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Boughton Monchelsea Primary School

Science

Why we teach Science

At Boughton Monchelsea Primary School, we recognise the importance of Science in every aspect of daily life. Therefore, we give the teaching and learning of Science the prominence it requires. It is our intention to develop the natural curiosity of the child, encourage respect for living organisms and the physical environment and provide opportunities for critical evaluation of evidence. Through exploration, hands-on investigations and experiments, every child is able to experience and enjoy the wonderful science that is always all around them. There is often an air of ‘magic’ surrounding science, which through careful teaching we are able to unpick so that the children have a deep understanding and connection to the world we inhabit. Giving the children the opportunity to increase their overall understanding of how and why things work is integral to our teaching of science. This knowledge enables children to understand new concepts, make informed decisions and pursue new interests. We are able to link science appropriately to other curricular areas, further enhancing the children’s understanding while keeping their learning relevant and fun.

How we teach Science

We endeavour to ensure that the Science curriculum we provide will give children the confidence and motivation to continue to further develop their skills into the next stage of their education and life experiences. Using the Kent Science Scheme, National Curriculum and Cornerstones, we have designed a whole-school curriculum that demonstrates clear progression; each topic, concept and skill is built upon systematically term-by-term and year-by-year. There is a rich variety of ‘working scientifically’ investigations that involve tangible experiences for children to learn how to conduct a fair test, seek patterns in results, conduct and observe experiments over time and discover how to group and classify. We have constructed our curriculum not only for the children to have a breadth of knowledge but to also have meaningful depth. 

The Science curriculum can be embedded into a termly topic but if the subject matter doesn’t link, the lessons are taught discretely. This is essential to secure the Science aims of the National Curriculum, develop pupils' understanding of nature, processes and methods of Science through different enquiries and to question the world around them. We will equip the children with scientific knowledge to understand the uses of and implications of Science today and for the future.

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:

  • We include problem solving opportunities that allow children to find out for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. This curiosity is celebrated within the classroom. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess children regularly.
  • We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases and they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.
  • "Working Scientifically" skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being developed throughout the children’s school career and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching. This is developed through the years, in keeping with the topics.
  • 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 and workshops with experts.

Our Curriculum Drivers in Science

Being Human

Our Science curriculum is planned so that it promotes curiosity and interest. Within each strand of Science, open-ended questions to investigate are presented to the children, engaging and motivating them as learners. These questions are designed to provide the context for their Science learning, enabling the children to further develop and deepen their knowledge and understanding. Children are encouraged to drive their own learning forward by questioning, investigating and solving problems.

The World

The scientific area of learning is concerned with increasing pupils’ knowledge and understanding of our world and with developing skills associated with Science as a process of enquiry. It develops the natural curiosity of the child, encourage respect for living organisms and the physical environment and provide opportunities for critical evaluation of evidence.

Change

Pupils learn why and how things have changed over time.  Cause, consequence and reasons for change are explored through a process of critical thinking and evaluation of evidence. Children gain knowledge and understanding of the need for scientific change through evolution, adaptation, changing states of matter and climate change.

Exploration

Our children develop as scientific thinkers, learning to investigate, compare, evaluate and analyse. Pupils reflect and make connections, building on their natural curiosity and are encouraged to question and challenge evidence. They experience the joy of learning and the excitement of developing new skills through a variety of inspiring contexts.

 

How our curriculum is structured

EYFS

In Early Years, children primarily learn about the world around them through play. The exposure is very much child-initiated, with a variety of relevant and key elements, vocabulary and skills within Science being taught. We recognise the importance of working scientifically in the EYFS as a key area of learning.  There are three strands under Physical Development (Health and Self-Care), Understanding the World (The World) and Expressive Arts and Design (Exploring and Using Media and Materials).  In both the outdoor and indoor learning areas there are opportunities for both child-led and teacher-directed exploratory play.  The children are encouraged to follow their curiosity, explore using their senses, observe, predict, investigate and be creative when following their natural inquisitiveness.

Key Stage 1

Within Key Stage 1 children recognise how to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding through a range of scientific investigations, where children work individually, in pairs or in groups.  We cover scientific aspects relating to plants, animals (including humans), everyday materials, seasonal changes and living things (including their habitats) as prescribed within the National Curriculum’s Science programmes of study for key stages 1 and 2.

When children leave KS1 we expect them to be able to:

  • convey their knowledge of processes associated with biology, chemistry and physics
  • apply knowledge to understand the world around them
  • understand methods of scientific enquiries
  • know current uses of science
  • retain and recall scientific vocabulary

Key Stage 2

Within Key Stage 2 children continue to recognise how to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding through a range of scientific experiments, where children work individually, in pairs or in groups.  We cover scientific aspects relating to plants, animals (including humans), rocks, light, forces, magnets, living things (including their habitats), states of matter, sound, electricity, materials (including properties and changes), earth (including solar system) and evolution (including inheritance) as prescribed within the National Curriculum’s Science programmes of study for key stages 1 and 2.

When children leave KS2 we expect them to be able to:

  • develop knowledge and understanding of processes associated with biology, chemistry and physics
  • apply knowledge to understand the world around them
  • understand and apply methods of scientific investigation
  • know current uses of science and consider future implications
  • retain and recall scientific vocabulary
 

 

Enrichment

Additional opportunities are provided for all children at Boughton Monchelsea in Science such as; workshops led by staff from Cornwallis Academy ; educational visits linked to the Science curriculum, including visits to Horton Kirby Environmental Centre and Tyland Barn. We offer an after-school Science club, run by an outside company and facilitate whole school Science days. This year, we are working towards the Primary Science Quality Mark, supported by www.stem.org.uk.