‘It is important to view knowledge as a sort of semantic tree – make sure you understand the principles, i.e. the trunk and the big branches, before you get into the leaves/ details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.’ Elon Musk
At Gorefield we aim for Science to provide the foundation for the understanding of the world through the key areas identified as biology, chemistry and physics - the trunk and big branches. Then we have identified key powerful knowledge that become the leaves and the detail. The National Curriculum is followed throughout the school. This is developed by placing a strong emphasis on animals including humans at Key Stage 1 and teaching Lower Key Stage 2 and Upper Key Stage 2 content on a 2-year cycle. We use the resources available from developingexperts.com to ensure that science lessons involve exciting experiments, are built on a strong reliable knowledge base as well as inspiring children to take an active interest in Science. In doing this children are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena.
The Science curriculum is organised into units over a two year cycle, building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts. The units are planned throughout the school to ensure balance and progression within the content of the National Curriculum. The vast majority of the work is of a practical nature and focuses on the key features of scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions. These types of scientific enquiry include: predicting and hypothesising; observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing; and researching using secondary sources. Pupils are encouraged to seek answers to questions through collecting, analysing and presenting data within topics such as Light, Sound, Electricity, Forces, Plants and Living Things. The children are present with Mission Assignments to support this.
Knowledge and Skills Progression
The Program of Study for Science is built on a sequence of knowledge and concepts, processes and methods. This sequence of knowledge and concepts is arranged as progressive blocks of key ideas in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, alongside a progression in the skills of working scientifically.
The conceptual ideas in Biology, Chemistry and Physics build on each other and children need to develop a strong understanding of each set of ideas in order for the next set to make sense and for them to make progress. The Program of Study is set out year by year, but each science topic is not covered in every year.
Working scientifically is embedded within the content of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The Program of Study for Working Scientifically outlines the practical scientific methods, processes and skills that children must be taught to use. In every lesson children will use their developing science enquiry and work of the various key areas of raising questions and planning, collecting and presenting data, drawing and evaluating conclusions.
High Challenge, Low Stake quizzes are used in Science lessons and at the end of blocks of learning. They are based on the key knowledge that has been taught. The key knowledge is continually revisited throughout different units to support knowledge being stored in the long term memory. This includes the key vocabulary which is taught and checked using rocket word quizzes.
More detailed information on progression can be found in Gorefield Primary School Long Term Plan.
Writing Genre Links
Science lends itself to writing genre such as explanation texts instructions, non-chronological reports and newspaper reports. More information on Science cross-curricular links can be found in the Science Cross Curricular document.