At Highnam C of E Primary Academy, we recognise the importance of science in every aspect of daily life. As one of the core subjects taught in primary schools, we give the teaching and learning of science the prominence it requires.
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 will develop the natural curiosity of the child, encourage respect for living organisms and the physical environment and provide opportunities for critical evaluation of evidence.
In accordance with the aims of the national curriculum, our science teaching offers opportunities for children to:
- develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
- develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of scientific enquiry that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
- be equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future
- develop the essential scientific enquiry skills to deepen their scientific knowledge
- use a range of methods to communicate scientific information and present it in a systematic, scientific manner, including ICT, diagrams, graphs and charts
- develop a respect for the materials and equipment they handle with regard to their own, and other children’s safety
- develop an enthusiasm and enjoyment of scientific learning and discovery
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.
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 for at least one hour each week throughout the year.
- The use of Dr Tom Robson’s resources supports our planning, resourcing and assessment. This enables us to create a progressive approach to science where the resources and methods that are used with each year group build upon the last and feed into the next.
- Science is linked to class topics where possible but not to the detriment of the subject. Where necessary, it is taught discreetly and children are always made aware of when they are studying science.
- 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 create engaging lessons, often involving high-quality resources or visitors to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all children keep up.
- We build upon the learning of previous years. This is monitored through the use of whole school progression grids and assessment grids. 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 and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching.
- 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.
This successful approach at Highnam results in a fun, engaging, and high-quality science education; enjoyed by both pupils and teachers! By the time the children leave us they are both interested in the world around them and equipped to find out the answers to their questions. They will have an understanding of biology, physics and chemistry which will serve as a solid foundation to further continue their science education in secondary school and beyond.
We measure the impact on our pupils through regular assessment and opportunities for retrieval. End of unit and progress tests are used to formally assess pupils at the end of each term and year to ascertain the level that they are working at. Teacher assessment is also used at the end of each lesson. Both of these things support teachers in identifying gaps in learning and evaluating the impact of their teaching. Extra support is then given to children who need it during weekly science lessons.