Science

Science at Stocksbridge Junior School

 

At Stocksbridge Junior School, we believe that a high-quality Science education for all provides the foundations for understanding our universe and promotes respect for our world, as well as supporting children’s work across the wider curriculum.  Science develops children’s sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena.

Pupils are taught the essential knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes necessary to understand the uses and implicationsof Science, today and for the future.  Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge, pupils are encouraged to recognise how Science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

Science in our school is about developing children’s ideas and ways of working that enable them to make sense of the world in which they live.  Staff at Stocksbridge Junior School ensure that children receive both high-quality, classroom-based teaching and learning experiences, and opportunities to investigate their outdoor environment and locality.

 

Intent

 

Curriculum drivers shape our curriculum breadth.  They are derived from an understanding of our children, our beliefs about high-quality education and our values.  They are consistently used to ensure that we give our children appropriate and ambitious curriculum opportunities.

Cultural capital (developed through extending scientific knowledge, vocabulary and experiences) gives our children the vital background knowledge required to be informed and thoughtful members of the Stocksbridge community, who understand and believe in British values.

Our curriculum distinguishes between subject topics and threshold concepts: subject topics are the specific aspects of subjects that are studied; threshold concepts tie together the subject topics into meaningful schema.  The same concepts are explored in a wide breadth of topics and are returned to.  Through this interleaving of science concepts across the key stage, children gradually build understanding of schema.

Knowledge learned within each threshold concept is built upon, and returned to, following a two-milestone progression model.  Milestone 2 (Year 3/4) and Milestone 3 (Year 5/6) include the procedural and semantic knowledge required to build schema.  Where relevant, key threshold concepts from Milestone 1 (Year 1/2) are included to reinforce children’s development of schema.

Implementation

 

Our planning for Science ensures that the school gives full coverage of the National Curriculum for Science. Science is taught through a combination of discrete units and units which link to relevant topics. These units are planned to ensure progression, an understanding of the essential conceptual knowledge and to allow for an enquiry-based approach.  This is a strategy to enable the acquisition of a greater depth of knowledge through the skills and methods associated with working scientifically.

Our children are immersed in scientific vocabulary, which aids their knowledge and understanding, and promotes the growth of cultural capital. Teachers ensure that the ‘working scientifically’ skills are built on and developed so that children can use equipment, conduct experiments, build arguments, explain concepts confidently and continue to ask questions about their surroundings. Teachers introduce children to an increasingly wider range of scientific equipment to allow them to observe, measure, predict, hypothesise, experiment, communicate, interpret, explain and evaluate.

Impact

 

Science at Stocksbridge Junior School is engaging, high-quality and provides children with the foundations for understanding our world. They have many opportunities to experience outdoor learning.  They take part in workshops, educational visits and interact with experts during STEM activities which provide children with opportunities to work with, and learn from, professionals.

As the children’s conceptual knowledge and understanding become embedded, and they become more proficient in selecting and using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.

Pupils have high aspirations which will see them through to further study, work and a successful adult life.