Science at Chipping Warden Primary Academy
Science teaching at Chipping Warden Primary Academy aims to give all children an excellent understanding of the world around them, teaching them specific skills and knowledge to help them think scientifically and gain an understanding of scientific processes. It also develops each child’s understanding of the achievements of scientists, both from the past and present, and the uses and implications of science today and for the future. At Chipping Warden Primary Academy, scientific enquiry skills and language are embedded into each topic that the children study. Topics are taught as half-termly units with the content being revisited and developed throughout the children’s time at school. For example, topics such as Plants are taught in Key Stage One and studied again in further detail throughout Key Stage Two. This model allows children to build upon their prior knowledge and increase their enthusiasm for the topics studied whilst embedding procedural knowledge into the long-term memory.
In science lessons, all children are encouraged to question the world around them and to gain and use a range of skills, including planning and carrying out investigations, in order to facilitate their progress as independent learners and thinkers. They are taught how to plan and implement different stages of an investigation, according to a progression of skills across the year groups. These skills include thinking about key questions, identifying the variables involved and conducting a fair test, carrying out investigations safely, methodically and cooperatively, designing and using a results chart, making accurate observations or measurements and drawing conclusions from their results. Specialist vocabulary for each topic is taught progressively, and effective questioning to aid understanding of vocabulary and subject matter is encouraged in each lesson. Children have regular opportunities to practise explaining and writing scientific explanations to communicate their knowledge and understanding, and to draw conclusions from their scientific enquiries. Children are encouraged to answer scientific questions by drawing on their own experiences and on their findings from scientific enquiries, with consistent and accurate use of the relevant specialist vocabulary.
Science is assessed both formatively and summatively through teacher marking at the end of a lesson and at the end of each module, when the children will complete a self-assessment to help identify what went well and what learning gaps may exist. The teacher will then use the same format to provide their assessment and feedback to the child. This enables the child and teacher to accurately assess each child's progress against the skills and knowledge that are required by the National Curriculum. The children may also be asked to complete a piece of writing, or create a mind map, using the key words that they have learnt during each module.