At Robert Arkenstall Primary School we reflect the National Curriculum’s belief that high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics and our curriculum is planned to reflect this. It is our aim that all pupils develop an enjoyment and interest in Science, learning how it contributes to all aspects of everyday life; it has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science.
Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts through a carefully planned and sequential curriculum, pupils are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena in the world. They are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes, by developing their skills of scientific enquiry.
Our overall aim is to equip our children with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future so that they themselves seek out science in their everyday lives.
For further detail, refer to the long-term plan.
Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in science. Our whole school approach to the teaching of science involves ensuring that science is treated as a core subject with sufficient amount of time allocated to it each week on the teaching timetable.
Our curriculum provides children with a rich understanding of key concepts, offers opportunities for children to ask questions using scientific skills to explore the answers and includes a range of appropriate resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. We aim to develop the following characteristics in our young Scientists :
The ability to think independently and raise questions about working scientifically and the knowledge and skills that it brings.
Confidence and competence in the full range of practical skills, taking the initiative in, for example, planning and carrying out scientific investigations.
Excellent scientific knowledge and understanding which is demonstrated in written and verbal explanations, solving challenging problems and reporting scientific findings.
High levels of originality, imagination or innovation in the application of skills.
The ability to undertake practical work in a variety of contexts, including fieldwork.
A passion for science and its application in past, present and future technologies.
Our Science curriculum is taught through a clearly sequenced curriculum, where learning is carefully mapped from EYFS to Y6 to ensure that the understanding of key concepts is developed in each year. Our content is taught in cycles throughout EY/KS1, Lower KS2 and Upper KS2 where sequences of learning are carefully mapped within each academic year and where, at key milestones, coherence of prior learning builds towards pupils confidently getting better at Science by revisiting or recalling learning in the context of new content.
As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, they are encouraged to become more proficient in selecting scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results and drawing conclusions based on real evidence. Working scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure that those skills are being developed throughout their time at primary school.
Science is an essential part of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage as it is incorporated in everyday learning through Understanding of the World. The scientific aspects of the children’s work relate to the objectives set out in the early learning goals (ELGs). Children can explore within our school grounds and our local area and begin to compare this with contrasting environments they may know about through personal experience or narratives.
Throughout school our pupils benefit from visitors from the significant scientific community within Cambridgeshire and access to our local environment which provides stimulating opportunities to explore the science of agronomy with our highly technical fenland farms.
This successful approach provides children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the past, present and future world. The broad and balanced curriculum means that pupils develop scientific skills and knowledge which is remembered over time, allowing them to apply and make links to other areas of learning effectively.
Our engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first-hand experiences and exposure to a diverse range of experts from the industry not only provides the children with positive role models, but also reminds them that they themselves are scientists.