At Whetstone we understand that a high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world. We encourage children in their natural sense of excitement and curiosity about the world around them and provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to ask and answer questions. Our science projects are sequenced to enable children to develop a secure understanding of each key block of knowledge and concepts in order to progress to the next stage. For example in Year 2 children are encouraged to apply their knowledge from the Year 1 ‘Materials’ topic to help them further their knowledge and answer questions in the topic ‘Uses of Materials’. Wherever possible, we also make meaningful links to other projects and subjects. For example, in year 6 our topic on Inheritance sits alongside our writing project based around Darwin. These links allow for children to embed their knowledge in new and often real-life contexts. Children can then relate their science learning to their own everyday experiences. Each project’s place in the year has also been carefully considered. For example, projects that involve growing plants or observing animals are positioned at a suitable time of year to give children the best possible opportunity to make first-hand observations.
We introduce vocabulary to the children in a progressive and ambitious manner. The vocabulary for each topic is displayed on the Science working wall and teacher’s model the correct use of this to enable children to confidently use the correct terminology in their spoken and written work.
Working scientifically skills are taught alongside the science national curriculum knowledge content. Our goal is for all our children to be “Inquisitive Investigators”. At all stages in their journey we encourage children to be independent learners, thinking for themselves about how to conduct experiments, which measurements they need to take and how to record their results.
In the Early years we foster the children’s natural curiosity and provide them with resources, first hand experiences and activities for hands on learning through both child initiated and adult led activities. The development of children’s scientific skills and knowledge are also linked to each class project they do. This includes looking at different animals including humans, the seasons and the properties and uses of various materials.
At KS1 we provide the children with the knowledge and skills to ask and answer questions by predicting, carrying out fair tests and recording their results in a variety of different ways. In KS2 children are then progressively given the freedom to build their own investigations and eventually follow their own lines of enquiry. Through doing this they reinforce and build on their skills of setting up and carrying out fair tests, controlling variables, making predictions and making and recording accurate measurements. In year 5 and 6 children attend Aldridge School for Science activities and this helps with the transition to Secondary School and the KS3 Science curriculum.
We recognise that children have a natural curiosity about the world around them and each year group have “Science Question” displays or boxes where children may add their own questions. Teachers then regularly allocate time to work with the children to find out some of these answers by sharing prior knowledge and extending their knowledge through the use of different methods of research.