Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Science; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum; ensuring the progressive development of scientific concepts, knowledge and skills; and for the children to develop a love for science.
Science teaching at Clifton Primary School has a wide application to everyday life, teaching the children to enjoy learning about scientific processes, methods and knowledge to understand the world around them.
Our Science is taught through the CUSP Curriculum who describe the three domains of science as:
CUSP geography draws upon several powerful sources of knowledge: substantive, disciplinary, scientific analysis and substantive concepts.
Substantive knowledge: 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. Misconceptions are challenged carefully and in the context of the substantive and disciplinary knowledge. In CUSP Science, it is recommended that misconceptions are not introduced too early, as pupils need to construct a mental model in which to position that new knowledge.
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.’ CUSP Science provides Working Scientifically coverage maps to check the balance of provision in KS1, Lower and Upper KS2. They are also present in the Whole Class Assessment toolkits.
Scientific analysis is developed through IPROF criteria. We call it ‘Thinking Scientifically.’
- identifying and classifying
- pattern seeking
- observing over time
- fair and comparative testing
Substantive concepts include concrete examples, such as ‘plant’ or more abstract ideas, such as ‘biodiversity’. Concepts are taught through explicit vocabulary instruction as well as through the direct content and context of the study.