At Langer, we have high ambitions for all pupils at Langer to become skilled and knowledgeable scientists. We want our science curriculum to prepare our children for future studies and careers in science through the development of knowledge, skills and curiosity needed for successful long-term retention of science learning. We see science as a key part of building our pupils’ cultural capital. We want all our pupils to be scientifically literate. To us this means that they are able to understand and/or debate the key scientific concepts that affect their lives in a knowledgeable, considered and balanced way – relying on the knowledge gained during their science lessons at Langer across Early Years, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two. The foundations of CUSP science are cemented in the EYFS through learning within the Natural World, and People, Culture and Communities.
These scientific issues and debates range from the future of the planet, the need for space exploration, the ways to keep their bodies healthy to the creation of vaccines for COVID-19. Clear scientific knowledge and understanding gives children ways to understand important events across the world and how they can keep themselves safe and healthy in a changing world.
Science provides great opportunities for children to apply their English and Maths skills in a new context. At Langer, we make links between these subjects, but only when a natural link can be made.
We want our teaching of science to fill our children with the essential knowledge, skills and understanding of the world around them. We intend to achieve this through a clearly sequenced programme of units and regularly revisiting prior learning to ensure that it is retained across the span of primary science learning ready to be built on in secondary science learning. Our science lessons are as practical and hands-on as possible so that our children have the chance to see the awe and wonder that the field of science creates. The use of practical science activities allows children to access learning without depending on their reading and writing skills if these present a barrier to learning.
Aims of the CUSP Science Curriculum
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 knowledge and vocabulary rich, ensuring children gain a deep understanding of fundamental scientific knowledge and concepts as well as embedding key science specific vocabulary and terminology (Tier 3 vocabulary). In addition, children are encouraged to develop their scientific curiosity and understanding by working scientifically. Through studying CUSP science, pupils become more expert as they progress through the curriculum, accumulating, connecting and making sense of the rich substantive and disciplinary knowledge.
- Substantive knowledge – this is the subject knowledge and explicit vocabulary used to learn about the content. Common misconceptions are explicitly revealed as non-examples and positioned against known and accurate content. In our science lessons, an extensive and connected knowledge base is constructed so that pupils can use these foundations and integrate it with what they already know. Misconceptions are challenged carefully and in the context of the substantive and disciplinary knowledge, through the use of effective teacher assessment.
- Disciplinary knowledge – this is teaching our pupils how to collect, use, interpret, understand and evaluate the evidence from scientific processes. Pupils construct understanding by applying substantive knowledge to questioning and planning, observing, performing a range of tests, accurately measuring, comparing through identifying and classifying, using observations and gathering data to help answer questions, explaining and reporting, predicting, concluding, improving, and seeking patterns. We teach our pupils to work scientifically.
- Scientific analysis is developed through IPROF criteria. We call it ‘Thinking Scientifically.’
- identifying and classifying
- pattern seeking
- observing over time
- fair and comparative testing
- Substantive concepts include concrete examples, such as ‘plant’ or more abstract ideas, such as ‘biodiversity’. Concepts are taught through explicit vocabulary instruction as well as through the direct content and context of the study.
At Langer Primary Academy, Science is taught across each year group in modules that enable pupils to study in depth key scientific understanding, skills and vocabulary. Each module aims to activate and build upon prior learning, including EYFS, to ensure better cognition and retention. Each module is carefully sequenced vertically to enable pupils to purposefully layer learning from previous sessions to facilitate the acquisition and retention of key scientific knowledge. Each module is revisited either later in the year or in the following year as part of a spaced retrieval practice method to ensure pupils retain key knowledge and information.
To support pupils in their acquisition of new knowledge and skills in line with each learning objective, units have dual coded knowledge notes. These contain key vocabulary, information and key facts which can be referred to throughout the learning modules. Key vocabulary is explicitly taught at the beginning of each unit, and repeatedly referenced throughout teaching, with oracy being central central pupils’ success. Children are encouraged to use this vocabulary in their discussions, experiments, responses and written work.
Each unit has quizzes for pupils, assessing their understanding and knowledge of new vocabulary and skills gained within the unit. This informs teachers assessment for learning and allows gaps in knowledge to be addressed before new knowledge is introduced.
At Langer, we recognise the importance of our science lessons and the impact it can have on our pupils for the rest of their lives. We want every pupil to leave Langer working, thinking and aspiring to be scientists, who are curious about the world. Through excellent teaching and generative tasks, the connection between the scientific content and the context needs to be relevant to the everyday lives of children.
Through great teaching of Science, we must encourage pupils to be curious learners who are inquisitive, ask questions and think hard. Our lessons enable pupils to ask relevant scientific questions, as well as begin to answer them using subjective and disciplinary knowledge.
Assessment is essential to ensuring the success of pupils in their science learning. Teacher assessment, cumulative quizzing, vocabulary assessments, self and peer assessment all form part of the picture to ensure that pupils have been successful in their learning. This allows teachers to effectively work to close any gaps in learning before the next unit, supported through the cyclical retrieval based curriculum.
Please follow the subject links below for further information about the subjects taught at Langer Primary Academy.