At Mill Lane Primary we focus on engaging all children in a broad range of scientific activities; enabling each and every child to develop their knowledge and understanding of key science topics and to improve their scientific skills. To be inclusive, we ensure the activities are as practical and interactive as possible; tailored to the age and stage of development of the children.
Science at Mill Lane encourages the children to ask questions, enquire, plan and carry out investigations. As part of such investigations, the children make predictions, observe what is happening, record and interpret their data. They are also introduced to, and carry out, ‘fair tests’. Science is taught as a discrete subject but is made more prominent by being delivered in a cross-curricular way as part of a half termly topic; making the learning more meaningful and engaging for the children.
In line with the National Curriculum expectations, the children cover a range of scientific areas. Within Early Years Foundation Stage the children are beginning to explore the world and their surroundings through activities such as gardening, making houses for animals, experimenting with materials, and exploring water.
By Key Stage 1, the children are engaged in the following topics: Plants, Animals including humans, Everyday Materials, Seasonal Changes, Living Things and their Habitats. At Key Stage 2 children look in greater depth at the following topics; Living Things and their Habitats, Animals including humans, and Plants. They also explore Rocks, Light, Forces and Magnets, States of Matter, Sound, Electricity, Earth and Space, Changes in States of Matter, Forces, Evolution and Inheritance. Throughout Key Stage 2 the children are taught through Collins Snap Science, which provides many hands-on, engaging experiences for every child.
The children of Mill Lane have many opportunities to voice their opinions about the teaching and learning of Science in school. They feel it is ‘fun, exciting’ and allows them to ‘learn lots of new things they never knew before!’
For more information, please go to long term plans.
Science Intent Statement
The 2014 National Curriculum for Science aims to ensure that all children:
- 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 skillsrequired to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. We understand that it is important for lessons to have a skills-based focus, and that the knowledge can be taught through this
At Mill Lane Primary, we understand that children are naturally curious and we encourage this inquisitive nature throughout their time with us and beyond. Science fosters a healthy curiosity in children about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes. Through the programmes of study in the National Curriculum science document children will acquire and develop these skills throughout their Primary years.
We ensure that the Working Scientifically skills are built-on and developed throughout their school career so that they can use equipment, conduct experiments, build arguments and explain concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings.
Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in science.
At Mill Lane we aspire to promote children’s independence and for all children to take responsibility in their own learning. We have implemented child self-assessment sheets, which the children use as a working document to track their achievements and progress. Teachers also complete PiXL science assessment sheets for all pupils each term from Year 1 -6. In the EYFS, teachers follow the Development Matters Statements to assess progress.
At the start of each year, a display is created which celebrates “What makes an excellent scientist”. Children have the opportunity to discuss famous scientists and should then create a list of qualities that should be used during lessons. These, along with child self-assessment statements and question matrices, should be displayed on classroom walls and referred to during lessons.
Science is taught consistently, once a week for up to two hours, but is discretely taught in many different contexts throughout all areas of the curriculum. For example, through English, i.e. writing a letter to a local politician regarding the closure of a park/biography of a famous scientist’s life, etc. All science work is recorded in separate exercise books (floor books in EYFS). These continue with the child through each Key Stage.
Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following;
- Science will be taught in planned and arranged topic blocks by the class teacher. This is a strategy to enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge.
- We encourage problem solving opportunities that allow children to find out for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers.
- We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, and they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.
- Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being developed throughout the children’s school career and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching.
- Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding. Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning and workshops with experts.
The successful approach at Mill Lane Primary results in a fun, engaging, high-quality science education, that provides children with the foundations for understanding the world. Our engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first hand experiences of the world around them. So much of science lends itself to outdoor learning and so we provide children with opportunities to experience this. Through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts, children have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity.
Children learn the possibilities for careers in science as a result of our community links, Children Challenging Industry, connections with national agencies such as the STEM and learn from and work with professionals from a range of different scientific backgrounds. Children at Mill Lane overwhelmingly enjoy science and this results in motivated learners.
To engage the children and encourage them to enjoy Science, Mill Lane was very lucky on Tuesday 8th May to have a visitor from Science Boffins in. We all had a lovely whole-school assembly, where the children got to experience some exciting scientific experiments. Some classes then had a Superhero workshop where they found out about renewable and non-renewable sources of energy. We learned about the importance of using renewable sources of energy wherever possible. The children were shown how to make a simple water filter as a way to ensure we had safe, clean drinking water.