In line with the 2014 National Curriculum for Science we aim to ensure that all children:
- 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.
Throughout their time at St Mary’s, children are encouraged to be inquisitive and curious about the world around them, promoting respect for the living and non-living. Our children are encouraged to ask questions, to probe and then supported to find the answers.
Science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts and skills. Throughout their time at St Mary’s, the children will acquire and develop key knowledge as well as the application of scientific skills in a clearly progressive manner. We ensure that “working scientifically” skills are developed throughout their time at school, enabling the application of science knowledge in using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently.
The acquisition of key scientific knowledge is an integral part of our science lessons. Linked knowledge organisers enable children to learn and retain the important, useful and powerful vocabulary and knowledge contained within each unit. The progression of skills for working scientifically are developed through the year groups and scientific enquiry skills are of key importance within lessons. At St Marys, teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards 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. Our strategy is to enable all children to be catered for through adapted planning suited to their abilities
• We plan for problem solving and real-life opportunities that enable children to find out 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 practical, engaging lessons with opportunities for precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning.
• Our curriculum is progressive. We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years, which is tested through our ‘pre-learning mind maps’ where teachers can identify misconceptions that need addressing.
• Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being 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. Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning and workshops with experts.
• Through enrichment days, such as ‘science week’, we promote the profile of Science and allow time for the children to freely explore scientific topics.