T he latest Ofsted buzzword to fill teacherswith dread is ‘deep dive’. This doesn’tmean that inspectors will be turning upwith snorkels and flippers, but it doesmean youwill need to be prepared for themto take a hard look at some of your subjects. With the arrival of the new Ofsted inspection framework for primary schools, the focus is now shifting towards whether a school is teaching a broad and engaging curriculum to its children. Ofsted inspectors will be exploring the intent, implementation and impact of the curriculum in schools. Let’s lookmore closely at those terms: INTENT: What does the curriculum intend to do? What do you want the children to learn, and what skills do you want them to acquire? Be clear on exactly what these aims are. What do your teachers think is the objective in teaching science? IMPLEMENTATION: How do you put your curriculum plans into practice, and how do you ensure that your intent is being carried out? How likely is it that the teachingmethods used will deliver the teacher’s objectives for each subject? 64 | Calling all science coordinators – here’s how to ensure your curriculum is top-notch... IMPACT: What progress do your childrenmake? Have the children learnt what they are supposed to? Have they gained the knowledge and skills that they need?What is the potential impact on the subject teaching on the pupils? Many schools are using this as an opportunity to take a fresh look at their science programme to ensure it’s as good as it can be and in line with the changes brought inwith the revamped 2014 national curriculum. With a little advance preparation, the deep dive shouldn’t be a scary affair. If you are a science coordinator for your school, here are eight things to consider: 1 Curriculum coverage and progression Take a good look at the national curriculum for science and make sure you understand what each year group should be doing. Map out the content of various topics and how they progress from year to year. For example, focus on a theme such as materials and track how it is taught from Y1 through to Y5. In KS1, children are introduced to the idea of different materials, and the properties that they have. In Y3 they look at properties relating to rocks and their uses. Later they are introduced to the idea of solids, liquids and gases and the properties of each. Reversible changes are also introduced at this time, with changes of state as the main example. Later, chemical changes can be introduced – non-reversible changes such as burning and rusting. Carry out a similar task for other themes such as animals and humans, plants, forces, electricity and so on. Be clear about the progression in your subject. Can you talk through your curriculum map and highlight the progression of skills and ideas across a year and across key stages? 2 Scientific vocabulary Scientific development in children involves the use of a wide and increasingly scientific vocabulary. Ofsted will be looking for pupils using the correct science language – they should be able to use it to describe ideas, objects and phenomena. Encourage this by using resources like science wordmats and having a science vocabulary wall in your classroom. Add definitions to any words used in science displays. Play vocabulary games but with a science twist. For instance, try and describe a word (‘skeleton’, for example) without using specified words related to it (‘bone’, for instance). Highlight opportunities in your plans to promote Deep dive READY? communication, dialogue and reflection. Talk like a scientist yourself in lessons. Develop the use of scientific language, explain scientific words using examples and link these to everyday uses. Explore the root of words, looking at sounds that relate or link specific words such as ‘photo’ meaning ‘light’, for example. If you’re looking for inspiration, TheWellcome Trust’s Explorify website (explorify. ) has a wealth of resources that can be used as discussion starters to get children talking and thinking like scientists. 3 Development of skills and ideas As well as the science subject content, it’s also important to track how the ‘working scientifically’ skills are taught across each Key Stage. To help with this, there’s a useful guide produced by the Centre for Industry Education and Collaboration which you can use to identify and track these skills ( working-scientifically.html). Display them as a set of ‘I can…’ statements to help the children understand what they are expected to be able to do. Moving fromlower to upper primary, children should become increasingly autonomous in their decision-makingwhen carrying out investigations. They should become systematic and accurate in collecting and analysing data and able to evaluate their results. “With a little advance preparation, the deep dive shouldn’t be a scary affair” DANNY NI CHOLS ON