At Half Acres Academy, the national curriculum is taught in units of work. Where possible, opportunities for cross-curricular links are used to give a meaningful context for the learning and to allow the children to apply basic skills: maths, writing and reading. Teachers make it explicit to children that they are learning science skills and that they are being ‘scientists’.
We cover the objectives set out in the Programmes of Study in the National Curriculum. Our curriculum is based on the acquisition of knowledge, skills and vocabulary with a focus on children knowing more and remembering more. With clear progression across year groups, as demonstrated in the progression grid, this allows children to revisit and recap prior learning in order to embed skills and knowledge; also to support and challenge all children. This allows children by the end of year 6 to have the scientific skills to be successful in secondary school.
In science lessons, 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.
The lessons include practical activities that mean the children are working, hands-on, with real-life models or representations where possible; these lessons link science concepts to everyday life so the children can understand the world around them in a scientific way. During investigations and experiments, there are a range of equipment to use to allow the children to work as scientists.
Each classroom has a science working wall that shows the vocabulary and visual aids needed for the current topic. Within the lesson, a brief quiz is held to see if the children have remembered prior learning and can recall science vocabulary and definitions.
In order to build on the children’s understanding and to further embed and support our teaching, we bring in visitors, have class trips and hold workshops when it suits the topic.
Staff assess the children during lessons and at the end of a unit: they fill in a science assessment sheet which focuses and those working below and those at greater depth giving more information about the problems seem to be. This ensures the pitch of lessons is well matched to need and that, by the end of each key stage, required content within the National Curriculum is adequately covered to prepare pupils for the next phase.
Work scrutiny shows the vocabulary knowledge and skills taught and, as they move through the key stages the progression in these areas. Work recorded on SEESAW shows practical work and the creative ways in which the lessons have been taught. The assessment sheets completed at the end of a term are shared with the subject leader and are passed up at the end of the year to allow the next teacher to address any weaknesses and they show that the children know more and remember more. Pupil voice indicates that children enjoy learning science, they are enthusiastic about investigations and they can demonstrate a growing understanding of the concepts over time and that they know more and remember more.