At Cordwalles Junior School, we believe that science should help to develop the way children understand the world through interesting, exciting and motivating experiences. Hands-on practical science is an important part to play when encouraging their natural curiosity and helping to build their confidence. Science is a powerful tool as it also improves both their English and maths skills as well as helping them develop in many other areas too.
At Cordwalles Junior school, we have designed our Science curriculum with the intent that our children will develop an in-depth understanding of the world around them and an understanding of how major scientific ideas have played a vital role in society, to prepare them for life in scientific and technological world. We are committed to providing a stimulating, engaging and challenging learning environment. Throughout our school children are encouraged to develop and use a range of working scientific skills including questioning, researching and observing for ourselves. Our aim is to build science capital for all our children, regardless of their background and starting point, so that they are inspired to continue to use science in their everyday life, future education and careers. We intend to provide all children regardless of ethnic origin, gender, class, aptitude or disability with a broad and balanced science curriculum.
Planning for Science is a process in which all teachers are involved to ensure that the school gives full coverage of ‘The National Curriculum programmes of study for Science 2014’. Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within the classroom instilling the expectation that all children at Cordwalles Junior School have the ability to achieve in science. Throughout their time at Cordwalles Junior School all children will experience a wide range of topics to support and enhance their natural inquisitiveness for learning. It is very important that the working scientifically skills are developed with the aim that all children will be able to plan and carry out investigations in order to find out new things and answer questions. They will be able to record data, use scientific equipment accurately and explain their findings. We want to ensure that the children grow in confidence and continue to be motivated in order to further the development of their scientific knowledge and skills. At Cordwalles Junior School we ensure that the following takes place:
Existing knowledge is checked at the beginning of each topic, as part of the KWL strategy (What I know, What I would like to Know and What I have Learned). This ensures that teaching is informed by the children’s starting points and that it takes account of pupil voice, incorporating children’s interests.
Through our planning, we involve problem solving opportunities that allow children to apply their knowledge, and find out answers for questions themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers.
Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, involving quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge.
Teachers use questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess pupils regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all pupils progress.
Tasks are selected and designed to provide appropriate challenge to all learners. We build upon the knowledge and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability 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 is developed through the years, in-keeping with the topics.
Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding.
Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning and workshops with experts. At the end of each topic, key knowledge is reviewed by the children, checked by the teacher and consolidated as necessary.
By the end of their primary education, our pupils should be equipped to make informed decisions about the scientific opportunities around them. Our Science curriculum within Cordwalles Junior School offers a broad range of experiences designed to provide pupils with a progression of scientific understanding, skills and knowledge. All children will have:
A wider variety of skills linked to both scientific knowledge and understanding, and scientific enquiry/investigative skills.
A richer vocabulary which will enable to articulate their understanding of taught concepts.
High aspirations, which will see them through to further study, work and a successful adult life.
What a ‘typical’ lesson looks like:
At Cordwalles Junior School, children receive two hours of Science a week which is broken up into two sessions. The lesson content in the first lesson systematically progresses onto the second lesson of the week, following the same learning objective. Where possible, children have the opportunity to explore the content through an investigation or experiment to develop and demonstrate scientific skills.
Teaching & Learning
Science is taught for two hours a week. One of the sessions takes place in our Phiz Lab which holds an extensive range of resources and equipment to aid learning. Children have the opportunity to explore what they have learnt here planning and preparing investigations and experiments. Lessons are systematically planned to ensure progression of scientific understanding, skills and knowledge. Planning for science is a process in which all teachers take part in referring to the skills progression document.
At Cordwalles Junior School, we aim to meet the needs of all our children by differentiation in our Science planning and in providing a variety of approaches and tasks appropriate to ability levels. This involves providing opportunities for SEND children to complete their own projects, with support. This will enable children with learning and/or physical difficulties to take an active part in scientific learning and practical activities and investigations and to achieve the goals they have been set. Some children will require closer supervision and more adult support to allow them to progress whilst more able children will be extended through differentiated activities. By being given enhancing and enriching activities, more able children will be able to progress to a higher level of knowledge and understanding appropriate to their abilities.
Our Phiz Lab
At Cordwalles Junior School, we highly regard Science as a crucial subject to expand curious minds. Our Phiz Lab enables us to deliver exciting and exhilarating lessons in an environment ideal for learning! Our Phiz Lab is fully equipped with equipment and resources which aids teaching all units of Science explored across the school.
Primary Science Quality Mark
In September 2019, Cordwalles Junior School was awarded the Primary Science Quality Mark. A significant achievement for the school, the PSQM recognises Cordwalles' commitment and expertise in Science and leadership. The school teaching have demonstrated that the profile and quality of Science teaching and learning is very high and that children are engaging with Science both in and outside the classroom, developing positive attitudes towards Science.
GLF has been selected by the Primary Science Teaching Trust to be a beneficiary of an exciting new initiative. Over the next five years, the PSTT will provide funding to GLF primary schools to enable them to work together to develop their Science teaching and learning and to share best practise. Teachers at GLF Primary schools will receive training in the latest science teaching techniques and will have preferential access to a range of PSTT resources. An additional grant of £5,000 from the PSTT will enable our network of schools to create resource hubs of the latest, cutting edge scientific equipment which all schools will be able to use.
Useful Websites / Parent Guides
The Children’s University of Manchester
The National Schools Observatory
The Woodland Trust – Nature Detectives
Policies and Documents
Science Skills Progression KS2