The 2014 National Curriculum for Science aims 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. We understand that it is important for lessons to have a skills-based focus, and that the knowledge can be taught through this
At Tunstead, we want to encourage children to be inquisitive and naturally curious, asking probing questions and not being afraid to explore to find the answers. Science at our school fosters curiosity in children about our universe promoting respect for the living and non-living. We strongly believe that science is routed in the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes. The National Curriculum Science Programme of Study outlines what skills and knowledge children will acquire and develop throughout their Primary years. We passionately believe that not only should children have a sound knowledge and understanding of the concepts covered in the National Curriculum but also that the Working Scientifically skills are built-on and developed throughout their school career so that they can use equipment, conduct experiments, build arguments and explain concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings.
The successful approach results in a fun, engaging, high-quality science education, that provides children with the foundations for understanding the world. Our engagement with our local area ensures that children learn through varied and first hand experiences of the world around them. So much of science lends itself to outdoor learning and so we provide children with opportunities to experience this. Through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts as well as through links with our local High Schools, children have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity. Children learn the possibilities for careers through connections with our local University learning from and working with professionals from a range of different scientific backgrounds.
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 and were possible will link to the overarching year group topic for each term/half term. This is a strategy to enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge as children will use and apply their skills across the curriculum as well as revisiting key knowledge to ensure that it is embedded.
- Through our planning, we involve problem solving opportunities that allow 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 engaging lessons, often involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all children keep up.
- We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, and 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 these skills are being developed throughout the children’s school career. New vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching and are reinforced through home learning and our use of knowledge organisers. 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.