At Sudbourne we are scientists!
Our science curriculum is organised to ensure a progression in developing both scientific knowledge and skills. It has been carefully planned so that children work towards a deeper understanding of core scientific knowledge. There are planned opportunities for revisiting learning as part of the learning journey. This learning journey begins in the Early Years and the curriculum plans for Reception have been carefully considered so that they ensure children are developing the foundational vocabulary, knowledge and skills that are needed to be successful in Phase 1. This ensures that potentially abstract content is related to what children already know. This makes it easier to cognitively process and helps to accelerate new learning as children integrate prior understanding.
We have chosen to join the Curriculum with Unity Schools Partnership (CUSP) and use their learning modules to teach science. These modules support our belief in a clear curriculum sequence, the use of evidence based practices that support cognitive load and knowledge retention.
Cumulative progression and coherent substantive concepts
CUSP Science pays close attention to guidance provided by the National Curriculum sequence and content. It is infused with evidence-led practice and enriched with retrieval studies to ensure long-term retention of foundational knowledge. The foundations of CUSP science are cemented in the EYFS through learning within the Early Learning Goal - Understanding the World - Natural World, and People, Culture and Communities. The ambitious interpretation of the National Curriculum places knowledge, vocabulary, working and thinking scientifically at the heart of our principles, structure and practice. CUSP Science precisely follows the units outlined in the National Curriculum. Through studying CUSP science, pupils become ‘a little more expert’ as they progress through the curriculum, accumulating, connecting and making sense of the rich substantive and disciplinary knowledge.
Substantive knowledge concepts -
This is the subject knowledge and explicit vocabulary used to learn about the content. Common misconceptions are explicitly revealed as non-examples and positioned against known and accurate content. In CUSP Science, an extensive and connected knowledge base is constructed so that pupils can use these foundations and integrate it with what they already know.
Disciplinary knowledge –
This is knowing how to collect, use, interpret, understand and evaluate the evidence from scientific processes. This is taught. It is not assumed that pupils will acquire these skills by luck or hope. Pupils construct understanding by applying substantive knowledge to questioning and planning, observing, performing a range of tests, accurately measuring, comparing through identifying and classifying, using observations and gathering data to help answer questions, explaining and reporting, predicting, concluding, improving, and seeking patterns. We call it ‘Working Scientifically.’
In addition to this, scientific analysis is developed through IPROF criteria. We call it ‘Thinking Scientifically.’ These unique CUSP resources give pupils the opportunity to consolidate or elaborate pupil thinking through disciplinary knowledge tasks.
Specific and associated scientific vocabulary is planned sequentially and cumulatively from the outset of our pupils' learning journey. High frequency, multiple meaning words (Tier 2) are taught alongside and help make sense of subject specific words (Tier 3). Pupils are required to not only analyse, connect and define words but also to use them in the correct context. Relevant idioms and colloquialisms allow us to connect learnt and be agile in approach to reflect our community and close the vocabulary gap.
CUSP EYFS supports children’s foundational understanding of Science through the planning and teaching of ‘Understanding the World’. Core foundational knowledge is identified and embedded in daily practice for example through the use of daily language, during structured story time or delivered within provision - for example in the garden area, mud kitchen or role play areas.
Phase 1 - 3
Our two year cycle ensures that children meet all of the National Curriculum objectives by the end of the phase / key stage. At the start of each cycle, we deliver a ‘Strong start’ lesson. This is focused on a core disciplinary concept to promote pupils to think more like a scientist. Blocks have a reference lesson to secure foundational knowledge and ensure pupils all start at a shared point.
Our Science overview can be found below.