SCIENCE Curriculum Statement
The 2014 National Curriculum for Science aims to ensure that all children:
- Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
- Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
- Are equipped with the scientific skills required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. We understand that it is important for lessons to have a skills-based focus, and that the knowledge can be taught through this
At How Wood School, we encourage children to be inquisitive throughout their time at the school and beyond. The Science curriculum fosters a healthy curiosity in children about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes. Throughout the programmes of study, the children will acquire and develop the key knowledge that has been identified within each unit and across each year group. The key knowledge identified by each year group is informed by the national curriculum. The curriculum is designed to ensure that children are able to acquire key scientific knowledge through practical experiences; using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently. The school’s enquiry based approach to science takes account of the school’s own context, ensuring access to people with specialist expertise and places of scientific interest as part of the school’s commitment to learning outside the classroom. Children at How Wood School are encouraged to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings and a love of science is nurtured through a whole school ethos.
Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards in Science. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following;
- Science will be taught in planned and arranged topic blocks by the class teacher, to have a project-based approach. This is a strategy to enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge.
- Existing knowledge is checked at the beginning of each topic, as part of the KWL strategy (What I know, What I would like to Know and What I have Learned). This ensures that teaching is informed by the children’s starting points and that it takes account of pupil voice, incorporating children’s interests.
- Through our planning, we involve problem solving opportunities that allow children to apply their knowledge, and find out answers for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. This curiosity is celebrated within the classroom. Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, often involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Tasks are selected and designed to provide appropriate challenge to all learners, in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion.
- We build upon the knowledge and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.
- Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure that skills are systematically developed throughout the children’s school career and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching. How Wood School uses the, ‘Working Scientifically Assessment Tasks’ designed and endorsed by Herts For Learning.
- 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 and workshops with experts.
- At the end of each topic, key knowledge is reviewed by the children and checked by the teacher and consolidated as necessary.
Our approach at How Wood School results in stimulating, engaging, high-quality Science education that provides children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world. Our engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first hand experiences of the world around them. So much of science lends itself to outdoor learning and so we provide children with opportunities to experience this. Through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts, children have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity.