At Southridge our science curriculum allows our children to experience and explore the world around them. It develops their understanding of scientific ideas and makes links between different ideas and experiences. We aim to simulate our children's curiosity in finding out why things happen in the way they do. We teach methods of enquiry and investigation to help our children learn to ask scientific questions and begin to appreciate the way science will affect their future on a personal, national and global level.
The aims of science are to enable children to:
ask and answer scientific questions;
plan and carry out scientific investigations using equipment, including ICT correctly;
know and understand the life process of living things;
know and understand the physical process of materials, electricity, light, sound and natural forces;
know about the nature of the solar system, including the earth;
evaluate evidence and present their conclusions clearly and accurately
Teaching and learning style
We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in science lessons in order to develop children’s knowledge, skills, and understanding. Sometimes we do this through whole-class teaching, while at other times we engage the children in an enquiry-based research activity. We engage the children to ask, as well as answer, scientific questions. They have the opportunity to use a variety of data: statistics, graphs, pictures, and photographs. They use ICT in science lessons where it enhances their learning. They take part in role-play and discussions and they present reports to the rest of the class. They engage in a wide variety of problem solving activities. Wherever possible, we involve the pupils in ‘real’ scientific activities, for example, researching a ‘real’ problem or carrying out a practical experiment and analysing the results.
The curriculum is regularly supported by trips and enhanced by drama shows and visitors in the school e.g. Sealife Centre, High Borrans Field Study Week, Technology Tom, House of Objects, Centre for Life, Zoolab etc.
We recognise that there are children of different backgrounds and needs in all classes and we ensure that we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the tasks to the age, stage of development, ability and needs of each child.
Planning guidelines for Science within the Curriculum
The National Curriculum provides the framework for the science we teach at Southridge. Full coverage of the National Curriculum topic areas is provided with reference to the QCA units also built into a creative curriculum topic approach. In addition there are regular opportunities built into the topic themed curriculum for children to develop their Scientific and investigating skills.
We have planned the topics in science so that they build upon prior learning. We ensure that there are opportunities for the children of all abilities to develop their skills and knowledge in each unit and we also build progression into the science scheme of work, so that the children are increasingly challenged as they move up through the school.
We teach science in reception classes as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year in the area of Knowledge and Understanding of the World. As the reception class is part of the Foundation Stage of the National Curriculum, we relate the scientific aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) which underpin the Curriculum planning for children aged 0 – 5. Science makes a significant contribution to the objective in the ELGs of developing a child’s knowledge and understanding of the world.
Science contributes significantly to the teaching of English in our school by promoting the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Some of the texts that the children study in literacy are of a scientific nature. The children develop oral skills in science lessons through discussions and through recounting their observations of scientific experiments. They develop their writing skills through writing reports and projects and by recording information.
Science contributes to the teaching of mathematics in a number of ways. The children use weights, measurements and timers and learn to estimate, predict and compare. They develop the skills of accurate observation and recording of events both in tables and graphically. They use numbers in many of their answers and conclusions.
Children use computing in science lessons where appropriate. They use it to support their work in science by learning how to find, select, and analyse information on the internet. Useful web links related to each topic are included in the unit plans. Children use computing to record, present and interpret data and to review, modify and evaluate their work and improve its presentation.
Personal, health, social and citizenship education (PHSE)
Science makes significant contribution to the teaching of personal, social, and health education. Specific topics are taught covering being healthy (diet, exercise etc.). In addition the subject matter lends itself to raising matters of citizenship and social welfare. For example, children study the way people recycle material and how environments are changed for better or worse. They also get opportunities to take part in debates and discussions. Science promotes the concept of positive citizenship.
Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
Science teaching offers children opportunities to examine some of the fundamental questions in life, for example, the evolution of living things and how the world was created. Through many of the amazing processes that affect living things, children develop a sense of awe and wonder regarding the nature of the world. Science raises many social and moral questions. We give them the chance to reflect on the way people care for the planet and how science can contribute to the way we manage the earth’s resources. Science teaches children about the reasons why people are different and, by understanding of physical and environmental factors, it promotes respect for other people.
Making Science Inclusive
We teach science to all children, whatever their ability. Science forms part of the school curriculum policy to provide a balanced education for all children. We provide learning opportunities that are matched to the needs of children with learning difficulties. Our work in science takes into account the targets set in the children’s Individual Education Plans (IEPS).
Assessment and recording
We assess children’s work in science by making informal judgements as we observe them during lessons. On completion of a piece of work, the teacher marks their work, providing comments or questions which move the children forward in their learning. (see Marking policy).
Children write a ‘Can I…’ statement at the beginning of each piece of work. At the end of the lesson they are encouraged to self-assess against this statement to reflect how well they have understood and achieved the objective. The teacher can then use this information to further challenge or support a child as necessary.
At the end of a unit of work teachers make a summary judgement about the progress children have made in scientific enquiry work and also the knowledge base of each pupil in relation to the unit. The teacher records whether a child is working towards, has met or has exceeded the National Standard on their assessment grid. We use this information as the basis for planning the next steps in learning.