We aim to give children an understanding of the world around them from the moment they join our school. When children are studying Science at primary school level, they should be acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them to think scientifically, to gain an understanding of scientific processes and also an understanding of the uses and implications of Science, today and in the future. We recognise the importance of science for everyone and not just those who wish to pursue a science-based career. Science will allow pupils to make informed decisions about technologies, health and important global matters. We aim for all children to have a positive experience of science throughout their time at St James’s.
Scientific enquiry skills are embedded in each Science unit with the aim of helping children to answer questions about the world around them. Some topics are revisited and developed throughout the children’s time with us. For example, Plants are taught in Key Stage 1 and studied again in Key Stage 2 at a greater depth. This model allows children to build upon their prior knowledge and increases their enthusiasm for the topics.
All children are taught to use a range of skills including observation, planning and investigating. Specialist vocabulary for topics is taught and built up, and effective questioning to communicate ideas is encouraged. Concepts taught should be reinforced by focusing on the key features of scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions. Assemblies, theme days and other areas of the curriculum are also used to learn about and from the lives of key scientists and the impact that they have had on our lives today. Science lessons are based on one of 5 key practices for teaching and learning in Science:
Observation over time
Identifying and classifying
Our sequence of knowledge is carefully balanced to include substantive knowledge (knowing that) and disciplinary knowledge (knowing how) links between the 2 types of knowledge are connected through key ideas.
Through exciting, engaging and well sequenced teaching our pupils will work towards answering a Unit Question applying the skills and knowledge that they have gained. Teachers will continually assess children’s progress towards age related expectations to confidently answer that question through careful questioning, low stakes quizzes, presentations and conversations. Teachers will then make an end of unit judgement which is recorded on the school’s assessment system.