The teaching of science provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Pupils are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. Pupils are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.
By the end of EYFS…
Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one to another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.
By the end of KS1…
The principal focus of science teaching in key stage 1 is to enable pupils to experience and observe phenomena, looking more closely at the natural and humanly-constructed world around them. They are encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. They are helped to develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of scientific enquiry to answer their own questions, including observing changes over a period of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative tests, and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They use simple scientific language to talk about what they have found out and communicate their ideas to a range of audiences in a variety of ways.
By the end of KS2…
The principal focus of science teaching in key stage 2 is to enable pupils to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. They do this through exploring and talking about their ideas; asking their own questions about scientific phenomena; and analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically. Pupils begin to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time. They select the most appropriate ways to answer science questions using different types of scientific enquiry, including observing changes over different periods of 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. Pupils 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.
Implementation at our school
Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in science. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following:
- Science will be taught in planned and arranged topic blocks by the class teacher, to have a project-based approach. This is a strategy to enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge.
- 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 be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. This curiosity is celebrated within the classroom. Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, often involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all children keep up.
- 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.
- Working Scientifically skills 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. This is developed through the years, in-keeping with the topics.
- Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding. Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning and workshops with experts.
The successful approach at Crondall Primary results in a fun, engaging, high-quality science education, that provides children with the foundations for understanding the world. Our engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first hand experiences of the world around them. So much of science lends itself to outdoor learning and so we provide children with opportunities to experience this. Through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts and local charities, children have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity. Children learn the possibilities for careers in science as a result of our community links and connection with national agencies such as the STEM association and the David Hoyle Foundation. Children at Crondall Primary overwhelmingly enjoy science and this results in motivated learners.
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