“Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge.” – Stephen Hawking
“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?” – Albert Einstein
“Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.” – Marcus Aurelius
What we believe:
At Hayton C of E Primary School, we know that a high-quality science education is the key to understanding the wider world through the disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Thanks to science, our lives change for the better every day. Our children are taught to use science to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave and analyse causes- essential skills if they are to discover truth within an age of information. Science at Hayton allows children simultaneously to interpret their present and to create their own future. In this way, the science curriculum not only enables but informs our 'Hayton Curriculum Compass' drivers:
Knowledge is our north: a knowledge-rich curriculum
As Hirsch writes, knowledge should be thought of as ‘mental Velcro’.
People who have lots of subject-specific knowledge find that new knowledge ‘sticks’ to it, helping them commit the new information to long-term memory. In the same vein, a lack of subject-specific knowledge can mean that new concepts slip past you or that you make mistakes. The outcome of this is completely predictable: those with more prior knowledge learn more than those with limited prior knowledge, and therefore the gap between these two groups widens.
In ‘The Schools We Need And Why We Don’t Have Them’, Hirsch describes this as the ‘Matthew Effect’, drawing on Matthew Chapter 25:
“For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away”.
In her book, ‘7 Myths About Education’, Daisy Christodoulou states: “The difference between experts and novices is that experts have a huge body of background knowledge and processes stored in long-term memory, and that they have spent a huge amount of time practising using that knowledge and those processes. In most fields, it takes several years and thousands of hours to become an expert.”
Skills are our South: Understanding our place in the world
Science has changed lives throughout human history and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. This ensures children comprehend entirely the way all of our lives are interconnected and how we can exist and thrive on this planet.
Excellence is our East: Aspiring to achieve
Science is vital to the world’s prosperity; at Hayton, we guarantee our children a brighter future. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils recognise the power of rational explanation and demand more of their lives with the tools to make dreams become reality.
Worldliness is our West: Broadening horizons
Science compels our children to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. By truly appreciating the nature of our existence, we can look to surpass what once seemed to be boundaries. Every enquiry, investigation, experiment and ‘WOW moment’ sows the seeds for ambition in the next generation.
Throughout their work in science, children encounter key concepts as they appreciate the work of significant people -pioneering scientists, past and present- and learn their rich stories. By putting the stories of these figures into context, we bring to life the sense of curiosity, exploration and discovery that drove them and, in turn, evoke these ambitions in our children.
How do we do it?
The curriculum at Hayton aims to found progress throughout a child’s school career by developing a secure understanding of each key block of knowledge and concepts at the relevant stage. Insecure, superficial understanding prevents genuine progression: pupils may struggle at key stage transitions, amass damaging misconceptions, or have significant difficulties in understanding higher-order content.
Class teachers plan units of lessons according to the progression of knowledge documents for science. These are structured to ensure that each new skill and concept is introduced at the exact point necessary to build precisely on children’s prior learning and provide the foundation for that which is to come. Activities in class thus develop the relevant skill and support the instruction and application of new knowledge. Practical tasks are carefully considered to ensure that they promote the children’s best work; are relevant to the unit studied; and make the learning journey certain.
A high-quality science curriculum not only identifies the important concepts and procedures for pupils to learn, it also plans for how pupils will build knowledge of these over time (Ofsted Review- Science- 2021). For this reason, the curriculum at Hayton is sequenced so as to ensure that relevant understanding of substantive concepts is built on sure foundations in relevant areas of the three major scientific disciplines. Equally, disciplinary knowledge is specifically taught at the point where it will become most useful to children in their factual learning- as a tool with specific instructions for use and not a random conduit for demonstrating a scientific process. Our curriculum offers children ample opportunity to study great scientists of the past and present and regularly addressed the stereotype of a ‘scientist’.
In teaching Science, we are working towards the following goals with our children:
To develop pupils’ enjoyment and interest in science and an appreciation of its contribution to all aspects of everyday life to:
develop a knowledge and appreciation of the contribution made by famous scientists to our knowledge of the world including female scientists, and those from different cultures:
encourage pupils to relate their scientific studies to applications and effects within the real world;
develop knowledge of the science contained within the programmes of study of the National Curriculum.
To build on pupils’ curiosity and sense of awe and wonder at the natural world to:
develop in pupils a general sense of enquiry which encourages them to question and make suggestions;
encourage pupils to predict the likely outcome of their investigations and practical activities.
To use a planned range of investigations and practical activities to give pupils a greater understanding of the concepts and knowledge of science to:
provide pupils with a range of specific investigations and practical work which gives them a worth-while experience to develop their understanding of science;
progressively develop pupils’ ability to plan, carry out and evaluate simple scientific investigations and to appreciate the meaning of a ‘fair test’.
To develop the ability to record results in an appropriate manner including the use of diagrams, graphs, tables and charts:
to introduce pupils to the language and vocabulary of science;
to give pupils regular opportunities to use the scientific terms necessary to communicate ideas about science;
to develop pupils’ basic practical skills and their ability to take accurate and relevant measurements;
give pupils opportunities, within practical activities, to use a range of simple scientific measuring instruments such as thermometers and force meters and develop their skill in being able to read them.
To develop pupils’ use of information and communication technology (ICT) in their science studies to:
give pupils opportunities to use ICT (including: video, digital camera, IPads) to record their work and to store results for future retrieval throughout their science studies;
give pupils the chance to obtain information using data bases.
Science Overview 2023-25
Progression In Science Units
How do we know if we have had an impact?
Assessment of knowledge acquisition will take place during and at the end of each unit of learning as well as spaced across the year(s) after being taught and revised/reviewed. Progress and outcomes are decided upon using a combination of summative assessments, formative assessment, pupil voice and evidence over time in children’s books.