We use enquiry-based learning in Science, starting with open-ended questions which the children discuss leading to their own investigations.
SEND: For children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, we ensure that all teaching and learning is inclusive and that children are supported wherever necessary with resources, teaching assistant or teacher support and additional input if required. We are also aware that some children excel in this subject but may find the recording and “English” skills more difficult so we provide support accordingly to ensure that all children achieve their potential.
We have a wide variety of scientific equipment and resources for the children to use in their investigations including test tubes, bug collection and viewing equipment, weather measuring tools, force meters etc. We frequently use our outdoor environment to enhance our learning in science and are fortunate enough to have a beautiful garden, planted to attract bees, a pond area and copses giving us a range of natural habitats, plants and creatures to explore.
Through scientific investigation, there is a strong emphasis on working both independently and as part of a team focusing on creativity, cooperation, questioning skills and the use of good communication when discussing their findings. Links are regularly and consistently made to our school Planet Inspiration characters. (Planet Inspiration and Growth Mindset)
Teachers’ planning ensures there is a progression of knowledge and skills across the school with planned assessment and enquiry opportunities. The following documents (from www.planassessment.com) are used to support teachers in their planning.
- ‘Theme Overview’ – This document details which Science units will be covered in each theme of our 2 year programme.
- ‘Knowledge Matrices’ for sequence of enquiry. These documents include prior learning, future learning, key learning and vocabulary, common misconceptions and possible activities or outcomes. Copies of these can be accessed below.
- ‘Examples of work’ for WAGOLL (What A Good One Looks Like).
- ‘Working Scientifically’ for detailed skills progressions.
Teachers build on prior learning by identifying knowledge which has been taught in earlier classes (see knowledge matrices below) and making effective use of teacher assessment from earlier units of study.
Knowledge Matrices – Year 1
Knowledge Matrices – Year 2
Knowledge Matrices – Year 3
Knowledge Matrices – Year 4
Knowledge Matrices – Year 5
Knowledge Matrices – Year 6
Teachers use a range of formal and informal assessment methods including observation, written work and listening to responses to support children’s learning. Each unit of work has an ‘End Point’, chosen by the subject leader and class teacher to ensure progression in knowledge and understanding. Assessments against these ‘End Points’ are recorded and passed on to the next teacher to inform planning for future learning.
The following resource is available for teachers across school to support assessment judgements during scientific investigations.
TAPS Focused Assessment Tasks
DIFFERENT TYPES OF ENQUIRY
Within Science, children are taught five types of enquiry.
- Research using secondary sources.
- Observing over time.
- Identifying, classifying and grouping.
- Comparative and fair testing.
- Pattern seeking.
Teachers use the following resources to support planning for these lines of enquiry:
• Enquiringscience4all – further ideas for enquiry types
• Examples of different types of enquiry in each topic
• Crest Awards – STAR (KS1) and SUPERSTAR (KS2) support discussion, choice and scaffolds for investigations
Teachers inspire children through a range of techniques, including stories, investigations, play, demonstrations, videos and visiting experts/scientists. The following resources are used for ideas by staff across school.
• Molliebird Teachers’ Guide
• My Everyday Science KS2
• Stay Home Science Lab with Jules Pottle
• Ogden Trust Phizzi Enquiry – encourages curiosity and questioning in EYFS