Science at Oakhurst

Intent

At Oakhurst Community Primary School, our children are scientists! It is our intention to provide a high quality science education that provides children with the foundations they need to recognise the importance of Science in every aspect of daily life. We give the teaching and learning of Science high prominence. We want our children to love science. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be astronauts, forensic scientists, toxicologists or microbiologists. 

To achieve this, it involves exciting, practical hands on experiences that encourage curiosity and questioning. Our aim is that these stimulating and challenging experiences help every child secure and extend their scientific knowledge and vocabulary, as well as promoting a love and thirst for learning. 

At Oakhurst, we have a coherently planned and sequenced curriculum which has been carefully designed and developed with the need of every child at the centre of what we do. We want to equip our children with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the science National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

Implementation

At Oakhurst, Science topics are taught within each year group in accordance with the National Curriculum.

  • At Oakhurst, weekly, one hour lessons are taught.
  • Units are blocked to allow children to focus on developing their knowledge and skills, studying each unit in depth.
  • The curriculum at Oakhurst, maps out progressive knowledge, and working scientifically skills. 
  • Every year group will build upon the learning from prior year groups therefore developing depth of understanding and progression of skills.
  • Teachers will ensure that all children are exposed to high quality teaching and learning experiences.
  • Lessons involve many practical activities and all children are encouraged to show their understanding in a variety of ways from drawings, photographs, discussion, modelling and writing. This hands on approach to learning, stimulates discussion and questioning.
  • Children explore, question, predict, plan, carry out investigations and observations as well as conclude their findings.
  • Across the school, to provide consistency, children use the same planning, conducting and evaluation templates with age appropriate scientific language.  
  • Children are taught to present their findings and learning using science specific language, observations and diagrams.
  • In order to support children in their ability to ‘know more and remember more’, there are regular opportunities in lessons to review prior learning in previous units and lessons. This looks like “Let’s Recap” slides, where prior learning will be revised. Additionally, end of unit quizzes will take place. The results will be used by teachers to inform future recap slides and teacher judgements. 
  • Children are given a knowledge organiser at the start of each topic which details some key Science Curriculum information, scientists and vocabulary. This is used to support children with their acquisition of knowledge and are regularly referred to in lessons. 
  • Teachers use highly effective assessment for learning in each lesson to ensure misconceptions are highlighted and addressed.
  • Effective modelling by teachers ensures that children are able to achieve their learning intention, with misconceptions addressed within it.
  • All pupils’ needs are catered for, allowing them to access science lessons and resources.

For more detailed information about our programmes of study, please click here.

EYFS

The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum supports children’s understanding of Science through the planning and teaching of ‘Understanding the World.’ Children find out about objects, materials and living things using all of their senses looking at similarities, differences, patterns and change. Both the environment and skilled practitioners foster curiosity and encourage explorative play, children are motivated to ask questions about why things happen and how things work. Our children are encouraged to use their natural environment around them to explore. Children enjoy spending time outdoors exploring mini-beasts and their habitats, observing the changing seasons, plants and animals. Children regularly participate in cookery and baking sessions which allows them to experience changes in state as ingredients are mixed, heated and cooled.

Impact

Through the implementation of a progressive curriculum we have ensured that Oakhurst remains at the cutting edge of science teaching and delivery. Children’s exploration, knowledge and understanding of investigations gradually expands from Year 1 to Year 6. The impact of this curriculum design will lead to outstanding progress over time, across key stages, relative to a child’s individual starting point and their progression of skills. 

At Oakhurst, we believe rich stimuli aid scientific enquiry enabling pupils to relate science to real life. Across all year groups, pupils are provided with extra opportunities to explore and develop a love for scientific enquiry. Pupils at Oakhurst, have participated in STEM days, trips to ‘We the Curious’ and science workshops at our local secondary schools. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed and fondly recall these experiences. 

Formative assessment is used as the main tool for assessing the impact of Science at Oakhurst Community Primary school as it allows for misconceptions and gaps to be addressed more immediately rather than building on incorrect scientific foundations. Throughout the year, the subject leader also carries out regular moderation of children’s progress and attainment through book looks, pupil voice and lesson drop-ins. 

All children should be taught about the evolution of modern science. We endeavour to support each pupil’s exploration of the world. We want pupils to feel excited about science and the possibilities it can open for their learning and development. Finally, we wish to encourage our pupils to become knowledgeable inhabitants of our planet, show awareness of its diversity and become passionate about its protection.