Opossum Science Curriculum
Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch, which illuminates the world.
What is Science?
Science is the study of the nature and behaviour of natural things and the knowledge that we obtain about them. (Collins Dictionary)
Science is the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence. Science Council http://sciencecouncil.org/about-science/our-definition-of-science
Why do we study Science?
Science helps our understanding of the world around us. Everything we know about our natural world and beyond - from the Earth’s rotation, to how plants grow, to chemical reactions is the result of scientific research and experimentation. Scientific advancement has resulted in human progress throughout history and continues to shape our world and lives today. Science permeates all aspects of our lives and is vital in many jobs - from hairdressers understanding colour and chemical treatments to electricians wiring our homes safely. By studying science, pupils learn principles which provide them with the bedrock on which to base new enquiry, investigation and research which will shape the next wave of development and progress in our world.
The National Curriculum states:
A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.
Through their study of the Opossum Science curriculum, we intend that pupils will:
1.Secure their knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts- building understanding cumulatively as they progress through the curriculum
We intend that pupils will develop an extensive and connected knowledge base – with new knowledge integrated into their existing schema. We intend that understanding grows cumulatively, as learning is broken into meaningful components. Substantive knowledge, secured alongside the disciplinary knowledge and skills of ‘scientific enquiry’, will enable pupils to become competent and confident scientists.
2. Gain knowledge beyond their experience
The Science curriculum is founded in pupils’ everyday experience of the world around them. We intend, through our progressive curriculum, to build on their everyday reality. Studies of specific processes, such as the human circulatory system or the works of significant scientists, now and in the past, will extend their knowledge beyond their everyday world.
3. Develop a curiosity and understanding of their environment and their place in the living, material and physical world.
We intend that pupils have understanding of the features of their local environment and the inter-relationship between physical phenomena. We intend for them to develop curiosity about other environments which they can compare and contrast.
4. Acquire scientific vocabulary and use it accurately
Developing domain specific language is key to pupils’ understanding of substantive and disciplinary concepts. Mastery of scientific vocabulary supports pupils in moving from novice towards expert scientists. Having an understanding of the code of the subject unlocks new learning for pupils, helping them to extend their schema by incorporating new knowledge.
5. Express opinions and make decisions on social, moral, ethical, economic and environmental issues based upon sound understanding
We intend that, through their developing understanding of science concepts and scientific observation, they will be able to form opinions and make decisions about significant issues and, where appropriate, communicate these to others. Specific learning on environmental topics, such as managing the Earth’s resources, will be key in realising this intention.
6. Develop an enquiring and analytical mind
We intend that pupils will develop analytical thinking by learning the processes of scientific enquiry that scientists use when posing questions, investigating and examining evidence.
7. Become Inspired
Through the provision of a Science curriculum in which pupils develop wide-ranging knowledge and disciplinary skills, we intend that pupils will experience a sense of excitement from learning about the natural world. We intend that this will inspire pupils to want to continue their learning in Science as they move to the next stage of their education. We intend that pupils understand that science is a future learning and career path open to all pupils.
Through their study of Science, Opossum values are realised.
Being respectful - demonstrating respect for others’ ideas and viewpoints. Demonstrating respect for the equipment and materials they use in lessons and especially for the living things they will encounter throughout their study.
Being aspirational – an expectation that all pupils can and will achieve in science and that some may pursue future learning and a career in this area.
Being caring – showing concern for the environment and communities impacted by emergency. Recognising how we care for each other by using scientific advancement to benefit all e.g. sharing vaccines with developing countries.
Having integrity - Following rules and conventions when conducting investigations and presenting findings accurately.
Being creative – asking questions and problem solving
Being community minded – Learning about the important role that Science plays in the advancement of our society, such as medical treatments, family connections through DNA testing or the impact of our actions on the environment.
Scope and sequence
The Opossum Science curriculum fulfils and exceeds the requirements of the National curriculum. All subject studies from the National curriculum are included in the curriculum map and sequenced as set out in that document. Within each year group a topic is included which exceeds the National curriculum requirements. For 2021-2022 this topic of study will centre around Climate Change/Sustainabilty. This study has been chosen as it is topically relevant, considering the presenting environmental challenges, and in support of the Opossum Federation’s curriculum intent statement: Understand issues affecting the planet e.g. climate change and take a role in addressing them.
Substantive Knowledge – knowledge of the products of science, such as models, laws and theories
Disciplinary Knowledge – knowledge of the practices of science
Composite learning - final outcome expectation of the learning
Components of knowledge - all the steps required to reach the composite outcome (these may be knowledge or skill components)