Fern Hill Science Rationale
Love of learning
The Fern Hill Science curriculum fosters a healthy curiosity in children about our universe through hands-on, practical lessons that challenge pupils to think deeply about scientific concepts. Alongside this, a wide range of extra-curricular activities, visits, trips and visitors are planned to complement and broaden the curriculum, inspire pupils and grow Science capital.
We aim to develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics to ensure that our pupils are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
Knowledge is mapped through the curriculum progressively and every opportunity is taken to revisit, link and build upon knowledge, concepts and vocabulary throughout the curriculum to deepen scientific understanding and ensure long lasting learning. For example, when studying how volcanoes are formed in Geography, children are encouraged to retrieve and apply knowledge about different types of rocks and the rock cycle. Alongside this, an emphasis is placed on pupils having a secure grasp of scientific vocabulary to ensure pupils can use it precisely and accurately.
Children are encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice and observe and are supported to develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of enquiry to answer their own questions. Pupils undertake regular investigations to hone the skills of: observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing; and researching using secondary sources.
Our working scientifically progression ensures that pupils revisit and build upon these skills as they move through the curriculum so ensure fluency and automaticity when undertaking scientific enquiry:
Explicit links are made with Mathematical knowledge, with pupils being required to apply this as part of practical investigation.
By learning about natural processes and the interconnectivity of our world through the study of Science, our pupils grow to respect the world around them. Links are explicitly made with subjects such as Geography and with concepts such as sustainability so that children learn to care for and take responsibility for their environment.
Our pupils achieve well in Science. Links with our neighbouring secondary schools broadens our pupils’ STEM learning experiences allows them to learn about the possibilities for careers in science. Through various workshops, trips and experts visitors, children have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity. As a result of our science curriculum, our pupils leave us as enthusiastic, confident scientists with sound scientific understanding.
Science Curriculum Intent: what is taught and when
Children are taught Science weekly for at least 1 hour a week in KS1 and 2 hours in KS2. As a school, we have developed a set of whole school guiding principles which underpin a whole school approach to these weekly lessons:
- Child-led learning
- Enthusiasm from both adults and children
- Having questions to ask and explore
- Fun and interactive
- Having a real world link
- Investigating the world around us
- Learning in and outside of the classroom
- Expert subject knowledge
- Multi-sensory approaches to learning
In 2019, Fern Hill achieved the PSQM Quality Mark. This clearly demonstrates the impact of our Science curriculum by showing effectiveness in the following:
- Science Leadership - vision and value, development goals, monitoring and professional development for subject leadership;
- Science Teaching - CPD, teaching strategies, resources;
- Science Learning - science enquiry, assessment, science capital;
- Wider Opportunities – linking science with other subjects and whole school initiatives, curriculum enrichment
As a result, our pupils consistently leave Year 6 working above the national average.