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Science at Saint Edmund's

The 2014 National Curriculum for Science aims to ensure that all children:

  • 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
  • Are equipped with the scientific skills required to understand the uses ad implications of science today, and for the future. We understand that it is important for lessons to have a skills-based focus, and that knowledge can be taught through this.

Science teaching at Saint Edmund’s Catholic Primary Academy aims to foster in our children, a healthy curiosity about the world. Through effective teaching all children will develop a strong understanding of the world around them whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them think scientifically, to gain an understanding of scientific processes and also an understanding of the uses and implications of Science today, and for the future.

In our school, scientific enquiry skills are embedded in each unit the children study, and these units are revisited and developed throughout their time with us. Topics such as Plants or Materials are taught in Key Stage One and studied again in further detail throughout Key Stage Two. This allows children to build upon their prior knowledge and increases their enthusiasm for the topics, embedding this procedural knowledge into the long term memory.

All children are encouraged to develop and use a range of working scientifically skills including observations, planning and carrying out investigations, as well as being encouraged to question the world around them and become independent learners in exploring possible answers for their scientific based questions. These skills are built on and developed throughout their time with us so that they can apply their knowledge of science when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts. Specialist vocabulary for topics is taught and built up, and the use of effective questioning to communicate ideas is encouraged. Concepts taught should be reinforced by focusing on the key features of scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions.

Teaching and Learning in Science

Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within our classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in science. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following;

  • Science will be taught in planned and arranged topic blocks which include problem solving opportunities that allow the children to find out for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all children are able to keep up.
  • We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. 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 time with us. 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 including outdoor learning activities.
  • Children are offered a range of extra-curricular activities, visits, trips and visitors to complement and broaden the curriculum. These are purposeful and link with the knowledge being taught in class.
  • Regular events, such as Science Week allow all pupils to come off-timetable, to provide broader provision and the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills. These events often involve families and the wider community.

Making Links in Science

Our approach results in a fun, engaging, high-quality science education, that provides children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world. Our engagement with the local environment ensures all children learn through various and first hand experiences of the world around them. Frequent, continuous and progressive learning outside the classroom is embedded throughout the science curriculum. Through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts, children have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity. Children learn the possibilities for careers in science, as a result of our community links and connection with national agencies such as the STEM association, We the Curious, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and the Forestry Commission. These links ensure that children have access to positive role models within the field of science from the immediate and wider local community. From this exposure to a range of different scientists from various backgrounds, all children feel that they are scientists and are capable of achieving. Pupil Voice surveys show that children at Saint Edmund’s enjoy science and this results in motivated learners with strong scientific understanding.

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