Science at St. Patrick’s
Subject Leader: Mrs Mincher & Mrs Ryan
As Science lead at St Patrick’s Primary, my role is to lead, develop and support Science across the school in relevant and innovative ways, to ensure all teachers have the subject knowledge, skills and confidence to deliver interesting and challenging lessons. This high-quality teaching enables children to experience high quality science opportunities and experiences. Within my role, I also take responsibility to ensure that I am equipped to lead the subject effectively and confidently, providing training and support to staff and ensuring wider opportunities are provided for all children outside of the classroom.
I feel it is essential that children understand the relevance of science to the wider world and their own experiences. Where possible, Science is linked to other curriculum to demonstrate links across the subject areas but still retaining its importance as a core subject.
Science at St Patrick’s is taught through practical lessons wherever possible, developing the skills of working scientifically and enquiry-based learning, supported by subject specific knowledge and vocabulary, all of which become increasingly challenging as pupil progress through the school. (mapped out on the progression grids).
My own passion for science leads me to believe that with scientific thinking and an enquiring mind, our children can enter the world looking for answers and making a difference to their futures and the futures of the next generations.
The 2014 national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:
- 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 St Patrick’s, 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, as well as the application of scientific skills. We ensure that the Working Scientifically skills are built-on and developed throughout children’s time at the school so that they can apply their knowledge of science when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings.
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.
- 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. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills,
and assess pupils regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all
pupils keep up.
- We build upon the knowledge and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, and 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 these skills are being developed throughout the children’s school career and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching. This is developed through the years, in-keeping with the topics.
- 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.
- Children are offered a wide range of extra-curricular activities, visits, trips and visitors to complement and broaden the curriculum. These are purposeful and link with the knowledge being taught in class.
- Events such as Science Week allow all pupils to come off-timetable, to provide broader provision and the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills.
The successful approach at St Patrick’s results in a fun, 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. Frequent, continuous and progressive learning outside the classroom is embedded throughout the science curriculum. 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.
Please view the additional documents in school:
- Science Knowledge and Skills Progression
- Science Vocabulary Progression
- Science Unit Markers
- Science Knowledge Organisers