Science Lead: Mrs Liberman
At Menorah Foundation School, we aim to inspire our learners to be more curious about how the world works. We want to encourage our children to confidently question what they encounter and to utilise acquired skills and knowledge to find out more and challenge any theories that they have. As a Jewish school, we want to make connections with the scientific world and our community’s cultural heritage; we aim to make links with Torah learning as a way of showcasing that science plays a part in every aspect of life. Through our teaching, we aim to develop an appreciation for how science has changed our lives as well as exploring how it is used today, and how it might be used in the future.
We build on our pupils’ cultural capital by providing opportunities for children to learn about important scientific figures, both from the past and present, as well as hosting events and outings that enrich the experiences of our learners. We endeavour to teach our pupils the significance of reading as a means of gathering new information and deepening our understanding of scientific concepts and ideas. We want our children to write and speak like scientists; we explicitly teach key vocabulary to enable them to access scientific content in lessons and expect them to use it when formulating written and oral responses.
Retaining the knowledge and skills being taught throughout each year is something we value greatly. Systems are in place to allow our children to revisit prior learning through spaced practice. This ensures that strong foundations are created for new material to be built upon so that children can progressively develop scientific knowledge, skills and understanding. We follow the National Curriculum to support the planning and assessment of science.
How We Teach Science at MFS
- A curriculum map ensures full coverage of the science National Curriculum.
- Teachers reference the science progression framework to ensure that children know more and remember more.
- Medium term plans enable teachers to ensure that each science topic is covered in full, as stated in the National Curriculum, and that children with various needs and abilities are supported and challenged.
- Prior knowledge is assessed at the beginning of a new block of learning so that gaps and misconceptions can be addressed before learning new material.
- Prior learning is included at the beginning of each science lesson so that children can retrieve previously learnt material. These tasks are bespoke for the needs of each class.
- Teachers introduce and continuously revisit key vocabulary at the beginning of each science lesson. This enables children to access and deepen their understanding of the science curriculum and supports them to speak and write scientifically.
- Non-fiction texts are available and on display in the classroom to support learning. Children have access to these texts during free reading time and they are used in science lessons to learn new information.
- Children use a range of enquiry types to explore new concepts and to challenge theories.
- Teachers have the necessary resources for planning and presenting engaging lessons that inspire children.
- We support every child to access the curriculum and provide scaffolds to do this. Challenge questions and tasks are used to extend learners’ thinking.
- Children are encouraged to ask questions and make links with learning in other areas of the curriculum.
- We build on children’s cultural capital by assigning each topic ‘Key Scientists’ – scientists from a range of backgrounds and cultures who have had an impact on the field being studied. Children are encouraged to investigate these scientists outside of school and present their findings to the class.
- We promote a love of science by running a science day filled with stimulating and enriching activities and visits, as well as outings that enrich science learning.
- Attainment is assessed after each science topic through the children’s presentation of the knowledge they have retained. This is done through the children’s use of diagrams and written explanations.
- Teachers have the opportunity to observe and be observed teaching science in order to share best practice.
As a result of our science teaching at Menorah Foundation School, you will see:
- Children who retain scientific knowledge, allowing learning to be secured in the long term memory.
- Curious, independent learners who question ideas and reflect on knowledge through discussion and reading high quality texts.
- Children who make links with learning in other areas of the curriculum, including in Jewish Studies.
- Children who progressively work collaboratively and practically to investigate and experiment throughout the school.
- Year 6 children, who have gradually built up their scientific skills and knowledge since EYFS, who can create their own scientific enquiries and make decisions to ensure that results are measured and recorded appropriately.
- Children who can speak confidently about their science learning using relevant scientific terminology.
- Children who are inspired to engage with scientific ideas both in and out of school.