We are very proud to announce that as a school, we have successfully achieved the Primary Science Quality Mark.
The PSQM is awarded to schools who demonstrate their commitment to excellence in science teaching and learning.
Schools achieve the PSQM through a rigorous year-long process.
As a school, we are committed to ensuring that all of our children experience a high-quality, impactful, and meaningful science curriculum which helps them to make sense of the world around them, and shows them the crucial role that science plays in all of our lives.
Here is some of the feedback we received from the PSQM reviewer.
‘Science has a stronger role in the life of the school as a result of a number of factors. Time has been allocated to discuss issues and train staff which has raised the profile of the subject.’
‘Significant time and effort has been put into the organisation of resources, and the portfolio evidence shows how these have positively impacted upon learning. Outdoor activities take place and pupils are used to science being part of this.’
‘There is a range of activities developed and offered. The focus on home learning is particularly impressive and will have had real impact. These activities will have encouraged children to see the subject in a broader light.’
We are so pleased to receive this award but will continue to make changes/ improvements moving forward.
A huge thank you to Mrs Bell for all her hard work driving this subject through school and for putting such a strong case forward in her portfolio of evidence.
Through our science curriculum, children at Deepcar St John’s will explore the world in which we live in. We are passionate about fostering the inquisitive nature of children, and use this as a starting point for developing the acquisition of specific skills and knowledge to help them think scientifically. Through practical, hands-on experiences, we aim to engage and excite all children, as we know this is when quality learning takes place. Children will become confident at raising questions and investigating these. They will become competent when planning and carrying out practical investigations. Scientific vocabulary is taught and is built upon and knowledge mats help children to master the vocabulary needed. As a result of this, children will leave Deepcar St John’s with excellent scientific knowledge and understanding which is demonstrated in verbal and written explanations, the ability to be able to raise and solve problems, and report scientific findings. Our children will understand the importance of science, today and for the future.
Science is taught in topic blocks, every half term to ensure all knowledge and skills relevant to each year group are covered.
The knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum have been broken down and planned for across the key stage to ensure progression, with further input into the progression of skills specifically from Chris Quigley’s Essentials curriculum.
Each topic will begin with a ‘hook’ to engage and excite children. They will use this to begin to think about what they know already and would like to find out. Teachers use the children’s input in this initial lesson, along with targeted questioning to assess the children’s prior knowledge and are then able to adapt the series of lessons within that topic accordingly.
We use knowledge mats for each topic to provide children with the key vocabulary and knowledge required for that topic, along with suggestions of additional books and websites which they can use to deepen their learning. These knowledge mats are used at the beginning of the topic as part of the introduction and are then available every lesson. Children are provided with copies to have at home and we look back at the knowledge mats throughout the year to help children retain knowledge.
Children’s work is assessed against Chilli Challenges: Chilli 2 being a task set at their age-related expectation and Chilli 3 being a task to go deeper in their learning (Chilli 1 would be selected if the child had completed the age-related task with additional support). These ongoing formative assessments provide evidence for a summative assessment at the end of the Autumn, Spring and Summer term.
We are exceptionally lucky at Deepcar St John’s to have an extensive outdoor space and teachers use this as well as visits and walks in the local area for fieldwork opportunities.
Cross-curricular links are made and prepared for in the long-term planning for the year.
As a result of our curriculum, children will not only acquire age related knowledge, but also the skills required to make progress across each year group, in future education and in everyday life. All children will have experienced a high quality, fun and engaging curriculum which inspires children to learn more about science in the world around us.
The children’s attainment is assessed through teacher assessment in each unit of the curriculum and we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
Pupil discussions about their learning (in lessons and pupil voice)
Celebrations of learning (assemblies, displays)
Essential Learning Objectives
To understand plants
To understand animals and humans
To investigate living things
To understand evolution and inheritance
To investigate materials
To understand movement, forces and magnets
To understand light and seeing
To investigate sound and hearing
To understand electrical circuits
To understand the Earth’s movement in space