“The important thing is to never stop questioning.” - Albert Einstein
At St Dennis Primary Academy, we aim in science to ignite curiosity in our children, question why things happen and understand the way things work.
- We have a shared understanding of the importance and value of science across the school.
- We endeavour to foster children’s natural desire to be inquisitive in finding out more about our world and promote respect for our environment.
- We aim to develop an understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of scientific enquiries that help them to answer questions about the world around them.
- We endeavour to ensure that children are equipped with the scientific enquiry skills required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
Teachers have a shared whole school approach to creating a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in science and approach learning as scientists.
- Science (biology, chemistry and physics) is taught in planned topic blocks by the class teacher, within the half-termly topic. Work is recorded in science books and class floor books.
- Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover answers and come to their own conclusions.
- Planning follows the National Curriculum and Chris Quigley Milestones define the standards for the Threshold Concepts and provide clarity about what is to be achieved at the end of each Key Stage.
- Lessons have a ‘working scientifically’ skills-based focus and knowledge is taught through this.
- We ensure that we are building on the learning and skill development of the previous year in order that there is appropriate progression through the Key Stages.
- We raise the profile of science and build on science capital with regular science days, being involved in British Science Week, assemblies, displays and St Dennis Stars specifically for learning in science. Visits and visitors are an integral part of our science curriculum.
Wherever possible, the school grounds and local area are used for fieldwork to enable children to base learning on first-hand experiences. Children also have a ‘Stunning Start’ to inspire learning and units often involve a visit, or an expert to enhance learning as real life-experiences are a key driver of our curriculum. Community is also important to us at St Dennis Primary Academy, so families are invited to a ‘Fabulous Finish’ to celebrate and share in their children’s learning and successes.
Science in St Dennis Primary is taught by teachers with good subject knowledge and an understanding of the need to incorporate and develop the use of scientific skills. We aim to deepen the children’s understanding of all concepts and knowledge using a range of enquiry skills to embed this knowledge fully. Therefore, there is a clear understanding of the progression of skills and where the children are, where they need to be and how they can be further extended and challenged.
Children are enthusiastic to find out more about the world around them and have a natural curiosity to find out even more. Children can talk about their learning in science and the skills they have used to gain this understanding. Regular monitoring and talking to children about their perception of science takes place.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Formative assessing of children’s understanding of topic (including vocabulary) before, during and after a unit is taught through a range of methods including mind maps, KWL grids and low stake quizzes.
- Summative assessment, through on-going learning and TAPS Focussed Assessments to assess whether understanding of milestones is basic, advancing or deep.
- Images and videos of the children’s practical learning.
- Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice) with their books.
- Annual reporting to parents of standards across the curriculum.
- Marking of written work in books.
How does science link to British Values?
In Science, we continually remind children of the need to establish a firm set of rules when undertaking any scientific enquiries, particularly those that are of a practical nature, so as to ensure the safety of others. We introduce them to the fact that any new research by Scientists has to follow strict laws and guidelines.
Children are encouraged to be mutually respectful of others when offering their viewpoints, ideas or suggestions for an investigation or a hypothesis. They are encouraged to weigh up both sides of an argument and provide a reasoned response that supports their own ideas.
We introduce the children to the many famous scientists and inventors who have been influential in the development of new technologies and research from all corners of the world and how all of these have contributed so positively to life in Modern Britain.
How to help your child at home
Science is a way of understanding the world, a perspective, and a pattern of thinking that begins in the very early years. That is why parental involvement is so important in a child's science education. Science is all about exploring how things work. It’s often best learned through hands-on experiments and observation. This makes it a fun and easy subject area for children to dive into while at home. Here are some websites which suggest fun science experiments and activities: