Science is at the core of understanding the world’s past, present and future and our place within in. To show children the world through the lens of science is to equip our children with skills needed to live and be a part of an ever-changing planet. At Elmhurst Primary School, we recognise the importance of experiencing the joys of Science and understanding its application in every aspect of daily life. As a school keen to foster children who are curious and inquisitive about their world, we have a focus on the practical elements of science and encourage children to ask questions about the world around them. The curriculum is designed to ensure that children are able to acquire key scientific knowledge through practical experiences such as using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently. We encourage pupils to use a range of methods to communicate their scientific information and present it in a systematic, scientific manner, including annotated diagrams, graphs, concept maps and using ICT. Throughout, we endeavour to ensure that the Science curriculum our children experience is exciting and innovative as well as building core skills and knowledge.
As one of the core subjects, we give the teaching and learning of Science the prominence it deserves within the curriculum and believe in teaching the specific and discreet disciplines of biology, chemistry & physics in order that children fully explore the ideas relating to each area. The National Curriculum is used as a guide for the taught content and a school wide progression document is used to ensure that the scientific concepts, knowledge and skills develop progressively from year to year. Children have weekly lessons in Science throughout Key Stage 1 and 2, using planning developed by expert teachers. The bespoke unit plans develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding within the three specific disciplines. Central to the teaching is the development of scientific enquiry which looks to nurture an inquisitive mind and encourages our children to develop a sense of intrigue of the world around through the 5 types of enquiry; Observation over time, pattern seeking, identifying, classifying and grouping, comparative and fair testing and research using secondary sources. Lessons are designed to make best use of each type of enquiry skill so as to make the learning meaningful and purposeful. Children learn to develop investigative questions which they plan, execute, collect data for and analyse. This encourages an understanding of how science can be used to explain what are occurring, make predictions on how things will behave, and analyse causes & effects. Through these enquiry tasks children are led to the learning rather than just informed. In Early years, science is taught through learning about the world around them through play and exploration. All pupils, including all SEND pupils are included in science lessons and access the lesson from their own starting points. Mini end of unit tests and excellent teacher assessment ensure that teachers have a good understanding of pupil progress and address misconceptions effectively. In KS2, students are encouraged to build a concept map for each unit which they build upon each lesson and link ideas – this is another way to assess pupil progress and understanding.
Science is also explored outside the taught curriculum. Children are offered a wide range of extra-curricular activities such as external visits and we welcome regular visitors to complement and broaden the curriculum. These are purposeful and link with the knowledge being taught in class. Regular events, such as Science Week and the yearly science fair allow all pupils an opportunity to engage and explore scientific solutions to real world problems. These scholarly events involve families and the wider community.
The impact and quality of our Science curriculum is evidenced in the fact that the school has achieved a Gold award in the nationally recognised ‘Primary Science Quality Mark’. Even more importantly, the success is visible in our pupils who are motivated and engaged in their science lessons and demonstrate a sound understanding of scientific concepts.