The science curriculum at our school aims to give all children a strong understanding of the world around them whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them to think scientifically, to gain an understanding of scientific processes and also an understanding of the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future. The principles below underpin our science curriculum:
- Staff understand that the essential idea of a knowledge-based curriculum where children apply prior ‘sticky’ knowledge and then move forward in acquiring new information which develops deeper understanding.
- Staff proactively promote a sense of awe and wonder, with science being viewed as the basis of all knowledge.
- Science is viewed as such a wide-reaching subject that all children can succeed in some way, whether that is through acquisition of knowledge or the development of skills.
- Staff understand the need to explore ‘big ideas’ to help children overcome misconceptions and make connections with what they know and what they are yet to know.
- Staff identify that ‘small ideas’ can become ‘big ideas’ through exploring scientifically.
- Staff are given the tools to promote a classroom where working scientifically can take many forms, not just investigating but researching, observing and more!
- Children develop an understanding of the many branches of science and how our society benefits from them, thus developing cultural capital; we even encourage children to call themselves aspiring scientists linked to their learning through using the names of science branches as much as possible, from A to Z - anatomists to zoologists!
- Science is not JUST about ‘making sense’ of the world around us; it is about developing the skills and knowledge to be ‘the expert’.
- All children are encouraged to develop a growth mindset through taking risks, with scientific enquiry (working scientifically) at the forefront: ‘real’ scientists do this.
As a result of these key principles, children will make rich connections between science and life beyond the classroom. Children will understand that science is fundamental to everyday life, with strong links to mathematics, technology and engineering and the world of work. Children will know that mistakes are valuable and a necessary part of learning at Wargrave. Our curriculum approach to science will instill children with the philosophy that there is no such thing as ‘failure’ – we will try again and find a way that works.
I am Mrs. Kamczyk and, having led many other subject areas in the past, I have the pleasure to lead Science at Wargrave Church of England Primary School. This enables me to see the excitement the subject brings in our youngest children all the way through the age phases to those that leave us to move on to their secondary school journey, equipped to develop further as scientists.
The fact that the name ‘Science’ comes from Latin origins and literally means ‘knowledge’ speaks volumes: Knowledge really is power! With this in mind, we have developed a curriculum that enables acquisition of knowledge from the very beginning of childhood and builds logically, using regular retrieval of facts that become more abstract and use of more sophisticated scientific vocabulary alongside a growing enquiry skillset. Science is the official name for something that we, as humans, have an innate ability to do: wonder, ask questions, theorise, observe, test things out and discover. This comes from our curiosity as babies and young children and does not stop there!
The science curriculum at Wargrave recognises the early foundations of the way we begin to understand the world and builds on to develop critical thinking about concepts relating to ourselves and the world around us. Links with other curriculum subjects, prior knowledge in science to build upon and keeping future learning in mind allow us to really see how each and every person is becoming a more proficient scientist from the very beginning and provides the opportunities needed to master the areas of the science curriculum. As children mature, they seem able to observe more carefully and hypothesise, developing enquiry skills alongside regularly retrieving knowledge in order to commit it to their long-term memory.
Science really is rooted in lifelong learning; it allows children to realise the value of science in that it is part of everything we are, everything we see, everything we own and everything we do. It allows children to smash stereotypes, continue to ask questions and, as learners, develop the ability and willingness to take risks, make mistakes and learn from them. For this reason, science is more than just a subject – it is a discipline which teaches hidden lessons about characteristics of effective learning. It teaches resilience, reciprocity, resourcefulness and reflectiveness. It sparks curiosity and gives all children a voice. This is something, as a school, that we are incredibly proud of.
Long Term Plan
Programme of Study