ScienceCo -ordinator Mr Kershaw
"The Important Thing is to Never Stop Questioning!" Albert Einstein
We know that children are naturally curious so here at Netherthong we encourage this inquisitive nature throughout their time with us and beyond. Science fosters a healthy curiosity in children about our universe and the world around us.
We ensure that the Working Scientifically skills are built-on and developed throughout their school career so that they can use equipment, conduct experiments, build arguments and explain concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings.
Science at Netherthong Primary School intends to answer questions children have about the world around them and encourage curiosity and a thirst for knowledge. The National Curriculum states that children should be ‘equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future’. At Netherthong Primary School, we would like to ensure we are creating a generation of learners with a passion to ask the important questions and seek to discover the answers.
Science in Netherthong follows the National Curriculum in that it repeats topics throughout the different years, each time deepening the children’s understanding of concepts and processes. For example, children look at plants in Key Stage One which is then studied again in further detail on two occasions in Key Stage Two. This way, the children aren’t just exposed to one concept once in 7 years across primary school and they can develop a more consistent understanding of the science we teach. We use specialist vocabulary in every topic that is built upon each time it is revisited.
An important part of science in Netherthong, one that will help create a new generation of scientists, is the development of scientific enquiry skills. Skills which lead to children asking why, creating an enquiry to address the ‘why’ and then making conclusions to answer the ‘why’. These skills are vital for processing the knowledge that is presented to children in science, and we are passionate about developing those skills at Netherthong. We intend to provide all children regardless of ethnic origin, gender, class, aptitude or disability, with a broad and balanced science curriculum.
Planning for science is a process in which all teachers are involved to ensure that the school gives full coverage of, ‘The National Curriculum programmes of study for Science 2014’ and, ‘Understanding of the World’ in the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Science has been used as a key driver for a cross-curricular learning experience in each year group. Science has been the starting point for many of our topics in each year group, with other subjects using the science curriculum as a key connector. With this in mind, science is taught as part of a broader topic and children will be exposed to it at different times of the day, week, term and year.
The teaching of Science is implemented through a range of practical and research-based learning experiences along with a combination of whole class and group-based activities. Where appropriate, links are made with other curriculum areas, promoting cross-curricular work to deepen understanding and providing opportunities for application of knowledge. We feel this will give the children the opportunity to make connections between science and the world around them and be able to answer questions such as ‘how are science and geography related?’.
Teachers plan to suit their children’s interests, current events, their own teaching style, the use of any support staff and the resources available. To help deliver a broad and balanced science curriculum, teachers are expected to:
- Constantly develop children’s scientific enquiry skills through practical applications.
- Ensure that knowledge of a new concept/process is embedded in their understanding of the topic.
- Make links between science and other curriculum areas.
- Careful progression within topics and across year groups.
- Deliver lessons that are engaging, varied and cater for the needs of all children.
- Link trips and learning outside the classroom to science where possible.
- Constantly encourage and nurture children’s enthusiasm and passion for the subject
Scientific enquiry is taught across all year groups, not in isolation, but as part of the science topics included in each year group. Working scientifically at Netherthong is built on and developed throughout the children’s time here. Working scientifically at Netherthong falls under the following 6 types: comparative/fair testing, research, observation over time, identifying and classifying, pattern seeking and ideas over time. Children will get the opportunity to take part in these 6 types numerous times throughout their time at Netherthong. Whenever possible, children are taken to experience science in the outdoors whether it is specifically linked through our ‘Outdoor learning’ programme or as part of the main science lessons.
We monitor the impact of science through a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches. All teachers will assess pupils against curriculum standards in each topic area, including scientific enquiry by way of discussion and marking of work. The science coordinator also spends time having conversations with pupils to gauge their knowledge and skills in science as well as their enjoyment of it. Moderation of work, lesson observations and book looks are also used to collate a clear picture of the impact of science in school. Impact is reviewed on a yearly basis, with the continued desire to increase the positive impact that science can have on a child’s life.
The successful approach to science at Netherthong results in a fun, engaging, high-quality science education, that provides children with the foundations for understanding the world. We have achieved this through fun, well-resourced and engaging lessons. Our engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first-hand experiences of the world around them. We have worked to raise the children’s science capital so they can see how science affects all that is around them and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity.
We expect all children, through the teaching of science, to have:
- A richer vocabulary
- Investigative skills
- Questioning skills
- High aspirations and a natural curiosity.