Our Science curriculum aims to provide all children with rich and exciting experiences, that allow them to develop their scientific thinking and understanding and carry this on towards a life-long love of the subject.
Our Vision of Science at Greenbank Primary School
At Greenbank we believe that, as our children are living in a highly scientific and technological world, it is essential that we ensure that they acquire and develop the scientific skills, attitude, knowledge and understanding that they need in order to understand the world around them. We believe that Science is important because it is a body of knowledge essential to our understanding of the world around us and it has built up a methodology for thinking which forms the basis of intellectual enquiry.
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 pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, they 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 key foundational knowledge and concepts can be used for explanation of what is occurring, prediction of how things will behave, and analysis of causes. This foundational understanding should be consolidated through appreciation of specific applications in society and the economy.
Science stimulates and excites pupils’ wonder about phenomena and events in the world around them. It satisfies their curiosity with knowledge. It is concerned with observing, questioning, experimenting, deducing and reaching conclusions about what has happened based on evidence.
Science is a core subject within the National Curriculum. The aims of teaching Science at Greenbank Primary School are consistent with our School Mission Statement and take into account the requirements set by the current National Curriculum. All children are entitled access to the programmes of study at a level appropriate to the needs of the individual child and we aim to develop the whole person by giving our children opportunities to reach the full potential in Science.
Our Science Curriculum, inline with the National Curriculum, ensures 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 knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
• plan and carry out scientific investigations, using equipment (including computers) correctly;
• know and understand the life processes of living things;
• know and understand the physical processes of materials, electricity, light, sound, and natural forces;
• know about the nature of the solar system, including the earth;
• evaluate evidence, and present their conclusions clearly and accurately.
Each year, the children will cover the main components of scientific investigation: planning investigations, recording and analysing data and evaluating the investigation process. They will do this by taking part in engaging and fascinating practical activities, where everyone has the opportunity to take an active role in hands-on science which brings their learning to life. Each year, they will delve into three new topics, covering biology, chemistry and physics. We use the educational resource Empiribox, to help us do this.
KS1 will operate on a two-year program and KS2 on a four-year program, with all year groups in each key stage exploring the same topic in their own way and at their own level. In doing this, we want to promote the sharing of scientific knowledge and experiences and see children from mixed classes and year groups holding conversations with each other about the investigations and their shared learning, that has taken place or up-coming, when outside of their classrooms. By the end of their key stage, all children will not only have covered the national curriculum requirements, but with our curriculum and the aid of Empiribox, they will have extended and enhanced their learning and love for Science to new heights.
During the Foundation Stage, young pupils are given the opportunities within the Understanding the World to find out more about the world in which they live. We teach science in the reception classes as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. As the reception class is part of the Foundation Stage of the National Curriculum, we relate the scientific aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged three to five. Science makes a significant contribution to developing a child’s knowledge and understanding of the world.
The programmes of study is taught through a sequence of knowledge and concepts. While it is important that pupils make progress, it is also vitally important that they develop secure understanding of each key block of knowledge and concepts in order to progress to the next stage. Insecure, superficial understanding will not allow genuine progression: pupils may struggle at key points of transition (such as between primary and secondary school), build up serious misconceptions, and/or have significant difficulties in understanding higher-order content.
At Greenbank there is a whole school ethos of understanding and caring for the world around us and an understanding of our responsibility towards both the immediate and wider environment and community. We recognise the limitations of our ‘land locked’ school grounds but fail to let that hinder our zest for this subject.
Many visitors, visits and resources are employed to enhance our curriculum to it maximum. A rich resource curriculum allows us to utilise to inspire and effectively meet the requirements of the EYFS Framework and the National Curriculum Programmes of Study.
Science teaches an understanding of natural phenomena. It aims to stimulate child’s curiosity in finding out why things happen in the way they do. It teaches methods of enquiry and investigation to stimulate creative thought. Children learn to ask scientific questions and begin to appreciate the way in which science will affect the future on a personal, national, and global level.
At Greenbank we believe passionately about developing children’s independence, team work and collaboration in Science. Children work scientifically in groups, each person has a purposeful role and work together to solve real life problems. By giving children this freedom to make mistakes and work together they can develop key working scientifically skills such as accuracy and precision. By continually questioning the experimental design, children are able to leave Greenbank with a high level of critical and evaluative thinking which can be transferred to all areas of the curriculum.
Children are naturally curious and passionate about learning. At Greenbank Primary School we provide a stimulating science curriculum that nurtures this curiosity and allows pupils to ask questions and develop the skills they need to answer those questions. We believe that science in the primary classroom should enable pupils to investigate problems, learn how and why science works and discover why science matters in the world. Through a hands-on, inquiry-based curriculum, children will experience the joy of having wonderful ideas that they can explore and investigate. They will experience the joy of ‘finding things out’ whilst nurturing their natural curiosity and intellectual development.
A duel curriculum approach following the school closure in March 2020 and January 2021 ensured that Science continued to be delivered in a way which reflected the subject’s vision and approach to learning.
KS2 Physics unit on ‘Sound.’
KS2 have been investigating sound, beginning by focusing on how sound travels through different mediums. We used tuning forks to transfer the energy of the sound vibrations, into other objects, to witness the sound energy in action. When we struck our tuning forks and placed them gently onto a ping pong ball on a string, the ball started to bounce off the tuning fork, with no pressure applied. We also placed grains of rice, sprinkles and salt onto stretched cling film, again placing our tuning forks gently onto the surface of the cling film and the grains on top bounced (sometimes all the way off). Both of these investigations showed us that sound moves in waves and vibrations, which can move through solids and that these sound waves are energy.
KS2 after school STEM club
This week in our STEM club, we opened up owl pellets, which are the regurgitated, indigestible parts of an owls diet. In doing so, the children learnt about the food chain, digestion and bones. They used a guide to help them identify what the specific bones that they had found were.
KS2 – effervescent rocket poppers
After a week of guided investigation into air pressure, Y5 have planned and carried out their own investigation. They made effervescent rocket poppers, to see how the production of gas (after a reaction between water and a Vitamin C tablet) makes air pressure build up inside a film canister and the force can propel it into the air.
KS2 – air pressure investigation
To begin our unit on ‘Forces, Magnetism and Space,’ we had lesson all about exploring the effects of air pressure.
The children took part in a ‘gravity-defying water’ demonstration, assisted in an intriguing activity called ‘egg in a flask’ and tried to understand the ‘Magdeburg spheres.’
After this, they wrote about the role air pressure played in each of their learning experiences.