Here at St. Catharine’s Primary School, we aim to provide our children with a firm understanding of the world in which they live. The school and its teachers use science to stimulate and excite pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and to explain the events of the world around them. Our curriculum allows our pupils to acquire skills and knowledge to help them to think like a scientist; to gain an understanding of scientific processes; and to understand the uses and implications of science today and for the future. Science in our school is about developing children’s ideas and ways of working that enable them to make sense of the world in which they live through investigation, as well as using and applying process skills. We believe that a broad and balanced science education is the entitlement of all children
Science Is Fun
Science is taught coherently as our children progress through school following the natural progression of the National Curriculum in order for children to have a firm understanding and adequate skills to further their learning. When teaching science, scientific enquiry skills are embedded in each topic the children study with the aim of helping them to ‘ask and answer questions’ about the world around them. All children are encouraged to develop and use a range of skills including observations, planning investigations and analysing and explaining investigations. Specialist vocabulary for topics is taught and built up over year groups, and effective questioning to communicate ideas is encouraged. Concepts taught should be reinforced by focusing on the key features of scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions.
Through planned science topics, pupils develop the following types of scientific enquiry at St Catharine’s:
- observing over time
- pattern seeking
- identifying, classifying and grouping
- comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations)
- researching using secondary sources.
We aim, through our teaching of an engaging and inspiring curriculum, for our children to develop an interest and enthusiasm for Science. In order to inspire our children, we regularly invite a scientist in to school in Key Stage 2 to put their learning into context, and we have close links with the local college (Wigan UTC) to deliver practical sessions in a science lab with the use of their specialised facilities. We also encourage our children to apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of Science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data. They are also given many cross-curricular writing opportunities when writing explanations, report writing, instructions and research tasks.
At St. Catharine’s, we aim to provide children with the necessary skills and knowledge to become young scientists. We want them to look at their learning and the world through a scientific eye and therefore, have a breadth of knowledge to take with them to high school and beyond. Children are assessed in their ability to work scientifically through teacher assessment during investigative work; their knowledge is assessed during termly tests which ask questions about all scientific strands (Living things and their habitats, Animals inc. humans, Everyday materials, Plants and electricity/light). Combining their termly assessments and teacher judgements, staff are able to see whether children have met age related expectations, working towards age related expectations or working at greater depth.