Our Lady Queen of Heaven Science Curriculum
At Our Lady Queen of Heaven, we believe in a curriculum that underpins and promotes the school’s culture and aims -
a curriculum for the whole child.
“A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person.
And a good Catholic school, over and above this, should help all its students to become saints….” Pope Benedict XVI, 2010
At Our Lady Queen of Heaven, our school’s curriculum stems from our Mission Statement:
“We are inspired, strengthened and encouraged by our Catholic faith.
We place Jesus at the centre of everything we do and say, listening to Him with our hearts.
We spread love everywhere we go, valuing and caring for each other.
We strive to be the best learners we can, using and celebrating our God given gifts.”
“For he who is mighty has done great things for me, and Holy is his name” Luke 1: 49
At Our Lady Queen of Heaven, our definition of progress in Science is the widening and deepening of essential knowledge, skills, understanding and learning behaviours.
Our careful curriculum planning means that we include frequent opportunities for repetition and practise to ensure that essential knowledge, understanding and skills are developed in every subject. Science content, such as ‘Animals Including Humans’, is revisited each year and the children build on their previous learning and broaden their knowledge and understanding. Working scientifically skills are embedded throughout the school, so children are exposed to the scientific language and processes needed to think scientifically. For example, children make predictions (whether this is expressed verbally or written) this skill is developed as they move through the school. This allows pupils to gradually develop a deeper understanding of the skills and processes within subjects at their own pace and in the best possible way for each individual child.
The curriculum folder ensures coverage of all science topics and working scientifically skills. Teachers plan lessons with low ‘threshold/high ceiling’ tasks. All children can access the knowledge required for their year group, with challenge questions and activities provided to stretch more able learners. STEM assemblies and STEM week enrich children’s experience of science as it filters through the school. Fizz Pop science club encourages science outside of the classroom.
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
Our Science curriculum is based on Cornerstones statements, supported by planning from The Kent Science Scheme and STEM planning. We use a variety of resources, including ICT. Our science topics are designed to develop interest and awareness as well as knowledge of the physical world. We encourage learners to investigate, predict, plan, record and evaluate results in a clear, orderly manner. Topic work includes work about ourselves, the plant world, the animal world, the Solar System, electricity and forces. Health and safety issues are also covered.
We teach Science by encouraging a questioning approach. All topics and science lessons begin with an activity of awe and wonder to develop thinking and scientific enquiry. Children are exposed to a range of tasks in both key stages such as ‘odd one out’ or ‘positive/negative/interesting’ to spark debate and encourage children to verbalise their scientific thinking. Learning in Science is conducted through enquiry where ideas are valued and where there is ample opportunity for practical investigation. As Science work is often carried out in groups, the children are enhancing essential team work skills. They benefit from talking to their friends and listening to their ideas.
Science is presented through a relevant context; often linked, where appropriate, to the topic. Science learning is embedded throughout the curriculum, for example research and presentation of work about famous scientists in History or Literacy. Inspired by great scientists, the children are motivated to participate enthusiastically in Science lessons, explore Science outside the classroom and in some cases, consider the pursuit of a career in science.
All age ranges and abilities take part in scientific activity, learners, where possible, handle the materials. In science, the value of this first-hand sensory experience is emphasised, as is the fostering of the enjoyment of exploration, manipulation, comparison, discussion and testing – we believe these are the living roots of science. We build problem-solving skills through investigations and enquiries. The children are also given opportunities to discuss results and consider how to improve experiments, in order to improve their science knowledge.