At St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, we aim for all our pupils to acquire an appreciation of the fact that Science is an integral part of our everyday lives. We recognise that Science is a core subject and that it has a very important role to play in enabling our children to gain a deeper understanding of the world around us. The great power of the subject lies in its ability to inspire awe and wonder in young people as they make new discoveries and connections and enjoy new experiences. Our intention when planning and delivering the Science curriculum at St. Joseph’s is to foster our pupils’ enthusiasm for the subject, whilst also helping them to fulfil their potential and equipping them with the skills that they will need in order to go on to become life-long learners.
We recognise that children are naturally curious and that Science is a subject area which provides invaluable opportunities for this curiosity and inquisitiveness to come to the fore. By making Science practical whenever possible, we aim to develop our children’s scientific knowledge, skills and vocabulary while linking this learning to real-life contexts and thereby making it more meaningful.
Hands-on and inquiry-based activities are essential not only because they are designed to let pupils discover scientific concepts for themselves and develop an understanding of scientific thought but also because children find them so stimulating and memorable. These kinds of tasks promote pupils’ enthusiasm and passion for the subject, develop their respect for living and non-living things and engage their interest in finding things out for themselves. The skills that we want to our children to develop from this approach include the ability to pose their own questions and investigate their own ideas, solve problems, communicate and collaborate, use a range of equipment and resources, accurately record and describe their findings using scientific vocabulary and evaluate the effectiveness of their investigations. Working Scientifically skills are embedded in each topic our children study and these topics are revisited and developed throughout their time at school, allowing them to build on their prior knowledge.
- To foster children’s interest in Science and help them to develop an appreciation of its involvement in all aspects of everyday life.
- To develop children’s scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
- To follow a clear and comprehensive scheme of work in line with the National Curriculum, where teaching and learning should show progression across all Key Stages within the strands of Science.
- To use a range of enquiries and practical activities to give pupils a greater understanding of scientific concepts.
- To introduce children to the vocabulary of Science and support effective interactions relating to the subject.
- To develop children’s ability to take accurate and precise measurements, control variables and record their observations and findings effectively.
- To provide opportunities for children to use a range of methods to convey and present scientific information including diagrams, graphs and tables etc.
- To encourage children to demonstrate a respect for the materials and equipment they handle and show regard for their own and other children’s safety.
- To make cross-curricular links with other subject areas wherever possible.
We follow the National Curriculum for Science using an investigative approach, which includes aspects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics in each year group. We aim to deliver a curriculum that allows our children to develop knowledge and understanding in these areas throughout their Primary years. Teachers plan their Science lessons with reference to the school’s Progression of Knowledge and Skills document. This document ensures the curriculum is covered in a comprehensive way and that the skills and knowledge that are taught are progressive from one year group to the next.
Through our half-termly topics for each year group, we are able to ensure that we are delivering a coherent and complete science curriculum that helps pupils to progress their knowledge, understanding and skills as they move up through the school. Our Science curriculum provides children access to ideas and ways of working scientifically in a range of contexts and provides appropriate repetition and reinforcement to facilitate the retention of subject knowledge.
The Science lessons that teachers at St. Joseph’s deliver are carefully crafted with the intention of inspiring, engaging and providing an appropriate level of challenge for all children. Teachers have access to a wide variety of different types of scientific equipment which can be used to model scientific concepts and to provide their pupils with hands-on learning opportunities. Key vocabulary is modelled by teachers in lessons to aid children’s understanding and encourage the use of scientific vocabulary in children’s written work.
St Joseph’s takes part in the annual British Science Week. This much-anticipated week of programmed events coordinated by the British Science Association is an exciting part of the school’s year, during which we celebrate science, engineering and technology. During Science Week, each year group takes part in a number of different activities that relate to the special theme for that particular year’s event.
Science fits into the Area of Learning called ‘Understanding the World’ within the Early Years Foundation Stage. EYFS children are taught to:
- Know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things.
- Talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another.
- Make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.
- Recognise that a range of forms of technology are used in places such as homes and schools.
- Select and use technology for particular purposes.
- Know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions
The successful approach to the teaching of science at St Joseph’s will result in a fun, engaging, high quality science education, that provides children with the foundations for understanding the world that they can take with them once they complete their primary education.
Children at St Joseph’s will:
- demonstrate a love of science work and an interest in further study and work in this field
- retain knowledge that is pertinent to Science with a real life context.
- be able to question ideas and reflect on knowledge.
- be able to articulate their understanding of scientific concepts and be able to reason scientifically using rich language linked to science.
- demonstrate a high love of mathematical skills through their work, organising, recording and interpreting results.
- work collaboratively and practically to investigate and experiment.
- achieve age-related expectations in Science at the end of their cohort year.