Science at Ditton - Why do students at Ditton C of E Junior need to study Science?
Pupils in our community often see Science as a subject that is too challenging for them to access or a subject that is very much based on history. By studying Science at our school, pupils will understand that Science is a subject about awe, wonder, curiosity and experimentation. Pupils will be inspired to consider problems or unknowns and then investigate resolutions and answers. Additionally, pupils today are growing up in a world where there is a STEM skills shortfall. We have a duty to prepare the next generation for jobs that are required to ensure our country and economy thrive. What are the aims for the Science curriculum?
What are the aims for the Science curriculum? (What do we want students to be able to know and do by the time they leave Ditton C of E Juniors?) ·
Physics P1: The universe follows unbreakable rules that are all about forces, matter and energy. P2: Forces are different kinds of pushes and pulls that act on all the matter that is in the universe. Matter is all the stuff, or mass, in the universe. P3: Energy, which cannot be created or destroyed, comes in many different forms and tends to move away from objects that have lots of it.
Chemistry C1: All matter (stuff) in the universe is made up of tiny building blocks. C2: The arrangement, movement and type of the building blocks of matter and the forces that hold them together or push them apart explain all the properties of matter (e.g. hot/cold, soft/hard, light/heavy, etc). C3: Matter can change if the arrangement of these building blocks changes.
Biology B1: Living things are special collections of matter that make copies of themselves, use energy and grow. B2: Living things on Earth come in a huge variety of different forms that are all related because they all came from the same starting point 4.5 billion years ago. B3: The different kinds of life, animals, plants and microorganisms, have evolved over millions of generations into different forms in order to survive in the environments in which they live.
The Earth: is one of eight planets that orbit the sun. E2: The Earth is tilted and spins on its axis leading to day and night, the seasons and the climate. E3: The Earth is made up of several layers, including a relatively thin rocky surface which is divided into tectonic plates, and the movement of these plates leads to many geologic events (such as earthquakes and volcanoes) and geographical features (such as mountains.) · To recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena · To understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes · To build a knowledge of scientific vocabulary, which aids their knowledge and understanding not only of the topic they are studying, but of the world around them · To make sense of the world in which we live through investigation · To explore their environment in a safe way and make connections with concepts they may take for granted.
The national curriculum for science aims to ensure 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.
What values underpin the curriculum content?
Appreciation: through learning about science through history, pupils appreciate the work and discoveries of individuals that have made our world a better and safer place (Each term children are introduced to well known scientists relating to that unit of learning). Integrity: through learning about fair testing and proving hypotheses based on reliable evidence, pupils learn the value of integrity and how this brings about credibility and trust. Responsibility: when learning about the future of science and ethical issues in the field, pupils learn how with great knowledge comes great responsibility and this needs to be channelled ethically, legally and for the right causes.
How are British Values taught through Science?
Individual liberty of own views, tolerance and mutual respect of others' views is taught through the topics where different views / ethics are involved, for example work in Upper Key Stage 2 on the theory of evolution. Pupils develop an awareness of health & safety for themselves and others when working practically. Pupils are taught the social skills around behaviour self-regulation to ensure collective responsibility for a safe and efficient working environment. They are taught to challenge each other’s behaviour or practices if they fall short of the collective expectations of the group
Why has the specific content/ domain knowledge been selected?
The core knowledge has been chosen in order to aid children's understanding of the Big Ideas of Science in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Earth Science. Threads of scientific enquiry skills have also been selected as the drivers of delivering subject content. These include: observing over time, pattern seeking, identifying and classifying, comparative testing, fair testing and research. Across a term, pupils have the opportunity to learn subject content in different ways in order to develop their scientific enquiry skills
Why is it taught in the order that it is?
Why is it taught in the order that it is? Core knowledge is taught in a progressive way throughout Key Stages 2, with many content domains being re-visited, allowing pupils to retrieve knowledge they have previously learned and build on this in order to gain a deeper understanding of the topic and grapple with more complex ideas, as well as make their own predictions based on their existing scientific understanding. The scientific enquiry thread of observing over time is frequently taught at the start of a half term, allowing pupils to carry out longitudinal enquiries over a unit. The remaining threads of pattern seeking, identifying and classifying, comparative testing, fair testing and research are taught regularly throughout a child's journey through the juniors allowing them to develop these skills and apply them to investigations in the classroom. In addition cross –curricular are made on long term curriculum planning for each year group; allowing the local environment to be used to enrich science units e.g. a visit to the quarry in Year 3; also drawing on members of the community who have specialist knowledge about the science units studied.
How are Science lessons delivered at Ditton?
Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in science. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following; Through our planning, we involve problem solving opportunities that allow children to find out for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. This curiosity is celebrated within the classroom and outside of the classroom as wel las in the local community. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills. We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, and they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence. Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding. Children are assed about their knowledge using creativity forms of assessment.
What is the impact?
Children not only acquire the appropriate age related knowledge linked to the science curriculum, but also skills which equip them to progress from their starting points, and within their everyday lives. By the end of Key Stage 2, children have: A wider variety of skills linked to both scientific knowledge and understanding, and scientific enquiry/investigative skills. A richer vocabulary which will enable to articulate their understanding of taught concepts. High aspirations, which will see them through to further study, work and a successful adult life
In Ditton C of E Junior School, we aim to develop the staff as reading experts to ensure that every child develops a love of reading. Children will learn to skilfully read and learn to decode and understand a range of genres as quickly as possible.
The staff at Ditton C of E Junior School have a united understanding that reading is an essential skill for everyone. We use reading as a joy for learning and we strive to create a positive reading culture, where reading is at the heart of our curriculum.
We intend to:
- Allow opportunities for every child to be a reader.
- Provide early readers the skills to be able to decode and segment words, so that they can read fluently.
- Provide opportunities for children to respond and be inquisitive about what others and they have read.
- Encourage enthusiasm and motivation in children’s reading for pleasure.
- Support children in understanding what they have read.
- Develop children’s confidence in reading a wide variety of genres.
- Explore and expose children a wide range of authors and illustrators.
At Ditton C of E Junior School we believe that all children should be given the opportunity to confidently communicate their knowledge, express their ideas and understanding through their writing. As a team we want children to widen their vocabulary, and develop a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time with us. We want to encourage them to write fluently, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. We believe that all children should strive to take pride in the presentation of their writing, developing a clear, joined, handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school. We know that all good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process.
We as the teachers at Ditton C of E Junior School will achieve this by selecting a wide range of quality texts, including poetry, novels, plays and non-fiction. This may be linked to topics studied in class to enrich and enhance understanding and enjoyment. Teachers plan their writing activities with care, including specific skills sessions alongside spelling and creative writing tasks. Every aspect of the writing process, from planning, through writing, to editing, is modelled by the adults in the classroom to enable every learner to develop their skills in this area.
Grammar is taught both discretely and incidentally as a part of every writing session, developing the children’s understanding of terminology, correct use and the impact on a piece of writing, as well as being able to apply this in their writing. Teachers do not put any limitations on what children can achieve in writing and expect every child to be able to make progress, no matter what their starting point is.
You as parents and carers are hugely important in supporting your children to develop both their grammar, spelling and composition skills and encourage this through a home-school partnership to help parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school.
At Ditton C of E Junior School, Design Technology is an inspiring, enriching, practical subject where children apply their knowledge and skills from all other curriculum subjects.
It is a subject which encourages children to design and think innovatively and inquisitively. We aim to give children the confidence to create a range of structures, mechanisms, textiles, electrical systems and food products with a purpose.
We aim to provide opportunities to solve real life problems within a range of contexts to enable the development of skills within the design, make and evaluate cycle.
The principal aim of RE in the Kent Agreed Syllabus is:To engage pupils in systematic enquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address, so that they can develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, as well as develop responses of their own.
At Ditton C of E Junior School, children are taught to understand and respect the importance of religious beliefs in the world around them. As per the Kent Agreed Syllabus, they are given opportunities to:
· engage in meaningful, informed and academic dialogue with those of other faiths and none
· develop evaluative responses of their own to the questions and issues addressed in RE.
We aim to ensure that our Religious Education curriculum is challenging, dynamic and relevant to all pupils, giving them a better understanding of the world that they live in, as well as enabling them to live life in all its fullness (John 10:10)
Religious Education and a ‘Christian Ethos’ is embedded throughout the school curriculum and everyday life at Ditton C of E Junior School with the focus on four core Christian values: empathy, responsibility, respect and perseverance.
Our curriculum is based around the 'Understanding Christianity' programme, following guidance from Rochester Diocese. Each year group has a range of topics to cover within Christianity, as well as units of learning about other faiths. Understanding Christianity offers a coherent approach to teaching and learning about Christianity, in the wider RE curriculum.
At Ditton C of E Junior School we value opportunities to develop a broad and rich awareness of the world around us. In addition to learning about Christianity, pupils will learn about the principal religions represented in the UK, in line with the law. These are Sikhism (Year 3), Hinduism (Year 4), Islam (Year 5) and Buddhism (Year 6).
Mathematics is important in everyday life and, with this is mind, the purpose of Mathematics at Ditton C of E Junior School is to develop an ability to solve problems, to reason, to think logically and to work systematically and accurately. We want all children to enjoy mathematics and experience success in this subject, therefore, we are proud that our curriculum is creative and engaging and that all children are challenged and encouraged to make progress and excel. New mathematical concepts are introduced using a ‘Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract’ approach; enabling all children to experience hands-on learning when discovering new mathematical topics which allows them to have clear models and images to aid their understanding. Arithmetic and basic math skills are practised daily to ensure key mathematical concepts are embedded so children can recall these quickly and are able to transfer and apply these in different contexts. We are committed to ensuring that children are able to recognise the importance of Maths in the wider world and that they are also able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in their lives in a range of different contexts.
At Ditton C of E Junior School we aim to ensure that our children learn to lead a healthy and active lifestyle who view sporting activities as a positive experience through a balanced curriculum.
Lessons are taught by both teachers and specialist Sports Coaches who ensure that lessons cover:
· Acquiring and developing new sporting skills
· Selecting and applying new skills
· Developing their knowledge and understanding of fitness and health
· Learning to evaluate and improve their own sporting performance
Government funding has been used to improve the provision of physical education and after school clubs. The impact of the funding is considered in terms of: achievement in weekly PE lessons, increased participation in competitive school sport, personal health and well-being and improved attitudes towards sport.
We provide our children with two hours of physical education a week, which is delivered by the class teacher, who has regular CPD of team teaching with a specialist Sports Coach as well as a trained TA who similarly has this regular CPD. Pupils also have the opportunity to attend many sporting clubs and this has led to an increase in the number of pupils participating in competitive sports tournaments.
We encourage pupils to join after school sports clubs which include: football, hockey, dance, basketball and skipping.
At Ditton C of E Junior School, we understand that computing is a rapidly evolving subject and technology is constantly changing. We aim to prepare our children for their future by giving them the opportunities to gain knowledge and develop skills that will equip them for an ever changing digital world. Through computing lessons, our children are taught to explore and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science using a variety of programs. Throughout the curriculum these concepts are revisited repeatedly through a range of themes to ensure the learning is embedded and skills are successfully developed. Our intention is that Computing also supports children’s creativity and cross curricular learning to engage children and enrich their experiences in school.
The importance of teaching online safety is becoming more paramount with the increase of social media and the ever changing content online. Online safety, therefore, is taught not only discretely but throughout our curriculum, including in PSHE lessons and during collective worship.
Our aim is to ensure all children are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
At Ditton C of E Junior School, we endeavour to promote creativity in Art across the school and encourage children to express their individuality in each project that they undertake.
We provide the children with a skills-based Art curriculum that allows them to explore a diverse and inclusive range of artists and artworks. Through this, the children are able to make their own creative choices, explore what interests them and bring their own creative flare to their work.
We use a range of medium in our artwork and incorporate the use of technology whilst developing the children’s research and design skills in both 2D and 3D materials.
MfL - Modern foreign languages
It is our intent at Ditton Junior School to provide all of our children with a high- quality education in Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), which develops a love of learning about other languages and cultures, creating a broad and balanced curriculum. The current language taught is French, using a scheme of work called Language Angels. It is our aim that as we strive to teach in a way that engages with not only the language but also the culture, children will be curious and realise the potential in learning from others therefore deepening their understanding of the world and respect for others.
At Ditton C of E Junior School, our aim is to inspire a love of music in our children, to develop their talents as musicians and for them to be confident performers, whether in front of an audience or for their own pleasure. By the time they leave our school, they will have: experienced playing a variety of instruments (glockenspiels, recorders, boomwhackers); developed their singing voices and listened to a broad range of music.
Our music curriculum follows the requirements of the National Curriculum and is adapted from the Charanga music scheme, which has an integrated, practical, exploratory and child-led approach to musical learning. Each music unit introduces them to a different musical style and interweaves the following strands:
- Listening and Appraising
- Musical Activities: warm-up games; singing; playing instruments; improvisation and composition
Singing is at the heart of this curriculum, and the weekly music lessons, of at least 45 minutes, are typically based around a song. Lessons are designed to enable children to understand musical concepts through a repetition-based approach. Learning about the same musical concept through different musical activities enables a more secure, deeper learning of musical skills.
Music is also promoted outside lesson time. We have weekly singing assemblies where the children learn music linked to collective worship and the main church services of the year: Harvest, Christmas and Easter. Peripatetic music teachers also come into school providing individual and group lessons. In years 5 and 6 children are able to take part in the Young Voices concert at the O2.
Personal, Social and Health Education
Ditton C of E Junior School provides a PSHE curriculum that:
- Promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and
- Prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
Pupils are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities and experiences across and beyond the curriculum, contributing fully to the life of their school and communities. In doing so they learn to recognise their own worth, work well with others and become increasingly responsible for their own learning.
They reflect on their experiences and understand how they are developing personally and socially, tackling many of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up.
They learn to understand and respect our common humanity; diversity and differences so that they can go on to form the effective, fulfilling relationships that are an essential part of life and learning.
In our school we choose to deliver Personal, Social, Health Education using Jigsaw, the mindful approach to PSHE.
We believe that a well-rounded History curriculum will allow children to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We have carefully designed our History curriculum so that children gain this knowledge as they progress through the school. In addition to this, we recognise the important role that History plays in preparing our children with skills that they can use for life, raising their aspirations, understand how to be a good and responsible citizen, understanding change and societal development and a context in which to understand themselves and others. This is extremely important for children at Ditton Junior School in allowing them access to a much wider world.
Through our History curriculum, we strive to inspire pupils’ curiosity about the past and to know more about the past. Our curriculum provides children with opportunities to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Through the teaching of History, we endeavour to teach children to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time. We believe that teaching History in this way is important in broadening children's horizons, challenging preconceived ideas and developing life skills in order to prepare them for high school and beyond.
Our Geography curriculum has been designed with the aim of inspiring in pupils a curiosity, fascination, awe and wonder about the world and the people that live in it, that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.
We believe that our Geography curriculum is fundamental in broadening our pupils’ experiences, their understanding of the wonders of our world and giving them a broader knowledge that they can draw upon to help them achieve in other subjects and throughout their lives. Teaching equips children with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
As children progress, their growing knowledge about the world helps them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.