A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all children should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, children should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.
North Tawton Community Primary School follows the National Curriculum for science and aims to ensure that all children:
During Years 1 and 2, children should be taught to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills through the teaching of the programme of study content:
Children in years 1 and 2 should explore the world around them and raise their own questions. They should experience different types of scientific enquiries, including practical activities, and begin to recognise ways in which they might answer scientific questions. They should use simple features to compare objects, materials and living things and, with help, decide how to sort and group them, observe changes over time, and, with guidance, they should begin to notice patterns and relationships. They should ask people questions and use simple secondary sources to find answers. They should use simple measurements and equipment (for example, hand lenses, egg timers) to gather data, carry out simple tests, record simple data, and talk about what they have found out and how they found it out. With help, they should record and communicate their findings in a range of ways and begin to use simple scientific language.
These opportunities for working scientifically should be provided across years 1 and 2 so that the expectations in the programme of study can be met by the end of year 2.
During Years 3 and 4, children should be taught to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills through the teaching of the programme of study content:
Children in years 3 and 4 should be given a range of scientific experiences to enable them to raise their own questions about the world around them. They should start to make their own decisions about the most appropriate type of scientific enquiry they might use to answer questions; recognise when a simple fair test is necessary and help to decide how to set it up; talk about criteria for grouping, sorting and classifying; and use simple keys. They should begin to look for naturally occurring patterns and relationships and decide what data to collect to identify them. They should help to make decisions about what observations to make, how long to make them for and the type of simple equipment that might be used.
They should learn how to use new equipment, such as data loggers, appropriately. They should collect data from their own observations and measurements, using notes, simple tables and standard units, and help to make decisions about how to record and analyse this data. With help, children should look for changes, patterns, similarities and differences in their data in order to draw simple conclusions and answer questions. With support, they should identify new questions arising from the data, making predictions for new values within or beyond the data they have collected and finding ways of improving what they have already done. They should also recognise when and how secondary sources might help them to answer questions that cannot be answered through practical investigations. Children should use relevant scientific language to discuss their ideas and communicate their findings in ways that are appropriate for different audiences.
These opportunities for working scientifically should be provided across years 3 and 4 so that the expectations in the programme of study can be met by the end of year 4. Children are not expected to cover each aspect for every area of study.
During years 5 and 6, children should be taught to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills through the teaching of the programme of study content:
Children in years 5 and 6 should use their science experiences to: explore ideas and raise different kinds of questions; select and plan the most appropriate type of scientific enquiry to use to answer scientific questions; recognise when and how to set up comparative and fair tests and explain which variables need to be controlled and why. They should use and develop keys and other information records to identify, classify and describe living things and materials, and identify patterns that might be found in the natural environment. They should make their own decisions about what observations to make, what measurements to use and how long to make them for, and whether to repeat them; choose the most appropriate equipment to make measurements and explain how to use it accurately. They should decide how to record data from a choice of familiar approaches; look for different causal relationships in their data and identify evidence that refutes or supports their ideas. They should use their results to identify when further tests and observations might be needed; recognise which secondary sources will be most useful to research their ideas and begin to separate opinion from fact. They should use relevant scientific language and illustrations to discuss, communicate and justify their scientific ideas and should talk about how scientific ideas have developed over time.
Sequences of learning begin with an elicitation task to ascertain the level of prior knowledge and the skills of scientific enquiry, including understanding of key concepts and vocabulary. This assessment will inform planning and provide a baseline for progress over the learning sequence. Children should record in their Science books (or if not capable, have their ideas recorded for them) their understanding of the key vocabulary presented in the programme of study guidance. At the end of the learning sequence, the children will complete an assessment providing clear evidence of progress.
North Tawton hopes to provide a fun, engaging, high-quality science education, providing children with the foundations for understanding the world and the opportunities related to science.
Engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first hand experiences of the world around them. We aim to create science capital through the school through regular visits from experts and professionals working in the field of science. Children acquire the appropriate age related knowledge linked to the science curriculum; scientific knowledge, understanding, investigative skills and vocabulary that will give them the skills to study or even work in the field of science in the future.