Science at Water Leys
"Equipped with their five senses, humans explore the universe around them and call the adventure science."
Edwin Powell Hubble
Intent – What we are trying to achieve?
At Water Leys Primary School, in conjunction 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 Science through different types of science enquiries 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 their scientific information and present it in a systematic, scientific manner, including I.C.T., diagrams, graphs and charts.
- Develop an enthusiasm and enjoyment of scientific learning and discovery.
- Develop a natural curiosity of the child, encourage respect for living organisms and the physical environment and provide opportunities for critical evaluation of evidence.
• We believe science incorporates 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 (our Water Leys ROCKS) within each unit and across each year group. The key knowledge identified by each year group is informed by the National Curriculum and builds towards identified phase ‘end points’ in accordance with NC expectations.
• The curriculum is designed to ensure that children are able to acquire key scientific knowledge through practical experiences; using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently.
• The school’s approach to science takes account of the school’s own context, ensuring access to people with specialist expertise and places of scientific interest as part of the school’s commitment to learning outside the classroom. For example, we have formed a partnership with the ‘Saving Saffron Brook’ project being run by the City Council. This provides access to workshops and visits which support the acquisition of scientific knowledge and skills.
• Cross curricular opportunities are also identified, mapped and planned to ensure contextual relevance. For example, in Year One, the Science unit of ‘seasonal changes’ directly links to the geography unit focussing on the four seasons. In Year Three, the science unit ‘How Plants Grow’ has been linked with their Design and Technology unit ‘Making mini-greenhouses’.
Implementation – How do we translate our vision into practice?
• Our Science is taught in planned and arranged topic blocks by the subject leader who has oversight of how the acquisition of knowledge and skills are sequenced and progress across the school.
• We are using a commercially produced scheme of work to ensure that planning and resources are of a high standard and that the support offered by the scheme enables teachers to be ‘Science experts’.
• Our curriculum is sequenced to ensure that we build upon the knowledge, vocabulary and skill development of the previous years. For example, our Year Five unit ‘Properties and changes of materials’, builds on the knowledge developed in the Year Two unit ‘Exploring materials’. 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.
• 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.
• At the end of each topic, key knowledge is reviewed by the children and rigorously checked by the teacher and consolidated as necessary.
Impact – What is the impact of our curriculum on the students?
The successful approach at Water Leys Primary School results in a fun, engaging, high-quality science education, that provides children with the foundations for understanding the world.
• Our engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first hand experiences of the world around them. So much of science lends itself to outdoor learning and so we provide children with opportunities to experience this.
• Through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts and local charities, children have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity.