At Booker Juniors we utilise “Switched on Science” to provide full coverage of the national curriculum primary science programme of study.
Switched on Science provides access to all substantive knowledge and working scientifically objectives in a range of contexts to support the embedding of these concepts and skills.
The intention for each activity that children carry out is clearly identified in the learning objective.
Teachers have high and equal expectations for all pupils and the programme is ambitious for all. It also recognises that some pupils require additional support.
Our curriculum ensures that the science contexts are meaningful by setting content in a range of interesting contexts that are relevant to the pupils. It ensures that pupils relate the science they are learning to their own lives as well as working with contexts in the wider world.
Practical activity is at the core of Switched on Science. Teachers aim to develop pupils as independent learners who are curious and willing to ask and answer their own questions. Throughout the various units, teachers develop approaches which scaffold pupils in asking a range of questions and making their own decisions about how to answer them using the five scientific enquiry activities.
Pupils are challenged to reflect on their learning through discussing ideas with adults and their peers, thereby articulating their learning. Progressing pupil’s ability to communicate their understanding and explain their reasoning is central to primary science. There is an expectation that pupils should not only be able to talk about what they have been doing, but also why and what they have learned.
Everything a pupil does and thinks in science is important, so it is crucial that activities provide regular opportunities for pupils to engage in hands on practical activity as well as think about or
research scientific ideas and skills.
Throughout the curriculum, pupils are engaged in asking questions and using one of the five
science enquiry activities:
• observation over time
• fair or comparative tests
• identification and classification
• pattern seeking.
All activities are planned so that they are relevant to the learning outcomes and pupil’s experiences, ensuring that they are timely and meaningful. Where appropriate they are hands-on; ensuring that pupils engage in regular first-hand experience using a range of equipment, including ICT where suitable, to enhance and deepen learning.
Engaging pupils in a range of approaches to communicating science ensures that all pupils can share ideas and by listening to themselves articulate ideas, pupils engage in self-assessment, either reinforcing their learning or changing ideas and therefore moving learning on. By using different approaches to recording and communicating, all pupils can share their science, which means that teachers can access learning through assessment and use outcomes to plan next steps.
Key scientific vocabulary is shared with the expectation that these words should be learned by pupils. A pupil’s ability to use scientific words appropriately is one indicator of understanding of knowledge and skills. Teachers can use a pupil’s ability to use key words as part of assessment for learning, listening for how the words are used and, if necessary, asking follow-up questions to check depth of understanding.
Pupils develop their knowledge and skills through a series of planned activities linked to the curriculum which build on previous and personal knowledge. To assess the impact, teachers evaluate the knowledge and skills that pupils have gained against the original expectations of activities (the intent). This is indicated by the outcomes assigned to each activity. What and how well pupils have achieved will be accessed through using a range of approaches to assessment for learning.
It is expected that teachers will use a range of evidence to assess pupil’s progress. This includes observing them working, listening to their discussions and using questions to probe understanding and reasoning, alongside their writing and other products such as end of unit tests or quizzes.