Our aims at St Gabriel's Ctholic Primary School in teaching science include:
- Preparing our children for life in an increasingly scientific and technological world.
- Fostering concern about, and active care for, our environment.
- Helping our children acquire a growing understanding of scientific ideas.
- Building on pupils’ curiosity and sense of awe of the natural world
- Helping develop and extend our children’s scientific concept of their world.
- Developing pupil’s enjoyment and interest in science and an appreciation of its contribution to all aspects of everyday life.
- Introducing pupils to the language and vocabulary of science.
- Developing our children’s understanding of the international and collaborative nature of science.
- Encouraging the development of positive attitudes to science.
- Building on our children’s natural curiosity and developing a scientific approach to problems.
- Encouraging open-mindedness, self-assessment, perseverance and responsibility.
- Building our children’s self-confidence to enable them to work independently.
- Developing our children’s social skills to work cooperatively with others.
- Providing our children with an enjoyable experience of science, so that they will develop a deep and lasting interest and may be motivated to study science further.
- Giving our children an understanding of scientific processes.
- Helping our children to acquire practical scientific skills and their ability to make accurate and appropriate measurements.
- Developing the skills of investigation - including observing, measuring, predicting, hypothesising, experimenting, communicating, interpreting, explaining and evaluating.
- Developing the use of scientific language, recording and techniques.
- Developing the use of ICT in investigating and recording.
- Enabling our children to become effective communicators of scientific ideas, facts and data.
- Using a planned range of investigations and practical activities to give pupils a greater understanding of the concepts and knowledge of science.
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 skill-based focus, and that the knowledge can be taught through this.
At St Gabriel’s, we ensure that from the very start of school all children gain a diverse range of scientific knowledge and skills rooted in quality first hand on experiences. We follow the national curriculum, in addition to identifying further opportunities to link our science learning through our rich class topics and links made with quality texts. Our science investigations focus on the 5 main types of scientific enquiry: pattern seeking, observations over time; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing, and research using secondary sources. We ensure that the Working Scientifically skills are built-on and developed throughout children’s time at St Gabriel’s so that they can apply their knowledge of science when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts. Whilst doing this our children use scientific vocabulary throughout both key stages to explain their learning. Throughout their time at St Gabriel’s, each child’s knowledge and skills progressively builds and consolidates their prior learning.
Finally, we are passionate about supporting our communities in growing and developing the next generation of scientists. We ensure all children have access to a breadth of rich experiences which spark curiosity and wonder, develop scientific knowledge and inspire positive attitudes towards careers in STEM.
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:
- Teach science for 1 .5 -2 hours per week (years 1-6) following a school wide progression document which sets out all aspects of the national curriculum.
- 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.
- Practical work has a clear purpose, forms part of a wider teaching sequence and only takes place when pupils have enough prior knowledge to learn from the activity. The scientific enquiry of the focus of each lesson is clearly identified during the lesson and in pupil’s books.
- 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 when possible.
- Children are offered a wide range of extra-curricular activities, visits, trips and visitors to complement and broaden the curriculum as well as an after school Science club. These are purposeful and link with the knowledge being taught in class.
- Regular events, such as Science Week provide broader provision and the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills. These events often involve families and the wider community.
Our Science Curriculum is high quality, progressive and provides additional opportunities for the gaining of scientific knowledge and skills. At St Gabriel’s we provide a fun, engaging, high quality science education, that provides children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world. Throughout teaching, teachers are able to assess pupil outcomes and development of key knowledge and skills against the objectives. These outcomes are monitored and tracked, with planning and learning evaluated and adapted. A cycle of monitoring takes place by Subject Leaders and Senior Leaders. This includes book scrutinies, learning walks and pupil consultations.
Children at St Gabriel’s overwhelmingly enjoy science and this results in motivated learners with sound scientific understanding.