‘The important thing is to never stop questioning [or learning].’ Albert Einstein
At St Joseph’s we teach science to help children develop key life skills, including an ability to communicate, and form their own opinions based on their observations. We want to help children to develop their own awareness and show curiosity of the world around them and understand that we need to protect it. Science exposes children to the key issues happening around the world. In science, the children have hands-on experiences, which provide them with opportunities to predict the outcome, and ask and answer questions to extend their learning. They investigate how things work and draw their own conclusions based on their findings. By fostering their enthusiasm and interest for science, we hope to provide them with the basic skills and develop aspirations for their future career opportunities.
How is Science taught at St Joseph's?
In EYFS, science is taught through continuous provision and is organised across the seven areas of learning and achieved through the Early Learning Goals, rather than topics. The children are encouraged to ask ‘why?’ through their exploration of the environment, in-doors, out-doors and in the local area. They learn about looking after themselves, how to grow and care for plants, how to care for the environment and all living things, as well as talk about different materials and changes they notice.
In KS1, science is taught through continuous provision and topics are revisited at different times of the year to link in the changes to the seasons. This means that children will be able to recall what they already know and build links to new learning. As there are mixed year group classes, the topics are taught on a rolling two-year programme. In Year A, year one topics are covered and in Year B the year two topics are covered, this ensures the children experience the full National Curriculum content. If pupils encounter the year two topics as the first cycle some statements from the year one cycle will be included in the learning as they wouldn’t have the necessary knowledge to build on. The children will be given opportunities for working scientifically. The children will also begin to develop their scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
LKS2: Science is taught through topics with opportunities for hands on experiences where possible. The children will become more confident in using in different types of scientific enquiry observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; gathering and recoding data. As there are mixed year group classes, the topics are taught on a rolling two-year programme. In Year A, year three topics are covered and in Year B the year four topics are covered, this ensures the children experience the full National Curriculum content. If pupils encounter the year four topics as the first cycle some statements from the year three cycle will be included in the learning. The children will also be more familiar with the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
UKS2: Science is taught through topics with opportunities for hands on experiences where possible. The children will be more familiar with planning their own investigations, recording their results in a variety of ways and using the results to draw conclusions. Each year group teaches their own topics. The children will know the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
How is Science assessed:
To ensure we are achieving what we plan to achieve, we use pupil voice to get the children’s feedback on their enjoyment of science. In EYFS and KS1 we talk to the children about their learning. Their learning is recorded in their science books or in learning journals/floor books. The teachers take pictures of the children’s learning and narrate next to the pictures with what the children have said or done.
In KS2, the children begin with a pre-assessment looking at the vocabulary they are going to be learning and check to see if they know what it means. This knowledge is then assessed at the end of the topic to see what they have learned. At the end of each unit, the children will produce a double paged spread to show their understanding.
Children will have a range of different experiences to support their learning, such as hands on experiments, talks with experts, learning in the environment and local area as well as purposeful educational trips. E.g. When studying rocks, year 3/4 go to Malham to see the limestone ravine of Gordale Scar
What can families do to support their child in learning this subject?
Explore, explore, explore! Science is everywhere, a visit to the park or an afternoon in the garden or local area can provide so many opportunities to learn. Always encourage your child to question their surroundings, and then discuss. If there is answer you don’t know, research and learn the answer together.
Remember science is in our everyday lives. Activities you do daily at home will have some form of science in it. E.g. when you boil a kettle – ask what is happening? When you bake or cook, watch how the ingredients change their state. Even, discussing the weather, looking at the changes in the seasons, what is happening to the trees/plants? This is all science! Talking to your child about their everyday life will give them the opportunity to wonder and ask questions.
Useful websites to use at home to support your child.
https://pstt.org.uk/resources/curriculum-materials/Science-Fun-at-Home KS1 - https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/z6svr82 KS2 - https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/z2pfb9q https://wowscience.co.uk/?_sft_category=light-sound https://www.childrensuniversity.manchester.ac.uk/learning-activities/science/