Our school curriculum is driven and shaped by our school vision, which informs everything that we do.
St Nicholas provides a welcoming, inclusive and aspirational learning environment at the heart of its community. We nurture, encourage and support all children, adults and their families to be the best as God intended. Following God’s example of love and trust, we develop resilience and creativity in all we do.
Learning, loving and encouraging through Christ.
An uncompromising focus on pupils’ personal development has made St Nicholas Church of England Primary Academy a place where pupils always come first. Ofsted 2019
The National Curriculum 2014 states why we teach science in schools:
‘A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.’
At St Nicholas Primary School we believe that all pupils, regardless of academic ability, deserve and need a fully rounded curriculum to become confident, independent lifelong learners. Science has a crucial role in this and is considered a vital part of our pupils’ experiences whilst at school. As such, all pupils are given opportunities to participate in activities across the disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics during their time in school in line with the National Curriculum 2014. In addition to weekly science lessons, the school does focused science and technology weeks giving children the opportunity to immerse themselves in science.
At St Nicholas 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. Our curriculum enables children to become enquiry based learners collaborating through the researching, investigating and evaluating of experiences. We place scientific investigation at the heart of our progressive science curriculum to enable the children to be equipped for life to ask and answer scientific questions about the world around them.
We aim for science lessons to be memorable through hooking the children’s interest, enabling them to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They will be encouraged to ask questions about the world around them and work scientifically to further their conceptual understanding and scientific knowledge. There are no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be astronauts, forensic scientists, toxicologists or microbiologists. Children will be immersed in key scientific vocabulary, which supports in the acquisition of scientific knowledge and understanding. All children are provided with a broad and balanced science curriculum which equips our children with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the science National Curriculum but prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
As a school, we use the Kent Scheme for Science written by Andrew Berry as the scheme of work. Teachers create a positive attitude to science. Our curriculum is built around the principle of greater learner involvement in their work. It requires deep thinking and encourages learners to work using a question as the starting point, considering different avenues for further research. They do this through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas. They ask their own questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, including observing changes over time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative and fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They draw simple conclusions and use scientific language to talk and write about what they have found out.
Our science curriculum is vocabulary rich. Teachers check on what children already know and then invite children to think of their own questions. Children will be able to build on prior knowledge and link ideas together, enabling them to question and become enquiry-based learners.
Early Years Foundation Stage
In the Foundation Stage, children are taught science through the key areas of
- learning set out within the EYFS Statutory Framework.
- Through a broad range of teacher-led, child-initiated and continuous learning
- opportunities, children will be taught to:
- Use their senses to investigate a range of objects and materials
- Find out about, identify and observe the different features of living things, objects
- and worldly events
- Look closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change
- Ask questions about why things happen and why things work
- Develop their communication and co-operation skills
- Talk about their findings, sometimes recording them
- Identify and find out about features of the place they live and in the natural world
- around them
The following topics are covered throughout Key Stage 1:
- Animals, including Humans
- Everyday Materials
- Seasonal Changes
- Living Things & their Habitats
- The following topics are covered throughout Key Stage 2:
- Living Things & their Habitats
- Animals, including Humans
- Properties and Changes of Materials
- Earth & Space
- Evolution & Inheritance
- Forces & Magnets
Existing knowledge is checked at the beginning of each topic to identify misconceptions. Children use knowledge organisers to aid pre-learning and become familiar with the knowledge and concepts that will be taught. This also ensures that teaching is informed by the children’s starting points and that it takes account of pupil voice, incorporating children’s interests which are generated within the knowledge organisers.
The successful approach to the teaching of science at St Nicholas results in an exciting, engaging, high quality science education, that provides children with the foundations for understanding the world that they can take with them once they complete their primary education. Formative assessment is used as a tool to allow for misconceptions and gaps to be addressed more immediately rather than building on insecure scientific foundations. Summative assessment also forms part of the assessment cycle through regular quizzes and opportunities for ‘hot tasks’ where children can demonstrate independent learning.
Children at St Nicholas:
- Can demonstrate a love of science work and an interest in further study and work in this field
- Can retain knowledge that is pertinent to science with a real life context.
- Are able to question ideas and reflect on knowledge.
- Are able to articulate their understanding of scientific concepts and be able to reason scientifically using rich language linked to science.
- Can demonstrate a high love of mathematical skills through their work, organising, recording and interpreting results.
- Can work collaboratively and practically to investigate and experiment.
- Understand more about science capital.
- The large majority of children will achieve age related expectations by the end of the year.
We have been learning about seeds. We looked at the different types, shapes and sizes of seed then we chose how to sort them.
We have been learning about the five different food groups. We talked about what makes a balanced diet which is important to keep us healthy. We then got into groups and sorted different foods into the following groups: ‘eat as much as we like everyday’, ‘eat a little bit everyday’ and ‘only eat sometimes’.