Science is a knowledge and understanding through key questioning and investigative skills. Science is also methodology, a practical way of finding reliable answers to questions we may ask about the world around us.
A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Children are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.
At Halfpenny Lane we allow children to investigate through curiosity, allowing them to ask questions and develop skills they need to answer questions. Science is widely promoted and as a school we are developing the love of science by making sure it is taught a minimum of once a week. Through the national curriculum, lessons are engaging, challenging and purposeful. We support children’s learning through developing and extending the children’s scientific concept of their world and encouraging them to ask deeper questions about the world around them. Children are exposed to scientific language, using ICT to extend learning and make strong links to other curriculum areas. This enables children to become effective communicators of ideas, facts and data whilst becoming experts at analysing data they collect. Finally, children are exposed to the following skills of investigation – observation, measuring, predicting, hypothesising, experimenting, communicating and interpreting.
‘Working and thinking scientifically’ is described separately at the beginning of the programme of study, but is encouraged to be taught through and clearly related to substantive science content in the programme of study.
Key Stage 1
In KS1, children are focusing on the natural and humanly constructed world around them. They are encouraged to be curious through asking questions about what they can see and are exposed to different types of scientific enquiries to enable this. Some of the scientific enquiries include: observing changes over time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying, carrying out simple comparative tests and finding out using questioning. As a result of questioning, children should be using simple scientific language and have discussions with their peers about what they have found out. In KS1, most of the learning about science is done through practical activities with some written work.
Lower Key Stage 2
In LKS2, children are focusing on the view of the world around them through exploring, discussions, testing and developing ideas about everyday things and relationships between them. They have the opportunity to ask their peers questions to promote discussions about what they are observing and make decisions about which type of scientific enquiry is the most appropriate. Some of the scientific enquiries include: observing changes over time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative and fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They should draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out.
Upper Key Stage 2
In UKS2, children are deepening their understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. They do this through exploring and talking about their ideas; asking their own questions about scientific phenomena; and analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically. They are exposed to more abstract ideas so they can begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. They should select the most appropriate ways to answer science questions using different types of scientific enquiry, including: observing changes over different periods of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out comparative and fair tests and finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information. Children will draw conclusions based on their data and observations, use evidence to justify their ideas, and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings.