Our Science week theme this year is, ‘Biodiversity and Sustainability’. Following COP26, the Government is looking to put climate change at the heart of education. Their aim is that children will “develop a broad knowledge and understanding of the importance of nature, sustainability and, causes and impact of climate change”. This year’s science week has allowed children to connect to nature & become actively involved in improving their local environment.
In addition to this, they have been learning about some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Years 4, 5 and 6 had a talk from an ambassador from Element 2. He taught them about the plan for a nationwide network of sustainable fuel - Hydrogen energy.
Primary Science Quality Mark GILT has been awarded to Stainton C of E Primary School to celebrate our commitment to excellence in science teaching and learning. The GILT award is achieved when science leadership is demonstrating sustained impact beyond the school.
The Primary School Quality Mark programme ensures effective leadership of science, enables schools to work together to share good practice and is supported by professional development led by local experts. It encourages teacher autonomy and innovation while at the same time offering a clear framework for development in science subject leadership, teaching and learning. Schools that achieve PSQM demonstrate commitment and expertise in science leadership, teaching and learning.
Our school community have been involved in developing the effectiveness of science including science club during home learning; developing reading in science and a creative curriculum designed to improve science learning, among other developments.
Stainton C of E School Science vision: 'By the end of their time at Stainton, children will have developed a deeper understanding of the world around them. They will be equipped with scientific strategies to make informed decisions, ask questions and be curious about future possibilities'.
Our principles for science teaching and learning are:
We embed these principles into our teaching and learning throughout the whole school therefore underpinning our overall vision for science.
At Stainton School, we encourage each child to develop their curiosity and question the world around them through the Science curriculum.
To instill scientific confidence in children and to inspire future generations of young scientists, we need to spark their imagination and fuel their curiosity with hands-on, experiential science. From Years 1-6 children build up their working scientifically skills to use during scientific enquiry.
Science builds 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 sustainability, and all pupils are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science.
Children are taught to work scientifically, through a range of scientific enquiries linked to each discipline. These types of scientific enquiry include observation over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations); and researching using secondary sources.
Pupils are encouraged to answer scientific questions through collecting, analysing and presenting data. Children are given opportunities to develop their scientific vocabulary and technical terminology and are supported to apply it confidently, accurately and precisely to explain their findings and results. They apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data.
Through building up a body of key knowledge and concepts, pupils are encouraged to recognise the power of questioning while adopting a role of inquisitive investigator. With this, they develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. We aim to make science enjoyable and exciting for our pupils.
Overview of units 2023-24
Our curriculum follows the New National Curriculum with Science being taught discretely and with links to topic work, while additionally applying writing, maths and art skills where appropriate. This is an overview of the Science curriculum and has been planned specifically for the needs of our school and demonstrates how the key science areas are taught and built upon in progressive years. Science taught in Nursery and Reception is taught using the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance. Please see the attached document below for the curriculum coverage.
Notice similarities and differences
Explore how things work
Talk about the differences between materials/ Explore collection of materials
Explore forces in play. We can feel forces
Explore the changes around them
Growing plants. Understand key features of plants and animals
Animals inc humans
Light and shadow
knowledge using key vocab
Everyday materials/ Seasonal changes
Key vocab – properties of materials
Pushes and Pulls
Identify direction of push or pull – arrow(as group)
Focus on heat -temperature and light -changes related to the sun as the source
Plants/ Seasonal changes(interspersed through the year)
Focus on heat -temperature and light -changes related to the sun as the source
Animals inc humans (offspring)
Living things and their Habitats
Living Things - classification
States of Matter
Forces and Magnets
Earth and space
Living things – classification
5 Life cycle
Living things -classification
At Stainton C of E School, we use science concepts as a simple, clear starting point for pupil science descriptions and explanations. A ‘science model’ is an abstract conceptual idea that is taken to its simplest form. These then become the starting point and the basis of pupil understanding and responses as they study a topic. Theyare built upon, Key Stage by Key Stage, to provide an appropriate level of depth for the required expectation. The use of a science model supports: Scientific language development as pupils use ‘things’ to represent the concept and so can show first, then build key language and structure to their responses as they become more proficient. They develops ‘hands-on’ learning and divergent thinking. They develop a knowledge where they bridge between topics as models often thread through the curriculum. Knowledge ‘sticks’ to a concept and so becomes both memorable and forms connections that support depth of understanding. There are four key science models in the primary curriculum. Models are first used in Lower Key Stage 2. However, prior learning builds skills and vocabulary, ready to apply with the concept models.
Working scientifically skills
Working scientifically skills are taught discretely by class teachers. The children then practise applying the working scientifically skills withing scientific enquiry. Our working scientifically skills are progressive from EYFS through to Year 6, building skills in progressive steps. For example, with a focus on prediction skills as part of our designing experiments skills, EYFS begin by learning how to use experience to suggest what might happen next. Next, Year 1 suggest what might happen in an investigation. By the end of Key Stage 1, they aim to be secure in suggesting what might happen(simple prediction). In particular, in Year 3, they predict cause and effect. In Year 4, they aim to secure the LKS2 skill and predict a trend(relationship prediction). As they move into Year 4, once they have developed the observed variables, they are introduded to measured variables, which continues through Key Stage 2. In Year 5, they use their knowledge and understanding of concepts to explain cause and effect relationships. As they secure their science skills at the end of their time at Stainton, they reason with knowledge and understanding to make a hypothesis (relationship).
Children apply their working scientifically skills, through the year, within these types of scientific enquiry:
Discovering what happens in KS1
Question - Which material will keep Teddy dry?
Below you can see children in Year 1 exploring a range of materials on their own. They discovered what happened and recorded their results. We then had a discussion about which material would have been best.
We recorded our predictions on the table and used a smiley face to show when we thought a material would work - We used a sad face when we didn’t think the material would work -
“The tinfoil is waterproof, but I don’t think I would like to wear it as a coat! You will get too hot!”
“The paper towel has gone soggy”
“The tissue has ripped!”
“The plastic worked, the water ran off”
"The felt soaked the water up”