Science at New Park
We ensure our children fully understand the way all of our lives are interconnected and how we exist and prosper in our ever- changing world.
Science allows our children to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. It enables them to confidently explore and discover the world around them and truly appreciate the nature of our existence. Our children will enquire, investigate and experiment with Science, promoting a love of learning and ensuring that they have a deep and extensive knowledge of science, preparing them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
Throughout their work in science, children encounter key concepts as they appreciate the work of significant people -pioneering scientists, past and present. By putting the stories of these figures into context, we bring to life the sense of curiosity, exploration and discovery that drove them and, in turn, evoke these ambitions in our children.
The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:
- develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the 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.
The curriculum at New Park aims to found progress throughout a child’s school career by developing a secure understanding of each key block of knowledge and concepts at the relevant stage. Insecure, superficial understanding prevents genuine progression: pupils may struggle at key stage transitions, amass damaging misconceptions, or have significant difficulties in understanding higher-order content.
‘Working scientifically’ is not taught as a separate strand but is interwoven with learning objectives and across year groups: KS1, LKS2 and UKS2. 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 headings of scientific enquiry. These 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 by collecting, analysing and presenting data applying their mathematical knowledge.
The national curriculum for science reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are key factors in developing their scientific vocabulary and articulating scientific concepts clearly and precisely. They must be assisted in making their thinking clear, both to themselves and others, and teachers should ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions.
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to retain, apply and understand the knowledge, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.
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. They are encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. They are helped to develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of scientific enquiry to answer their own questions, including observing changes over a period of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative tests, and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They begin to use simple scientific language to talk about what they have found out and communicate their ideas to a range of audiences in a variety of ways.
Children will learn about: animals, including humans; living things and their habitats; everyday materials and their uses; plants; and seasonal changes. Most of the learning about science should be done through the use of first-hand practical experiences, but there should also be some use of relevant secondary sources, such as books, photographs and videos.
The principal focus of science teaching in Lower Key Stage 2 is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. They do this through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments, and by beginning to develop their ideas about functions, relationships and interactions. Children ask their own questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, including 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.
Children will learn about: animals, including humans; plants; rocks; light; forces and magnets; living things and their habitats; states of matter; sound; and electricity. They draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out.
The principal focus of science teaching in Upper Key Stage 2 is to enable pupils to develop a deeper 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. Children 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 learn about: animals, including humans; living things and their habitats; properties and changes of materials; Earth and space; forces; evolution and inheritance; electricity; and light. They will draw conclusions based on their observations and data, use evidence to justify their ideas, and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings.