The National Curriculum 2014 states why we teach science in schools:
‘A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.’
At St Nicholas Primary School we believe that all pupils, regardless of academic ability, deserve and need a fully rounded curriculum to become confident, independent lifelong learners. Science has a crucial role in this and is considered a vital part of our pupils’ experiences whilst at school. As such, all pupils are given opportunities to participate in activities across the disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics during their time in school in line with the National Curriculum 2014. In addition to weekly science lessons, the school does focused science and technology weeks giving children the opportunity to immerse themselves in science.
Science teaches an understanding of natural phenomena. It aims to stimulate a child’s curiosity in finding out why things happen in the way they do. It teaches methods of enquiry and investigation to stimulate creative thought. Children learn to ask scientific questions and begin to appreciate the way in which science will affect the future on a personal, national and global level.
The objectives and aims of teaching science are to enable children to have opportunities to:
- Develop interest and enjoyment in Science
- Develop understanding of key scientific concepts and skills
- Enable pupils to communicate scientific ideas effectively through the use of relevant scientific language
- Plan, implement, conclude and evaluate scientific investigations using equipment correctly. This also includes relevant ICT equipment.
- Develop awareness as to how science influences and affects our everyday lives.
- Develop use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) within science
Science is taught weekly and where possible focuses on the practical development of scientific skills giving children the opportunity to investigate and answer scientific questions, using a range of data, which may be obtained through practical investigations. They should participate in practical investigations, and present their results either verbally or in written form.
Science Curriculum Planning
Science is taught through the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum framework. Relevant development matters cover designated topics.
Key Stages 1 and 2
The school has adopted the Kent Scheme of Work written by Andrew Berry as the basis of our science curriculum in school. Skills, concepts and knowledge will always relate to the scheme of work but teachers may alter the context in which these are taught to enable cross curricular links to be made. A cross-curricular approach is encouraged where possible so pupils will experience science through literacy (reporting and recording), history (the work of influential scientists over time), geography (science of geology, habitats and other earth sciences), mathematics (accurate measuring, and data recording) and computing. All units must be covered over the course of the year, even if the teacher chooses to teach them in an alternative order that best fits with their annual overview.
Class Teachers are responsible for adapting individual lesson plans in line with their children’s needs. In all classes children have a wide range of scientific abilities, and teachers must ensure that suitable learning opportunities are provided for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. This should be achieved in a variety of ways:
- Setting tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses;
- Setting tasks of increasing difficulty (we do not expect all children to complete all tasks);
- Grouping children by ability in the room, and setting different tasks for each ability group;
- Allocating appropriate adult support;
- Providing appropriate differentiation and support to carry out tasks and record results.
Cross Curricular Links
Science will contribute significantly to St Nicholas’ teaching of English by actively promoting reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. Children develop oral skills in science lessons through discussions, with a written element being reflected through their recounts of investigations.
Science contributes to the teaching of Mathematics in a variety of forms. For example, when children are studying weights and measures they are developing their ability to use and apply number. Investigations enhance estimating through predictions, whilst many conclusions involve discussions surrounding statistics and/or numbers.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Pupils are taught to use a range of ICT equipment to enhance their scientific learning. This includes: · Date loggers
- Digital cameras
- Video cameras
- Digital microscopes
Personal, social and Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship
Science makes a significant contribution to the teaching of PSHE and Citizenship. Subject content raises matters of citizenship and social welfare, whilst giving numerous opportunities to debate and discuss. Therefore, Science promotes the concept of ‘positive citizenship.’
Health and Safety
Pupils will be taught to use scientific equipment safely when using it during practical activities.
We have been learning about seeds. We looked at the different types, shapes and sizes of seed then we chose how to sort them.
We have been learning about the five different food groups. We talked about what makes a balanced diet which is important to keep us healthy. We then got into groups and sorted different foods into the following groups: ‘eat as much as we like everyday’, ‘eat a little bit everyday’ and ‘only eat sometimes’.