The 2014 national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:
- 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 skills required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. We understand that it is important for lessons to have a skills-based focus, and that the knowledge can be taught through this
At St. Stephen’s C of E Primary School, we encourage children to be inquisitive throughout their time in our school and beyond. The Science curriculum fosters a healthy curiosity in children about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes. Throughout the programmes of study, the children will acquire and develop the key knowledge that has been identified within each unit and across each year group. The key knowledge identified by each year group is informed by the national curriculum and builds towards identified phase ‘end points’ in accordance with NC expectations. Key skills are also mapped for each year group and are progressive throughout the school. The curriculum is designed to ensure that children are able to acquire key scientific knowledge through practical experiences; using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and confidently explaining concepts. Children are encouraged to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings and a love of science is nurtured through a whole school ethos and a varied science curriculum, learning opportunities for our children take place both in and outside of the classroom.
Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning (both inside and outside of their classroom) and reinforce an expectation that each pupil is capable of achieving their true potential 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. Topic blocks have been carefully planned to ensure continuity and progression across the school and year groups. This is a strategy to enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge.
- Existing knowledge is checked at the beginning of each topic. Children record any prior knowledge on a ‘What I know ‘recording sheet which is shown in their books at the beginning of each topic. At the end of their learning journey they then complete a ‘What I now know’ recording sheet.
- Throughout our planning, we involve problem solving opportunities that allow children to apply their knowledge, and find out answers 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, using high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Tasks are selected and designed to provide appropriate challenge to all learners, in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion.
- We build upon the knowledge and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, 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 that skills are systematically 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.
- Teacher discuss new and technical vocabulary covered in science topics with the children. These terms are then added to a glossary which is included at the end of each topic covered.
By the end of KS2 our children will know more, understand more and remember more about Science and the world. They will be motivated and inspired to continue their learning as they progress to KS3. The successful approach at St. Stephen’s C of E Primary School results in a fun, engaging, high-quality science education, that provides children with the foundations and knowledge 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. Frequent, continuous and progressive learning outside the classroom is embedded throughout the science curriculum. children feel they are scientists and capable of achieving.
Children at St. Stephen’s C of E Primary School overwhelmingly enjoy science, they feel that they are scientists and capable of achieving their true potential in the area, and this results in motivated learners with sound scientific understanding.