At Robertswood School we recognise the importance of science in every aspect of daily life. As one of the core subjects taught in Primary Schools, we give the teaching of science the prominence it requires. Science has changed our lives and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, children are encouraged to recognise the power of explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about the world around them. They are taught to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse data collected.
The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all children:
• Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
• Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
• Are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future
• Develop cross curricular links through scientific enquiry
Scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding
We believe that it is vitally important that children develop secure understanding of each key block of knowledge and concepts in order to progress to the next stage. Children are taught to describe associated processes and key characteristics in common language and also be familiar with, and use, technical terminology accurately and precisely. To enhance this, cross curricular links are encouraged through the use of topic specific, high quality texts. These books are a vehicle for creative writing, developing understanding of scientific knowledge and process.
Pupils also apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data. The nature, processes and methods of science ‘Working Scientifically’ specifies the understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science for each year group. These types of scientific enquiry include observing over time; pattern seeking, identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations); and researching using secondary sources.
Whole school implementation of our science curriculum
At Robertswood School children have weekly lessons in science throughout Key Stage 1 and 2. In Early Years, science is taught through the children learning about the world around them in their learning through play.
We endeavour to ensure that the science curriculum we provide will give children the confidence and motivation to continue to further develop their skills into the next stage of their education and life experiences.
Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in science. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following:
• At the beginning of each topic, staff assess prior knowledge and understanding and use this as the starting point from which to move forward, ensuring that connections are made, and previous knowledge is built upon. Pupils complete a TAPS assessment to test their knowledge and understanding at the end of the unit.
• Science will be taught via Big Questions such as: Would a polar bear survive in Robertswood? This is a strategy to enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge and understanding of science in the wider world.
• Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, often involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess children regularly to gauge the children’s recall of knowledge and concepts.
• We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, and they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.
• Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being developed throughout the children’s school career and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching.
• Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding.
• Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning and workshops with experts when appropriate.