Science teaches an understanding of natural phenomena. It aims to stimulate a child’s curiosity in finding out why things happen in the way that 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.
Our objectives in the teaching of science are for all our children:
- engage children as learners at many levels through linking ideas with practical experience;
- help children to learn to question and discuss scientific issues that may affect their own lives;
- help children develop, model and evaluate explanations through scientific methods of collecting evidence using critical and creative thought;
- show children how major scientific ideas contribute to technological change and how these impacts on improving the quality of our everyday lives;
- help children recognise the cultural significance of science and trace its development
- to increase the child’s knowledge and understanding of the world.
- to develop attitudes of curiosity, originality, co-operation, perseverance, open mindedness, self-criticism, responsibility and independence in thinking.
- to enable children to effectively and confidently communicate their scientific predictions and discoveries as they are given the opportunity to observe, describe, illustrate, hypothesise, evaluate and interpret, using appropriate scientific vocabulary.
- to develop children’ understanding of the effects of their actions on the environment.
- to explore life processes;
- to explore materials, electricity, light, sound, and natural forces;
- to explore the nature of the solar system, including the earth;
- to explore evaluating evidence, and to present conclusions both clearly and accurately.
A variety of teaching methods is employed as appropriate to the children and the programme of study. Our principal aim is to develop children’s processes, skills of enquiry, scientific attitudes and conceptual understanding. Teaching methods include whole-class teaching, experimental learning, discovery methods, problem solving, open ended investigation and delivery of information. They take part in discussions and we encourage the children to ask, as well as answer, scientific questions. Opportunities to use a variety of ICT and data, such as statistics, graphs, pictures and photographs helps to enhance their learning. We recognise that in all classes, children have a wide range of scientific abilities, and we ensure that we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this in a varieWe give a learning objective at the start which is referred to throughout the lesson and is evaluated at the end.
• We give a learning objective at the start which is referred to throughout the lesson and is evaluated at the end.
• We give opportunities for speaking and listening.
• We use questions of different levels and styles with opportunities for children to confer and discuss their ideas.
• We have interesting and varied activities.
• We have opportunities for assessment for learning such as self-marking to evaluate own understanding.
• We allow for discussion of misconceptions.
Science is a core subject in the National Curriculum. The school uses a learning challenge approach for science as the basis of its curriculum planning. We have planned the topics in science so that they build on prior learning. We ensure that there are opportunities for children of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge in each unit, and we also build progression into the science scheme of work, so that the children are increasingly challenged as they move up through the school. We carry out our curriculum planning in science in three phases (long-term, medium-term and short-term). The long-term plan maps the scientific topics studied in each term during the Key Stage. In some cases, we combine the scientific study with work in other subject areas, especially at Key Stage 1; at other times, the children study science as a discrete subject. Our medium-term plans give details of each unit of work for each term. The science subject leader keeps and reviews these plans. The class teacher is responsible for writing the lesson plans for science (short-term plans). These plans list the specific learning objectives and expected outcomes of each lesson. We teach science in reception classes as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. As the reception class is part of the Foundation Stage of the National Curriculum, 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. Science makes a significant contribution to developing a child’s knowledge and understanding of the world, e.g. through investigating what floats and what sinks when placed in water. Wherever possible the children are provided with activities based on first-hand experience that encourage exploration, observation, problem solving, prediction, critical thinking, decision making and discussion. We provide an environment with a wide range of indoor and outdoor experiences that stimulate their interest and curiosity.
Health and Safety
All children will be made explicitly aware of the relevance of health and safety issues when undertaking scientific work. This will be specifically highlighted when they are asked to undertake scientific investigations, with additional adults being used effectively to assist with the safe running of all science lessons.
ImpactThe successful approach at Vine Tree results in a fun, engaging, high-quality science education that provides children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world. Our engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first hand experiences of the world around them. Frequent, continuous and progressive learning outside the classroom is embedded throughout the science curriculum. Through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts and local charities, children have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity.