Southfield Junior School


Science at southfield

The Science Curriculum at Southfield

At Southfield we have a clear statements for our curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact for Science. These have been carefully designed to ensure that science is an interactive curriculum area and helps our children to question, and make sense of, the world around them.

Curriculum Intent for Science

“The important thing is to never stop questioning.” Albert Einstein.

Science is an integral part of our everyday world and part of everything our children experience in the world around them.  It can help explain why things happen, how things are made, where they come from as well as being part of what we see, hear, touch, taste and smell.  Science helps us to make sense of the world and by questioning the things we don’t understand we can use science to deepen our knowledge and appreciation of our surroundings.

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.

At Southfield we have a strong links with schools in our partnership and we work together to ensure scientific skills and knowledge are built upon from one key stage to the next.  Children are encouraged to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about their environment. They are given the freedom to ask questions, predict and explain what they think might happen and why, then investigate further if the result was not what they had expected. 

Staff consistently, accurately and repeatedly use a wide range of Scientific vocabulary (linked to the unit of learning) to enrich the Scientific vocabulary of the children.

We have a rich and varied science curriculum covering all the statutory Programmes of Study (National Curriculum) for Science in an exploratory, practical and accessible way. This hands-on approach allows the children to practice, learn and embed the key scientific skills, vocabulary and knowledge they need to further their understanding and enjoyment of science each year.

Curriculum Implementation for Science 

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” Thomas Edison.

At Southfield we believe that science is a practical, hands-on, investigative subject that promotes and develops children’s awareness and understanding of the world around them through everyday scientific enquiry, prediction, questioning, investigation and recording activities.  Children are taught that it is ‘OK’ when things go wrong, or don’t turn out how they expected, in science – this is how the best scientists have made their greatest world changing discoveries.

The national curriculum for science reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are key factors in developing their scientific vocabulary and articulating scientific concepts clearly and precisely.

At the heart of all our Science lessons is the correct use of scientific vocabulary, which is used regularly and reinforced throughout the unit of work.  Any misconceptions or misunderstanding of scientific vocabulary are addressed immediately by staff. Children are praised for using correct scientific terminology in their discussions, questions, predictions, investigations, analysis and recording of results. They are encouraged to link their current and prior learning, both in Science and the wider curriculum, to strengthen their understanding of concepts. 

A comprehensive range of Science resources are readily available for staff and children to allow deeper questioning and hands-on practical investigations in pairs, groups or as a class.  Children are taught how to use basic scientific equipment correctly, as well as how to set up and conduct a fair test by altering one variable and analyse their results.

Science lessons have a ‘buzz’ about them, with children and staff discussing, questioning and investigating in as practical a way as possible. Time is made for deeper level questions, discussion and reflection with an emphasis on using scientific vocabulary to describe their learning accurately.

Each class displays the children’s science work along with the associated vocabulary for that unit.  Photographs are displayed to help record whole class, group or individual practical investigations which are annotated to support the children’s recall of key skills and knowledge. Wherever possible classes are encouraged to use our extensive school grounds to conduct environmental investigations or field work.

For our children, Science is all about encouraging them to investigate, to ask questions and question the answers they get. We support our children’s understanding and use of scientific vocabulary, enabling them to ask thoughtful scientific questions about the world around them.

Curriculum Impact for Science

“It is never too late to be who you might have been.” George Eliot.

The National Curriculum programmes of Study are used to ensure all year groups have access to the appropriate knowledge and Working Scientifically Skills. Science is taught in an interactive manner and assessments are made formally and informally by the teachers throughout each lesson for each of the five units taught in each year group. Working as practically as possible allows the children to experience science firsthand and, we believe, has the most impact on their understanding of scientific processes to further their learning.

Children are set challenging yet achievable targets in Year 3 for the end of Year 6. These targets are entered into our bespoke assessment sheets. These sheets allow staff, curriculum and senior leaders to track each child, a cohort or specific group of children to ensure all make progress towards their end of Key Stage 2 target. 

Class teachers can add to the tracking document throughout a unit as a child is  working towards, achieves or exceeds their target for a specific scientific statement in that unit. At the end of each unit class teachers will ensure that they have entered all children’s data for that unit onto the tracking document.

The tracking document allows staff to ensure that any gaps in knowledge or understanding can be easily identified and addressed to ensure smooth progression from year group to year group.

Curriculum and Senior Leaders can access the Science assessment document to analysis data and identify trends across years groups or the whole school and track progress against targets.  This method of tracking ensures that all children have the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential in science at Southfield through customised planning and teaching.