“The important thing is to not stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
– Albert Einstein
Intent | Implementation | Impact
Science lessons in school are based around our very own science principles which were developed with staff during PSQM. These principles are at the heart of our science planning so that we provide children with fun and memorable lessons. We ensure that lessons include lots of practical elements where children are provided with opportunities to work scientifically and carry out investigations.
We endeavour to make science lessons thought provoking and inspiring so that children are inquisitive and ask questions to further their own learning – therefore developing their scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding. We also try to link the teaching of science to real life so that it is relevant and where possible, make cross curricular links. We utilise a range of resources to make the lessons engaging and we plan in visitors and trips to bring science alive as well as having good links with two local secondary schools.
Children are provided with opportunities to use the five different types of scientific enquiry and have access to a wealth of science resources from our well equipped science cupboard which is regularly replenished. Children enjoy using different resources and we teach them to use equipment independently. Children are also given opportunities to then suggest their own enquiries which helps to develop their questioning skills, initiative, independence, teamwork and leadership. By doing this, it helps them develop an understanding of scientific methods, and helps them to answer questions about the world around them.
Lessons are inclusive using things like ‘odd one out’ activities that everyone can access. Word banks are used to support learners and we use a variety of different ways to record our learning e.g. through drama, DT / art links in the use of modelling. Lessons feature challenges to extend the children’s knowledge and to explore deeper thinking so all children are equipped with the skills required to understand science of today and the future. Through this curriculum, we aim to provide all the children with the educational, social and cultural capital to which they are entitled.
Science is a subject which is enjoyed by many, largely because of the practical element. The children and staff are appreciative of the science visits, visitors and links with secondary schools that we provide. We know this from the teacher’s verbal feedback and from the children’s comments and engagement and pupil voice activities. Parents comment about school trips and some react to photos of things such as science workshops on the school’s Twitter page. This is, however, something that we could develop further by using questionnaires to gain more feedback.
At Dringhouses, we aim to expose children to key scientists from around the world, we are inclusive of gender and ethnicity.
The science curriculum has been developed within the school over a number of years and has really improved since the school took part and achieved the PSQM which recognises the importance the school places on science. Science is taught in age phase teams on a 2 year rolling programme to ensure correct coverage. We use progression grids to ensure we know what has previously been taught and where the topic leads to, so that we can build upon children’s prior knowledge. Where possible we make cross curricular links such as analysing data, presenting our findings in graphs / tables (maths) acting out how the solar system or digestive system works (drama) etc.
Lessons are planned in teams, using our science principles and a range of resources such as Kent, ASE, Plan science. We ensure that the children are exposed to the 5 different types of scientific enquiry. Staff make use of prior learning and knowledge by checking our progression grids when planning the teaching sequence. We also use things like KWL grids to build on prior learning and use strategies like weekly reviews to recap key learning and vocabulary as well as quizzes to check understanding.
During our work towards PSQM, science leaders were given time to deliver training through the use of staff meetings and staff felt more confident in teaching the subject. Since then, there has been little time for staff meetings, primarily because of covid and classes working in bubbles. Also there are lots of new staff members to the school who will not be aware of the expectations around the initiatives brought in during PSQM. As leaders, this is something we would like to develop and to have the opportunity and time to deliver training to the staff. We also plan to send out a staff questionnaire to address this and see what training needs there are. We also need to reinstate our science board in the staffroom where we share useful information that will support teachers.
As Science leaders, it is vital that we keep up to date with any developments within science. We therefore attend science cluster meetings and training and feedback to staff although, since covid, there has been less of these. We also have good links with secondary schools so that we can smooth the transition between primary and secondary science. We work alongside Millthorpe and have had opportunities for our UKS2 children to attend science workshops in their labs. As well as this, we have worked closely with York High, used their planning and often borrow their resources to enhance our lessons. This is something that wasn’t as easy to do during lockdowns and covid but something we are trying to get up and running again. As a school, we achieved the Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM) which recognises our dedication to the subject. We also keep our knowledge up to date by following relevant people on Twitter.
Science assessments are now made once every term using Otrack. The school’s achievements of gaining PSQM have had a huge impact on science in the school. Science is now taught regularly and given the time it deserves within the curriculum. Lessons are well planned and engaging which has been commented on by the children. Children are given the opportunity to use the 5 types of scientific inquiry and have opportunities to attend workshops from visitors or to go on science related trips.
Abby and Megan baked cakes for the kitchen team! And made a 'printed using nature' card for them to say Thank You! #dringkind #dringcreative https://www.instagram.com/p/Ci92lHRoH6y/?igshid=YTgzYjQ4ZTY=
Our Science subject leaders are Mrs Angela Skidmore and Mrs Sarah Davis
Please contact them for further information and/or take a look at the following documents: