At Sedbergh Primary School we teach methods of enquiry and investigation to stimulate creative thought through Science. Science changes as human understanding and experience changes. It is an ongoing process as our ideas about the world around us are constantly developed and revised. Children learn to ask scientific questions and begin to appreciate the way science will affect their future on a personal, national, and global level.
The aims of science are to enable children to:
- ask and answer scientific questions
- develop skills which may not be developed to the same degree in other areas of the curriculum
- plan and carry out scientific investigations, using equipment, including computers, correctly; and to appreciate the meaning of a ‘fair test’
- know and understand the life processes of living things
- know and understand the physical processes of materials, electricity, light, sound and natural forces
- know about the nature of the solar system, including the earth
- evaluate evidence and present their conclusions clearly and accurately
- develop pupils’ enjoyment and interest in science and an appreciation of its contribution to all aspects of everyday life
- build on pupils’ curiosity and sense of awe of the natural world
- introduce pupils to the language and vocabulary of science
- develop pupils’ basic practical skills and their ability to make accurate and appropriate measurements
- promote a ‘healthy lifestyle’ in our pupils
- develop pupils’ use of information and communication technology (ICT) in their science studies
Teaching and learning style
We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in science lessons. Our principal aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills, and understanding, as well as a sense of enjoyment in science. Sometimes we do this through whole-class and small group teaching, while at other times we engage the children in an enquiry-based research activity. We encourage the children to ask, as well as answer, scientific questions. They have the opportunity to use a variety of data, such as statistics, graphs, pictures, and photographs.
They use ICT in science lessons where it enhances their learning. They take part in role-play and discussions and they present reports to the rest of the class. They engage in a wide variety of problem-solving activities. Wherever possible, we involve the pupils in practical activities as these increase enthusiasm and motivation and provide first hand experience. Opportunities for developing the range of intelligences are presented to the children and staff teach to visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning styles.
Practical activities provide the children with a range of contexts allowing safe exploration of the world without the need to master facts and theories. By taking part in practical activities children with special educational needs are given the opportunity to develop fine motor skills and co-ordination. Knowledge and skills can be developed in small steps through practical work. Sequencing of written work becomes easier after practical experiences.
We recognise that there are children of widely different scientific abilities in all classes and we ensure that we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child.
We achieve this in a variety of ways by:
- setting common tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses
- setting tasks of increasing difficulty (we do not expect all children to complete all tasks)
- grouping children by ability in the room and setting different tasks for each ability group
- providing resources of different complexity, matched to the ability of the child
- where possible, using classroom assistants to support the work of individual children or groups of children
- mixed ability groups in which pupils plan and work together but record their work separately
“In an outstanding science lesson in Year 6, pupils made model wind turbines and were able to explore the changes they could make to them by using their skills of research and scientific enquiry.” Ofsted