Full width image/slideshow (if left blank a stock image will be used)
Science & Technology

“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.” National Curriculum 2014.

Intent

Science is our way of understanding the world we live in. Our Science and Technology curriculum has changed in light of the 2011 Cambridge Review and 2014 National Curriculum, and ‘Scientific Enquiry’ is now termed ‘Working Scientifically’.

The principles of ‘Working Scientifically’ specify an understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science children should acquire in each year group, and is not taught as a separate strand. ‘Working scientifically’ is embedded within the content of biology, chemistry and physics, focusing on the key features of scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions.

In Science and Technology, children are taught scientific processes through carrying out investigations. Types of scientific enquiry children will encounter over both key stages include:

  • observing over time; pattern seeking;
  • identifying, classifying and grouping;
  • comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations);
  • research using secondary sources.

Pupils should seek answers to questions through collecting, analysing and presenting data.

There were some new topics as part of the 2014 National Curriculum, such as ‘evolution, inheritance and reproduction,’ ‘teeth and the digestive system,’ and ‘the human circulatory system and impact of exercise, drugs and diet.’ All topics are mainly of an investigative nature and incorporate the principles of ‘Working Scientifically’ which entails different elements in each Key Stage.

It is our intent that pupils will be inspired by Design and Technology. We will aspire for them to be creative while designing and making products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and other’s needs, wants and values. Pupils will be taught to take risks, be resourceful, innovative and enterprising. Through evaluation of past and present design technology pupils will develop a sequential and critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. The staff develop sequential skills in technology through the model of: Design, Make and Evaluate. Through this process teachers will address the six D&T principles: user, purpose, functionality, design, decisions and authenticity. Links to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) and scientific knowledge are made throughout.

It is the further intention of this domain that children will understand the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook and progress these skill as they move up the school. The transferable skills gained across all domains will focus on: using initiative, being organised, good communication, being innovative, teamwork and being analytical.

Children will leave Lowbrook ready for secondary school with the skills and knowledge to excel in the secondary Science and Technology curriculums.

Implementation

The allocation of time set out below is the starting point for planning, however the art in teaching is not determined by time and it is expected that teachers will act professionally within these guidelines to allocate appropriate and effective amounts of time to each area as they feel fit. 

Some subjects or units of work may be taught in blocks; or more frequently during themed weeks, therefore the weekly figure is nominal only, however it is rarely less than two hours a week. Science and Technology is taught as a discrete subject through units of work, which are largely based on the National Curriculum objectives, the Hamilton Trust research and lesson plans incorporating wider research and resource materials as appropriate to the year group and child. Links to other domains pervade this curriculum area, enhancing and reinforcing learning across the school. Good examples of this are the Big Writes that are carefully linked to this domain and units of work which are carefully linked to other domain areas e.g. the Impact of Plastics unit in Year 3, the human circulatory system and impact of exercise, drugs and diet,  relationships, lifecycles, development of puberty and old-age topics being carefully linked to Citizenship and Ethics, Physical Health and Wellbeing and the overall school aims, in particular: Wellbeing, Engagement, Autonomy, Respect and Reciprocity, Interdependence and Sustainability, Exploring, knowing, understanding and making sense, Fostering skill and exciting imagination.

In the Foundation Stage, the overlap of Areas of Learning makes hourly time allocation inappropriate. Pupils at Key Stage 1 have opportunities for child-initiated or directed play.

In line with the recommendations outlined within the Cambridge Review, each class works towards 30% of the curriculum being designed around our own distinctive locality. This will include visits in our locality e.g. local science museums, parks and local habitats.

The curriculum is planned and delivered by the class teachers, specialist teachers, higher level teaching assistants, teaching assistants and where appropriate, local scientists.

Design and Technology is linked to science lessons. As part of this domain, children will learn to design products, make them (including prototypes) using a range of materials and processes and then evaluate their designs, suggesting areas for improvement, working scientifically through these challenges.

Design and Technology objectives from the National Curriculum are linked to science units to make their learning experience more meaningful and relevant. Further Science and Technology is taught throughout other domains as and where appropriate.

If an opportunity arises, staff are encouraged to use it. If it snows, there will be no snow day for us: instead, how snow forms, the structure of a snowflake and the designing of tools to keep our school open may well become our focus for this domain.

Natural events, visitor opportunities and local initiatives will also grab our attention and warrant curriculum exploration and time in this domain.

Understanding nutrition and the skills of cooking are deemed important at the Academy and are therefore taught in each year group. The school has its own nature trail garden, raised bedding in the Victorian garden and polytunnel for growing and learning about seasonality.

It is our belief that consolidation of learning and knowledge is fundamental; and therefore creating ‘Awe and Wonder’ within our Science and Technology curriculum is key to this. The development of the Science and Technology Week has been hugely influential with our pupils in achieving this. Annually we design a whole week of science where age-appropriate activities, experiments and lessons are designed into our curriculum. Experts from the world outside school are planned for and invited in to work with the children; trips are made to Secondary School labs; Science Specialists come to school to work with the children; equipment beyond the school’s means are used; visits to industry and Science Museums are planned; and parents join us at school to tell us about how Science and Technology is used in their workplace.

The progression in Science and Technology is well defined, challenging, and sequential, clearly defining the end points for both skills and knowledge. Matrices outlining the progression of skills across the year groups and skills have been repeated and built upon in a sequential way to maximise the likelihood that children will remember and connect the steps they’ve been taught. The production of cars in years 2, 4 and 6 is a good demonstration of how progression is built into our curriculum. In year 2, children create a car out of wood and are introduced to the terms axle, chassis, and cab. They then power the car using a balloon and pneumatics. In year 4, children again create a car out of wood and power it using a motor and simple circuit. They are reminded of the key vocabulary learnt in year 2 as well as learning new vocab such as pulley and drive belt. Finally in year 6, the children make a car out of wood and fluted plastic and power it using a coded motor circuit. They are also introduced to gears.

The progressions of skills and knowledge are mapped via the curriculum overviews and progression matrices. The school uses a variety of planning models, templates and schemes to meet the objectives of this domain. The teacher’s planning document allows teachers to highlight the links to key vocabulary and concepts, ICT opportunities and key resources. The emphasis is placed on finding high quality resources to use to support the teaching of the lessons, rather than the recording of each finite detail of a lesson.

Enrichment is carefully planned for with trips carefully linked to this domain throughout the year. For example, year 6 visit Sky Academy to discuss the effects of plastic pollution, year 4 visit Kew Gardens to discover how sound travels from a bee and year 2 visit the River and Rowing Museum in Henley to investigate rivers.

The Relationships and Health Education programme has been reviewed and was ready for statutory implementation in September 2020. This has been woven within the domains of Science and Technology, Citizenship and Ethics, Educations Technology and Computing and Physical and Emotional Health.

The Academy places high value on innovation and technology. Investment in this domain remains high with the recent development of design using 3D digital printing and using WeDo Lego to teach Science and Technology through computing. This encompasses designing, building, evaluating and coding.

In line with the school’s assessment policy, a variety of formative and summative assessment strategies are used. A school specific formative assessment grid is published and used for all units of work and sits along the school’s carefully and sequentially planned progression maps. Each unit of work has many suggested formative assessment strategies that can be used at the teachers’ discretion. Summative assessments take place by teachers using their formative assessment and Rising Star assessments are used as a retrieval and summative tool for many units of work. The technology aspect of assessment is further enhanced by the model of Design, Make and Evaluate. Self and peer assessment during the evaluation stages are successful and a key aspect of this school’s teaching and learning pedagogy.