At St. John Fisher Primary School, we follow the National Statutory Framework for EYFS and the National Curriculum for years one - six. We teach the knowledge, skills and understanding detailed in these documents for all Science lessons, with the addition of the ‘Astronomy’ Unit for Year 2. As children progress through the school, so does their confidence and knowledge of how to work scientifically; developing their investigative skills of observing, questioning, fair testing, predicting, measuring, recording, analysing and concluding in a variety of situations.
Children have the opportunity to develop their scientific enquiry skills and are encouraged to discuss how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, evaluate causes and record their findings. Emphasis is also placed on practical science work and class journal activities to facilitate each child’s learning, as this creates excitement and curiosity for learning. It also encourages first-hand experience, confident and safe use of equipment and resources, co-operation, enquiring minds, the enjoyment of discovering surprising results and the development of investigative skills. ‘Observational lessons’ are carried out over time, allowing children the opportunity to observe changes. Extended write lessons are also included, where possible, as a way of assessing the children’s scientific understanding on a deeper level. Children are given a knowledge organiser at the beginning of each unit which outlines the main topics to be covered and introduces children to the key vocabulary they will be using. These are referred to throughout the Science lessons and can be taken home to reinforce and support learning at home.
Our children begin their science experience in Early Years Foundation Stage, with the ‘Understanding the World’ unit. Teachers facilitate children’s curiosity with open ended questions and clearly thought out learning experiences which are both child led and adult led. In KS1, children continue to build on their science knowledge with more formal weekly science lessons where they are taught to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills: 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 and gathering and recording data to help in answering questions.
Moving in to KS2 children, are to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills: asking relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them; setting up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests; making systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, taking accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers; gathering, recording, classifying and presenting data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions; recording findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables to report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions; using results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions; identifying differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes and using straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.
The impact of this implementation is that pupils enjoy, and are successful in, learning across a wide range of subjects. The curriculum is well designed and is regularly adapted to meet pupils’ needs and ensure that they are provided with the foundations for understanding the world that they can take with them once they complete their primary education. Through our continuing emphasis on the importance of science, both in school and around the world, our children develop a clearer understanding of how science influences and changes their lives and how it is vital to the world’s future prosperity.