At Tylers Green First School we teach science with a variety of different approaches to help children learn how science works, investigate problems and develop their own passion and understanding for the subject. We use active learning and planned, purposeful play with a greater emphasis of this in Early Years; we develop problem solving and analytical thinking skills; we use relevant contexts and relate them to the children’s own ideas and experiences; we utilise prior knowledge that the children have and our assessments of their learning to help us plan. In Reception they follow the ‘Early Years Framework’ and cover Science through their teaching of ‘Understanding the World’. In KS1 we follow the National Curriculum objectives for Science.
Knowledge – Throughout our children’s Science journey in our school we follow the statutory objectives in the Early Years Framework and National Curriculum. In Early Years they relate this objectives to the children’s current interests. In KS1 we teach with a main topic focus each half term and we link our Science teaching into these. For example, in Year 2 we teach the great fire of London as a topic and link this with materials and which materials are best suited for building a house.
Skills – Within the National Curriculum there are working scientifically skills which are statutory for us to teach. We teach and encourage these skills and more, including; inquiry and investigative skills such as observing, collecting, asking questions, planning experiments and scientific analytical thinking skills such as thinking creatively and critically, developing skills of reasoning to provide explanations and evaluations supported by evidence, making predictions and drawing conclusions.
Understanding - Children are able to consolidate their own understanding of their knowledge by creating and performing experiments and practicing new scientific skills. They are able to apply their scientific knowledge to the topics we are currently focusing on and the outside world e.g. in the Year 2 life cycles topic we watch caterpillars turn into butterflies, they can then observe this happening in the world outside of the classroom
How do we ensure a progression of knowledge skills and understanding?
We follow the National Curriculum progression of knowledge and we have a progression map to use and follow for the whole school. This means we can see where both knowledge and skills are being used and consolidated.
How often should Science be taught and for how long?
In Reception Science is covered through ‘Understanding the World’ sessions which are taught twice a week. Science is also within the everyday environment in early years depending on the children’s current interests and the room setup.
Science should be taught once a week in KS1. There is no fixed number of how many hours a week, however in KS1 in order to cover the content set out in the National Curriculum this should be at least 1 hour a week.
How does Science link to other subjects including PSHE?
Science uses skills which the children have learnt in other subjects such as English. The children will need their English skills when writing a method for an investigation – this links to our instruction lessons. Science also uses maths skills, in particular statistics, for producing tallies and graphs to present the outcomes of experiments.
As mentioned earlier, our science lessons are frequently intertwined with the topic we are teaching, therefore their knowledge from the other foundation subjects can be used alongside their science knowledge.
Children often need to practice their group work and ability to work as a team when conducting experiments and consolidating their science skills with their peers – this links with their PHSE lessons.
How is Science assessed?
Science is assessed formatively by the class teacher against the learning objective for the lesson. If the teacher feels the objective has not been met then they will revisit it again with the children. Teachers in Key Stage 1 assess the children against the National Curriculum age related expectations in Science in the summer term and report this to parents. In Reception, the children are assessed against the age related expectations of the foundation stage.
How do we know that the Science curriculum is effective?
The children will be able to contribute towards investigations and experiments within school and will be meeting the learning objectives according to teacher assessment. The children will have an understanding of the skills and knowledge they have learnt so far in science and they will be able to relate where they might be able to utilise this in the outside world. For example, they will be able to have respect for other living things and the environment around them.
How you will see this policy in action:
Teachers will develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding using the approaches mentioned above. They will assess the children’s progress each lesson using formative assessment. Teachers will make sure to model different skills and how they develop. Children will have a range of different scientific opportunities to cover the working scientifically skills. Children will be supported by scaffolding when necessary to partake in different scientific activities and experiments.