"So remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and hold on to that childlike wonder about what makes the universe exist."
At Newton Ferrers we recognise that science builds the foundations for our understanding of the world. We understand that children are born with a natural desire to explore the world around them and we aim to nurture this curiosity, encouraging all children to pose questions and seek answers. Knowledge and concepts are taught through the key disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
The skills of thinking and behaving as a scientist ‘Working Scientifically’ are embedded within the teaching of the content and are built-on and developed throughout their school career so that they can use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions. 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. Real life science opportunities and experiences working alongside working scientists are built into our curriculum so that children recognise where science fits into their lives. Within our Science curriculum, we aim to give children the confidence and enthusiasm to continue to further develop their skills into the next stage of their education.
At Newton Ferrers our science curriculum follows the year by year progression of knowledge and skills as set out in our Long Term planning document. Where mixed year group classes exist, a rolling programme is followed to ensure full coverage of the curriculum. Children in Foundation are given a range of opportunities to understand the world. This can be done through direct teaching or the use of the environment and provision that is set up for them. We aim to provide them with a range of real life experiences to increase their knowledge and sense of the world around them.
We believe that for the children to become scientists, they not only need knowledge, but also the skills to work scientifically and opportunities for skills and knowledge to be applied. Each year, the children will complete several investigations as part of their learning, involving different types of enquiry: fair testing, research, observation over time, identifying and classifying and pattern seeking. Each of these enquiry methods is progressively built upon from Early Years to Year 6.
Key vocabulary is identified for each science topic and it is expected that these keywords will be explored through teaching and be displayed on science walls.
We make full use of our unique school grounds and rural setting; for example, our Forest school facilities and school pond area and our termly visits to a local farm. Our promotion of outdoor learning and the children’s termly Forest School weekly session, complement the science curriculum and provide a real context for the children to apply their knowledge and skills.
Our Science Curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Children complete pre-assessments e.g KWL/Vocab Lab/Concept Map to ensure any misconceptions of a topic are addressed during the planning of the topic .
- We use the TAPS (Teacher Assessment in Primary Science) focused assessment approach that embeds assessment within class science activities. These focused assessments take part approximately two-thirds of the way through a topic - far enough that the children have had the opportunity to develop their understanding and skills, but allowing sufficient time to act on the assessment information. Summative and formative information is collected using a class ‘Science Log Book’.
The successful approach to the teaching of science at Newton Ferrers results in a fun, engaging, high quality science education, that provides children with the foundations for understanding the world that they can take with them once they complete their primary education.