We believe that through Science our children should learn to ask questions about why things happen. Through this they should develop positive values and attitudes towards the world in which we live. It must be an exciting learning experience for children, where they develop their understanding of everyday phenomena and feed their curiosity through practical activities and discussion. Science lessons will provide children with the chance to collaborate and recognise the importance of teamwork. Here they will also understand the importance of life skills such as patience and perseverance.
In line with our Equal Opportunities Policy we are committed to providing a teaching environment conducive to learning. Each child is valued, respected and challenged regardless of race, gender, religion, social background, culture or disability.
In science the children will:
- Create moments of ‘awe and wonder’ when asking and answering questions about how things work.
- Develop practical skills such as predicting, measuring, observing and drawing conclusions.
- Develop the skills and techniques required to obtain, present, evaluate and respond to information.
- Develop scientific thinking skills.
- Use scientific vocabulary appropriately.
Ashfield follows the programmes of study for the National Curriculum for science. The teachers will plan their science lessons using the Ashfield scheme of work. At lower key stage 2, planning will provide children with the opportunities to read and spell scientific vocabulary correctly and with confidence, whilst using their growing word reading and spelling knowledge. At upper key stage 2 the children will be required to read, spell and pronounce subject specific vocabulary correctly and consistently. Children will be expected to measure with more accuracy and precision as they move up the key stage. As they progress up the school the children’s presentation of their findings will become more complex moving from labelled diagrams, charts, graphs and tables to classification keys. Children should understand that evidence is used to answer questions and in the lower key stage they should use this to support their findings, whereas in upper key stage 2 this evidence may well be used to refute ideas or arguments.
Ashfield has achieved the Primary Science Quality Mark Gilt award. The PSQM programme is committed to ensuring effective leadership of science in every primary school. Supported by the University of Hertfordshire via the local hub based in St Clement Danes, Miss Holt has led science developments in school over the past year. The work has included staff training and a school focus on working scientifically.
Contribution to other subjects
Science contributes significantly to the teaching of English in our school by actively promoting the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Some of the texts that the children study in English are of a scientific nature. The children develop oral skills in science lessons through discussions (for example of the environment) and through recounting their observations of scientific experiments. They develop their writing skills through writing reports and projects and by recording information.
Through practical activities, pupils will develop with increasing accuracy, numerical, graphical and measuring skills within a range of contexts, making strong links to Maths work. Through working on investigations they also learn to estimate and predict and notice patterns through recorded data.
Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
Through many of the amazing processes that affect living things, children develop a sense of awe and wonder regarding the nature of our world. Through the teaching of science, children have the opportunity to discuss, for example, the effects of smoking, and the moral questions involved in this issue. Science teaches children about the reasons why people are different and, by developing the children’s knowledge and understanding of physical and environmental factors, it promotes respect for other people. Science is also a wonderful opportunity for children to question and challenge their own and other’s ideas and develop important teamwork skills that will enable them to respond to others with a caring and positive attitude. Safety is paramount in practical sessions and children will be taught how to take preventative measures in order to deal with risk, rather than avoiding it all together. Therefore the highest standards of behaviour will be expected and modelled at all times.
Information and communication technology enhances the teaching of science in our school significantly, because there are some tasks for which ICT is particularly useful. It also offers ways of impacting on learning which are not possible with conventional methods. Software is used to animate and model scientific concepts, and to allow children to investigate or observe processes.
Data loggers are used to assist in the collection of data and in producing tables and graphs. Children use ICT to record, present and interpret data, to review, modify and evaluate their work, and to improve its presentation.
Children will find links in their work in PE, when studying the way the body responds to exercise and the importance of a healthy and nutritious diet.
Links with Geography can be made when children study the formation of rocks and fossils and learn how to identify different types.
Where units of Science are not taught discretely, they will be incorporated within curriculum planning linked to other National Curriculum subjects (see school curriculum map).
Science will only be planned and taught through a topic-based curriculum where appropriate, whilst ensuring that adequate time is given to cover all the key skills within the upper or lower key stage.
Extra Curricular Opportunities
As science is the study of how the world works, in school children are actively encouraged to look for aspects of their learning regarding the world around them and to use their ‘thinking scientifically’ skills when approaching a range of problems. In the Spring and Summer months children will be encouraged to interact with the vegetable garden, looking specifically at a range of habitats for living things and the life cycles of plants. Selected Year 6 children take part in the ICT master classes, at Bushey Meads, where aspects of science are taught. Specialist science theatre in education company, ‘Quantum’ have been in to perform their educational production regarding ‘Changes in state’ and science activities run outside of school by independent companies are often signposted to children.