Intent of our Science Teaching and Learning
Science at Kippax Ash Tree aims to provide our children with as many opportunities as possible to be curious, to investigate and to learn concepts about the world around them. The experiences we provide are personalised and relevant to the children’s interests and their prior knowledge. Topics are revisited and concepts and vocabulary are built upon throughout their primary career. We ensure that conceptual understanding and working scientifically go hand in hand along with teachers modelling the correct use of scientific vocabulary in order to develop young scientific minds. We believe children should be challenged and engaged to prompt discussion, which leads to investigative opportunities. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and use the 5 enquiry types to answer them: comparative and fair testing, pattern seeking, observation over time, research and grouping and classifying.
To implement our intent, teachers receive up to date science CPD in order for them to understand how to follow the process of Stimulus, Plan, Do, Review. Starting with a ‘Stimulus’ enables children to become excited, sharing their prior knowledge or misconceptions in an observational based approach. ‘Plan, Do, Review’ covers the objectives of working scientifically. Teachers plan every lesson with a scientifically objective knowledge aim and an enquiry type at its heart. Vocabulary is progressive across the year groups and displayed on working walls for reference. Active assessment strategies are implemented by staff, where children can show what they know instead of conforming to closed questions in a test situation. Tight progression is planned across school, where teachers can see what they should be teaching, following national curriculum guidance, and what has been taught before. The five enquiry types are on display in every classroom, referred to in lessons and in planning and tracked across the year.
Our science curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression based on the current best research in Primary Science education. We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
Active assessment small group tasks provides an accurate picture of our children’s conceptual understanding and skills
Tracking of knowledge in pre and post learning activities
Assessment data being used to close gaps in understanding and skills for all learners
Pupil discussions about their learning
Book looks to check coverage of knowledge and a multi-layered approach to each lesson.
We hold the Primary Science Quality mark, and two years later the high standards of this are well-embedded. Our teachers continue to engage with internal and external CPD to ensure their subject knowledge and skills are strong!
We have been awarded the Silver PSQM Award!
In May, Primary Science Quality Awards have been awarded to 180 infant, junior, primary, middle and special schools to celebrate a commitment to excellence in science teaching and learning. So far, since its national launch in 2010, almost 2800 schools across the UK have achieved the award.
The Primary School Quality Mark scheme enables schools to work together to share good practice and is supported by professional development led by local experts. It encourages teacher autonomy and innovation while at the same time offers a clear framework for development in science subject leadership, teaching and learning.
The Primary Science Quality Mark is led by the University of Hertfordshire School of Education in partnership with the Primary Science Teaching Trust. It is supported by the Royal Society for Chemistry, the Ogden Trust and the Association for Science Education.
Jane Turner, PSQM National Director said: “Gaining a Primary Science Quality Award is a significant achievement for a school. The profile and quality of science teaching and learning in each awarded school is very high. Children are engaging with great science both in and outside the classroom, developing positive attitudes towards science as well as secure science understanding and skills. Science subject leaders, their colleagues, head teachers, children, parents and governors should be very proud.”
At Ash Tree, we are very proud of Mrs Varley for working so hard to achieve this award. We are so fortunate our school has such an active and enthusiastic Science leader. She has increased not only her own awareness of many aspects of Science but has also attended lots of training, delivered CPD to all staff in school and even to other schools!
Here are some of the great things the assessor said about Ash Tree in the PSQM report:
‘The range of events, displays and visits indicate the high profile of Science.’ PSQM, May 2018.
‘The positive impact in terms of children’s ability to recognise the types of investigation and that of teacher confidence in using the new approaches is commendable.’ PSQM, May 2018.
‘The development of the outdoor area is another bonus that will help children to learn Science in a meaningful way.’ PSQM, May 2018.
‘Pupil voice confirms the children’s enjoyment of Science and how this has increased.’ PSQM, May 2018.