Pendennis Road, Downend, South Gloucestershire, BS16 5JJ

01454 866516

christchurchjuniors@sgmail.org.uk

Christ Church CofE VC Junior School

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Science

Science Leader: Laura Love

“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” Albert Einstein

At Christ Church Junior School, we want all children to enjoy exploring new concepts and enquiring about the world around them. We have an engaging, practical and responsive science curriculum that carefully builds on pupils’ prior knowledge and skills.

How we teach science

Our science lessons are delivered on a two-year rolling cycle and objectives are carefully mapped out to ensure that knowledge and skills build upon what the children have previously covered in science.

At the beginning of each unit, children create a mind map in their topic books, recording what scientific knowledge they already have about the topic. Children can express their knowledge in a way that is applicable to their learning style  (for example, children could write in sentences, use bullet points, type, draw pictures or have their work scribed by an adult). Teachers review all children’s mind maps and make adjustments to the learning to ensure lessons are tailored to the class' needs.

Every science lesson at CCJ has a practical element, for example using rounders posts to explore the movement of shadows or creating a scaled model of the solar system. This helps children to develop knowledge in an engaging and purposeful context. All children have a chance to discuss, share and present findings at the end of the lesson.  Each class has an interactive science display, which reflects the children's learning journey and displays key scientific vocabulary as well as examples of pupils' learning and thinking.

Feedback

We provide feedback to children at the beginning of every science lesson. This takes the form of a piece of whole-class feedback based on the teacher’s analysis of the children’s progress and understanding in the previous lesson. This could take different forms depending on what the children need.

Examples include:

  • Addressing a common misconception
  • An extension challenge to deepen understanding
  • An evaluative question based on their working scientifically skills (e.g. How could you have ensured a fair test in last week’s experiment?)
  • The chance to apply previous learning to a new context

The teacher may also use the beginning of the lesson to provide personalised verbal feedback to any children with specific misconceptions whilst the rest of the class completes the task related to the whole-class feedback.

Assessment

Children revisit the mind map they created at the start of the unit and add their new knowledge to it. This evidence, along with observations in lessons, work in books or short end-of-unit quizzes, will then inform teacher assessments.

At the end of each science unit, teachers identify which children have a secure understanding of the scientific knowledge that has been taught. In addition, teachers also assess the working scientifically skills from the National Curriculum to ensure children have the support and challenge that they need to make continued progress in the next unit.