Science, it's like magic but real!
At Lenthall Infant and Nursery School, we recognise the importance of science in every aspect of our daily lives. Our science teaching, in conjunction with the National Curriculum, is focused on increasing pupils' knowledge and understanding and encouraging the development of key scientific skills. Children will be encouraged to develop a natural curiosity about the world around them and ask questions, recognising that they can be answered in different ways. Children will also be encouraged to use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions, and then gather and record data to help them when answering questions. They will observe closely using simple equipment and perform simple tests and will also identify and classify objects, materials, animals, and plants.
At Lenthall Infant and Nursery School, science is taught throughout the school, following the National Curriculum Programmes of Study. The programmes of study describe a sequence of knowledge and concepts. In the Early Years, science knowledge and skills are covered through ‘Understanding the World’. This is planned and taught half-termly through adult-directed teaching as well as being part of the enhanced and continuous provision. These link directly to each half-termly topic covered in both Nursery and Reception. Children are encouraged to use all their senses in hands-on exploration of natural materials and explore the natural world around them. In Key Stage One, children will begin to follow the National Curriculum for science. This aims to ensure that children develop key scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding and also scientific enquiry skills. The principal focus of science teaching in Key Stage 1 is to enable pupils to experience and observe phenomena, looking more closely at the natural and humanly constructed world around them. Pupils are encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice.
In Key Stage One, an aspect of the science programme of study is covered half-termly and this is also linked (where possible) to each class topic. This is planned and taught half-termly through adult-directed teaching on a weekly basis. Throughout Key Stage One, children cover plants, animals including humans, everyday materials, seasonal changes and living things and their habitats. In addition to focusing on key scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding, children are encouraged to ‘Work Scientifically’. Regular opportunities are given for children to engage in scientific enquiries and investigations and children are challenged to explain their understanding through discussion and extended writing opportunities.
During Key Stage One, pupils should be taught to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills through the teaching of the programme of study content:
- Asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways
- Observing closely, using simple equipment
- Performing simple tests
- Identifying and classifying
- Using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
- Gathering and recording data to help in answering questions
Science at Lenthall Infant and Nursery School is assessed using the following.
- Informal judgements by staff during lessons
- Immediate next steps are provided via verbal feedback.
- Pupil and peer assessments.
- Formal skills and assessment checklists.
For science, each topic usually begins with a brief assessment of what children already know. In EYFS, each child’s progress is assessed against Development Matters under the area 'Understanding the World'. This is recorded termly on Eazmag. In Key Stage 1, each child's progress is assessed against the key objectives from the National Curriculum and is recorded termly on Eazmag. At the end of each Science unit/topic, teachers make a summary judgement about the work each pupil has completed using end-of-unit assessments/quizzes to support. The science subject leader monitors progress and attainment on a termly basis through a triangulation of the data, evidence in books and through children’s voice.
Our Ultimate End Goal:
What will our scientists be able to do when they leave us?
By the end of their learning journey at Lenthall Infant and Nursery School our scientists will have built up a body of knowledge which will enable them to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring around them, predict how things will behave and think about the cause and effect. • They will be able to articulate scientific concepts clearly and precisely using accurate scientific vocabulary. • Scientific learning experiences will have developed an excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena and the world around them. This will prompt the asking of their own questions and the use of the relevant skills needed to work out and explain their answers. • They will have an understanding that scientific ideas change and develop over time and how this has and continues to change our lives and futures. This full and rounded understanding of the world around them will impact their lives, influencing the choices that they make so that through their actions they are able to make the world a better place.
The important thing is to never stop questioning.