At Orchard Juniors School, our primary intent is to have an engaging and inspiring curriculum with high academic ambition for all pupils. We aim to ignite curiosity in our children; we want them to question why things happen and the way things work. We also want them to recognise how the science they learn in class can be applied to jobs they might do in the future.
The 2014 National Curriculum for science aims to ensure that all children:
develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines 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.
are equipped with the scientific skills required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
At Orchard, our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum, with our own additions and enhancements. It develops both knowledge and working scientifically skills and has clearly defined end points. We ensure our curriculum is taught in a logical progression, systematically and explicitly, building on previous learning and skills for future learning, so that our children can use equipment, conduct experiments, build arguments and explain concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings.
We know that children are naturally curious and we encourage this inquisitive nature throughout their time with us and beyond. Science fosters a healthy inquisitiveness in children about our universe and promotes respect for the natural and life sciences. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes.
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 planned in teams, supported by the science leader. It is taught by the class teacher either weekly or in blocked units and science days. At the start of each new unit, staff revise what has come before to guage theie starting point, especially in the light of recent lockdowns. Teachers can use this to recap and build on prior learning successfully. This is a strategy to enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge and understanding, as well as support the retention of facts.
Science units are planned to link, where appropriate, to our wider curriculum. Units which are discrete are fitted in appropriately.
Through our planning, children are given a range of knowledge and skills based activities. Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills. Where possible, teachers make use of a database of scientists in both our school and local community to show the children how their learning relates to the real world.
Teachers use a range of formative assessment tools to check pupils’ understanding and assess children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all children keep up. Teachers use next step marking to support children in understanding misconceptions where appropriate.
Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being developed throughout the children’s school career. We focus on one or two scientific skills at a time rather than touching lightly on everything. New vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching as well as reinforcing literacy skills and specific writing features associated with science.
Children increase their cultural capital through visits and visitors. These specialist visits and visitors deliver high quality workshops to facilitate and support science learning by building on the children’s prior knowledge and aspire them to think of their futures and their prospective career paths. Children use the local environment to enhance learning around living things and their habitats.
Events for the more able scientists from local secondary schools are organised to ensure these children are given extra opportunities to be challenged.
The successful approach at Orchard results in a fun, engaging, high quality science education, that provides children with the foundations for understanding the world.
Children are given enriched science experiences as part of their learning and science visits help support the awe and wonder of science that will continue to the next stage of education . Through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts and local companies, including a wealth of parents in our school community, children have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity.
Children at Orchard enjoy science and this results in motivated learners who are aware of the wide range of career opportunities this subject brings, including roles yet to be created.