Science

Science programmes of study

The Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework and the National Curriculum Science programme of study for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 form the basis of teaching and learning in Science. In the Early Years Foundation Stage, the prime area of ‘Understanding the World’ is explored through topic based learning and through the use of continuous, enriched and responsive provision, both in the indoor and outdoor learning environment. In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, the National Curriculum programme of study is addressed through the school’s own topic-based curriculum, which provides the children with opportunities to focus on one key subject area while also making links with other subjects within the curriculum.

Teaching and learning

Through the teaching of Science, children should develop scientific knowledge, such as the facts relating to animal life cycles, as well as scientific skills, such as the ability to construct a controlled investigation. By combining knowledge and skills, children will be able to develop rich understandings and address misconceptions related to scientific learning. Where possible, scientific learning should be linked to real life resources and experiences and through enquiry. Teaching and learning should build upon children’s speaking and listening skills by providing children with ample opportunities to express their knowledge and understanding. As children progress through the school, this expression should incorporate an increasing vocabulary. This will demonstrate children’s increasing confidence in the subject as well as provide teachers with the opportunity to assess learning and address any misconceptions. Science is a high priority subject as it provides children with the opportunity to engage with curious and critical thinking, enabling them to understand the world around them and to situate themselves within it. For more information about the five enquiry types, see below.

Learning and assessment

Evidence of children’s learning, achievement and progression should be visible, both to them and to adults. This can take the form of recorded learning in their exercise books, when engaged in a topic that incorporates scientific learning. Additionally, learning can be evidenced as follows:

  • By children contributing to their class working wall;

  • By children’s work being neatly and proudly displayed around the school;

  • By children or teachers taking photographs or videos of investigations and discussions;

  • By children or teachers scribing discussions;

  • By examples of children’s learning being shared in the school newsletter or class webpage;


Definitions of enquiry types

Pattern seeking:

We observe, record and analyse data. These patterns give us clues that we can interpret to help us draw some conclusions.

  • Pupils observe, measure and record events and systems when carrying out pattern seeking enquiries. They also collect and interpret data from secondary sources. They make observations and conduct surveys to draw conclusions where the variables can’t easily be controlled.


Identify:

We use differences to help us name things.


Classifying:

We divide things into groups by looking at the similarities and differences between them.

Pupils make sense of how the world is organised. Identification is the process of using differences to name something and classification is organising things into groups. Opportunities to identify arise when pupils recognise not all birds are the same for example and can identify and name them. They can then use observable and behavioural similarities to group them and add new things.


Observing over time:

We identify and measure events and changes. These changes may take place over different periods of time.

Pupils identify and measure events and changes in living things, materials and physical process or events. These observations may take place over time spans of minutes or hours (e.g. puddles evaporating) up to several weeks or months (e.g. rearing young chicks).


Comparative and Fair testing:

We compare one event with another identifying the relationship between them. To be sure we are carrying out a fair test we need to be sure to keep everything the same except the thing we are testing.

Helps pupils explore relationships between variables. Comparative tests children compare one event with another e.g. does the red car go faster than the green car? A fair test identifies the causal relationship between two variables. E.g. does the height of the ramp affect how quickly the toy car rolls down the ramp and everything else remains the same.


Research using secondary sources:

We find the answer using secondary sources, distinguishing between fact and opinion.

Where the answer is found using secondary sources. This is usually where it is impossible or unsafe for pupils to answer with first hand enquiries. This enquiry helps them evaluate sources, distinguish between fact and opinion and recognise conflicting evidence and bias.