At Sacred Heart, we believe that an outstanding Science education provides the foundation whereby children make sense of the world they live in. Through the teaching of science, children are encouraged to foster and develop their natural curiosities and wonder about the increasing number of scientific and technological advancements of the modern world. Pupils use science to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, analyse causes and adapt to the ever-changing world around them.
Our Science education provides 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 future prosperity and all pupils are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils are encouraged to 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. Planned investigations and practical activities are used to facilitate the development of their scientific skills along with a greater understanding of the world. The school’s woodlands provide us with an outdoor learning environment that enriches and extends the science curriculum for all our children while developing their curiosity of the natural world around them.
Our Science Curriculum ensures that all pupils:
- 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 knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
Scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding
The programmes of study describe a sequence of knowledge and concepts. While it is important that pupils make progress, it is also vitally important that they develop secure understanding of each key block of knowledge and concepts in order to progress to the next stage. Insecure, superficial understanding will not allow genuine progression: pupils may struggle at key points of transition (such as between primary and secondary school), build up serious misconceptions, and/or have significant difficulties in understanding higher-order content.
- ‘Working scientifically’ specifies the understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science for each year group. It should not be taught as a separate strand. The notes and guidance give examples of how ‘working scientifically’ might be 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 should include: observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations); and researching using secondary sources. Pupils should seek answers to questions through collecting, analysing and presenting data. ‘Working scientifically’ will be developed further at Key Stages 3 and 4, once pupils have built up sufficient understanding of science to engage meaningfully in more sophisticated discussion of experimental design and control.
The nature, processes and methods of science
- Pupils should be able to describe associated processes and key characteristics in common language, but they should also be familiar with, and use, technical terminology accurately and precisely. They should build up an extended specialist vocabulary. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data. The social and economic implications of science are important but, generally, they are taught most appropriately within the wider school curriculum: teachers will wish to use different contexts to maximise their pupils’ engagement with and motivation to study science.
For further information about the Science curriculum, please contact the school office on 01923 901179 or firstname.lastname@example.org.