In September 2023, Windmill L.E.A.D. Academy was awarded the Primary Science Quality Mark! This has been awarded by the University of Hertfordshire to celebrate our commitment to excellence in science leadership, teaching and learning. So far, since its national launch in 2010, more than 5000 Primary Science Quality Marks (PSQM) have been awarded, creating a solid foundation of quality science education for over 1,000,000 children.
PSQM is a comprehensive evidence-based professional development programme that effectively develops science leadership, ensuring teachers have the knowledge, capability and support they need to transform science education and shape future generations.
Science Curriculum Legal Framework
The science programmes of study from the national curriculum form the roots of Windmill L.E.A.D Academy’s science curriculum. From this national documentation, Windmill L.E.A.D Academy’s science curriculum has been devised, developed and personalised to our school community, having evolved from our values, vision, and mission statement.
Our science curriculum is underpinned by the national curriculum aims for science, ensuring that all pupils:
- develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics;
- develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them;
- are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
At Windmill, we understand that science teaches children how to make sense of the world around them: how to calculate, reason and solve problems; to understand relationships and identify patterns. Through their growing knowledge and understanding, children learn to appreciate the contribution made by many cultures to the development and application of science.
We adopt a working scientifically approach to teaching science, believing that all pupils can be successful scientists. Our science curriculum is based on National Curriculum objectives and the findings from Ofsted’s curriculum research in February 2019. Our science teaching is influenced by the resources and schemes of learning from PLAN assessment, which breaks down progression, vocabulary and key concepts of learning and STEM projects focusing on the wider world and global issues. Within this working scientifically approach, we focus on discussion and dialogue to improve pupil attainment (Hattie, 2015), as research suggests this is one of the ‘most cognitively potent elements within the classroom’ (Alexander, 2006:30).
All pupils, within a year group, work on the same objectives at the same time. However, work is set at an appropriate level, with pupils being given the support and challenge relative to their own developmental needs. We also acknowledge the value of pupils having a curiosity and using working scientifically objectives aim to create scientists, who ask questions and develop ideas on how to find their own answers.
We aim for all Windmill scientists to:
- be fluent in the fundamentals of science;
- be confident, creative and curious in exploring and investigating their ideas;
- use their prior learning to articulate their thoughts using the appropriate vocabulary;
- apply their conceptual understanding to reason logically and articulate their thoughts and justifications;
- be courageous and positive when solving problems, reflecting on prior knowledge and past successes and failures, and adopting a systematic approach where possible;
- be resilient, adaptable leaders within their own their learning, understanding that struggle is often a necessary step in learning;
- work both independently and collaboratively – demonstrating respect and teamwork – within a safe, secure learning environment.
Our curriculum is divided into concepts. These concepts are the ‘big ideas’ in each subject and travel through the curriculum, being built upon, progressively, year upon year as our children move through the school. Our science concepts are those defined by the national curriculum programmes of study (e.g. plants, animals including humans, etc.). The concept working scientifically is not taught as a separate strand, but instead woven into all other concepts.
If you would like further information on our science curriculum, please contact the school and ask to speak to Megan Ritchie, our science subject leader.