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Science

At East Dene the Science curriculum stimulates and excites pupil’s curiosity about natural phenomena and events in the world around them

Knowledge and skills are developed in a way that directly link practical experiences with ideas and scientific methods/concepts. They learn to question and discuss Science based issues that may affect their own lives, the directions of society and the future of the world.

Intent

At East Dene Primary School we recognise the importance Science in our everyday lives and strive to support our pupils in developing the knowledge and skills they require to understand the world they live in.  We strongly believe that learning should be purposeful to provide our pupils with a broad understanding of the natural world and its phenomena. We want children to see the connections between areas of science, ‘big ideas’ and to pursue questions in practice which is a skill that can be transferred across the curriculum. Overall we aim to harness children’s natural excitement and curiosity to inspire them to pursue scientific enquiry skills in all areas. Throughout the primary years, children should learn to explain and analyse phenomena, make predictions and solve problems.

Aims

  • building on children’s natural curiosity and developing a scientific approach to problems;
  • building children’s self-confidence to enable them to work independently and developing their social skills to work co-operatively with others;
  • preparing children for life in an increasingly scientific and technological world;
  • fostering concern about, and appreciation of, our local environment and the wider world;
  • helping children to acquire a progressive understanding of scientific ideas;
  • giving children the experience of scientific processes and concepts;
  • helping children to acquire practical science skills which can be used and transferred to different contexts;
  • providing children with an enjoyable experience of Science, so that they will develop a deep and lasting interest and be motivated to study Science further.

Implementation

At East Dene our Science lessons follow the National Curriculum. The science subject leader has mapped out the knowledge and skills for every Science strand throughout the school, this ensures that learning is sequential and progressive. The planning and teaching of Science follows a set structure to ensure consistency across school incorporating key knowledge, vocabulary and skills to be covered. We revise and build on prior learning of Science, and basic Science skills, at the start of every lesson, in order to encourage ‘deep learning’.  One way we do this is by developing children’s scientific thinking and explanations with an explorify activity linked to the area being covered. This encourages children to discuss a range of questions, concepts and images. Each activity is recorded in a class floor book which is used to gather evidence and show progression of each child’s scientific thinking, vocabulary and understanding at all levels. Science is taught incorporating a variety of teaching and learning styles that develop children’s knowledge, skills, and independence. We do this through whole-class teaching, while at other times we engage the children in an enquiry-based research activity where children are encouraged to be hands on learners.

By revisiting learning from previous year groups, our pupils strengthen their previously learned knowledge and are able to build new learning upon this. Teachers use ‘sticky knowledge’ and progression maps to build on previous learning, planning vertical links and further development of scientific processes. Assessment of science concepts learnt are tracked for groups across the school, and pre and post activities are planned to ensure that children are given the chance to apply learning in different contexts. Enrichment and experiences, such as trips, visitors, and real-life experiences, are used frequently to support the teaching of Science, this enhances the Science capital for our learners.

Impact

The impact and measure of our Science curriculum is to ensure children not only acquire the appropriate age related knowledge but also skills which equip them to be ready for the next year of learning and for life as an adult in the world outside the classroom. Children will be able to demonstrate their ability to interpret scientific thinking and suggest ways in which they might explore a scientific principle. Children’s learning is assessed against the age-related expectations for Science.

All children will have:

  • A wider variety of skills linked to both scientific knowledge and understanding, including scientific enquiry/investigative skills.
  • A richer vocabulary which will enable to articulate their understanding of taught concepts.
  • High aspirations, which will see them through to further study, work and a successful adult life.

At East Dene Primary we strive to stimulate and excite pupil’s curiosity about natural phenomena and events in the world around them

We do this by making links with direct practical experiences to scientific knowledge and understanding where we engage learners at many levels giving our pupils opportunities to be effective, creative and independent learners.

Science lessons develop the knowledge, skills and understanding for our children. We aim to ensure every child moves towards understanding how major scientific ideas contribute toward technological change – impacting on industry, medicine, business and improving quality of life. They learn to question and discuss science based issues that may affect their own lives, the directions of society and the future of the world.

Science planning

Before any unit of Science is planned each member of staff is required to complete a CPD unit to ensure that subject knowledge is accurate and that misconceptions can be planned for. Planning takes place in two phases: long-term and medium-term. The long term plan maps out the knowledge and skills required for each term and ensures breadth of coverage across the year and key stage. We encourage children to make links across the curriculum and aim to plan units that fit in with our Themes where appropriate. This is formulated by individual teachers with support from subject leaders to ensure progression across the school. Medium term planning sets out the learning objectives and key knowledge to be covered in the unit that half term. These plans are based on the NC and follows a set of non-negotiables to ensure consistency throughout the school. Objectives are taught with progression of subject knowledge and scientific skills in mind whilst also ensuring a wide range of experiences are offered.

Teaching and Learning

We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in our Science lessons. Our principle aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills and independence to develop a deeper understanding of the concepts being taught. We do this through whole-class teaching and engaging the children in a practical enquiry-based activity. We encourage children to generate, as well as answer, scientific questions in a variety of ways. This is done through exploration activities, discussion, role-play or written outcomes. In order to extend and deepen children’s scientific thinking and explanations we start each lesson with an explorify activity linked to the area being covered. This encourages children to discuss a range of questions, concepts and images. Each activity is recorded in a class floor book which is used to gather evidence and show progression of each child’s scientific thinking and understanding at all levels.

Explorify and floor books

Vocabulary

Each area of study requires children to read, write, spell and define a set of given vocabulary linked to the key ideas within the Science concepts being covered. This vocabulary is displayed on the Science working wall as well as in children’s science books where it can be referred to throughout a unit of work.

Science capital

Throughout the year important scientific dates are celebrated either through year groups or whole school engagement. As well as these events children are exposed to the many famous and inspiring scientists and possible careers in the world of STEAM. Within each area of science taught a linked scientist is studied and used to give learning a sense of purpose. We aim to raise aspirations through the experiences we offer our children. These include taking part in a variety of competitions, introducing children to people who work in jobs related to Science and STEAM and encouraging children’s curiosity through a range of activities.

Primary engineering – During this competition a team of children designed built and tested a motorised car. Children are to design an electrically powered vehicle that will be able to perform a range of functions to include climbing an incline with its canopy/lid included, move in a straight line (3m) forwards and in reverse.

Each year we celebrate Science Week where children take part in a range of activities. Some of these are linked to the year group objectives and others are whole school where progression is shown through working scientifically. We also run a Science club every Friday where children can sign up for the half term and take part in a range of scientific activities which cover a range of skills.

Assessment

Assessment in Science is ongoing throughout a unit of work. Staff make judgements related to the National Curriculum objectives and use examples of work at expected standards to support these judgements. Every year group builds on the previous year and staff ensure they know what has come before and what comes next so that knowledge and skills are consolidated and accurate. At the beginning of each unit an activity is used to assess what children already know. This not only gives staff a starting point but also makes sure that lessons are pitched at an appropriate level. During each session previous learning is recapped and built on in order to ensure deeper learning can take place. At the end of a unit an activity or enquiry is planned to evidence and assess learning covered.

Science is all around us all the time. You can Support children to learn to read and write the key vocabulary for each topic (These can be found on your child’s class theme mats)

You can click on the images below to complete some science at home activities.

Become a Scientist at home!

Children at East Dene have to opportunity to take part in a range of clubs and competitions that are planned to inspire and raising their aspirations.

We believe STEAM is an important part of building on our Science curriculum with the cross-curricular links it offers in order to open children’s minds to future learning and careers.

Science Club – bubbles

Who can make the largest, longest lasting bubble? In Science club this week children were asked to create a bubble mixture that would make the largest, longest lasting bubble.
On offer was

  • Bubble mixture
  • Sugar
  • Glycerine
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • A range of materials to make bubble blowers.

Here are some photos to show how we did.

See some photos from our other days at Science Club

Primary Engineering ‘If you were an engineer what would you do?’

This is a national competition where children are able to think and work as an engineer. Throughout the competition children answer the overarching question ‘If you were an engineer what would you do?’ In order for children to understand the different types of jobs they have the opportunity to meet and interview a range of different engineers and hold a question and answer session. We also had the privilege of inviting parents in to school who worked in the profession. The children gained so much from this experience – not only knowledge but it raised their aspirations for future careers.

We have recently received the results of the competition where we were thrilled to hear 2 of our students had achieved awards in their category. Although an awards ceremony could not be held this year we have been able to take a virtual tour of the gallery where children could see their entries displayed for everyone to see.

 

Emma was selected as a winner in her category for the South Yorkshire region.

 

Tracy was selected as Judges’ Highly Commended in her category for the South Yorkshire region.

 

They both receive a medal and a certificate in to celebrate their achievements!

 

Examples of session and work from the competition