At Our Lady and St Patrick's our vision is to ignite a lifelong curiosity through encouraging our children to confidently explore and discover the world around them, so that they develop a deeper understanding of the world we live in.
In line with the National Curriculum Science Programmes of Study KS1 and KS2 the school aims to ensure that all pupils:
develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world
are equipped with the scientific knowledge they require to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. We understand that it is important for lessons to have a skills-based focus, and that the substantive knowledge can often be taught through this.
The science curriculum fosters a healthy curiosity in children about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living things. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes.
Throughout the programmes of study, the children will acquire and develop the key knowledge that has been identified within each unit and across each year group, as well as the application of scientific skills. We ensure that the Working Scientifically skills are built-on and developed throughout children’s time at school so that they can apply their knowledge of science when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings.
Scientific enquiry – observing changes, finding patterns, grouping and classifying, fair testing and researching using secondary sources
Drawing conclusions based on data and observations
Using evidence to justify ideas
Using scientific knowledge to explain findings
The acquisition of key scientific knowledge is an integral part of our science lessons. Linked knowledge organisers enable children to learn and retain the important, useful and powerful vocabulary and knowledge contained within each unit. The progression of skills for working scientifically are developed through the year groups and scientific enquiry skills are of key importance within lessons, working scientifically skills are assessed at the end of each unit through the use of TAPS (Targeted Assessment in Primary Science Assessments).
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;
• Science will be taught in planned, and arranged, topic blocks by the class teacher. Our strategy is to enable all children to be catered for through adapted teaching and use of scaffolds for learning where necessary.
• We plan for problem solving and real life opportunities that enable 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.
• Our curriculum is progressive. We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous learning which is assessed at the beginning of each unit
• 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.
• Through enrichment days, such as ‘science week’, we promote the profile of Science and allow time for the children to freely explore scientific topics.
The approach to the teaching of science at Our Lady and St Patrick’s School will result in a fun, engaging, high quality science education that provides children with the foundations for understanding the world that they can take with them once they complete their primary education. By the end of Key Stage Two, all children will have developed scientific enquiry skills in the five key areas: Asking questions, observing and measuring, communicating and reporting, concluding and analysing and evaluating. We want children to be immersed in Science to reinforce the skills that they have previously learned, but then want to build on them by challenging their thinking further. Through enrichment opportunities such as workshops, trips and extracurricular activities, children develop the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity.