Science teaches an understanding of natural phenomena. It aims to stimulate a child’s curiosity in finding out why things happen in the way they do. It teaches methods of enquiry and investigation to stimulate creative thought. Children learn to ask scientific questions and begin to appreciate the way in which Science will affect the future on a personal, national, and global level.
At St Michael’s we believe that learning is a change in long term memory. We believe children learn best by having opportunities to revisit previous learning. We teach science every week so that the children can fully immerse themselves and have opportunities to reflect and build on prior learning.
The objectives of teaching Science in our school are:
- To ask and answer scientific questions;
- To plan and carry out scientific investigations, using equipment (including computers) correctly;
- To know and understand the life processes of living things including plants, animals and humans and to know about different living things and their habitats.
- To know and understand the physical processes of materials, electricity, light, sound, and natural forces;
- To know about the nature of the solar system, including the earth;
- To gain an understanding of inheritance and evolution
- To evaluate evidence, and present their conclusions clearly and accurately.
As a school, we want to:
- To develop a curriculum which promotes progress and understanding for each child.
- To develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
- To develop a curriculum which allows children to develop scientific enquiry skills.
- To develop cultural capital to give our students the vital background, knowledge required to be informed and thoughtful members of our communities.
- To give children experiences in a range of topics
- To provide links with our local and wider community to make learning relevant and purposeful
Our science curriculum design is based on principles derived from evidence through cognitive science:
- Learning is most effective with spaced repetition.
- Retrieval of previously learnt content is frequent and regular, which increases both storage and retrieval strength.
In addition to the principles, we also understand that learning is invisible in the short term and that sustained mastery takes time.
Our content is subject specific. We make intra-curricular links to strengthen schema. Reading, writing, speaking and listening skills are further promoted in Science. Within each topic, a ‘Big Write’ is completed reflecting upon scientific knowledge. This is not necessarily a standalone genre of writing but may be a conclusion or evaluation within a lesson.
Skills and Techniques
- Work scientifically
- Follow a scientific enquiry approach
- Observe patterns over time
- Collect and analyze data
- Apply mathematical skills when analyzing data.
These techniques are repeated over the years so that the children can build upon and refine their skills in each area. Throughout all projects, drawing and sketching will be a common thread and will be continuously developed.
Throughout each unit a thread of scientific enquiry, ensures that pupils build upon their experiences in a progressive and age appropriate way. Children will learn about fair tests and will know how to carry out an investigation resulting in accurate and fair results, from which to make conclusions.
The Early Year Foundation Stage children have daily access to an investigation station where they can explore a variety of materials and their properties, which promote scientific curiosity, awe and wonder. This is enhanced by outdoor learning where children can explore different areas.
Throughout KS1 and KS2 children will have the opportunity to make links with other topics like using electricity within a design and technology project or extend their knowledge such as using their knowledge of rocks and soils when learning about mining. As much of the learning, where possible, will be practical. In some studies, outdoor learning will be a pathway to teach from; such as evolution and inheritance. We will use our school grounds to teach some our studies.
In addition to our Science lessons, children are given the opportunity to attend STEM after school clubs, Space Camp, outdoor learning, attend events ran by external companies as well as visits into school from external companies.
The intended impact of our curriculum is that children build semantic and procedural knowledge; Children will have a sound understanding of how Science works in the world around them. They will be given the skills to investigate questions, answering then in an accurate and systematic way.