strong foundation of knowledge, it will make the children's practising of skills meaningful. Our curriculum encourages curiosity, interest and enquiry into our world and the universe around us through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Children will be immersed into the science curriculum through being exposed to a varying type of lesson structures to develop their understanding of scientific: processes, knowledge, methods and uses. To develop greater independence, children are encouraged to ask scientific questions, plan and perform experiments to practice their scientific knowledge practically. As children progress through our school, they will build upon their prior knowledge, ensuring the knowledge and ability to work scientifically is embedded in their long-term memory. Children are provided with a rich and broad science curriculum which includes: relevant science vocabulary; a conceptual understanding; scientific knowledge; the ability to ask deep questions with the appropriate investigative skills to answer them where possible. The children at St Mary's will be able to recognise how each topic they learn connects to everyday life and equips and empowers them to participate, challenge and reshape the world around them.
We ensure a positive learning experience for our children through high standards of teaching and learning. In order to do this, we implement a curriculum that is progressive and builds upon a child’s prior knowledge. Teachers plan for science using the Ark Curriculum which is inline with the ‘The National Curriculum programmes of study for Science 2014’ and ‘Understanding the World’ for the Early Years Foundation Stage; adapting it to the individual needs and aspirations of our children. At St Mary’s, our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science includes:
We ensure that lessons have problem solving opportunities that allow children to find out for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions (sometimes at the beginning of topics) within lessons and are given opportunities to use their scientific skills to discover the answers.
Teacher assessment is used regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so extra support and intervention can be given where needed. Weekly quizzes are used to recap previous learning and children answer our topic enquiry question at the end of each unit, presenting their learning in a style of their choice.
Science is taught once a week, but is also taught in many different contexts throughout all areas of the curriculum. For example, through English, i.e. writing a biography of a famous scientist’s life. Teachers are encouraged to focus at least one writing genre, a school year, on a piece of scientific writing whether it be a write-up from an experiment, or a set of instructions on how to plant a seed, for example.
Children are provided with pre and post learning activities that provide the teacher with the necessary assessment information; this informs the planning and intervention processes. Conversations are also encouraged between the children and staff, about what they are learning/have learnt and vitally, why they have learnt it.
The science learning journey, that our children will engage in during their time at St Mary’s, will provide them with not only the necessary age-related scientific knowledge and skills they need, but also with experiences, life skills, confidence and abilities that will equip them for taking their next steps in life.
All our children at St Mary’s will: