Curriculum Leader: Mr Ben Holmes
The development of pupil’s scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding stands at the forefront of the science curriculum at Reynolds Academy. Providing students with the understanding of a breadth of key scientific concepts (physical, chemical and biological) aims to further promote their own curiosity and questioning into the wider world around them. We strive to provide this underlying scientific exploration in a strong level of detail. Though most curriculum subjects are taught through a thematic approach, our medium-term plans have been refined to teach particular areas of Science suited to the topics, but lessons are still taught as ‘stand-alone’ lessons, to ensure coverage and greater-depth are achieved in children’s learning.
This begins within the foundation stage, which prioritises asking big questions about the world. In this stage, children are tasked with observing and describing different environments. Within this area, children gain exposure to the different branches of science:
- Through their observations of differing plants and animals they foster an understanding of some biological processes and environments.
- By engaging in discussions and examining why things happen and their changes over time, pupils experience a more physical and basic chemical understanding of science.
As pupils move into Key Stage 1 (and later Key Stage 2), the curriculum adapts to include a sequenced progression to further build on the key skills and questioning they have begun to comprehend. Furthermore, pupils are introduced to the concept of working scientifically in order to build on their understanding of the concepts learned, before applying their knowledge practically. Students are also introduced to the wider areas of living organisms and their processes, materials and their properties and physical processes.
After these areas form the basis of their scientific study and questioning, each year children cover new areas of learning, building on from their previous established knowledge. Through this, we aim to provide an in-depth study of the scientific areas within our units. Through providing a curriculum which promotes curiosity and questioning, understanding key concepts and applying these in hands-on exploration, we ultimately hope to invigorate pupils in their learning and adopt an interest in the sciences.
The science medium-term plans have been created to deliver lessons across milestone groups to ensure children become secure in all of the Chris Quigley designed cognitive domains; basic, advancing and greater-depth. Each year of study allows students to build on their previous understanding gained within the milestone, but in greater detail. To monitor their academic progress, we use said milestones to track progress and coverage across the curriculum ensuring appropriate sequencing is in place, in conjunction with teacher’s assessment of pupils, termly, through The Family Fischer Trust assessment tool. These will ensure the children develop their knowledge and skills as they move from Early Years through to Key Stage 1 and 2.