The children of Peterhouse Church of England Primary Academy face a greater number of barriers to their learning than many of their peers nationally, and due to this they find that their opportunities in life are limited. Driven by the Academy’s Christian vision and in order , the Peterhouse science curriculum has been designed to offer chances, widen horizons and break down barriers to learning. A curriculum that by design makes the Academy .
Our Aims for Science
Through high-quality science teaching, we aim to help our pupils understand how major scientific ideas have played a vital role in society. Develop a secure understanding of scientific concepts and how these help us to understand the world around us. We aim to prepare our pupils for life in an increasingly scientific and technological world; provide the children with the skills to help them understand the issues that impact their lives now and in the future (climate change, sustainability of resources etc.).
At Peterhouse, we understand that children are naturally curious and we encourage this inquisitive nature throughout their time with us. We celebrate scientists and inventors who have impacted on our lives today and the opportunities the children could have in future careers. We ensure that the ‘Working Scientifically’ skills are built-on and developed throughout their school career so that they can use equipment, conduct experiments, build arguments and explain concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings.
We understand that our children face a greater number of barriers to their learning and through teaching science we aim to overcome some of these.
We aim to overcome the emotional barriers to the children’s learning through science by instilling within the children that failures are useful for growth and to celebrate that some of the greatest scientific discoveries and inventions were a result of many failures and setbacks before being life changing.
To motive the children and to show them that a good education opens many opportunities, we celebrate the works of inventors, scientists, doctors, engineers and have visitors in, to discuss their roles and what it took to get where they are today.
Cognitive barriers will not stop the children of Peterhouse from succeeding and thriving within science. The investigative nature of the subject creates curiosity and an eagerness to explore.
We understand that the children of Peterhouse may not have experienced as much as their peers so within science we offer a wealth of experiences for the children. These include visitors in school; school trips; a school farm; science club and every child throughout their journey at Peterhouse will grow various vegetables.
A great focus is placed on the teaching and embedding of scientific vocabulary within science lessons. This supports the development of the children’s language so by the time they leave Peterhouse they have a broad and rich vocabulary.
Key principles of quality Science at Peterhouse:
- Cross-Curricular opportunities are explored, particularly links with English and Maths
- Practical exploration of Science through investigations
- Science linked to the world around them.
- Teachers use strong subject knowledge to engage and enthuse pupils
- Vocabulary rich teaching
- Long term retrieval of knowledge
- Science teaching is blocked across the year
- Develop lifetime learners of science.
How do we Deliver Science?
Science at Peterhouse is taught in weekly blocks each half-term. This is to ensure the children are fully immersed within the learning and clear links can be made to reading, writing and maths where possible. Working scientifically skills are embedded within lessons and teachers make sure that the key five areas are taught across the topics within the year. The use of the school farm supports the science curriculum and gives the children real life experiences of science in action.
Each new topic starts with the children being introduced to the new learning through a knowledge organiser and key vocabulary for the topic. Throughout the year, week and at the start of every lesson previous learning is revisited in a variety of ways. Quadrants are used at the start of every science lesson that cover last lesson, last week, last topic and last term. Retrieval questions are used throughout the year to ensure gaps in knowledge are filled and learning isn’t forgotten.
Our Intended Coverage
To ensure our pupils receive a robust curriculum which enthuses and challenges them we ensure that:
- Teachers use the long term plan to plan well thought out weekly blocks each half term, which have a strong emphasis on linking with reading, writing and maths skills.
- Teachers have a secure subject knowledge and have access to high quality online training from Reach Out CPD.
- Teachers use a variety of planning and teaching resources.
- Teachers use the National Curriculum objectives to ensure they are teaching all objectives for their year group.
- Teachers will use PLAN – planning for assessment documents (working scientifically skills, progression in knowledge and knowledge matrices) to aid them with their planning of lesson sequences.
- Teachers have access to quality scientific resources to enhance the children’s learning and understanding.
- Teachers use the school farm as a resource to show science in a real life setting and to enhance the learning of concepts being taught.
- Teachers are expected to plan a week of Science each half term (5 afternoons = 7 ½ hours.
These could be seen over one lesson or a series of lessons.
- Assess/Review – What do the children already know? How do you know? What can you do to check?
- Teach – teaching of the content and skills needed for success. Ensure there is modelling, checking, questioning and scientific vocabulary.
- Practice – children need to practice/learn the particular content through practice.
- Apply – apply the knowledge learned to different contexts.
- Assess/Review – check what the children know.
Planning for each Year Group
Assessment in Science
Children's understanding in science is assessed in a variety of ways. Teachers will use a range of strategies (questioning, quizzes, concept maps, retrieval activities, assessment of written work and practical activities) to check the children's understanding.
- Formative assessments are used at the end of each science week to support future planning. The formative assessments will also inform the retrieval practice questions each week.
- Questioning of the children happens frequently to assess understanding and planning is modified to suit the children’s learning needs according to formative assessment.
- Teachers assess their children’s written and practical work.
Celebrating Science at Peterhouse