At Whitehall Park School, students are encouraged to lead science lessons through questioning and investigating the world around them. Science lessons focus on building upon students’ prior knowledge and increasing their understanding of the world around them. Students are encouraged to follow their natural curiosity to help build an understanding of the world around them and allowing them to become more critical thinkers. Students are given opportunities to continually build upon and develop their scientific understanding through repetition and rehearsal of science skills. Pupils are introduced to topics that they can relate to and explore by asking questions, making predictions, and engaging in hands-on activities so that they can aspire and embody the ‘I am a scientist’ attitude.
Our curriculum covers a variety of scientific topics each half term that are based around biology, chemistry and physics. Science lessons encourage curiosity which aim to develop investigative skills and scientific knowledge. Through the programme of study in the National Curriculum, pupils will achieve this by carrying out working scientifically activities in each lesson to allow them to develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding. They will carry out a variety of enquiries through computing and research, hands-on-practical activities, problem solving opportunities and cross-curricular links. Throughout the topics pupils will be exposed to scientific vocabulary and will be able to use it to apply to their explanations to show their understanding.
Pupils will be given regular opportunities to cover the five strands of scientific enquiry:
- Observe over time
- Look for patterns in their observations and results
- Identify, classify and group
- Carry out controlled investigations using comparisons and fair testing methodology
- Research using secondary sources
Through these strands they will learn the scientific skills of asking questions, planning enquiries, making predictions, observation, taking measurements, record results, presenting results, interpreting results, drawing conclusions and evaluating an enquiry.
Each area of learning is linked to a key Scientist, to develop children’s understanding of the practical application of Science and possible career options.
In KS1, the main focus of science is to enable students to experience, observe and explore the world around them. They are encouraged to be curious and to ask questions about what they notice. Children are helped to develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of scientific enquiry to answer their own questions , including observing changes over a period of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative tests, and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They are also beginning to use simple scientific language to talk about what they have found out and communicate their ideas to a range of audiences in a variety of ways.
During years 1 and 2, pupils should be taught to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills through the teaching of the programme of study content:
- Asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways
- Observing closely, using simple equipment
- Performing simple tests
- Identifying and classifying
- Using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
- Gathering and recording data to help in answering questions
The principal focus of science teaching in lower key stage 2, Year 3 and 4 is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. They do this through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments, and by beginning to develop their ideas about functions, relationships and interactions. They are encouraged to ask their own questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, including observing changes over time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative and fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. Pupils will also draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out.
During years 3 and 4, pupils should be taught to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills through the teaching of the programme of study content:
- Asking relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them
- Setting up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests
- Making systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, taking accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers
- Gathering, recording, classifying and presenting data in a variety of ways to help in answering questions
- Recording findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables
- Reporting on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions
- Using results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions
- Identifying differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes
- Using straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.
The principal focus of science teaching in upper key stage 2, Years 5 and 6 is to enable pupils to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. They do this through exploring and talking about their ideas; asking their own questions about scientific phenomena; and analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically. Pupils will encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. They also begin to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time. Pupils demonstrate that they are working scientifically by selecting the most appropriate ways to answer science questions using different types of scientific enquiry, including observing changes over different periods of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out comparative and fair tests and finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information. Pupils will also s draw conclusions based on their data and observations, use evidence to justify their ideas, and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings.
During years 5 and 6, pupils should be taught to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills through the teaching of the programme of study content:
- Planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary
- Taking measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate
- Recording data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs
- Using test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests
- Reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations
- Identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.
We want children to find science fun, engaging and exciting which is why we aim to teach high-quality science lessons. We give the students the foundations for understanding the world which they take with them after they leave. We use the Woodland area in the school to provide opportunities for students to explore natural. Pupil voice is used to guide the lessons and planning, which ensures lessons are engaging and creating motivated learners.
We aim for all children to achieve age related expectations. Staff will use formative and summative assessments in order to know where children are at. Children are able to understand and apply subject specific vocabulary. They will retain and build on knowledge that is pertinent to Science with a real life context. Children will be able to question ideas and reflect on knowledge. Children will work collaboratively and practically to investigate and experiment. Children will be able to explain the process they have taken and be able to reason scientifically.
We want every child to carry their curiosity of the world with them when they leave Whitehall Park School. We develop a love for Science at Whitehall Park and beyond and will have an understanding of different careers that involve Science.