Science stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. It also satisfies their curiosity with knowledge. Because science links direct practical experience with ideas, it can engage learners at many levels. Scientific method is about developing and evaluating explanations through experimental evidence and modelling. This is a spur to critical and creative thought. Through science, pupils understand how major scientific ideas contribute to technological change – impacting on industry, business and medicine and improving the quality of life. They learn to question and discuss science-based issues that may affect their own lives, the direction of society and the future of the world.
In the lower school pupils observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and physical phenomena. They begin to work together to collect evidence to help them answer questions and to link this to simple scientific ideas. They begin to evaluate evidence and consider whether tests or comparisons are fair. They use reference materials to find out more about scientific ideas. They share ideas and communicate them using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables with the help of ICT if it is appropriate.
In the upper school pupils learn about a wider range of living things, materials and physical phenomena. They make links between ideas and explain things using simple models and theories. They apply their knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas to familiar phenomena, everyday things and their personal health. They think about the effects of scientific and technological developments on the environment and in other contexts. They carry out more systematic investigations, working on their own and with others. They use a range of reference sources in their work. They talk about their work and its significance, using a wide range of scientific language, conventional diagrams, charts, graphs and ICT to communicate their ideas
Teaching and learning
· All lessons have clear learning objectives, which are shared and reviewed with the pupils effectively.
· A variety of strategies, including questioning, discussion, concept mapping and marking, are used to assess progress. The information is used to identify what is taught next.
· Activities inspire the pupils to experiment and investigate the world around them and to help them raise their own questions such as “Why…?”, “How…?” and “What happens if…?”
· Activities develop the skills of enquiry, observation, locating sources of information, selecting appropriate equipment and using it safely, measuring and checking results, and making comparisons and communicating results and findings.
· Lessons make effective links with other curriculum areas and subjects, especially literacy, numeracy and ICT.
· Activities are challenging, motivating and extend pupils’ learning.
· Pupils have frequent opportunities to develop their skills in, and take responsibility for, planning investigative work, selecting relevant resources, making decisions about sources of information, carry out activities safely and decide on the best form of communicating their findings.
· Science lessons are an excellent opportunity for classes to produce Class Books on investigations as a very good way of showing the understanding of the group and individuals.
Assessment and recording
· Teachers analyse pupils’ progress during the school year and this is tracked. This information is used to complete the annual report to parents.
· The pupils’ knowledge and understanding should be assessed before each unit of work by question, discussion and observation. The results of these can be used to refine the starting points and the level of challenge for the activities that follow. Pupils are encouraged to use this self-assessment and teachers use this to identify assessment points. Teacher assessments are in line with National Curriculum expectations.
· Assessment of Sc1 relies on observation and/or the collection of written evidence of investigating skills.
Continuity and progression
The school ensures curriculum continuity by following a programme of science units of work and by close liaison between staff at the planning stages. This is further enhanced by the rolling programme which operates in Class 2 and 3 and Class 4 and 5 ensuring all children gain the same knowledge during their primary science education.
The National Curriculum for Science can be found here.