Science stimulates and excites children’s curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. It also satisfies this curiosity with knowledge. Through play and observation children are learning scientific concepts from a very early age and because of its practical nature, science can engage learners at many levels. Children learn to question and discuss science-based issues that may affect their own lives and the direction of society and the future world.
In our approach to Science we aim to:
- Give every opportunity to relate Science to everyday life and to consider the sensitivity needed when working with living things and the environment.
- Encourage every child to investigate, question and discuss in order to acquire scientific knowledge, understanding and skills.
- Encourage children to hypothesize and to find ways of testing their ideas to provide evidence to support their ideas.
- Teach scientific vocabulary and to use a variety of ways to present the results of their investigations.
- Promote key skills needed through school by offering a range of contexts for the development of:
- Literacy – communicating facts, ideas and opinions
- Mathematics – application of number through collecting, considering and analysing data.
- IT – through using a wide range of ICT
- Provide opportunities to learn about aspects of personal, social and health education (PHSE) and citizenship.
- Ensure children recognise hazards and risks when working with living things and materials and agree safety rules.
- Provide opportunities that engage the children in relevant and interactive first-hand experiences.
- Encourage children to work co-operatively and collaboratively, developing children’s confidence communicating ideas.
- Encourage children to love Science and to understand that, in the future, it could provide a career option for them. Aspiration.
We will fulfil these aims by:
- Using the rich and stimulating environments that surround our schools to enable us to provide opportunities for learning about life processes and living things, through observation, questioning and wonder.
- Providing a wide range of interactive, practical activities for individual and group work that encourage the children to explore and find out and develop their understanding of key scientific ideas and make links between different experiences.
- Developing the children’s investigative skills and understanding of Science through the use of questioning and giving them opportunity to express their findings and ideas to their peers and a wider audience.
- Planning opportunities to develop scientific skills in predicting, asking questions, making inferences, drawing conclusions and making evaluations based on evidence and understanding.
- Teaching scientific and mathematical language, including technical vocabulary and conventions, and drawing diagrams and charts to communicate scientific ideas.
- Planning opportunities to extract information from sources such as reference books or computing as well as through science visits and visitors to school.
- Working collaboratively in pairs or groups, listening to and sharing ideas and treating these with respect.
Early Years Foundation Stage
Children entering school will be expected by the end of their first year, to have made good progress towards (and where appropriate beyond) the early learning goals as outlined in the Early Years Foundation Stage Guidelines.
Opportunities for developing scientific knowledge and skills will be given as set out under the area of learning called Understanding the World. This area of the Foundation Stage prepares children for scientific learning in Key Stage 1 and is consistent with the National Curriculum.
At Key Stage 1 and 2 the children are taught the content as laid out in the National Curriculum, to ensure continuity and progression of scientific knowledge and skills. Investigative and experimental skills are covered throughout the year.
Links with feeder High Schools are aimed to provide children in upper KS2 access to science lessons in the laboratories to enrich the curriculum, excite the children about science, and to help transition to High School.
Teaching and Learning Strategies
As in other areas of the curriculum, each child is taught at his or her own level through a planned progression of learning activities to enable them to achieve their full potential.
Differentiation is met through task or outcome to ensure all children have access to the science curriculum.
In Key Stages 1 and 2 observations during practical work and discussions help us to make informed judgements about children’s understanding in science. These judgements are then backed up through the use of an assessment scheme at the end of each topic as a measure of progress within a topic.
Near the end of the academic year, each child, either individually or working in pairs, will take part in a science fair. Each child, or pair of children, will work as independently as possible. In KS1, guidance will be provided to select a topic for investigation, whereas, in KS2, children should be encouraged to pick their own scientific theme. These investigations will also assist in making an assessment of progress.
All children are valued for themselves and taught as equals regardless of race, gender, ability or disability. Through planning, with differentiated tasks, either by task or outcome, all children have access to the curriculum including children with Special Educational Needs.
Health and Safety
Health and safety is an integral part of teaching. As teachers and citizens in a dangerous world, we have a responsibility to encourage children to approach hazards in a safe way. There are few risks associated with Primary Science but children should be taught the importance of safety and the correct way of handling tools, materials and equipment. Existing advice about health and safety is stored in the Health and Safety file.
Science resources are easily accessible to all. Use of iPads, as a scientific resource, should also be encouraged, for example, to log scientific data for analysis.