“Sciences provide an understanding of a universal experience…”
Mae Jemison, First African American woman astronaut in space
At Sandridge our Science INTENT is for all children to be Sandridge Scientists, that keep asking questions and wanting to know more whilst developing knowledge and understanding of key scientific concepts within Biology, Chemistry and Physics disciplines.
Science happens inside and outside with our nature rich environment and pupils demonstrate our ‘enthusiasm for their activities and learning. Children learn to observe and talk about growth, classification, habitats and seasonal, change in the environment around them as part of our weekly outdoor/forest School learning within our amazing school grounds.
This includes many established deciduous and evergreen trees, including an Oak that is around 250 years old!
Sandridge School grounds enable a more tailored and specific enhancement to our Science curriculum. Particularly the chance to observe first hand and learn more about the deciduous and evergreen trees and seasonal changes.
Over the last year we have received and planted free fruit trees from Veoli Orchard grant and also had a wildflower area patch as part of local community sustainability group. Some of these are visible in the photograph of some EY children waiting to release their butterflies.
“No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced.” David Attenborough
Sandridge School already has a Woodland Trust Gold Award. Previously pupils and parents sponsored a Woodland Trust tree and planted it behind our music studio and at the edge of our field. Also a few years ago our School Council took part in planting trees in our local Heartwood Forest.
The knowledge and content prescribed in the National Curriculum is introduced throughout the key stages in a progressive and coherent way. Sandridge Scientists have opportunities to build up a ‘body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena.’ They are encouraged to understand ‘how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave and analyse causes’ (National Curriculum).
Working scientifically is embedded within the content of biology, chemistry and physics, focusing on the key features of scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions. These types of scientific enquiry include: observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations); and researching using secondary sources. Pupils seek answers to questions through collecting, analysing and presenting data.
“I didn’t want to just know the names of things. I remember really wanting to know how it all worked.”
Elizabeth Blackburn, Winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.
Curriculum (see Whole School Curriculum Map and linked resources. Also please see hyperlinks below.)
The PLAN primary science resources are developed to support the planning and assessment of science in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and National Curriculum in England: Science Programmes of Study for Key Stages 1 and 2.
At Sandridge we use resources from The Association for Science Education to support the delivery of our Science curriculum. This resource includes:
- knowledgeand working scientifically matrices that provide additional guidance which clarifies the statements for each year of the National Curriculum
- annotated collections of children’s work that provide examples of workthat meet the expectations of the knowledge statements for each topic from each year of the science National Curriculum
- progression documents that highlight the links between the topicstaught in different year groups and the development of working scientifically skills
- Key vocabulary for each unit
- SEN Science is scaffolded to meet the individual needs of children
Further resources include:
- Herts for Learning ‘Developing Young Scientists’
Measuring the Impact of the Science Intent and Implementation
Formative assessment takes place during every science lesson, and is the basis on which teachers tailor the teaching to the needs of the pupils.
“A carnivore only eats meat…it’s a predator… a herbivore only eats plants… an omnivore eats plants and meat.” (a Y3 scientist)
“We got Miss Allard wet… the best material was the bubble wrap because it slid right off and in between each hole.” (a Y2 Scientist).
Summative assessment takes place at the end of each term. It is used to:
- identify areas of strength and development for classes, groups and individuals
- provide evidence for patterns in progress and attainment (eg. between boys/girls, SEN/non-SEN, different year groups)
- to compare attainment with nationally agreed expectations for children of that age
We use the National Curriculum assessment criteria to make summative judgements in Years 1-6. Science is also monitored by the Subject leader and the Senior Leadership Team.
In EYFS Science forms part of Understanding of the World which follows Early Years Foundation Stage and Development Matters Guidance and also ASE PLAN Early Years Science matrices.
This happens naturally during children’s own learning time inside and outside.
This also happens during Adult Learning topic lessons in a cross curricular way with a focus on themes such as: colour, dark and light, three little pig’s houses, life cycles, changes and ‘minibeasts’.
There are also resources and an understanding of the World focus area in the classroom, and an outside ‘Discovery shed for children to use during their own learning time as well. Resources in these areas rotate but will include magnifiers, magnets, natural materials to explore, colour and light resources and toy animals. Large blocks, marble runs and guttering provide perfect opportunities to explore forces…
There will often be seasonal displays and artefacts for the children to engage with as well as opportunity to develop extra curiosity with a real nest or egg shells or plants the children are growing etc.
There are also plants and herbs for children to grow and observe in our outside area too.
Science is mainly taught in topics in a practical way inside and out and we try to link these to cross curricular learning so that it is more meaningful. Each topic starts with a question ‘What do we already know about_?’ and that leads to ‘What do we want to find out about?’
‘I don’t need an answer. I don’t need answers to everything. I want to have answers to find.’ Professor Brian Cox
An Early Years Child recently asked: ‘Why are hedgehogs called hedgehogs?’
A Year 1 Scientist asked: ‘I want to know why eyes are the only part of our body that we can see with?’
At the end of a topic there is time to reflect and consider ‘What have we learnt?’ Quite often in Science lesson adults are learning something new and exciting at the same time as the pupils.
In Early Years Science is taught and ‘discovered’ through opportunities to explore and investigate as part of the Understanding of the World specific area of the Foundation Stage curriculum. It is often taught and facilitated in a cross curricular way for at least 2 hours a week through adult learning and child-initiated learning time.
In Key Stage 1 Science happens for at least 1 ½ hours per week and often more when it is linked to other subjects. It is still very practical and within this pupils begin to record investigations and develop their ability to predict, plan, record results and conclude.
In Key Stage 2 Science is taught for at least 2 hours a week and is also very practical using both the outside and inside environments. Their planning and recording is very detailed and they develop Scientific skills and knowledge in groups too.
Home Learning and Enrichment
Relevant optional home learning is set by the class teacher.
For example Year 5 had to create a boat that could be powered across the water to enrich their understanding of forces.
Each year the pupils take part in a specifically tailored ‘Sandridge Science week’ which is based on a theme. Themes have included ‘Wet ‘n’ Wild’ and ‘Earth, Wind and Fire.’
This can include Science specific home learning, research, buddy and whole school experiments as well as special visitors and experiences.
For the last 2 years we have developed Sandridge Science Capital by inviting Sandridge Scientist parents to be interviewed by children and talk about /demonstrate their specific Scientist skills.
A Year 3 Scientist said, “When we asked the questions to the people it was interesting because they taught me stuff I didn’t know and I learnt new facts.”
Another Year 3 Scientist said, “I enjoyed all the parents talking to us because it’s cool to know what their jobs are and how they work.”
At Sandridge, as well as through Classroom based Science learning as part of the National Curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Stage, we aim to give the children a range experiences to increase their knowledge and sense of the world around them, for example through visiting Nature Reserves, zoos, and museums.