Science at Monks Orchard Primary School aims to teach our children the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to question and understand scientific concepts. This enables them to make sense of the world in which they live and motivates them to seek explanation through curiosity, scientific enquiry, logical thinking and critical evaluation of evidence. We provide experiences that are appropriate and relevant to the children’s lives, but at the same time satisfy their curiosity and offer a worthwhile challenge. The teachers are aware of the importance of teaching Science in a progressive way, ensuring that all National Curriculum objectives are taught and developed. Children are encouraged to work together and care is taken to provide equal access for all.
Each year the Science curriculum is enriched by trips and visitors to the school. We have close links with local high schools, which gives our children the opportunity to work in science labs. All of these visits bring Science to life and encourage the children’s enquiry skills.
National Curriculum Science (2014) Policy
The new curriculum for science (September 2014) aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Develop scientific knowledge and understanding and conceptual understanding through biology, chemistry and physics.
- Develop an understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science, through scientific enquiry (working scientifically).
- Are equipped with scientific knowledge to understand the uses and implications of science today and in the future.
Programmes of Study
The new curriculum sets out a series of Programmes of Study, which describe a sequence of knowledge and concepts, the pupils are also expected to be familiar with, and use scientific vocabulary, and to apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science. The Programmes of Study are set out year by year for KS1 and KS2, however schools have flexibility within each programme, provided it is taught by the end of the key stage.
Pupils are expected to be able to work scientifically within the programmes of study for biology, chemistry and physics. There are 5 key elements to working scientifically:
- Observing over time - to observe or measure how one variable changes over time. For example shadows over a day or weather over four seasons.
- Identifying and Classifying - identify features between different things. For example between different types of insect.
- Pattern Seeking – carry out surveys or collect data and identify relationships between the data. For example heart rate before and after exercise.
- Research – use secondary sources of evidence to answer questions. For example research significant scientists.
- Fair Testing – identify the effect of changing one variable on another, all other variables are constant. For example changing the length of a wire in a circuit with the brightness of a bulb.
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply, and understand the matters, skills and processes set out in the Programmes of Study.
How Science is Taught
At Monks Orchard, teachers of Nursery and Reception plan and teach science through the Early Years Framework , in the area of ‘Understanding the World’, which involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore , observe, and find out about people, places, technology and the environment .
Pupils in KS1 and KS2 are taught science through the International Primary Curriculum (IPC), which covers the objectives set out in the Programmes of Study. The IPC has clear ‘learning goals ‘(What the children should know, be able to do or develop an understanding of), for each topic. The IPC units include a ‘knowledge harvest’ which provides an opportunity for the children to reveal what they already know about the themes they are studying and what they want to find out, as well as practical activities for individual lessons and assessment guidance.
The children use ICT in science lessons to enhance their learning.
The school was awarded the Primary Science Quality Mark (Silver Award), in 2012, in recognition of the quality of science and science teaching across the school.
The school participate in National Science and Engineering Week (held annually), with a series of whole school activities and events, including Minibeast Man, Dr Mark’s Science Show and participation in the Finger Print World Record attempt in March 2014.
Life Bus Education
The life bus education offers support to Monks Orchard in meeting the National Curriculum requirements for personal, social and health education and Government guidelines for drug education, as well as the Healthy Schools Agenda. It provides age appropriate social, health and drug education programmes from Nursery to Year 6.
Upper Key Stage Two children learn that all medicines are drugs but not all drugs are medicines and understand the issues of safety and responsibility. They consider ways to categorise drugs and develop critical thinking skills in relation to smoking, alcohol and medicines and to identify risk factors in given situations. They consider the outcomes of risk taking and rehearse assertiveness ‘skills.
Year 5 and Year 6 pupils also benefit from opportunities to work with local secondary schools, including ‘taster’ science sessions at Edenham High School and Langley Park Boys School. Training Year 5 pupils to run a STEM club (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) through Riddlesdown Collegiate, as well as K’Nex and engineering challenges run by Trinity School.
The science curriculum is also enriched through visitors to the school and visits to places of interest.