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Science

Science

At St Joseph’s, we aim to inspire pupils to become inquisitive, confident, and problem-solving scientists. Our bespoke curriculum from year 5 to year 8, aims to allow pupils to develop and deepen their understanding of key scientific concepts in upper key stage two and key stage three of the national curriculum for science.  Through our teaching, we aim to prepare pupils well to achieve success at GCSE and beyond: to pursue careers in STEM, foster a life-long interest in science and fully develop their science capital. Incorporating a rich mixture of scientific disciplines, we aim to deliver relevant and challenging content that fully embeds working scientifically skills through an investigative approach to learning.

Key Stage 2

  • Intent

    At SJMS, our vision is to give our KS2 children a science curriculum which enables them to explore and discover the world around them confidently, so that they have a deeper understanding of the world we live in. To achieve this, it involves exciting, practical hands-on experiences that encourage curiosity and questioning.

    Our aim is that these stimulating and challenging experiences help children secure and extend their scientific knowledge and vocabulary.

    We believe that these opportunities will ensure that our children are confident, life-long learners who will explore the world around them.

    At SJMS, in conjunction with the aims of the National Curriculum, our science teaching offers opportunities for children to:

    • Our principal aim is that children leave us with a wide range of happy and rich memories in science formed through interesting and exciting experiences driven through vehicles that enhance a child’s awareness of their own abilities and strengths as a learner; thus ensuring that children see learning in Science as an ongoing process not a one-off event.
    • Children will meet the National Curriculum expectations in science, which will be taught by highly-qualified staff, who will support children to develop mastery of concepts and inspire enthusiasm and interest in the subject.
    • All children in KS2 will study science for 3 hours per week.
    • Opportunities will exist for children of all ages to experience learning beyond the classroom (e.g. Space Week, STEM Week, Saving Ratty Project at Kielder) and this will allow them to enrich their knowledge and experiences.
    • Children will develop a deep understanding of the subject they are studying. They will increasingly use their prior knowledge to solve problems and develop the sophistication of science.
    • Children will understand how Catholic virtues and British Values relate to science.
    • In Science, children will develop the skills to appropriately use and select research and sources.
    • Children will develop a real understanding and appreciation of the world learning from the best that has been developed and said.

    Ultimately, we endeavour to ensure that the science curriculum we provide will give our KS2 children the confidence and motivation to continue to further develop their skills into the next stage of their education career and life experiences. From the beginning of KS2, one of our aims is to enable KS2 to be “Key Stage 2 ready”. To facilitate this, during KS2, we want all of our pupils to experience not only a broad and balanced science curriculum but to also to the develop skills that will enable them to become responsible and fully developing their skills of independent learning, their scientific knowledge, understanding and skills so that they are fully prepared for KS3. Wherever possible, we also look to our science curriculum to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, aesthetic and physical development of our pupils, and to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of the next stage in their lives.

  • Implementation

    Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in science. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following:

    • The curriculum hours in science are non-negotiable and will be followed by all staff in the school. Fixed timetables will be set before the academic year and monitored by the Senior Leadership Team of the school.
    • Subject specialists from KS3 will continue to be integral to the planning process.
    • Where necessary, staff will receive training in science.
    • Carefully designed schemes of learning in science ensure consistency and progress of all learners.
    • Spiral learning is a key focus of all formative and summative assessment with teachers actively marking work in lessons in order to identify misconceptions early.
    • Teachers have good subject knowledge and develop pupil’s science vocabulary.
    • Pupils are aware of the purpose and objectives of their learning.
    • Educational visits and visitors enhance science teaching and learning for both pupils and teachers.
    • Pupils are aware of what they need to do to move to the next level and reach their learning potential.
    • Children ask questions, including ones that they are able to investigate both in school and home.
    • Practical lessons allowing ‘Hands On’ activities and teamwork.
    • Pupils are challenged and excited about learning.
    • The environment /community around school and beyond is used effectively.
    • Good quality, resources easily accessed by pupils and teachers.
    • Vehicles drive learning throughout the term. Therefore, wherever possible, Science is taught through the vehicle.
  • Impact
    • Children are happy, feel cared for, and have excellent relationships with others. They know how to deal with challenges and have a range of strategies to overcome them.
    • Through science, children deepen their appreciation of their faith and their God-given talents.
    • Visits within science have enriched the lives of the children and they are able to discuss how the experience impacted their knowledge and understanding.
    • Children of all abilities and backgrounds achieve well in science, reflected in outstanding progress that reveals a clear learning journey. Children talk enthusiastically about their learning in science and are eager to further their learning in the next stages of their education.
    • There is a proven track record of outstanding outcomes as shown in pupils’ scientific ability, their books and their enjoyment of the subject. These indicators reflect the impact of deep learning.
    • Clear outcomes focus and guide science development plans and drive improvement.
    • Children are confident, resilient and actively engaged in the wider society.
    • Fundamental British Values are evident in the school and understood by all members of the community.
    • Inspire the students to follow a pathway towards a scientific career.
    • Through wider reading in science, children will know how science influenced and is central to our everyday lives and how science has influenced an improvement to our lives (e.g. the task to develop a vaccine for COVID-19).

    Ultimately, by the end of KS2, our children will be ready to meet the demands of the science curriculum at KS2, both in terms of knowledge, understanding and investigative skills. To assess whether our pupils’ knowledge and understanding is ‘KS3 ready’, each pupil will be given a moderated teacher assessment at the end of Y6 – this will be moderated both internally and externally with teachers from the Hexham Partnership.

Key Stage 3

  • Intent

    At SJMS, our vision is to give our KS3 pupils a science curriculum which enables them to explore and discover the world around them confidently, so that they have a deeper understanding of the world we live in. To achieve this, it involves exciting, practical hands-on experiences that encourage curiosity and questioning.

    Our aim is that these stimulating and challenging experiences help pupils secure and extend their scientific knowledge and vocabulary.

    We believe that these opportunities will ensure that our pupils are confident, life-long learners who will explore the world around them.

    At SJMS, in conjunction with the aims of the National Curriculum, our science teaching offers opportunities for children to:

    • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through different units of work, that cover the areas of Biology, Chemistry and Physics;
    • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them;
    • be equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
    • develop the essential scientific enquiry skills to deepen their scientific knowledge.
    • use a range of methods to communicate their scientific information and present it in a systematic, scientific manner, including I.C.T., diagrams, graphs and charts.
    • develop a respect for the materials and equipment they handle with regard to their own, and other children’s safety.
    • develop an enthusiasm and enjoyment of scientific learning and discovery.

    The National Curriculum will provide a structure and skill development for the science curriculum being taught throughout the school, which reflects a balanced programme of study.

    KS3 pupils have 3, 60 minute lessons of science per week, using a bespoke programme of study and various resources. Wherever possible, children in KS3 are taught by specialist science teachers and in a specialist teaching room (the science laboratory). Additional opportunities are provided in science, such as: STEM Week, Space Week, other cross-curricular weeks, educational visits (linked to the science curriculum), such as the visit to the ‘Saving Ratty Project’ at Kielder Castle.

    Ultimately, we endeavour to ensure that the science curriculum we provide will give our KS3 pupils the confidence and motivation to continue to further develop their skills into the next stage of their education career and life experiences. From the beginning of KS3, one of our aims is to enable KS3 to be “High School Ready”. To facilitate this, during KS3, we want all of our pupils to experience not only a broad and balanced science curriculum but to also to the develop skills that will enable them to become responsible and independent learners, developing their scientific knowledge, understanding and skills so that they are fully prepared for KS4. Wherever possible, we also look to our science curriculum to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, aesthetic and physical development of our pupils, and to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.

  • Implementation

    Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in science. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following;

    • Science will be taught in bespoke planned units, arranged by the Head of Department. This is a strategy to enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge.
    • Through our planning, we involve problem solving opportunities that allow children to find out for themselves. Pupils are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. This curiosity is celebrated within the classroom.
    • Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, often involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge.
    • Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess children regularly to identify those pupils with gaps in learning, so that all pupils keep up.
    • We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. As the pupils’ knowledge and understanding increases, and 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 these skills are being developed throughout the children’s school career and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching.
    • 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.
  • Impact

    The successful approach at SJMS results in a fun, engaging, high-quality science education, that provides children with the foundations for understanding the world. Our engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first hand experiences of the world around them. So much of science lends itself to outdoor learning and so we provide children with opportunities to experience this. Through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts and local charities, pupils have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity. Pupils learn the possibilities for careers in science as a result of our community links and connection with national agencies such as the STEM Association. Pupil voice is used to further develop the science curriculum, through questioning of pupil’s views and attitudes to science to support the children’s enjoyment of science and to motivate learners.

    Ultimately, by the end of Year 8, our pupils will be ready to meet the demands of the science curriculum at their chosen high school, both in terms of knowledge, understanding and investigative skills. To assess whether our pupils’ knowledge and understanding is ‘High School Ready’, each pupil sits a Partnership science test, that is then marked and the results forwarded on to the QEHS. To assess each pupil’s scientific skills, Heads of Science (from across the Partnership), come together to assess, standardise and moderate pupils work in the summertime.

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