At Half Acres Primary Academy, we are determined to promote the love of learning science and for children to find out about the science within their everyday lives, promoting the importance of investigative approach through regular 'hands on' experiences. It is our intention that by the end of each Key Stage, each child will have an understanding of a variety of science concepts and be able to talk about them and that they will be able to work scientifically during lessons.
In order to allow children to reach their full potential, we cover the objectives set out in the Programmes of Study in the National Curriculum. We mix the content knowledge and investigation skills needed to solve science problems and make decisions based on what they have learned. Our lessons also allow the children to practise their maths and English whilst developing reasoning, problem-solving and social skills.
In Key Stage 1 content is delivered for each year group in accordance with the National Curriculum. However, at Key Stage 2 each phase follows a two year rolling programme that covers all the content and skills for working scientifically for the two year groups. Units are planned before the term and teachers are able to draw upon resources from the Science Bug scheme of work, which they amend to meet their children's needs or plan from other materials as applicable.
To ensure children make the progress they should, teachers plan enjoyable, engaging and inspiring practical activities that mean the children are working hands-on; these lessons link science concepts to everyday life so the children can understand the world around them in a scientific way. All lessons are bespoke to the class (and child) to support and challenge all children, focusing on the skills the class need to develop so they can become the best scientist they can. Each teacher has the discretion to block the unit or teach it weekly.
In order to build on the children's understanding and to further embed and support our teaching, we try to bring in visitors, have class trips and hold workshops when it suits the topic. For example, Year 3 and 4 visited Magna, Year 6 visit the Natural History Museum and both Early Years and Key Stage 1 visit farms and Tropical World. We have invited a geologist to teach Year 3 and 4 about rocks, a scientist to look at a variety of areas to do with weather and animals have been brought in for Early Years and Key stage 1.
Our lessons aim to develop a child's social skills by working in teams and encourage resilience, determination, perseverance, communication, collaboration, questioning and problem-solving.
In order to encourage all to become scientists, as part of the two year cycle, we challenge the stereotypical image by learning about different types of scientist such as Mary Anning and Charles Darwin when the unit allows.
The impact of our curriculum can be seen in the enthusiasm that children demonstrate when they are learning and talking about science. Through regular monitoring, leaders see an ever improving standard of knowledge and skills through observations, book scrutinies and conversations with both the children and the teachers.
Staff assess the children during lessons and at the end of a unit: they fill in a science assessment sheet which focuses on those working below and those at greater depth giving more information about what the problems seem to be. This allows the teacher to focus their next unit where gaps in learning are apparent and for the next teacher to see where the gaps are and plan accordingly.