Science lessons are taught in topics following the direction of the National Curriculum. They are sequenced to: ensure children are exposed to content for the right length of time; in the right order reflecting the time of year where necessary; and carefully mapped out alongside other subjects where prior knowledge is beneficial before meeting the topic in Science. Like building blocks, children build upon their Science knowledge each year through each topic. Children experience the broad range and balance of Sciences: biology, chemistry and physics. Science provides children with lifelong learning about the world around them and providing a foundation to further their study of Science in the future, inspiring them with discussions about Scientists and their work.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) start with the focus on the world around them. They experience the seasonal changes through their senses and giving it purpose by discussing how it affects them in their life, such as the clothes they wear. Similarly, they explore living things around them whilst understanding respect for living things. Children are discretely being taught the value of caring for our common home and being responsible for taking care of the world we live in and all of God’s creations.
In key stage 1 and 2, children experience weekly Science lessons. These include investigations, learning walks and discrete knowledge-based lessons. Throughout these lessons, children are working scientifically at the earlier stages in Early Years and more complex stages in upper key stage 2.
In key stage 1, children learn through experience. They engage in outdoor learning opportunities where possible, to see natural phenomena. Children are encouraged to work scientifically (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) to find the answer to questions. Children should spell scientific vocabulary consistent with their word reading and spelling knowledge at key stage 1.
In lower key stage 2, the National Curriculum requires children to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. This can be conducted through different strands of working scientifically: exploring relationships, testing and developing ideas about everyday wonders and asking questions about their observations. In lower key stage 2, children will begin to make decisions about which strand of scientific enquiry is likely to be the most efficient way to answer their questions. They will be able to reach simple conclusions using scientific language to talk and write about what they have found out. Children should become more confident and familiar when reading and spelling scientific vocabulary consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge.
In upper key stage 2, children are exposed to a wide range of scientific ideas. Children will encounter more abstract ideas about the world and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand how the world works. However, they will also be able to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time. When working scientifically in upper key stage 2, children have more autonomy over choosing the most appropriate methods and scientific enquiry to answer a question. This might include: observing changes over different periods of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out comparative and fair tests and finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information. Pupils should then draw conclusions based on their data and observations, use evidence to justify their ideas and use their scientific knowledge to explain their findings. Children should read, spell and pronounce scientific vocabulary correctly.
As the children progress through the school, they become more independent scientists. They become inquisitive to the world around them and begin to use their knowledge to make suggestions to questions they or others pose. Children become more proficient at using and spelling the scientific vocabulary defined for each year group. As they have more experience of working scientifically throughout the years, they become more critical in their thinking. When they leave upper key stage 2, they are more independent scientists as they take ownership in how to conduct research. This provides children for lifelong learning into secondary school and beyond.