It is our intention at Flora Gardens Primary School to develop a lifelong curiosity and interest in the Sciences in all young people. When planning for the Science curriculum, we intend for children to have the opportunity, wherever possible, to learn through varied, systematic investigations, leading to them being equipped for life to ask and answer scientific questions about the world around them. As children progress through the year groups, they build on their skills in Working Scientifically, as well as on their scientific knowledge, as they develop greater independence in planning and carrying out a range of tests to answer a variety of scientific questions. The PlanIt Science scheme of work ensures that children have a varied, progressive and well-mapped-out science curriculum that provides the opportunity for progression across the full breadth of the science national curriculum, starting with EYFS through to KS1 and KS2.
The acquisition of key scientific knowledge is an integral part of our science lessons. Each half term the Science Lead plans and delivers the curriculum from Years 1-6 through a consistent, subject specialist approach -
- A wider curriculum overview map that ensures each year group builds on the previous;
- A comprehensive Medium Term Plan that includes progression statements and Working Scientifically skills for Science taught within that Topic that half term and additional non-statutory content to enhance cultural capital;
- A series of lessons that build on the prior ones and careful consideration for revisiting knowledge, progression and depth. These lessons are taken from the PlanIt schemes of Work where applicable and have been chosen to match Topics where possible; with additional content at the discretion of the Science Lead based on children’s’ interests and current events and open-ended enquiry questions where applicable;
- A Science Topic Quiz for each year group each half term - being used as an informal, low-stakes way of assessing children’s learning each half term;
- An annual Science Week for the whole school where parents are invited in to celebrate the learning;
- An annual whole-school Science Day dedicated to celebrating STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths – where Science is one of the components that underpin the entire day.
At Flora Gardens School, progress is measured through a child’s ability to know more, remember more and explain/do more. This can be measured in different ways in our units.
- The use of key questions ensures opportunities are built into the lesson for ongoing assessment.
- Ongoing, formative topic quizzes throughout each half term;
- Verbal pupil evaluations of each half-termly Science topic that are used to inform future curriculum design and evaluating the effectiveness of the curriculum;
- A reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes through informal tracking of subject progressions;
- Termly Science Assessments using the age-appropriate Subject Progressions;
- A Portfolio of ‘wider curriculum’ opportunities and cultural capital within the Curriculum Scrapbooks.
How Parents Can Help
1. Be interested
Find out their termly topics and take an interest — find relevant books in the library or bookshop. Have interesting conversations where you are both learning at the same time.
2. Take a trip
Take a trip to a science museum, a zoo or an aquarium. These don’t necessarily need to be completely related to what they are learning about at school. Any visit can help their curiosity and engagement with science generally.
3. Make it personal
Find out about famous scientists and research unique and exciting inventions up to and including the present day. Who knows, you may have the next Stephen Hawking or Marie Curie at home.
4. Get hands-on
Look up fun, practical science experiments you can do at home with everyday objects.
- Ask ‘What happens when you mix food colouring in milk?’ Then add washing up liquid and watch what happens.
- Why not try making your own mini exploding volcano? Just add bicarbonate of soda, food colouring, washing up liquid and vinegar. Then stand back and watch the eruption!
- Cooking is also a great opportunity to mix ingredients, add heat and examine changing states.
- Try exploring changing states with ice and water to begin to see those changes that can be reversed and those that can’t.
- A real favourite would have to be ‘gloop’ — use water and cornflour (add food colouring too if needed) to explore solids and liquids. Just be prepared to get messy!
Anything where they can be hands-on and see the science happen in front of their eyes is guaranteed to be get them interested.
Further Support And Useful Weblinks
- The National Curriculum for science
- BBC for video clips and activities
- The Science Museum for information, games etc.
- The Children’s University of Manchester Science pages
- The Royal Institute’s annual Christmas lectures make science real for children and are available online, along with lots of other educational goodies
- National Geographic Kids