Science at Norwood Green Infant school provides opportunities for children to find out about the physical, chemical and biological aspects of the world through practical and hands on enquiry and investigation as well as gaining knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts through meaningful teaching and learning practice. It stimulates pupil’s curiosity about the world around them and satisfies their curiosity with knowledge that they have gained through active learning via scientific enquiry and the teaching of knowledge and concepts. It is important that these two approaches to science teaching and learning are taught in conjunction with one another. Concepts should be developed by first hand exploration and investigation. This link between practical experience and concepts will help to deepen learner’s understanding by providing a meaningful learning experience that is embedded in context. Science makes excellent cross-curricular links with Literacy, Maths, ICT and Art.
Aims and objectives
- To develop an interest in science and understand the contribution it makes to all aspects of life.
- To develop children’s knowledge of life processes and living things, materials and their properties and physical processes.
- To relate and contextualise children’s knowledge of science to everyday life.
- To develop the ideas children have about the world by encouraging the use of appropriate questioning and scientific vocabulary.
- To provide children with meaningful, hands on and practical learning opportunities to develop and embed concepts and knowledge.
- To maintain cross curricular links and provide opportunities for children to use and apply English, Maths and ICT skills within a scientific context.
- To promote good health and safety within Science.
- To encourage an awareness of past and continuing scientific advances and their impact on society.
Teaching and learning
Lessons are planned to develop the skills of enquiry, observation, locating sources of information, selecting appropriate equipment, measuring and checking data and results, making comparisons and communicating findings. Children of different abilities are able to access the same curriculum through carefully planned differentiated teaching and learning approaches. All lessons have clear learning objectives which are shared and reviewed with the children. Every learning objective has been adapted from the learning objectives laid out in the National Curriculum.
In accordance with the National Curriculum guidelines children are taught to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills through the teaching of the programme of study content:
- asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways
- observing closely, using simple equipment
- performing simple tests
- identifying and classifying
- using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
- gathering and recording data to help in answering questions.
(National Curriculum 2015)
SEN: Science is taught to all children whatever their ability and learning opportunities are provided to meet the needs of the children.
G&T: When planning activities, ‘more able’ children are given opportunities to work at a higher level and through questioning and support are encouraged to extend their thinking. SOLO taxonomy is used to support planning to ensure that the needs of more able children are met.
EAL: Children are supported by an EAL teacher as well as the class teacher in small groups to develop scientific vocabulary and ensure the children are gaining an understanding in context of what they are learning.
HI: Children are supported by a teacher of the deaf as well as the class teacher to develop scientific vocabulary and ensure the children are gaining an understanding in context of what they are learning.
It is important as teachers to be aware of potential issues around gender stereotyping in some areas of science e.g. flowers and plants with boys but also the stereotype of science being a male dominated discipline.
As mentioned the planning of science follows the new National Curriculum. All year groups produce a medium term plan based around a topic which include the objectives from the National Curriculum that are to be covered. This medium term plan is followed in short term weekly planning to ensure all of the objectives are met. The science planning is linked to the termly topic and is often linked to our Power of Reading texts in English.
The children are assessed informally on an on-going basis throughout the year. They are assessed by informal observations, how they answer direct questions from the teacher as well as evidence in their topic books. Children are given opportunities to show their level of understanding about their learning in different ways such as through written work, photos, presentations and verbal transcripts.
Science has many valuable contributions to make in the teaching and learning of nearly all other curriculum areas. In English, speaking and listening skills can be developed through discussion and recounting observations. Written skills are developed through practicing writing in different contexts such as; reports, explanations, conclusions, recording information, justifications etc. Children are also exposed to new vocabulary and spellings. Maths skills are often used and applied in scientific contexts particularly during enquiries where children need to make estimations, predict measure and collect data and use and analyse numbers to record answers and conclusions. Problem solving skills also play a key role in science enquiry. Children use ICT in science lessons where appropriate e.g. to research and analyse information from the internet, word process data collected and gather and record data and evidence on cameras and iPads. Creative collaborations between Science and Art are also encouraged. Many aspects of Design and Technology have roots embedded in scientific concepts particularly materials, electricity and forces. Children have the opportunity to relate science to real life examples and personal experiences.
Teachers must identify and potential risks that could occur during science lessons; particularly during practical investigations. Children also need to recognise that there can be hazards and risks in certain activities that they need to approach safely and carefully (see CLEAPSS health and safety policy).