Part of the Faculty of STEM
- Mr A. Jones
- Mr A. Jones
- Tina Whittaker (NLE, PSQM Hub Leader, Science Across the City)
- Dr Sarah Earle (National Lead for Teacher Assessment in Primary Science – Bath Spa University)
Science at Milton Primary will always be interesting, engaging and rich in the development of knowledge. With this at the forefront of our minds, our vision is for our curriculum to build on pupils’ interest and stimulate their natural curiosity, facilitating a good understanding of the world around us. What’s more, it should give pupils the opportunity to understand a range of age-appropriate scientific phenomena, whilst also encouraging them to asks questions and demonstrate a desire to find out why things happen in the way that they do.
Principles of Outstanding Science
These are the ‘Principles of Outstanding Science’ at Milton Primary Academy. They were devised and agreed by the children and staff in September 2021, informed by the way we feel that science should be taught across the Academy.
Principle 1: Children are excited and enthusiastic about science, as they are taught to know more and remember more.
Principle 2: Lessons are carefully planned and delivered, so that new material is delivered in a way that is clear, interesting and useful.
Principle 3: Instruction is focused on the learning intention and pedagogical tools do not detract from the knowledge that needs to be remembered.
Principle 4: Through spaced-retrieval, previously taught content is revisited to ensure that new content can be understood and is retained in the long-term memory.
Principle 5: Formative assessment is regularly used to check that children retain knowledge and that they can retrieve previously taught content from their long-term memory.
Principle 6: Teachers enable children to access a range of enrichment opportunities, both within and beyond the curriculum.
Science Subject Leader
My name is Mr Jones and I am the science subject lead at Milton Primary Academy. My role is to ensure that the teaching and learning of science across our academy is relevant, engaging and enables all children to fulfil their potential. Most importantly though, I’m always striving to ensure that each and every member of our school community has the opportunity to appreciate the awe and wonder of this fascinating subject!
In line with my own ethos and current best practice, science at Milton is taught practically wherever possible, and I’m proud of the fact that our amazing team take every opportunity to provide our children with hands-on activities that develop the competencies of working scientifically and scientific enquiry. In addition to this, I also believe that enrichment and wider opportunities should run through the veins of any effective science curriculum and it does just that here at Milton Primary Academy. In the past few years, children have enjoyed visits to the Eden Project in Cornwall, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, The National Space Centre in Leicester, MAD Museum in Stratford, Enginuity in Tamworth, We the Curious in Bristol, Peak Wildlife Park in the Staffordshire Moorlands, Telford Exotic Zoo, The Sealife Centre in Birmingham, as well as taken part in a whole school forensic science day, Wavemaker Science Event at Stoke Civic Centre, MAD Science Club, and numerous ‘Watch me Learn’ sessions with their parents and careers. We’ve been quite busy indeed!
As Science subject leader, I am confident, knowledgeable and enthusiastic and my passion for the subject can be traced right back to my experiences of science whilst at school. As a result, I now find great pleasure in undertaking extensive CPD and participating in local networks, as well as sharing my knowledge and expertise with other schools and subject leads in my role as a ‘Science Influencer’ for the Science Across the City project in the Stoke-on-Trent Opportunity Area.
At Milton Primary Academy, we aim to provide a science curriculum that is creative, inclusive, challenging and inspired by the real-world. It inspires future thinkers, innovators and problem solvers in an immersive environment that stimulates curiosity and supports high-quality learning, allowing each and every learner to fulfil their potential. The areas of study are set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework and National Curriculum 2014. Practical experiments are deliberately and carefully planned into the sequences of lessons to ensure pupils have the prerequisite knowledge to fully engage with the experiment. This makes these investigations purposeful, as pupils have the opportunity to rehearse and retrieve previously learned subject content.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, we teach science through the Understanding the World strand of the Early Years Framework. Ongoing experiences and opportunities linking to children’s developing understanding of the world are planned from the objectives set out in the Early Years Framework, which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged 3-5 at Milton Primary Academy. The experiences that we provide ensure that children develop a secure understanding of the world around them. By the end of the Reception year, they will be able to:
ELG: The Natural World
- Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants;
- Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
- Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.
KS1 and KS2:
The Primary 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.
OTHER YEAR GROUPS COMING SOON
Assessment in Science
Assessment for Learning (AfL): During the teaching of each unit of learning in Science, children’s subject knowledge and ability to work scientifically is assessed day-to-day through formative assessment by their class teacher. A range of low-stakes assessment activities are carried out in various forms, including the completion of post unit assessments, mind maps, KWL grids and class discussions. Many of the formative assessment tools that we use are done so at the teacher’s discretion, therefore ensuring that they are appropriate for the age of the children and nature of the subject content.
Assessment as learning: This form of assessment draws on the cognitive principle that pupils are more likely to remember knowledge if they practise retrieving that knowledge over extended periods. For example, low stakes quizzes give teachers an idea as to how well substantive knowledge has been acquired and supports children to know more and remember more.
Examples of low stake quizzes in science lessons:
- Multiple choice quizzes
- Quick quiz – answers in book
- Keyword definitions
- Vocabulary quizzes
- Labelling a diagram from memory
- Recalling key facts from memory
- Hinge questions
To be most effective, research shows that retrieval practice in science lessons should always be followed with feedback so even incorrect answers can be correctly retrieved in the future.
Summative Assessment: At the end of each unit of learning, teachers also make a summative judgment relating to children’s knowledge and understanding, as well as their ability to work scientifically within the associated context. This is recorded on each child’s ‘Pupil Progress Record’ and this document stays with each child throughout their time at Milton Primary, ensuring seamless tracking of progress and attainment in Science across the academy.
Statutory Assessment and Reporting: In addition to the formative and summative assessment tools discussed above, teachers of children in years 2 and 6 and are also required to report the attainment of each child in their class to the local authority, based on the teacher assessment framework. Biennially, the government conducts a National Curriculum ‘Science Sampling Test’ in a selection of schools across the county. In this test, children’s knowledge of the objectives taught in Science across Key Stage 2 is assessed in order to ascertain a ‘national picture’ of children’s learning in the subject.
Educational Visits and Enrichment
At Milton Primary Academy we place great emphasis on the importance of educational visits and visitors to enhance the teaching and learning of science. These visits and visitors, which provide valuable opportunities for learning through first-hand experience, are therefore an integral part of the curriculum and allow our children to make valuable connections between what they have learned in class and their first-hand experiences in the real-world.
Whole School Enrichment and Clubs: During their time at Milton, all pupils have access to extra-curricular science clubs and we are pleased to currently be working with MAD Science to offer these opportunities each year. This extra-curricular offer also includes an annual whole-school assembly, and last year’s show with ‘Atomic Annie’ was a great success!
British Science Week is also an important event in the Milton Primary Academy year and is celebrated by children, staff, parents and carers. In 2018, the whole school community was in shock as it arrived to find that a theft had taken place! Throughout the day, children then completed a range of activities linked to forensic science in an attempt to identify the prime suspect… A year later in 2019, children from across our Academy visited science museums and attractions as far away as Cornwall, with Years 1 and 2 visiting Enginuity, Years 3 and 4 visiting the National Space Centre, and Years 5 and 6 travelling all the way to the Eden Project to experience the biomes at night and enjoy an overnight stay! We can’t wait to see what Mr Jones has planned for British Science Week this year!
Finally, at different times throughout the academic year, parents are invited into school to take part in ‘Watch Me Learn’ sessions with their child. Unsurprisingly, many of our recent sessions have involved lots of amazing experiments – just ask Year 6 about how big they can blow a bubble!
At Milton Primary Academy we believe that the view of every pupil is important to ensure that we provide the best education possible. Here is a selection of pupil voice collected during the 2019/20 academic year, and in some cases, what we are doing / have done to improve the science education that we provide.
Penelope in Year 1 said… “I love the time when we found out how ice melts!”
Jenson in Year 2 said.. “My favourite thing about science this year was when we went on a material hunt and a leaf hunt because we could see all the colours of the leaves on the trees for real!”
Olivia in Year 4 said… “I enjoyed making rockets on the science trip, it was fun to see them being tested and shooting across the room.”
Poppy in Year 4 said… “We could do bigger experiments maybe as a whole school or with other year groups.”
Poppy said it… we did it!! As part of British Science Week 2020, we’ve already planned to do an amazing whole school investigation, with everyone sharing their results at the end of the week. You’ll then have the chance to talk about your learning with children in lots of different classes, as well as see some of the different ways of recording results that we use across the academy.
Lily-Mae in Year 5 said… “I think science is fun, exciting and educational. My favourite thing was when we investigated sound and made telephone cups because we could hear each other right across the playground!”
Please see below a selection of documents that relate to the intent, implementation, and impact of science teaching and learning at Milton Primary Academy. If you require any additional information relating to this subject, then please contact the subject leader, Mr A. Jones, via the academy office (firstname.lastname@example.org).