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Science

At St Matthew's Bloxam C of E Primary School, we encourage children to be inquisitive throughout their time at the 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. 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.

 

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 National Curriculum expectations. Key skills are also mapped for each year group and are progressive throughout the school. 

 

In 2019, St. Matthew’s Bloxam, achieved the Primary Science Quality Mark.

Aims and Objectives

 

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.

 

Aims

 

The national curriculum for science aims to:

  • Builds on the children’s natural curiosity.

  • Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.

  • Teach and build on scientific skills.

  • 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 knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

  • Are stimulated to investigate, question and develop attitudes of science and communicate through scientific language.

  • Are prepared for life in an increasingly scientific and technological world.

 

Attitudes

 

  • Encouraging the development of resilient and positive attitudes to science. 

  • Building on our children’s natural curiosity and developing a scientific approach to problems.

  • Encouraging open-mindedness, self-assessment, perseverance and responsibility. 

  • Building our children’s self-confidence to enable them to work independently.  

  • Developing our children’s social skills to work independently and cooperatively with others.

  • Providing our children with an enjoyable experience of science, so that they will develop a deep and lasting interest and may be motivated to study science further. 

 

Skills

 

  • Giving our children an understanding of scientific processes.  

  • Helping our children to acquire practical scientific skills.  

  • Developing the skills of investigation - including observing, measuring, predicting, hypothesising, experimenting, communicating, interpreting, explaining and evaluating. 

  • Developing the use of scientific language, recording and techniques.  

  • Developing the use of computing in investigating and recording.  

  • Enabling our children to become effective communicators of scientific ideas, facts and data.

  • Enabling our children to work scientifically, conducting fair tests.

  • Allow children to use scientific skills across the curriculum.

     

Implementation.

 

Scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding

 

The programmes of study describe a sequence of knowledge and concepts. While it is important that pupils make progress, it is also vitally important that they develop secure understanding of each key block of knowledge and concepts in order to progress to the next stage. Insecure, superficial understanding will not allow genuine progression: pupils may struggle at key points of transition (such as between primary and secondary school), build up serious misconceptions, and/or have significant difficulties in understanding higher-order content.

Pupils should be able to describe associated processes and key characteristics in common language, but they should also be familiar with, and use, technical terminology accurately and precisely. They should build up an extended specialist vocabulary. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data.

 

Teaching and Learning

 

In the Early Years Foundation Stage

Science is taught through Understanding the World. Science is developed by building upon the children’s natural curiosity and fascination for their environment and the world around them. Children are encouraged to use all their senses to investigate, explore and make predictions.

 

Year 1 & 2

The main focus of science teaching is to enable pupils to experience and observe phenomena, looking more closely at the natural and humanly-constructed world around them. They should be encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. They should be 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 should begin to 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. Most of the learning about Science will be through the use of first-hand practical experiences, but there should also be some use of appropriate secondary sources, such as books, photographs and videos. Pupils should read and spell scientific vocabulary at a level consistent with their reading and spelling knowledge at Key Stage 1.

 

Year 3 & 4

The main focus of Science teaching in Lower Key Stage 2 is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. They should do this through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments, and by beginning to develop their ideas about functions, relationships and interactions. They should ask their own questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, including observing changes over time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They should draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out. ‘Working scientifically’ must always be taught through and clearly related to substantive Science content in the programme of study. Pupils should read and spell scientific vocabulary correctly and with confidence, using their growing reading and spelling knowledge.

 

Year 5 & 6

The main focus of Science teaching in Upper Key Stage 2 is to enable pupils to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. They should do this through exploring and talking about their ideas; asking their own questions about scientific phenomena; and analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically. At Upper Key Stage 2, they should encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. They should also begin to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time. They should 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 fair tests and finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information. Pupils should 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. Pupils should read, spell and pronounce scientific vocabulary correctly. ‘Working and thinking scientifically’ must always be taught through and clearly related to substantive Science content in the programme of study.

 

How science is structured at St. Matthew’s Bloxam

 

Children at St. Matthew’s Bloxam C of E Primary School learn through a thematic curriculum, with the teaching and learning of science being based on investigation, observation and application. The science theme is changed each half term or term to ensure children are exposed to many different scientific themes throughout their time at school. Children in the foundation stage are taught the science elements as indicated in the development matters curriculum through: Knowledge and Understanding of the World. 

 

We design our own units of learning, customising them to meet the needs of our pupils; including those who have SEND needs and those who are gifted and talented. This ensures our teaching and learning meets the demands and interests of the full range of learners and keeps pace with changes.

We believe in quality first teaching which involves:

  • highly focused lesson design with sharp learning intentions

  • high demands of pupil involvement and engagement with their learning

  • high levels of interaction for all pupils

  • appropriate use of teacher questioning, modelling and explaining

  • an emphasis on learning through dialogue, with regular opportunities for pupils to talk both individually and in groups

  • an expectation that pupils will accept responsibility for their own learning and work independently

  • regular use of encouragement and authentic praise to engage and motivate pupils

 

In addition to the knowledge and understanding aspects of the National Curriculum, emphasis needs to be put on scientific investigation and enquiry, including the correct use and care of scientific apparatus. When planning the learning experiences, the pupils’ previous experiences and present understanding should be taken into account. 

 

Science is taught in discreet science lessons with cross curricular links, particularly with clear links to literacy, PE, maths and computing. Our children experience science outside of the classroom as much as possible delivered in our forest school sessions.

 

Teachers are encouraged to actively teach science skills, and reinforce learning with selected enquiry stimulations. We encourage children to ask and answer their own questions as often as they like. Children should complete at least one investigation per half term. These investigations should be based on their current topic but have a focus on developing the children’s scientific skills.

 

Enrichment opportunities through the year aim to develop a lifelong interest in science. These include: educational trips, school science days / weeks, visits to other schools and events and demonstrations by visiting experts. 

Impact

 

  • Engaged, motivated children who are enthusiastic about science in our school.
  • Raise aspirations and interest in STEM careers. 
  • Feedback from teachers has impact on our children, with next step questions to extend learning further.
  • Progress and Attainment in science is good.
  • Governors are kept up to date with developments in the way science is run in our school.

Science club

A workshop with Warwick University Engineers!