The science curriculum outlined in this publication can be delivered using a blocking system. In other words, the curriculum could be designed in such a way that there is an intensive focus on science over a two-week period.
However, this science curriculum can be delivered in different ways to suit the needs of your pupils and school timetable and does not need to follow a blocking system.
Importantly, the curriculum is designed to focus on the main scientific concepts that pupils need to acquire. The curriculum is carefully aligned to the National Curriculum's programmes of study for key stage 1 and 2. In other words, the units would ensure full NC coverage.
For the blocked system to work, the afternoon would see 5 blocked sessions of science across the year. However, each scientific unit would be delivered in a two-week block with an allocation of up to 12 hours per unit. The first week for each unit would focus on scientific knowledge and the second on working scientifically. In addition, there is an expectation that teachers will organise on-going weekly retrieval lessons (about 20 minutes) to help support pupils' long-term memory.
In this way it is possible to get into real depth with a huge focus also put on improving pupils' long-term retention of key knowledge and skills. The publication provides 10 mid-term plans for Key Stage 1 and 20 plans for Key Stage 2.
There is a strong focus on the six cognitive strategies aimed at improving long-term memory. Because there is a huge focus on pupils retaining information for the long term, individual unit of learning reminds teachers of the importance of pupils being asked about what they already know and to be given opportunities to reflect on their learning. In addition, attention is given to the 'important' learning that pupils will take with them, sensory connection they will make as well as helping them to make inferences:
- What I already know?
- What is most important?
- What sensory connection can I make?
- What inference can I make?
- How can I synthesise this?
- How can I fix things I don't understand?