“Science stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. It also satisfies their curiosity with knowledge. Due to science linking direct practical experience with scientific concepts, it can engage learners at many levels. Scientific method is about developing and evaluating explanations through experimental evidence and modelling. This is enables individuals to be critical and creative with their thoughts. Through science, pupils understand how major scientific ideas contribute to technological change – impacting on industry, business and medicine and improving the quality of life. Pupils recognise the cultural significance of science and trace its world-wide development. They learn to question and discuss science-based issues that may affect their own lives, the direction of society and the future of the world.” National Curriculum. Ultimately, at Ravenscote Junior School, we believe science will lead to a better understanding of ourselves and the world.
Our intent is to teach the National Curriculum through well-thought sequential planning that allows a clear progression of skills throughout the years and, in many cases, extend the children beyond this through the breadth of opportunities we offer. It is to apply their conceptual understanding and skills to the real world and to see science, not just as a subject in the school curriculum, but a key way to see, explore, explain and understand the world around them. We will develop the natural curiosity of children, encourage respect for living organisms and the physical environment and provide opportunities for critical evaluation of evidence. A further intent, is to raise awareness of ethics within science to give our children an understanding of the morals and values that operate within science.
The starting point for science at Ravenscote is the National Curriculum. The school’s scheme of work is fully in line with current expectations of the National Curriculum and in many cases extend our children beyond the confines of the National Curriculum. For example, in Year 5 we teach States of Matter where the children need to understand about how molecules are arranged in solids, liquids and gases. We also cover work on the periodic table so that children can understand molecules at a higher level.
Within the lessons, scientific concepts are provided through hooks to engage the children. For example, introducing a scientist who has significant contributions in that area and asking the children to help them in some way. In addition, the use of modelling through drama and making objects is an alternative way to explain a scientific concept.
- Working scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being developed throughout the children’s journey and are tracked through skills progression maps. The use of knowledge organisers enables the pupils to showcase new technical vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching. This is developed through the years, in-keeping with the topics.
- 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 accessing outdoor learning where possible.
Concept cartoons are used to demonstrate how knowledge is applied. Conceptualised knowledge and scientific ideas are continuously referenced, reinforced and referred to through concept cartoons, mini plenaries, and lesson introductions to maximise children’s ability to know more, do more and remember more.
Analysis of data, pupil conferencing, book monitoring and observations of children in investigations demonstrate that the pupils’ knowledge within each unit is good. To develop science further, we feel children’s thinking skills need to be developed to expose them to a wider variety of open-ended situations; the concept cartoons and new scheme of work will aid this. In addition to this, a greater emphasis on specific investigative skills within lessons will increase the children’s scientific capability further. The children speak highly of the subject and is seen in an oversubscribed science club.
“Science at Ravenscote is amazing! It explains a lot about the world!” Phoebe 5B.
“I really like doing the experiments in the class and outside on the field,” Elise 5D.
“I love science! It’s my favourite lesson,” Mitra 5D.
“You will always find something new in every lesson.” Arthur 6C.
“Science is the best lesson in the world!” Milly 5D.
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