A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.
The 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.
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.
Upper Key Stage 2 – Years 5 and 6
The principal focus of science teaching in upper key stage 2 is to enable pupils to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. They should do this through exploring and talking about their ideas; asking their own questions about scientific phenomena; and analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically. At upper key stage 2, they should encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. They should also begin to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time. They should select the most appropriate ways to answer science questions using different types of scientific enquiry, including observing changes over different periods of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out comparative and fair tests and finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information. Pupils should draw conclusions based on their data and observations, use evidence to justify their ideas, and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings.
‘Working and thinking scientifically’ is described separately at the beginning of the programme of study, but must always be taught through and clearly related to substantive science content in the programme of study. Throughout the notes and guidance, examples show how scientific methods and skills might be linked to specific elements of the content.
Pupils should read, spell and pronounce scientific vocabulary correctly.
Marking and presentation
Teachers are expected to adhere to the schools marking policy when marking books and presentation policy when guiding children as to how to present their work.
It is important to provide constructive feedback to children, focusing on success and improvement needs against learning objectives and success criteria. This enables children to become reflective learners and helps them to close the gap between what they can currently do and what we would like them to be able to do. It also enables teachers to use assessment to inform their future planning so lessons and activities are targeted to children’s needs.
Where a task has been completed correctly and shows a thorough understanding it should be marked in red pen (tickle pink). The Learning objective and/or Context should also be highlighted in pink. A Next Step/challenge should be included where relevant and this should be written in green pen (green for growth).
Where a task has been completed but does not show a thorough understanding it should be marked in green pen (green for growth). The Learning objective and/or Context should also be highlighted in green. The teacher should include scaffolding in their marking to ensure that a child can progress in their next lesson.
Planning is based upon the new National Curriculum (2014). The Programmes of Study inform detailed medium term plans created by the Science Faculty Team. Science teachers are responsible for the relevant provision of their own groups and individually develop weekly plans derived from the medium term plans which give details of learning objectives and appropriate differentiated activities. Although planned in advance they should be reviewed and adjusted on a weekly basis to better suit the arising needs of the class and individual pupils.