TP-Issue14.5 | 65 The non-statutory section of each unit in the national curriculum contains plenty of ideas for ‘working scientifically’ activities. Do your lessons include a ‘working scientifically’ lesson objective, alongside the science content? 4 Assessment Take a good look at how you are assessing science learning. How do your teachers knowwhere the children are? A useful resource to help support this is the Teacher Assessment in Primary Science (TAPS) project funded by the Primary Science Teaching Trust. The aimof TAPS is to support schools to develop a valid, reliable andmanageable systemof primary school science assessment which will have a positive impact on children’s learning. The TAPS pyramid tool provides a structure to help schools evaluate and develop their assessment processes. It’s well worth spending some time as a school going through the TAPS self-evaluation process ( curriculum-materials/ assessment). 5 Cross-curricular links Map all the ways your science curriculum links with other subjects. Maths and literacy have obvious links, but there’s plenty of opportunities to link to PE, history, geography, music andmore. Highlight these cross-curricular opportunities in your lesson plans. A good curriculumnot only makes links horizontally between different subjects but also vertically within different years of a subject. It should also highlight joint concepts that link diagonally across both year groups and subjects. 6 Science books Are the learning objectives being recorded and does the pupil activity relate to these? Can you find evidence in books to showwhat that 8 Action plan Update your science action plan and return to it regularly. Identify any weaknesses and outline steps that can be taken to address them. Be honest. When Ofsted comes, your headteacher should get some say in the subjects that will be inspected, based on your strengths or areas that have improved. So, if you get the call, good luck! TP STEM SPEC I AL Are you covering all the statutory content of the national curriculum for science in each year group? What about ‘working scientifically’ skills? Are cross-curricular links highlighted? How do the concepts you teach progress up through the years and during the course of a unit of lessons? Is there a logical sequence to the lessons? What strategies do you use to assess learning? Do your teachers know where the children are in terms of science knowledge and ‘working scientifically’ skills? Are pupils encouraged to develop a wide scientific vocabulary? Do you provide opportunities for them to talk like scientists and discuss scientific ideas with each other? Do you have an up-to-date action plan which identifies weaknesses and outlines steps to address them? 5 THINGS TO THINK ABOUT progress looked like? As you are teaching, try to ensure that children’s work demonstrates the skills they are learning. 7 Resourcing Howwell resourced is science in your school? Most primary science can be tackled with a cheap and cheerful kitchen-science approach, but some areas such as electricity require more specialist kit and for many schools money is getting increasingly tight. There are good guides available online (from the PSTT and elsewhere) that give suggested resources for each topic area. How could you cover any gaps? Are there particular big-ticket resources that your PTA could help fundraise for? Perhaps your local secondary could help out with loans of kit? Danny Nicholson is an educational consultant and blogger at Think Bank Education. He provides support and training for PGCE students and in schools. @dannynic