“Science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated.”
What Science looks like in our School
At St Mary’s School, it is our intention that Science will inspire children’s curiosity and fascination about the world around them. Our Curriculum allows the children to think “hard” when responding to key questions. Our pupils are encouraged to justify, reason, explain and describe, thus deepening their knowledge of different scientific concepts. We also engage in investigations, taking into consideration the importance of fair testing at KS1 and different variables in KS2. As the children progress through the school, there is an emphasis placed on applying rich vocabulary and understanding the etymology of words, particularly in Upper KS2.
The curriculum is progressive, allowing pupils to build upon prior knowledge and topics taught in the previous year groups. There is a broad balance between the teachings of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The pupils are also given the opportunity to revisit taught topics later in the academic year. This provides teachers the opportunity to address gaps in pupils’ learning and correct misconceptions, as well as allowing the pupils to consolidate knowledge and skills.
Topics also ensure that children are “thinking scientifically” in the form of investigations. At KS1, the pupils are encouraged to reflect on how to make their experiments “fair” by discussing which factors to change and keep the same. At KS2, an emphasis is placed on using different variables; independent, dependent and controlled variables. This terminology is introduced at Year 3, so pupils gain confidence when conducting experiments more independently in Upper KS2.
At EYFS, topics are carefully planned to ensure the pupils transition to KS1. Provisions in Reception give pupils the opportunity to engage in conversation, to narrate and make observations about the natural world.
“Curiosity” is one of our core Learning Behaviours at St Mary’s. We believe Science is crucial when promoting such intrigue. We would expect our pupils to feel confident when asking “Why” and “How” questions and to enjoy being curious. We aim to build a culture where there is “no such thing as silly question.”
Pupils will also have a deep subject knowledge, building upon prior topics as well as making links to other areas of the National Curriculum, e.g. History.
As investigators, we want our pupils to be resilient. Science isn’t perfect or expected. We want our children to be surprised by outcomes or results. It is important for our pupils to discuss their findings as well as understand that some investigations make take several attempts, thus the importance of planning and observing variables carefully.