Science at Swarcliffe Primary School
At Swarcliffe Primary School, we are aware of how science has changed our lives and how it is vital to the world’s future prosperity. At Swarcliffe we want our children to develop an enthusiasm and enjoyment of scientific learning and discovery, and as one of the core subjects, we give the teaching and learning of Science the prominence it requires.
Our Science curriculum is linked to our engaging topics, where possible, to ensure that all pupils:
- 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 knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
In order for our children to operate as successful scientists, they will be taught a wide range of essential enquiry skills. These skills build upon earlier opportunities they have had to play, explore, create, engage in active learning, and think critically in the Early Years Foundation Stage. The scientific enquiry skills children will develop as they progress are:
- Asking questions
- Observing and measuring
- Planning and setting up different types of enquiries
- Identifying and classifying
- Performing tests
- Using equipment
- Gathering and recording data
- Reporting, presenting and communicating data/findings
EY Foundation Stage
Children in Foundation Stage will start to gain the science knowledge that they will build on throughout Y1-Y6, such as developing their skills of observation, questioning, prediction, critical thinking and discussion. These skills in the Foundation Stage are underpinned by ‘The Characteristics of Effective Learning’, and will be embedded particularly through teaching of the strand of ‘Understanding of the World’. By the end of reception, children will;
- Know about similarities and differences in relation to objects, materials and living things
- Make observations of animals and plants
- Explain why some things occur
- Talk about changes.
Key Stage One
The principal focus of science teaching in key stage 1 is to enable pupils to experience and observe phenomena, looking more closely at the natural and humanly constructed world around them. Children in KS1 will be encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. They will be helped to develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of scientific enquiry to answer their own questions, including observing changes over a period of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative tests, and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They will begin to use simple scientific language to talk about what they have found out and communicate their ideas to a range of audiences in a variety of ways. Most of the learning about science will be done through the use of first-hand practical experiences, but there will be some use of appropriate secondary sources, such as books, photographs and videos.
Key Stage Two
The principal focus of science teaching in lower key stage 2 is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. Children in KS2 will do this through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments, and by beginning to develop their ideas about functions, relationships and interactions. They will ask their own questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, including observing changes over time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative and fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They will draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out.
Enrich, Enhance, Excite
Our science curriculum is enhanced further by memorable experiences such as educational visits to museums, farms and ecological sites, inviting visitors into school and using our outdoor areas. Immersion in these experiences help our children embed the scientific understanding that is being taught throughout the programmes of study and working scientifically.