The Department for Education explains that a high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science is all around us. Our pupils learn how to cherish the natural world that we live in. They learn about the importance of science in the world we live in and the pivotal role it plays in shaping our futures. All pupils are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. (The National Curriculum in England: Key Stages 1 and 2 framework document 2013.)
At St White’s School, our aim is for our pupils to learn more science so they remember more science so they can do and apply more science.
We teach Science using National Curriculum objectives that are mapped into a 2 year rolling programme. The objectives are sequenced to build on prior learning and ensure that, where possible, there is a balance of physics, chemistry and biology taught each year. Our curriculum overview shows clear progression of both skills and knowledge. In addition, our pupils build up an extended scientific vocabulary which is embedded throughout their learning and used by the pupils in their communication of their scientific understanding. As well as the learning of scientific knowledge, the pupils are taught to develop their enquiry skills. They learn that being a scientist means challenging existing ideas, challenging the findings of their own enquiries and asking lots of questions. The pupils are taught to apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data. Pupils are given opportunities to discuss their ideas and make links with prior learning. Our pupils learn to show enthusiasm and courage when sharing their ideas and designing their own enquiries; they learn that scientists do not always get things right first time and that being a scientist is all about making mistakes and learning from them. We understand that in order to truly embed scientific knowledge into a child’s long term memory, they need to have plenty of experience of the knowledge and the opportunity to apply it in a range of contexts.Science Capital is very important to us. We aim to raise the interest, enjoyment and experiences of science for every pupil in our school. In order to do this, we look for opportunities to bring in ‘real life’ people with experience of science in their everyday lives e.g. food nutritionist, school nurse. We have an annual Science Week and as a part of this, we hold an Aspirations Day when pupils get the opportunity to talk to adults from a range of different professions, some of which will have links to science. We provide our pupils with events and activities such as trips to the Cheltenham Science Festival and our whole school Great Science Share Fair which engage, enthuse and excite them. We are very lucky to have such fantastic school grounds and, in addition to Forest School, we utilise our outdoors areas for learning at every opportunity.
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