Ordsall Primary School is one of 283 Primary Science Quality Marks awarded to infant, junior, primary, middle and special schools to celebrate their commitment to excellence in science teaching in round 20 of the awards assessments. The school is now one of the 4,000 schools who already have the mark across the country.
“It is recommended, without reservation, the conferring of a PSQM to Ordsall Primary School and we would like to congratulate the pupils, staff, leaders and governors of the school. The difference you have made has resulted in a richer curriculum and higher quality learning in science. This is a strong submission with many positive features. In particular I would commend the focus upon the impact that developments have made, the creativity used to develop the curriculum and the quality of forward planning. This has only happened because of the commitment, skill and dedication of the staff involved." (PSQM Assessment Report 2021)
At Ordsall Primary School, excellence in teaching and enjoyment of learning is at the heart of what we do. In our rapidly evolving world science is a vital part of our curriculum intention. At Ordsall Primary School we believe that science is not a collection of inert facts but the accumulation of knowledge for subsequent learning which is led by enquiry and by working scientifically. It is our belief that Science stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. It also satisfies their curiosity with knowledge. As science links direct practical experience with ideas, it can engage learners at many levels. Scientific investigation is about developing and evaluating explanations through experimental evidence and modelling. Pupils learn to question and discuss science-based issues that may affect their own lives, the direction of society and the future of the world.
The curriculum that we follow in Science is the National Curriculum. This ensures that the design of our curriculum for Science meets the expectations set out for Key Stages 1 and 2 and, to support us in doing this, we use a range of teaching materials and resources including:
The school’s science curriculum is rooted in the consensus of the school’s leaders about the knowledge and skills that pupils need in order to take advantage of opportunities, responsibilities and experiences in later life. The curriculum
aims to give all children a strong understanding of the world around them whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them to think scientifically, to gain an understanding of scientific processes and also an understanding of the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future.
Developing the skills needed to work scientifically and experiencing hands on science is a key priority at Ordsall Primary School. We ensure this this by:
The opportunities listed above aligns closely to the vision and intent of the schools’ overall intent statement. The provision of exciting, engaging and broad learning experiences to build upon skills and knowledge ensures that scientific enquiry skills are embedded through each topic the children study, and these topics are revisited and developed throughout their time at school. Through doing this we aim to address potential barriers to learning by providing children with a clear progression pathway enabling them to achieve and embed knowledge into their long-term memory, so preparing them for their own future and life in modern Britain.
Science topics are planned using the long term plan to develop a contextualised plan, which identifies which areas of science are to be taught and ensures that we provide a broad and balanced curriculum. The contextualised plans consider the scientific skills that will be developed and details the key knowledge that children will be taught to ensure that science is taught in a progressive way. This means that the children build on what has been taught before and move developmentally towards clearly defined end points or “milestones”. The milestones for the end of each term and each year support progression between year groups so that learning is always “built upon”.
All children are encouraged to develop and use a range of skills including observations, planning and investigations, as well as being encouraged to question the world around them and become independent learners in exploring possible answers for their scientific based questions. Specialist vocabulary for topics is taught and built up, and effective questioning to communicate ideas is encouraged. Concepts taught should be reinforced by focusing on the key features of scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions.
Learning in science can be delivered in different ways. It can be a discrete lesson, a block of lessons or a sequence of lessons, which often links different subjects and learning experiences. Science topics are often linked with other subjects including English, Maths, Geography, History, ICT, DT, PE and Art. In addition, where possible, we try to ensure that there is an experience linked to the science topic to support the children's development and add to their cultural scientific capital.
Science teaching and subject knowledge at Ordsall Primary School is moderated termly through observations, book and contextualised plan scrutiny, pupil voice interviews and feedback after observation. Support in teaching science is offered through CPD in staff meetings, by outside providers and by providing appropriate resources and tools for planning, for assessment and to support moderation.
The assessment process uses the work that the children do within science. The framework devised by the Association For Science Education (ASE) provides us with a framework for assessment and ensures progression and coverage of the National Curriculum expectations for both knowledge and skills in science from year to year. This enables the school to evaluate the progress that children are making, inform future work and can be used to monitor specific groups. The objectives from the contextualised curriculum plans are used to assess the children against milestones, which show the skills and knowledge they are expected to have acquired in each year group. The process is tied together through our termly assessments and the records of achievement at the end of the year.
Learning, Playing and Growing Together in science at Ordsall Primary School provides the children with exciting learning opportunities that they can commit to long-term memory and apply fluently. It is our intention that the science curriculum will be both stimulating and motivating in order to capture the children’s curiosity and fuel their motivation to learn.
How do we measure the Impact of our work in Science?
The impact of the work in Science is measured in a variety of ways at Ordsall Primary School. The school uses moderated materials provided by ASE alongside its knowledge and vocabulary progression map to compare the work that the children are doing with key points on the map and the moderated examples. This allows the staff to assess where the children are, and check which elements are evident from the progression on the maps and also those elements that may need further work. This is done through pupil discussion, (when the children are asked about their work) the scrutiny of the work that children do (this is done by looking in the children's books), along with learning walks, looking at the work on display, a scrutiny of social media posts about Science as well as evaluating any internal or external assessment information we have from statutory tests and internal assessment checks. Any internal assessment information is used to back up what evidence is found from the classrooms and in the books of the children.
If you would like to see some of the work that we share in science, please see our Twitter feed @Ordsallschool or our website, which are both used to share the work that we do with parents and carers, the local community and the wider community of Bassetlaw, Nottinghamshire, the region and the United Kingdom.
If you would like to know more about the science curriculum at Ordsall Primary School please see the documents below. If you have any questions about the work we do in science please contact the science Subject Leader at the school.