All pupils at The Downley School are immersed in a carefully crafted Science curriculum that is broad and balanced, deep, and rich, relevant to life in modern Britain and our global community. This encourages all pupils to become resilient, lifelong learners whatever their starting point or ability.
Our science curriculum enables pupils to learn, grow and succeed together and is underpinned by our six values:
- Pupils will understand how science helps us understand, monitor, protect and improve the environment around us. It gives us a way to understand patterns, to quantify relationships, live our life and to predict the future and understand connections and possibilities through all living organisms.
- Science teaches us to respect the importance of working in teams as well as respect the importance of using scientific evidence to inform our conclusions and predictions to meet our everyday needs and improve our lives.
- Pupils will experience significant science capital at TDS that will encourage more young people to continue into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) jobs, and use this as a tool for social justice, to help improve people’s lives and life chances.
- Pupils are resilient learners and learn from their mistakes; we encourage all children to approach Science with a growth mindset.
- Pupils understand that they may need further practice in a new topic and that they may not be fluent yet.
- Science brings us together to solve problems, fuel our sense of wonder, and understand our place in the world.
- Pupils have opportunities in lessons to plan, implement and review scientific questions and investigations in pairs or groups during independent work or as a whole class in starters or plenaries.
- We understand that a deep grasp of science is essential to enabling greater social equity and mobility.
- We encourage all children to develop their curiosity and thinking in practical and relevant ways and support each other when developing their thinking, supported by appropriate differentiation so that all can achieve.
- Children understand that they have a responsibility for being ready to learn, using appropriate tools to develop their independence, trying their best, showing a curiosity to learn, spotting patterns, and using correct scientific vocabulary to express their problem-solving and reasoning skills.
- Pupils understand that they need to respect the practical equipment used, and/or plants and animals in the local environment during investigations.
- Pupils will develop a curiosity to understand the world around us and be encouraged to understand and respect the impact of human choices and ethical behaviour on the local environment or wider community for all living organisms.
Our high-quality science curriculum has clear progression and learning is interactive and carefully sequenced, built on and revisited. Lessons are planned to deepen pupils’ knowledge and skills, for future learning and a focus on science capital will help encourage future employment in STEM-related employment.
The scheme also seeks to promote diversity and inclusion in STEM by encouraging women, ethnic minorities, and students from a socio-economically disadvantaged background to pursue science as a career pathway through examples and job profiles provided in each lesson.
Pupils are encouraged to demonstrate their learning in practical ways, so they become curious and discover the awe of science. The lessons also have opportunities to revisit prior learning through interactive opportunities in class and quizzes at home. They include an expert film with each lesson and ideas about possible careers linked to that learning.
We use a variety of strategies to evaluate the knowledge, skills and understanding that our children gain as they progress from EYFS to Year 6:
- Regular feedback marking and pupil voice feedback
- Subject monitoring, including planning scrutinies, book looks and learning walks
- Regular low stakes knowledge assessments, using a range of creative approaches
- ODBST academy cross-school moderation to ensure secure teacher judgements
- Pre- and post-quizzes are followed by an end of unit test to support our teachers’ assessment.
As well as assessment for learning during lessons, regular and ongoing assessment of the pupils’ outcomes informs teaching, as well as intervention to address misconceptions and develop their use of scientific vocabulary to support and enable the success of each child.
Home School Communication & Home Learning
- Clear science objectives and curriculum overviews and knowledge organisers for each year group, will allow parents and carers to be more confident on what is expected and how they can help their child.
- Pupils have opportunities to consolidate their learning at home through pupil accounts on Developing Experts e.g. quizzes, word searches or even revisiting slides discussed in the lesson.
We celebrate our love of science through participation in an annual interschool science competition which included a screening process for applicants and club practice over several months. Additionally, we have an annual STEM week, where science plays a key role in applying our knowledge to a challenge or investigations.
Pupils leave The Downley School with a deep understanding of the academic content of the science curriculum. They will understand how science is a tool for social justice and can help improve people’s lives and life chances whilst supporting our global environment and climate. They know more, remember more, and can do more; through their exposure to science capital at TDS, many pupils will have future aspirations already to work in a STEM related field e.g. mathematician, geographer, engineer etc… Children understand the importance of resilience and are more confident communicators, having developed their reasoning and problem-solving skills during their time at TDS.
They understand that when we learn together, we grow together and succeed together.