How we teach science - intent
At Howitt Primary School, we are committed to providing a science curriculum that is broad and ambitious for all pupils, within a stimulating, engaging and challenging learning environment. In our EYFS we enable the children to explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants. We encourage them to know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class. We help them to understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter. We teach science as an integral part of our broad and balanced curriculum right from nursery to year 6. We believe this ensures that children see a purpose to their lessons and can transfer their knowledge and skills across all lessons and into everyday life situations. In the Early Years, children begin to develop prerequisite scientific skills through the prime areas of Communication and Language, by making comments about what they have heard and seen and by asking questions to clarify their understanding. From the prime area of Personal, Social and Emotional Development, children learn to manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet, cleaning their teeth, sleeping well and understanding the importance of healthy food choices. Children also access the specific area of the EYFS framework Understanding the World - The Natural World.
During lessons children are encouraged to take a practical and enquiry based approach to learning to enable them to develop an understanding of scientific concepts and skills. Children learn within a coherent and progressive framework that is planned and sequenced to develop and use a range of scientific skills, including questioning, researching and observing in order to develop a rich and deep subject knowledge. We adapt and extend the curriculum to match all pupils’ needs and a range of strategies are used to deepen knowledge so that it is committed to long-term memory.
Learning in science promotes and nurtures curiosity and excitement, awe and wonder, offering opportunities for children to learn outdoors, where appropriate. They are encouraged to use logical thinking to formulate their own questions and evaluate problems, then develop these ideas into testable experiments to challenge their thoughts and gain an in-depth understanding of key concepts.
We want children to have a broad vocabulary, giving them the confidence and motivation to generate their own questions as well as finding answers, and enabling learners to see connections between science and other subject areas. Practical investigations create opportunities to develop enquiring minds in search of those answers and children are encouraged to make mistakes on the path to discovery.
Our children develop respect for the world around us and our position in it, recognising that science impacts all aspects of their lives.
Impact of effective science teaching
The impact and measure of this is to ensure children not only acquire the appropriate age- related knowledge linked to the science curriculum, but also skills which equip them to progress from their starting points, and within their everyday lives.
All children will have:
a wider variety of skills linked to both scientific knowledge and understanding, and scientific enquiry/investigative skills;
a richer vocabulary which will enable them to articulate their understanding of taught concepts; and
high aspirations, which will see them through to further study, work and a successful adult life.
At Howitt we also understand the importance of first hand experiences and use WOW days to hook the children into their learning and ensure they have a thirst for knowledge. See some of the exciting things the children across the school have experienced so far.
Year 6 looked at how the heart and lungs work, in class, by dissecting the heart and lungs from a pig. They also learnt how to operate a bunsen burner safely during a transition visit.
Year 5 - As part of their wow day, they launched rockets, made craters and measured them and had a visit from the mobile planetarium!
Year 3/4 - as part of their topic on rocks and soils, they carried out 'rock property experiments' checking the durability, permeability and density of different types of rocks.
Year 2 had the 'Animal Magic Parties' workshop in for their WOW day. They got to see and handle animals from each of the animal groups and talked about their basic needs and natural habitats.
In year 1 the children have been learning all about themselves! They had lots of fun labelling different parts of their body and used their senses to experiment with different foods!
Science is a core subject within the National curriculum and is an area that covers both scientific knowledge and skills, click here to see the in depth programmes of study for each year group.
You can view our policy and the things we cover in the science curriculum, below.