We recognise the importance of Science in every aspect of daily life. As one of the core subjects taught in Primary Schools, we give the teaching and learning of Science the prominence it requires.
Our vision for science is, “to ensure that children are given a science curriculum, which allows them to ponder, explore and make discoveries of their own about the world in which they live. This is made achievable through fun, exciting, practical, hands-on experiences that foster curiosity and questioning. We believe that these motivating and challenging experiences help to extend children's scientific knowledge, understanding and vocabulary. We want our children to know that science is everywhere around them and to understand the importance of how it affects their everyday lives."
We aim to develop children’s natural curiosity, encourage respect for living organisms and the physical environment and provide opportunities for critical evaluation of evidence.
We use the national curriculum as our foundation for setting out the knowledge and skills that are taught at each stage. Learning in science is progressive, building on previous learning and allowing children to develop both their scientific knowledge and skills.
Our Science teaching offers opportunities for children to:
- Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics;
- Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of Science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them;
- Be equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future.
- Develop the essential scientific enquiry skills to deepen their scientific knowledge.
- Use a range of methods to communicate their scientific information and present it in a systematic, scientific manner, including computing., diagrams, graphs and charts.
- Develop a respect for the materials and equipment they handle with regard to their own, and other children’s safety.
- Develop an enthusiasm and enjoyment of scientific learning and discovery.
On our curriculum maps, we strategically decide the order in which knowledge and skills are taught, with the aim of maximising opportunities for children to make synoptic links within science and across the wider curriculum. For example, teaching materials before sound in year 4, so that children can draw on ideas from their understanding of solid, liquid and gas particles and link that to how sound travels through different mediums.
The key knowledge and skills are then broken down onto the Science Medium Term Plans for each year group. This is to inform teacher planning and delivery of the curriculum.
Science is taught every half term, one, one hour lesson a week to provide children with opportunities to engage deeply with the topic over the half term.
At the beginning of each topic, children complete a recap mind map in which they demonstrate if they can recall prior knowledge taught. This also acts as an assessment opportunity for teachers to identify if there is a need to review/clarify misconceptions before progressing further with a topic.
Science learning is structured around a ‘Big Question’, giving children the chance to connect their learning across a unit and to regularly reflect and discuss how each lesson has developed their understanding and response to the Big Question. This is part of our curriculum intent for progressive learning which allows children to ‘learn more, remember more’.
At the beginning of each lesson, children are given the opportunity to articulate a discussion around what they have learnt in the previous lesson. At the end of the lesson, children are given the opportunity to articulate how their previous learning links to the knowledge and skills taught in the current lesson. The idea behind this is to give children opportunities to learn more and remember more.
We measure what our children know and remember from previous years and current topics through recap quizzes and their answer to the big question. A child’s answer to the big question gives us an insight to whether a child can apply the knowledge and skills taught.
Science & the EYFS
Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension.
Early learning goals that link to science:
ELG The natural world
Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants.
Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.
Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter
In the EYFS stage the children...
Explore their own bodies and their senses
Learn to name the parts of the body and what we use them for.
Learn about animals and their homes, including pets, farm animals and wild animals.
Observe changes such as chicks hatching and caterpillars turning into butterflies, the seasons changing, plants and flowers growing. They are supported to notice and talk about what is happening and why.
Learn about being healthy, including eating a range of foods and taking part in exercise.
Develop a sense of curiosity and exploration through a range of resources relating to our topics, e.g. magnets, magnifying glasses, colour paddles, things to smell and taste etc, and through the continuous provision areas such as sand, water, small world, construction etc.