- Mr A. Jones
- Tina Whittaker (NLE, PSQM Hub Leader, Science Across the City)
- Dr Sarah Earle (National Lead for Teacher Assessment in Primary Science – Bath Spa University)
Science at Milton Primary will always be interesting, engaging and rich in the development of both knowledge and skills. With this at the forefront of our minds, our vision is for our curriculum to build on pupils’ interest and stimulate their natural curiosity, facilitating a good understanding of the world around us. What’s more, it should give pupils the opportunity to understand a range of age-appropriate scientific phenomena, whilst also encouraging them to asks questions and demonstrate a desire to find out why things happen in the way that they do.
Principles of Outstanding Science
These are the ‘Principles of Outstanding Science’ at Milton Primary Academy. They were devised and agreed by the children and staff in November 2019, informed by the way we feel that science should be taught across the Academy.
Principle 1: Children are excited and enthusiastic about science.
Principle 2: Children lead their own learning, asking and answering their own scientific questions using a range of enquiry types.
Principle 3: Science is practical and hands on and children enjoy learning through exploration.
Principle 4: Teachers use a range of effective assessment strategies to inform the planning and teaching of science.
Principle 5: Teachers introduce children to a range of age-appropriate scientific terminology and they use this confidently.
Principle 6: Children and adults appreciate the awe and wonder of science, making links to how, where and why it forms part of their everyday lives.
Principle 7: The progression of enquiry skills and conceptual understanding is carefully planned for and clearly evident.
Principle 8: Teachers enable children to access a range of enrichment opportunities, both within and beyond the curriculum.
Science Subject Leader
My name is Mr Jones and I am the science subject lead at Milton Primary Academy. My role is to ensure that the teaching and learning of science across our academy is relevant, engaging and enables all children to fulfill their potential. Most importantly though, I’m always striving to ensure that each and every member of our school community has the opportunity to appreciate the awe and wonder of this fascinating subject!
In line with my own ethos and current best practice, science at Milton is taught practically wherever possible, and I’m proud of the fact that our amazing team take every opportunity to provide our children with hands-on activities that develop the skills of working scientifically and scientific enquiry. In addition to this, I also believe that enrichment and wider opportunities should run through the veins of any effective science curriculum and it does just that here at Milton Primary Academy. In the past few years, children have enjoyed visits to the Eden Project in Cornwall, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, The National Space Centre in Leicester, MAD Museum in Stratford, Enginuity in Tamworth, We the Curious in Bristol, Peak Wildlife Park in the Staffordshire Moorlands, Telford Exotic Zoo, The Sealife Centre in Birmingham, as well as taken part in a whole school forensic science day, Wavemaker Science Event at Stoke Civic Centre, MAD Science Club, and numerous ‘Watch me Learn’ sessions with their parents and careers. We’ve been quite busy indeed!
As Science subject leader, I am confident, knowledgeable and enthusiastic and my passion for the subject can be traced right back to my experiences of science whilst at school. As a result, I now find great pleasure in undertaking extensive CPD and participating in local networks, as well as sharing my knowledge and expertise with other schools and subject leads in my role as a ‘Science Influencer’ for the Science Across the City project in the Stoke-on-Trent Opportunity Area.
At Milton Primary Academy we aim to provide a science curriculum that is creative, inclusive, challenging and inspired by the real-world. It inspires future thinkers, innovators and problem solvers in an immersive environment that stimulates curiosity and supports high-quality learning, allowing each and every learner to fulfill their potential.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, we teach science through the Understanding the World strand of the Early Years Framework.
Ongoing experiences and opportunities linking to children’s developing understanding of the world are planned from the objectives set out in the Early Years Framework, which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged 3-5 at Milton Primary Academy.
The experiences that we provide ensure that children develop a secure understanding of the world around them. By the end of the Reception year, they will be able to:
- Identify similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things.
- Talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another.
- Make observations of animals and plants.
- Explain why some things occur.
KS1 and KS2:
The Primary National Curriculum for Science aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
- Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
- Are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
With this in mind, our programme of study for science clearly sets out what will be taught and learnt at each point in the year for all year groups, including a range of famous scientists. In addition to this, our long term plans detail a broad range of investigations and experiences that ensure full coverage of the five types of enquiry, as well as the different way in which children may ‘work scientifically’.
OTHER YEAR GROUPS COMING SOON
Cross Curricular Links with Science
Fundamentally, everyone’s experience of the world is cross curricular, as everything that surrounds us can be seen and understood from multiple perspectives. Our science curriculum at Milton Primary therefore aims to take advantage of a range of opportunities for children to make links between different subject areas, supporting the use and application of what has already been taught and learned in new and different ways and providing opportunities for deep, meaningful learning.
English (inc. Reading): As is true of every subject, the teaching and learning of science at Milton Primary places great emphasis on children’s grasp of reading, writing and oracy, therefore opportunities for children to practice these skills are plentiful. In all lessons, children are encouraged to ask and answer scientific questions and our classrooms are rich in subject-specific vocabulary. Children also have a range of opportunities to read both for pleasure and to develop newfound knowledge, with a carefully selected range of both fiction and non-fiction texts, linked to each unit of learning, identified on our long term plans. Finally, a range of writing opportunities are also planned and these enable children to practice their skills in a range of different contexts. These opportunities include writing non-chronological reports about scientific phenomena, recording observations and results, writing predictions and conclusions, whilst at all times using scientific vocabulary with confidence and accuracy.
Mathematics: Mathematics and Science are both exciting subjects that work side by side at Milton Primary, with one providing the opportunity to practice and the hone skills and knowledge gained from the other. For example, almost every scientific investigation is likely to require one or more of the mathematical skills of classifying, counting, measuring, calculating, estimating or recording and in view of this, children have a range of opportunities to develop and apply these skills in each academic year. For example, children in Year 1 observe over time when studying the four seasons, measuring the amount of rainfall in each month and recording their results in a simple table, whilst children in Year 6 draw line graphs to show how their heart rate fluctuates during exercise.
Computing: The use of digital technology enhances many areas of our curriculum but particularly so in science lessons. Children use both iPads and laptops in a range of different ways, such as when taking photos, presenting data using software such as Microsoft Excel, recording results, and researching using secondary sources, all of which ensure increased exposure to a range of scientific enquiry types. In Key Stage 2, children also use data loggers to take measurements with increasing accuracy. For example, Year 5 use a Data Harvest data logger, connected to an iPad via Bluetooth, to measure the time that it takes a car to travel over different surfaces on a ramp. They are then able to use the data logger’s own software to calculate mean scores and the range of results, as well identify anomalies!
SMSC and British Values: Opportunities for children to experience and understand SMSC and British Values can be found in many aspects of our science curriculum at Milton Primary, no more so than when we reflect on the amazing wonders of our natural world. Specific examples of this include:
- Spiritual: In every lesson, children have opportunities to use evidence to make sense of the world around them – we see this as very essence of science and for scientists, the complexities of the natural world and associated awe and wonder is a spiritual experience that drives them on in their search for answers and even more questions!
- Moral: When carrying out investigations, children take responsibility for the safety of themselves and others. They are also encouraged to become increasingly curious, to develop open mindedness to the suggestions of others and to make judgments on evidence not prejudice.
- Social: Scientists are collaborators. Sharing ideas, data, and results (for further testing by others) is a key principle of the scientific method. We therefore encourage pupils to work together on scientific investigations and to share results, which in turn improves reliability.
- Cultural: Science permeates modern culture, and has played a key part in developing it. In science lessons, we explore and celebrate research of others and how these ideas were / are different across the globe and at different times.
- British Values: Children are exposed to a range of fundamental British values though the teaching and learning of science at Milton Primary. These include, but are not restricted to, the individual liberty to making choices when planning an investigation, the mutual respect required to discuss findings with others, and the rule of law associated with following safety rules when working scientifically.
History: As part of each unit of science in Key Stage 2, children are introduced to a number of famous scientists from around the world who have, in the past, contributed to and worked in that particular field. They also learn about the impact that these individuals from the past have had on developments in science and how scientific ideas are constantly changing as time passes.
Assessment in Science
At Milton Primary Academy we all agree that the effective assessment of children’s learning helps us to ensure that each child makes good or better progress so that ‘Together We Achieve Our Best.’ This section therefore outlines the various assessment methods and practices that we use to monitor pupil progress and attainment in science at Milton Primary, and also ensure that the activities that we plan for our children are suitably matched to their ability and level of development.
Formative Assessment (AfL): During the teaching of each National Curriculum unit of learning in Science, children’s subject knowledge and ability to work scientifically is assessed day-to day through formative assessment by their class teacher. A range of low-stakes assessment activities are carried out in various forms, including the completion of pre and post unit assessments, mind maps, Blob Trees, KWL grids and class discussions. Many of the formative assessment tools that we use are done so at the teacher’s discretion, therefore ensuring that they are appropriate for the age of the children and nature of the topic.
Summative Assessment: At the end of each unit of learning, teachers also make a summative judgment relating to children’s knowledge and understanding, as well as their ability to work scientifically within the associated context. This is recorded on each child’s ‘Pupil Progress Record’ and this document stays with each child throughout their time at Milton Primary, ensuring seamless tracking of progress and attainment in Science across the academy.
Statutory Assessment and Reporting: In addition to the formative and summative assessment tools discussed above, teachers of children in years 2 and 6 and are also required to report the attainment of each child in their class to the local authority, based on the teacher assessment framework. Bi-annually, the government also conducts a National Curriculum ‘Science Sampling Test’ in a selection of schools across the county. In this test, children’s knowledge of the objectives taught in Science across Key Stage 2 is assessed in order to ascertain a ‘national picture’ of children’s learning in the subject.
Educational Visits and Enrichment
At Milton Primary Academy we place great emphasis on the importance of educational visits and visitors to enhance the teaching and learning of science. These visits and visitors, which provide valuable opportunities for learning through first-hand experience, are therefore an integral part of the curriculum and allow our children to make valuable connections between what they have learned in class and their first hand experiences in the real-world.
Whole School Enrichment and Clubs: During their time at Milton, all pupils have access to extra-curricular science clubs and we are pleased to currently be working with MAD Science to offer these opportunities each year. This extra-curricular offer also includes an annual whole-school assembly, and last year’s show with ‘Atomic Annie’ was a great success!
British Science Week is also an important event in the Milton Primary Academy year and is celebrated by children, staff, parents and carers. In 2018, the whole school community was in shock as it arrived to find that a theft had taken place! Throughout the day, children then completed a range of activities linked to forensic science in an attempt to identify the prime suspect… A year later in 2019, children from across our Academy visited science museums and attractions as far away as Cornwall, with Years 1 and 2 visiting Enginuity, Years 3 and 4 visiting the National Space Centre, and Years 5 and 6 travelling all the way to the Eden Project to experience the biomes at night and enjoy an overnight stay! We can’t wait to see what Mr Jones has planned for British Science Week this year!
Finally, at different times throughout the academic year, parents are invited into school to take part in ‘Watch Me Learn’ sessions with their child. Unsurprisingly, many of our recent sessions have involved lots of amazing experiments – just ask Year 6 about how big they can blow a bubble!
At Milton Primary Academy we believe that the view of every pupil is important to ensure that we provide the best education possible. Here is a selection of pupil voice collected during the 2019/20 academic year, and in some cases, what we are doing / have done to improve the science education that we provide.
Penelope in Reception said… “I love the time when we found out how ice melts!”
Jenson in Year 1 said.. “My favourite thing about science this year was when we went on a material hunt and a leaf hunt because we could see all the colours of the leaves on the trees for real!”
Olivia in Year 3 said… “I enjoyed making rockets on the science trip, it was fun to see them being tested and shooting across the room.”
Poppy in Year 3 said… “We could do bigger experiments maybe as a whole school or with other year groups.”
Poppy said it… we did it!! As part of British Science Week 2020, we’ve already planned to do an amazing whole school investigation, with everyone sharing their results at the end of the week. You’ll then have the chance to talk about your learning with children in lots of different classes, as well as see some of the different ways of recording results that we use across the academy.
Lily-Mae in Year 4 said… “I think science is fun, exciting and educational. My favourite thing was when we investigated sound and made telephone cups because we could hear each other right across the playground!”
Theo in Year 6 said… “I’d like us to do more investigations like the one we did during Science Week when Mrs Jukes broke into the shed.”
Theo said it… we did it!! We always try to do different things each year during British Science Week because that way you never quite know what’s about to happen next! I’m sure you’ll be pleased with what we have in store this year though – it might just be exactly what you’ve asked for!
Darcy in Year 6 said… ” I liked the yeast experiment (Y6) and the pullies (Y5) because we got to work as a team and had fun.”
Please see below a selection of documents that relate to the intent, implementation, and impact of science teaching and learning at Milton Primary Academy. If you require any additional information relating to this subject, then please contact the subject leader, Mr A. Jones, via the academy office (firstname.lastname@example.org).