We believe science is for everyone. It seeks to ask and answer questions, nurtures curiosity, awe and wonder, and develops a spirit of enquiry. It is the principal way of learning about the world around us, and the nature of the Universe. Through the scientific method of constructing hypotheses, testing, collecting and analysing data and drawing conclusions, the natural world can be understood more clearly. At Mount Pleasant, it is taught in such a way as to encompass all these aspects. Children can understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. We make sure every child has a positive experience with an aim to instil a lifelong love of learning.
SMSC, Diversity and Cultural Capital
Science is a subject that makes children wonder about what is special about life. They are encouraged to search for meaning and purpose in natural and physical phenomena. The subject nurtures curiosity and develops open minds. Children make evidence-based suggestions and judgments. They realise that there are moral dilemmas and considerations in scientific developments. Children develop socially through working collaboratively, building team working skills. They take responsibility for their own and other’s safety in practical work. Children become aware of culture in science through studying scientists and scientific discoveries from different cultures. They are educated to understand that many different cultures are central to science. All cultures are valued and at Mount Pleasant, we draw upon knowledge, behaviours, and skills that demonstrates a child’s cultural awareness. We teach them to be the best they can be to become successful in their careers, and aim to be for example, in scientists, technicians, doctors or engineers.
Planning provides a sequence of lessons that will engage children in a variety of enquiry types. Children are given opportunities to work scientifically through practical activities and present work in a variety of ways. Science is taught as a discrete subject though curriculum links to the topic are made if relevant. The priority when planning is that children’s understanding is installed through inspiring science lessons. We plan science making links with previous learning. Activities enable children to retrieve vocabulary and prior knowledge so they can develop them in their new learning. Lessons are planned to start with a retrieval practise activity with teachers using different strategies, including cumulative quizzes.
A range of strategies are used to promote Assessment for Learning. Questioning and verbal discussion, as well as recorded work are opportunities used. Progression can be seen through the year group topics and working scientifically, taking individual national curriculum strands and using them in planning and teaching throughout school. Teachers assess children using these strands. Assessment of the children’s work is on-going to ensure that understanding is being achieved. The introduction of retrieval practise at the beginning of every lesson also allows for assessment of children’s knowledge. Teachers monitor children’s progress and adjust their teaching accordingly.
In the spring term, during science week, Mount Pleasant has a themed science day. This year it was innovation. Some children thought about classrooms of the future; others made homes for minibeasts. A particular favourite was children inventing a super bug. They used their knowledge of what adaptations bugs had and why to plan and make a 3D model.
Some of our trips and memorable experiences have also included science themes. Although this year they may have had to be adapted due to covid 19 restrictions. Instead of visiting a wildlife park year 3 had animals visit them. They had the opportunity to get close with some smaller predators and prey. These included lizards, beetles, snakes, mice, hedgehogs and even an armadillo!
Most children seem to understand that science is learning about things and how they work. They talk about learning new things. They understand that it is a subject where you carry out investigations and experiments. Children can share their knowledge of covered science areas such as electricity, light and plants.
Going forward, children need to be more aware of the type of investigations they are carrying out. Specifically related to the working scientifically skills. For example, they are carrying out observations, they are measuring, they are researching, or interpreting results.