My name is Miss Payne and I am leading on Science at Laycock Primary School.
I believe that Science is a thrilling subject as it opens up worlds of possibility for children. Through practical experiments, children are able to have first-hand experiences and develop their critical thinking skills, learning to ask and answer questions while learning about the world around them. It is crucial that they understand the role science plays in the modern world, in addition to its links to many other curriculum areas, such as Maths, Computing, Design and Technology and English.
At Laycock, our children will become global citizens in order to better understand the world in which they live and our programme of learning in Science supports the development of this knowledge. With frequent opportunities to have hands-on experiences and plan and conduct their own investigations, they will be able to develop deep and lasting scientific knowledge. Children are clear which specific area of science they are working on in each lesson, building on knowledge they have embedded from their previous years, while also learning about our scientific role models both current and from the past.
Children are encouraged to work collaboratively, broadening and utilising their scientific vocabulary while actively embodying our school values of being respectful and friendly to others. They learn to demonstrate resilience in the face of challenges while being constantly encouraged to follow their curiosity, taking an active role in their learning and using their personal creativity to lead their own scientific learning, both within the context of our local community and the wider world.
By working with local experts and national networks, we ensure our teachers have access to up to date professional development and that we, as a school, are at the forefront of changes to the national STEM agenda.
At Laycock Primary, we follow parts of the Learning Challenge Curriculum, PLAN and TAPs to ensure a throough approach to planning, delivering and assessing Science as a core subject. The Learning Challenge Curriculum has been created with a strong sense of enquiry at its heart inspiring and allowed a child-led approach to learning. The question-led units encourage pupils to research and present information taking full account of their ability to retain key knowledge and skills for the long term. It uses the National Curriculum as its reference point, but also takes account of pupils’ context, including their locality. We have used the materials provided as a starting point to enable us to create a curriculum that is bespoke to us!
The PLAN and TAPs support teaching in planning assessment breaks throughout the unit to ensure bespoke teaching for each and every unit throughout the year.
Our curriculum is built based on having a ‘driver subject’ each half term. This unit of work drives the learning for that term and other subjects support and compliment it. For example, the circulatory system is taught in Year 6 as a driver of Science and it is complimented by writing a explanatory text in English, healthy lifestyles in PSHE and underpinned by the class text: The Pig Heart Boy.
We start the driver with a knowledge harvest so we can assess what children already know to best inform our planning. A knowledge harvest is an activity that children complete and it looks like this:
Our unit of work is then planned for the six week term. Each of the units are supported with a knowledge mat the children use every lesson to support them. It looks like this:
Each lesson, we work on children’s meta-cognition to help their long term memory by repeating routines, vocabulary and activities. Here is an insight in to the pattern of each lesson across the school:
Every lesson starts with a discussion photo/ link/ video. We encourage the children to ask questions using this matrix. You may notice ‘easier’ questions would fall in the top left quadrant. More detailed, difficult questions would fall towards the bottom right quadrant. This allows all ages and abilities to take part in this starting activity to launch the lesson. Teacher will mark what questions have been asked and monitor children’s participation, support and challenge individuals.
We then introduce the lesson’s Learning Intention (L.I.). Some lessons have an extra LI to incorporate English or Maths where it is appropriate and helpful. This gives the class an extra opportunity to revisit a learnt skill in a core subject and encourages children to understand that skills are transferrable. All lessons have a success criteria, here you can see that the red LI is linked to the red success criteria.
We also ask children to think about what science we are learning about: chemistry, biology, physics.
This is a completely interactive page where teachers can explore the lesson’s LI or unit with their children based on their interest. For example, they could click on ‘BBC Teach’ and find a quiz to test their knoeledge and possibly learn more things that aren’t un the curriculum- we call this sticky knowledge. What fun!!
A big emphasis is put on vocabulary and so a slide is dedicated to revisiting vocabulary and introducing new vocabulary. Children are encouraged to read it aloud, spell it, put it in to a sentence, and challenged to use it throughout the lesson! Most of the words are linked to the knowledge mat also.
Lessons are then created to teach the Learning Intention. Here are some example science lesson slide…
We put a big emphasis on communication and language so not all lessons are a written outcome. Checkout our Twitter Page and search for #LaycockScience to see what we get up to!
And finally, in order to assess the progression of children’s knowledge in the unit, we challenge them to creating their own knowledge mat using everything they have learnt over the 6 week unit.
A bit like this one…
We also collect samples of work and formally assess science regularly throughout the unit of work. All assessments are updated on our assessment tool call O’track.
Science is part of the annual parent report where we share what the children have covered, how they have participated and what progress that have made in the subject.
We plan for opportunities for children to practise and learn scientific skills by setting up experiments and practical lessons. Click here to see the progression plan for primary SC1 skills. And here are some picture of children being scientists.