“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
– Marie Curie
Science affects every aspect our lives and is vital to the world’s future. The intent of our science offer is for all pupils to be taught the essential knowledge, methods, processes and applications of science. Our science curriculum intends to build up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts by being rich with opportunities for pupil investigation and classification through understanding, where pupils are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense and of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. As a result, every pupil will view himself or herself as a Scientist.
- 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
- Are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future
- We ensure that the Working Scientifically skills are built-on and developed throughout children’s time at the school so that they can apply their knowledge of science when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings
- asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways
- observing closely, using simple equipment
- performing simple tests
- identifying and classifying
- using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
- gathering and recording data to help in answering questions
- planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary
- taking measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate
- recording data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs
- using test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests
- reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and a degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations
- identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments
We teach the National Curriculum alongside the Scientific aspects found in the EYFS Understanding the World – The Natural World framework, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. It is important that the children develop progressive skills for Working Scientifically and learn to question and interpret information throughout their time at Grove CE Primary School and do not just learn about the work of others. Through the following, we aim to provide a rich and broad experience in the study of Science.
Planning and Lessons
Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science entails teachers creating a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforcing the expectation that all children can achieve high standards in science. This involves the following:
- From the long-term overview, teachers plan a sequence of lessons, using the skills and knowledge progression document alongside the National Curriculum
- Pupils should be learning scientific knowledge and vocabulary and ‘working scientifically’ appropriate to their developmental age through practical science linked to their termly topic. (In EYFS the specific area of Understanding the World contains the Science objectives which should be covered.)
- Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, often involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use precise questioning in class to activate prior knowledge and skills, they assess children regularly to identify those children with gaps in their learning, so that all children make progress.
- Through our planning, we involve problem solving opportunities that allow children to find out for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and are given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. This is enhanced by hands-on practical experiments whenever possible.
- Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment along with the necessary skills for Working Scientifically to embed scientific understanding
- The skills for Working Scientifically are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being developed throughout the children’s school career and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching.
- We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, and they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence
- Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning and having areas of English with a scientific focus as well as highlighting where the Maths curriculum overlaps with Scientific data collation and interpretation.
We ensure that every pupil, regardless of SEN(D) or ability, can participate in projects and access the curriculum. The hands-on experiences help pupils to build up their scientific competence. Children are offered a wide range of extra-curricular activities, visits, trips and visitors to complement and broaden the curriculum. These are purposeful and link with the knowledge being taught in class. For example, Year 1 visit the Explorer Dome, Year 2 and 4 explore the local waterway looking at plants, creatures and adaptions for aquatic survival and Year 4, 5 and 6 are given the opportunity to join an afterschool STEM club. Through our participation in the Ogden Trust Partnership, we hold regular events with a focus on physics and have access to shared learning within the partner schools. External visitors and kit loans supplement teaching in school. Children learn the possibilities for careers in science, because of our community links and connection with Science Oxford, they learn from and work with professionals, providing children with access to positive role models within the field of science from the immediate and wider local community.
Assessment: Pupils in years 2 and 6 are assessed against the criteria in our progression and skills document. Pupils are assessed using Target Tracker for each topic taught.
By the time the children at Grove CE Primary School leave our school, they should have developed:
- A passion for Science and an enthusiastic engagement in scientific learning, which develops their sense of curiosity about scientific phenomena and builds their foundation of knowledge for understanding the world
- Recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time
- Can select the most appropriate ways to answer science questions using different types of scientific enquiry, including observing changes over time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out comparative and fair tests and finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information
- Draw conclusions based on their data and observations, use evidence to justify their ideas, and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings
These are links to useful websites to help with science revision and homework.
A New Zealand website which includes interesting experiments and biographies of famous scientists