Science is a core subject of the National Curriculum. We have a responsibility to report attainment at the end of each key stage.
- An understanding of Science is important for our children so that they can begin to explain the world around them.
- Science provides an opportunity for children to satisfy their natural curiosity.
- Science promotes opportunities for group work, problem-solving and independent thinking.
- Many opportunities for delivering cross curricular Maths (statistics) and English are embedded within a scientific context.
Science comprises four elements: Working Scientifically, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
We deliver our science teaching as a discrete subject in KS1 and KS2. In the Early Years, any opportunities to explore scientific ideas through play are exploited and observations are made under the Understanding the World strand.
For KS1, two lessons a week are allocated.
For KS2, three lessons a week are allocated.
Planning and Content
The ‘Year Group Overview’ sheet identifies which scientific theme and area (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) is to be covered by each year group in each half term. It lists the subject knowledge objectives to be covered and includes the additional, non-statutory, guidance from the National Curriculum.
All Working Scientifically (WS) objectives are stated for each unit but, they do not all need to be taught in each unit as long as they are all covered in a balanced manner over the course of the year. When planning, class teachers should identify the most relevant WS objectives for the unit content and meet any gaps the class may have. It is sometimes appropriate to teach Working Scientifically skills discretely before being explored in a themed context.
The balance between subject specific and Working Scientifically objectives should be around 2:1 although this is not an exact science and teachers must use their own judgement when planning a unit.
When planning, it is important that teachers consider the assessment requirements to ensure accurate assessments will be possible.
Each term, we will look at the work of a famous scientist (historical or modern) in a week long whole school research project. The Science Subject Leader will decide on this person and inform staff. Work on the scientist should be both age appropriate and provide opportunities for practical exploration. Occasionally a common theme (e.g. ducklings, recycling) will be selected instead.
The final half term of the year for children in Y2 and above is a ‘Child Led Investigation’ where children are given the opportunity to steer their own Science learning and exploration. Staff are able to use this as an opportunity to fill gaps in learning and to finalise assessment judgements.
Medium term planning is monitored each half term for content, coverage, pitch and quality.
Principles for Teaching
At Grendon Primary school we follow five key principles for teaching Science.
Teachers should use the outdoor area as much as possible. When appropriate technology can be used as a teaching or learning tool.
1. Provide practical opportunities
Hands-on experiences whenever possible. It is usually better to DO than to LISTEN.
2. Deliver focussed teaching and learning
Careful planning ensures factual content is included and space is given to understanding and mastering science skills. Teachers are aware of assessment requirements as they teach.
3. Ensure accurate content
Correct subject knowledge that is age appropriate.
4. Establish a real life link
Introducing science through problem solving or familiar scenarios.
5. Exploit opportunities for cross-curricular links.
Identifying where speaking and listening, maths, English and computing can be developed.
Recording for science may take place in;
- Children’s individual Science Books
- Class Science scrapbook
- Class working wall
Teachers should be creative in deciding how children will be asked to record their science work. Writing a range of genres, Q&A, cloze tasks, tables, graphing, mind maps, drawing and photographs are all appropriate methods for recording in science. For younger children or the less able, an adult scribe can be effective to record children’s scientific ideas.
Each class has a hardback Science Scrapbook. This can be used for recording practical tasks but also has a role in teaching new content, revisiting prior learning and in presenting and evaluating findings. Children should be involved in the scrapbook and most recent work should be displayed, open, in the classroom. Scrapbooks are passed up to the next teacher as classes move up the school.
As part of our Science curriculum, Years 2 and 4 do some work in the Grendon Garden. For more details on this exciting area please look under the 'Pupils' tab or click HERE.