At Whitfield Aspen Primary School we believe that teaching and learning in Science should stimulate and excite children’s curiosity about the world around them. It provides first-hand experiences and support for children to develop enquiring minds, learning how to question and discuss science through collaboration. Starting from the views already held, children are given the opportunity to have their views challenged, to change their views, and ultimately improve their understanding. A planned range of practical work in meaningful contexts helps to develop a range of investigative skills and allows children to take risks and learn from their mistakes, developing them into independent learners.
We aim to:-
• build on the children’s natural curiosity.
• teach the children scientific knowledge.
• teach the children scientific skills.
• stimulate them to investigate, question, and develop attitudes toward science.
• teach them to communicate ideas using appropriate scientific language.
• teach them how to evaluate their findings and suggest explanations
Science is taught in every Pathway. The different aspects to Science teaching at Whitfield Aspen are:
‘Working Scientifically’ - Throughout each unit, the emphasis is on the children learning by doing. The units of work encourage the teachers to provide activities that will enable the children to test their previously held ideas. In doing so, they will also be encouraged to develop a bank of skills and an understanding of the processes required to be able to carry out a successful science enquiry.
Scientific vocabulary - Each unit of work contains a section outlining the most appropriate scientific vocabulary to be used when studying that particular area of science. This will help children become familiar with, and use, technical terminology accurately and precisely. At the beginning of each unit, a Vocabulary Planner is included in the children’s books with relevant vocabulary they will come across throughout the unit.
Resources–We have an extensive list of resources that are available to teachers to support the learning that occurs in lessons and across each unit of work.
Engagement - Within every unit of work there are many suggestions as to strategies that teachers can use to ensure that children are interested and engaged in the content from the very beginning.
Scientists - Every unit of work lists some of the scientists who are working, or have worked, in that particular area of science. Teachers can use these to extend the children’s understanding of different scientific discoveries.
A range of learning strategies - As well as the full range of practical scientific enquiries outlined, there are plenty of other strategies provided to engage the children in their science learning; drama, deep thinking time, problem-solving in various contexts, videos from web pages, etc.
For pupils whow are working at a non subject specific level of development, they access the curriculum by using The Engagement model. This has 5 areas of engagement, which are exploration, realization, anticipation, persistence and initiation.
• The role of ICT in supporting pupils learning in science is recognised
• The emphasis of this being placed on enabling each pupil to progress and demonstrate achievements in contexts appropriate to their age
• Pupils learn in a variety of styles e.g. individually, in pairs, small groups or as classes
• Pupils participate in a variety of practical activities using a range of equipment appropriate to their individual needs
• The units can be delivered to the pupils via a wide range of sensory experiences; therefore science has its value for PMLD pupils.
Within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Special Provision, Science is developed through purposeful play-based experiences which are represented in a variety of indoor and outdoor environments. The Long-term plan focuses on the expectations from Development Matters / Early Years Outcomes and our own bespoke Pathway curriculum.
Children are encouraged to record their scientific thinking and the expectation of formal recording increases during the year. Photographic evidence and discussions with the children are a main aspect of Science learning in EYFS and Special Provision. The Forest School is also used on a weekly basis to give the children the opportunity to explore and discover the world they live in.
Most children will achieve age-related expectations in Science at the end of their cohort year.
Children will retain knowledge, relevant to Science with a real-life context.
Children will be able to question ideas and reflect on knowledge.
Children will work collaboratively and practically to investigate and experiment.
Children will be able to explain the process they have taken and be able to reason scientifically
Pathway 1: Pupils begin to communicate intentionally. They show anticipation in response to familiar people, routines, activities and actions and respond appropriately to them. They explore or manipulate objects, toys, artefacts or other equipment.
Monitoring and Evaluation
The Science curriculum is implemented through the planning, teaching and assessment of the subject as a specific discipline in each milestone group. The teaching of Science is designed to make purposeful links between subjects where possible.
Class teachers assess children that are working towards the expected standard in each unit. Children are assessed against their knowledge and also their ability to work scientifically. During each teaching sequence or ‘unit’ of science, teachers collect evidence and make summative assessments of each child’s progress and attainment against the defined milestones. Subject Leaders and teachers share an overview of children not meeting pathway/milestone group expectation. This ensures that any children not meeting expectations are identified and support can be put in place if necessary.
Teachers at Whitfield Aspen Primary School build on prior learning. The Reception class and Special Provision deliver Science content through the ‘Understanding of the World’ strand of the EYFS curriculum and Pathway 2. This involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. They are assessed according to the Development Matters attainment targets.
Partnerships with parents
Shared experiences with parents are highly valued at Whitfield Aspen School. We endeavour to share our science learning experiences through the Class Pages on our websites and when events take place at school, where possible, parents will be invited to attend or view these.
We welcome any parents who wish to support the teaching and learning of Science at school.