We recognise that the Curriculum reaches far wider than the learning that happens in formal lessons in each classroom. It includes everything that a child experiences in their time at our school and develops the very person they are becoming, with their talents, their needs and their aspirations for the future. Each experience provides a learning opportunity to develop and prepare our children for life in modern Britain as global citizens through the lens of Catholic life.
At St Gregory's, we are inclusive and recognise that everyone has their own unique God-given talents. Our curriculum is progressive and builds on prior knowledge, understanding and skills so that we develop our whole school community academically, spiritually, emotionally, morally and socially. This enables our children to develop cultural capital and become righteous citizens who give to society. We provide creative and engaging opportunities that inspire and motivate our children to become lifelong learners and have aspirations to be the very best they can be.
In science, we aim for all of our children to see themselves as scientists. We endeavour to inspire a sense of curiosity in our children and develop their enthusiasm for science, recognising that the skills and knowledge they learn through science can be used to have a positive impact on God’s world around them.
To be able to be a scientist, children will need to build up the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientists. They will need to understand and use the language of science and apply these scientific skills and knowledge across the curriculum, making connections both within science and across other subjects too.
To be a scientist, children need to understand the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Within each of these, the children are taught to understand essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Our carefully designed curriculum then encourages them to recognise the power of rational explanation and to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They also use scientific vocabulary to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.
The aims of the National Curriculum (2014) for Science are:
The National Curriculum is the part of the St Gregory’s curriculum that maps out the knowledge and skills that we want our children to learn and experience in each subject.
How we plan for progression in science at St Gregory’s:
The St Gregory’s Curriculum is designed around year group themes. Each has been structured and sequenced in order to engage pupils in purposeful learning by building on prior knowledge and helping connect knowledge, understanding and skills year-on-year both within science and across other subjects too.
Science is taught mainly discreetly within our school, but links to topics are made when they aid the teaching of scientific objectives. In KS1, a unit of science is a topic driver for one of their termly themes and provides links between their core text and other areas of the curriculum. For example, Y1 teach a ‘Stick Man’ topic which incorporates their seasonal change science unit and Y2 teach ‘Deadly Sixty’ which focusses on their living things and their habitats unit as well as their plants unit.
In KS2, individual science objectives may link to topic work when appropriate, but science lessons are delivered independently.
In KS1/ KS2, science is taught for at least an hour (up to an hour and a half in KS2) every week across the whole school. In KS1, this comprises of the four NC units in each year group and in KS2, this includes the five NC units. Working scientifically skills are embedded and taught within these units throughout the year. In EYFS, scientific exploration is facilitated within ‘understanding of the world’ and is child led.
We recognise that foundations for becoming a scientist are laid in the Early Years Foundation Stage through all seven strands of the Early Year Framework (especially Understanding of the World) and to be ready for the next stage in their education, the starting point that we strive for every child to have upon entry to Y1 and working towards the aims of the National Curriculum is:
|Understanding the World
|Exposure to experiences that support children’s understanding of the world around them.
|Engage with text that foster understanding of our ecologically diverse world
Once children enter Y1, they work progressively towards the aims of the National Curriculum. To ensure progression, the teaching team worked together to plan out curriculum coverage and then the subject leader identified the progression of skills and vocabulary required at each stage of learning to prepare children for the next stage in their learning.
Science curriculum coverage
Coverage is based on the National Curriculum 2014 PoS with objectives allocated across phases and year groups, to ensure a progression of knowledge, skills and understanding. For example, Year 6’s curriculum coverage:
The Science curriculum also includes a strand of scientific enquiry to enable learners to become confident and accurate practical scientists. The National Curriculum sets out a clear pathway of progression from Key Stage 1, Lower Key Stage 2 and Upper Key Stage 2.
In line with our mastery approach, the units build on prior skills and knowledge ensuring strong progression in science as children move through the school.
Science Progression of skills
As per the National Curriculum, some science units are repeated each year, some are repeated in certain year groups, and some are not repeated. Therefore, we created a separate progression overview which details the main objectives alongside key ideas, prior and future learning objectives and vocabulary.
Having a clear overview ensures children have opportunities to master a wide range of skills, and allow us to clearly see the journey the children are on and can celebrate their prior learning and successes.
Science Progression of Vocabulary
Vocabulary, at an age appropriate level, is paramount to the children’s understanding and ability to articulate their intent and enable questioning. It is, therefore, a key consideration in science planning. Alongside unit specific vocabulary, key ‘working scientifically’ vocabulary is introduced at the appropriate time, building on prior knowledge.
See Science Vision for more information