'The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.'
- Rachel Carson - mother of the modern global environmental movement
The Science Curriculum at Spinney Hill
At Spinney Hill Primary we foster an inquisitive and practical approach to the teaching and learning of science. This develops a healthy curiosity in children in relation to our universe and promotes respect for our environment and the wider world. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, and skills and should instil an aspiration within children to question the world around them and to critically seek solutions to these questions.
Throughout the science curriculum, the children will acquire and develop the key knowledge that has been identified within each unit and across each year group. The curriculum is designed to ensure that children are able to acquire key scientific knowledge through practical experiences: using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts using a range of communication skills. The teachers at Spinney Hill understand that science must take into account the school’s own context and in doing so we have tailored our curriculum to meet the needs of our students and build children’s Science capital.
Within our science curriculum, cross curricular opportunities are identified, mapped and planned to ensure contextual relevance. Children are encouraged to be independent thinkers, show resilience and discover a love of science which is nurtured through a whole school ethos and a varied science curriculum.
Support and Grow - How we teach science at Spinney Hill
At Spinney Hill all teachers and support staff strive to create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in the subject.
Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science ensures that all year groups cover the required National Curriculum content whilst allowing for cross curricular links to be made where these are purposeful and relevant.
The teaching of Science is informed by the children’s starting points and takes into account topics that inspire the children and pique their own interest. To do this, teachers will check existing knowledge at the start of each unit of work. This can help elicit prior knowledge whilst also offering the opportunity for teachers to inform their future lessons with bespoke and imaginative tasks that are best suited for the children at Spinney Hill.
Throughout their learning journey, key knowledge is reviewed through ongoing assessment and retrieval to ensure children have a coherent understanding of science across all units of work.
Science lessons at Spinney Hill undertake an enquiry led approach which allows for investigative practices and supports the principles of working scientifically. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and are given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. Curiosity, questioning, argument and debate are actively encouraged within classrooms as children follow lines of enquiry supported by scaffolds and high-quality resources.
Teachers use questioning and discussion in class to elicit retrieval of conceptual knowledge and skills, which will identify gaps in learning, so that all children make progress. Tasks are selected and designed to provide appropriate challenge to all learners, in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion.
We build upon the knowledge and skill development of the previous years in order that children have both a secure body of knowledge and the skills to work scientifically. As children’s knowledge and understanding increase, they become more proficient in selecting and using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results and increasingly confident to come to conclusions based on real evidence.
‘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 ensures the development of children’s science capital and help them see themselves as scientists and all that this entails.
Modelling is key to pedagogy and teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment and how to work scientifically in order to embed scientific understanding. Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by utilising the local area, accessing outdoor learning and through workshops led by experts.
To broaden and foster a love of science a wide range of activities, trips and visitors are used to complement the curriculum. These are purposeful and link with the knowledge being taught in class. In addition to this, the use of knowledge organisers, home projects and science fairs allow for families to engage with the curriculum and these create a dialogue between the home and school.
Achieve - How we ensure children are ready for the next stage in their learning