Science Curriculum Statement
The 2014 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 skills required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. We understand that it is important for lessons to have a skills-based focus, and that the knowledge can be taught through this
At Harewood, we understand that children are naturally curious and we encourage this inquisitive nature throughout their time with us. Science promotes a healthy curiosity in children about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes. Through the programmes of study in the National Curriculum science document children will acquire and develop these skills throughout their primary years. We ensure that the Working Scientifically skills are built-on and developed each year so that they can use equipment, conduct experiments, solve enquiries and explain concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings.
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:
- In Foundation Stage Knowledge and Understanding of the World is delivered in small group sessions every week using creative practical experiences and promoting knowledge of the world around them. Children are provided with indoor and outdoor learning experiences and practical tasks linked to knowledge of the world around them.
- Science is taught in planned and arranged topic blocks by the class teacher, to allow opportunities for cross-curricular links and planning of stimulating trips for topics. This strategy also enables the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge.
- Through our planning, we set learning enquiries that allow children to find out for themselves as the topic is taught. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, often involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills. A homework task is also set to allow opportunities for children to research and explore the topic further.
- We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. Children are given opportunities at the beginning of a topic to recap what they already know from previous learning. Pupils are also able to demonstrate what they know after the new learning has been taught, using a pupil voice tool. Children are encouraged to articulate what they know and demonstrate their knowledge and understanding.
- Promoting knowledge and understanding of a topic allows the pupils to become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results throughout their time at Harewood. They become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence and practical results.
- 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 opportunities and planning trips. This allows opportunities for children to explore the depth of knowledge that they have received in the classroom and apply it to the world around them. Pupils are encouraged to talk about their experiences and relate it to the knowledge they have gained in classroom sessions.
- Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being developed throughout the years they are at Harewood. New vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching, online teaching tools and the use of knowledge organisers. These are developed through the years, in-keeping with the topics.
This successful approach at Harewood results in a fun, engaging, stimulating, high-quality science education, that provides children with the foundations for understanding the world. Our children learn through varied and first hand experiences of the world around them. Science lends itself to outdoor learning, so we maximize the opportunities for children to experience this. This is carried out through various trips and planned outdoor experiences in school and their local environment. Children understand that investigating and exploring results in finding answers and solutions. Children develop knowledge and understanding of topics and build up a bank of scientific vocabulary. Children have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity. They are enthusiastic about the impact that science has on the world they live in. Children are aware that scientists contribute to discovering, investigating and solving problems, which lead to global outcomes such as saving the environment and the animals which live in it. Children learn the possibilities for careers and the advancement of knowledge in science at Key Stage Two, through our links with professionals at other organisations. Children at Harewood enjoy science and the engaging, creative curriculum provided. This results in motivated learners who are keen to explore, investigate, solve enquiries and gain knowledge through the variety of opportunities they receive at Harewood.