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Why we teach Science
Science is taught throughout our curriculum and even as part of celebration days. Pupils are given opportunities to explore the history of science and also take part in experiments and then linking science to the world around us. Science linked via STEM to other areas of the curriculum is fundamental in children becoming successful members of society.
. A high-quality science education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:
The programmes of study describe a sequence of knowledge and concepts. While it is important that pupils make progress, it is also vitally important that they develop secure understanding of each key block of knowledge and concepts in order to progress to the next stage. Insecure, superficial understanding will not allow genuine progression: pupils may struggle at key points of transition (such as between primary and secondary school), build up serious misconceptions, and/or have significant difficulties in understanding higher-order content.
Pupils should be able to describe associated processes and key characteristics in common language, but they should also be familiar with, and use, technical terminology accurately and precisely. They should build up an extended specialist vocabulary. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data. The social and economic implications of science are important but, generally, they are taught most appropriately within the wider school curriculum: teachers will wish to use different contexts to maximise their pupils’ engagement with and motivation to study science.
‘Working scientifically’ specifies the understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science for each year group. It should not be taught as a separate strand. The notes and guidance give examples of how ‘working scientifically’ might be embedded within the content of biology, chemistry and physics, focusing on the key features of scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions. These types of scientific enquiry should include: observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations); and researching using secondary sources. Pupils should seek answers to questions through collecting, analysing and presenting data. ‘Working scientifically’ will be developed further at key stages 3 and 4, once pupils have built up sufficient understanding of science to engage meaningfully in more sophisticated discussion of experimental design and control.
The national curriculum for science reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are key factors in developing their scientific vocabulary and articulating scientific concepts clearly and precisely. They must be assisted in making their thinking clear, both to themselves and others, and teachers should ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions.
The programmes of study for science are set out year-by-year for key stages 1 and 2. Schools are, however, only required to teach the relevant programme of study by the end of the key stage. Within each key stage, schools therefore have the flexibility to introduce content earlier or later than set out in the programme of study. In addition, schools can introduce key stage content during an earlier key stage if appropriate. All schools are also required to set out their school curriculum for science on a year-by-year basis and make this information available online.
(National Curriculum, July 2014)
Pupils engage in:
The development of mental strategies
Scientific discussion using precise scientific language.
Consolidation of basic skills and routines
Role of Subject Leader:
The subject leader (Mrs O'Neill) is responsible for improving the standards of teaching and learning in science.
This is done in the following ways:
tracking pupil progress in science
monitoring of school environment through completion of learning walks
monitoring teaching and learning through observing lessons
monitoring teaching and learning by completing book scrutiny 3 times per year
co-coaching of staff
delivery of INSET
delivery of staff meetings and CPD of teaching and learning strategies for teaching staff and LSAs
purchasing, organising and auditing of resources
keeping up to date with recent STEM developments
supporting staff in the teaching of science