Science Curriculum at Mount Stewart Federation
At Mount Stewart Federation, our Science curriculum is designed to be rich in both knowledge and vocabulary, laying a strong foundation in scientific concepts and terminology, including advanced Tier 3 vocabulary. Our commitment is towards fostering scientific curiosity and a deep understanding of science through practical, hands-on lessons, ensuring a smooth progression of skills from Reception through Year 6. This is meticulously structured around the CUSP (Curriculum with Unity Schools Partnership) framework.
Our Science curriculum at Mount Stewart Federation is not just about acquiring knowledge; it's about sparking curiosity, developing critical thinking, and preparing students for a future where they can confidently apply their scientific understanding in various contexts.
Approach and Planning:
The curriculum integrates STEM principles and follows the CUSP scheme, emphasising the progression of knowledge and vocabulary.
- Utilise the CUSP (Curriculum with Unity Schools Partnership) curriculum scheme.
- Structured learning sequences that build on prior knowledge and emphasise Tier 2 and 3 vocabularies.
- Strategic incorporation of spaced practice, retrieval practice, interleaving, and elaboration.
Employing diverse methodologies to reinforce learning, stimulate critical thinking, and aid cognitive development.
- Application of retrieval practice, interleaving, and elaboration for effective learning.
- Use of cumulative quiz questions for cognitive activation.
- Implementation of the 'Show what you know' segment for knowledge consolidation and reflection.
- Provision of knowledge notes for clarity and comprehensive understanding.
Aiming to develop a fun, practical, and high-quality science curriculum that inspires and nurtures scientific curiosity.
- Foster a strong foundation in scientific enquiry and knowledge.
- Align with national curriculum aims to stimulate interest in science.
- Build a curriculum that is both enjoyable and academically enriching.
Progressive curriculum with a strong focus on scientific knowledge, practical engagement, and regular assessments.
- Key scientific knowledge acquisition with supporting knowledge organisers.
- Progressive learning, building upon previous years.
- Embedded Working Scientifically skills in lessons.
- Block teaching of science with practical lessons and assessments.
- Enrichment days and community links for real-world science experiences.
Inclusivity and Support:
The curriculum is tailored for all learners, including those with SEND and the most able, fostering a positive science learning environment.
- Inclusive curriculum catering to a diverse range of learning needs.
- Positive reinforcement of the capability of all children in achieving high standards in science.
- Opportunities for outdoor learning and expert workshops.
A curriculum that results in engaging, high-quality science education, laying a strong foundation for understanding the world.
- Fun and engaging science education that builds a solid understanding of the world.
- Outdoor learning and laboratory experiences.
- Use of pupil voice to assess enjoyment and inform curriculum development.
When students leave Mount Stewart, they will:
Students will depart with a comprehensive grasp of scientific concepts, the ability to think and work scientifically, and a passion for science and STEM fields.
- Have a thorough understanding of key scientific concepts and vocabulary.
- Possess skills in scientific enquiry and critical thinking.
- Be equipped with knowledge and enthusiasm for science and STEM-related fields.
Key elements of our Science curriculum include:
- Structured Learning Sequences: These are carefully planned to build on previous knowledge and explicitly teach Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabularies, crucial for understanding scientific concepts. Each learning sequence starts with fundamental knowledge about a topic, delves into its vocabulary - including the etymology of key terms - and progresses towards practical applications and independent tasks.
- Innovative Teaching Methods: Our curriculum incorporates various strategies such as spaced practice for long-term knowledge retention, retrieval practice to reinforce learning, interleaving to integrate different concepts for a comprehensive understanding, and elaboration to connect new ideas with prior knowledge.
- Interactive Learning Tools: We employ cumulative quiz questions in each lesson as an active learning tool, enhancing memory and engagement. Each lesson also features a 'Show what you know' segment, encouraging students to recall and reflect on their learning, thereby solidifying their understanding in a continuous learning process.
- Knowledge Notes: These notes provide students with concise summaries that include essential vocabulary, key information, and supportive imagery. This practice helps make knowledge accessible and 'sticky', aiding in effective long-term retention.
- Creative Expression and Assessment: To conclude each topic, students independently create double-page spreads to demonstrate their understanding and recall of the subject matter. This exercise solidifies their knowledge and encourages creativity and personal expression in their learning journey.
- Community and External Engagement: Our curriculum is enriched through collaboration with local schools and the secondary school Claremont. These partnerships support smooth transitions between educational stages, open resource-sharing avenues, and broader learning experiences. Additionally, our engagement with the wider science community, including STEM Ambassadors and guest speakers from science-based careers during Careers Week, provides students with valuable insights into the practical application of science in the real world.
We would like to introduce Amy Bracher, our inspiring Science Lead at Mount Stewart Federation, whose passion and expertise are driving our dynamic and engaging science curriculum.