Science Subject statement
“Science is fun. Science is curiosity. We all have natural curiosity. Science is a process of investigating. It's posing questions and coming up with a method. It's delving in.” Sally Ride Astronaut
At Holy Innocents Primary School, we believe that high quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the three key areas of biology, chemistry and physics. We strive to allow our pupils to acquire specific skills and knowledge to enable them to think scientifically, to gain an understanding of scientific processes and also provide them with an understanding of the uses of science for both today and in the future. Through our curriculum provision, we endeavour to embrace a child’s natural curiosity about the universe around them, whilst simultaneously promoting a respect for all living organisms and the environment.
At Holy Innocents Primary School, in line with the aims of the National Curriculum, our science teaching offers opportunities for children to –
• Develop scientific knowledge and understanding within the three disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
• Develop an understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of enquiries that enable them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
• Be equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the different uses of science.
• Develop essential scientific enquiry skills to deepen their scientific understanding.
• Use a range of methods to present scientific information, for example ICT, diagrams, graphs, tables etc.
• Develop a respect for the materials and equipment they handle with regard for their own, and other children’s safety.
At Holy Innocents Primary School, our principal aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills, and understanding, as well as a sense of enjoyment in Science. Sometimes we do this through whole-class and small group teaching, while at other times we engage the children in an enquiry based research activity. Science is allocated 1.5- 2 hrs in KS1 and 2hrs KS2 per week, so many teachers recognise the benefit of blocking this area to ensure coverage in a busy timetable.
Within the Early Years Foundation Stage, science is taught through ‘Understanding the World’, allowing all pupils to start gaining scientific experiences from the beginning of their school journey. We relate the scientific aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged three to five. This allows children to consistently experience high quality science lessons, which advance their expertise and understanding throughout the entirety of their primary school.
Across Years 1-6, Science is taught in explicit units using the Kent scheme of work, in line with the National Curriculum. Where feasible, cross-curricular links are made to the year group’s topic with examples of this including; biographies about famous scientists in English, using a variety of data, such as statistics, graphs, pictures, linking mathematical areas and photographs and IT, as well as sketching and observing plants in Art. When conducting investigations, children are encouraged to think like scientists and make predictions using their previous knowledge and experiences to support their theologies. Teachers model the use of vocabulary, various scientific equipment and the scientific skills needed in order to embed scientific understanding.
Throughout the school year, regular events such as Science Week, Zoolab, outdoor learning and for Year 5 a Maths and Science challenge day at St Olaves Grammar school are implemented across the school in order to broaden the provision pupils receive to allow them to gain more and apply scientific skills within a new context.
Our science curriculum is carefully planned by our staff, in line with our skills progression and it is tailored to suit the individual needs of each year group. This allows us to ensure that all children are keeping up with the curriculum, therefore making good progress.
At Holy Innocents Primary School, our curriculum is fun and engaging to encourage all learners to gain the foundations they require to better their understanding of the world around them and by implementing a range of investigative activities, children are learning through first hand experiences.
As a school, we want to ensure that all our children are equipped with the following areas
• A wider variety of skills linked to both scientific knowledge and understanding, as well as scientific enquiry and investigative skills.
• A rich vocabulary that will enable all children to articulate their understanding of taught concepts.
• High aspirations which will see them through to further study and a successful adult life.
Assessment for learning
Assessment for learning is continuous throughout the planning, teaching and learning cycle in our school. Key scientific knowledge is taught to enable and promote the development of children’s scientific skills. Assessment is supported by use of the following strategies:
● Observing children at work, individually, in pairs, in a group and in class during whole class teaching.
● Scientific discussion during investigations that promote children to apply their own thinking and reasoning skills
● Using differentiated, open-ended questions that require children to explain and unpick their understanding.
● Providing effective feedback, including interactive marking through pink pen questions where appropriate, to engage children with their learning and to provide opportunities for self-assessment, consolidation, depth and target setting.
● Book moderation and monitoring of outcomes of work, by the science co ordinator, to evaluate the range and balance of work and to ensure that tasks meet the needs of different learners, with the acquisition of the pre-identified key knowledge of each topic being evidenced through the outcomes
To monitor the progress made within science, each unit covered is summatively assessed by teachers to ascertain if the pupil is working towards, at, or above age related expectations and this is then centrally stored on a class document and will show progression throughout the key stage. Formative assessment, both spoken and written, is used during and at the end of each individual lesson taught in order to provide ongoing feedback to the students. At the end of the year, parents receive a report about their child’s attainment and progress in relation to the skills they have developed in-line with the National Curriculum.
“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...” Isaac Asimov Scientist
Children appear to have natural curiosity about Science. Many children are keen natural observers of their surroundings, and are eager to discover more about how things work; why certain animals behave in a particular way; how something was made.
The teaching of science in primary schools is vital if we are going to produce the innovators and inventors of the future.
We foster natural curiosity and powers of observation by encouraging the development of investigative skills:
“Hands on” experience is vital if children are to have a greater understanding of the scientific world in which they live. The School has built up many resources and developed the school environment to make this possible. We encourage the children to learn about growing plants in the school garden, and to study living things around our school pond.
We follow the guidelines set out in the curriculum, with an emphasis on investigative and enquiry processes.