SCIENCE AT ORLEANS PRIMARY SCHOOL
Science is a vibrant subject at Orleans Primary School about which we are incredibly passionate. Through high-quality science teaching, we aim to help our pupils understand how major scientific ideas have played a vital role in society. Moreover, we aim to prepare our pupils for life in an increasingly scientific and technological world.
Our curriculum provides a rich variety of topics that cover all the core scientific disciplines and contexts that the children can relate to their everyday lives. Each week the children are posed a key question or context from which they generate their own scientific lines of enquiry. They will then explore this question using a variety of investigative skills, engaging and becoming more familiar with each of the elements of the scientific method as they progress through the school. These include skills such as generating their own lines of enquiry, making predictions, analysing results, observing changes over time, collecting results in a variety of ways, drawing conclusions from their observations and evaluating their own method and the reliability of their results.
How is Science taught across Key Stages?
Early Years (Nursery and Reception)
The children at Orleans Primary School follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and with relation to science the focus is on ‘Knowledge and Understanding of the World’. Understanding of the world develops as children take notice of everything around them including places and all the things within them such as trees in the natural environment and roads and traffic in the built environment. Finding out about places begins initially when a child learns about their own home and the things nearby, then later as children notice things on journeys to and from home – such as the sequence of the traffic lights or names on street signs. This awareness is extended by visiting places and finding out about different elements of environments in books, on television and through using other technology. This aspect also focuses on learning about cause and effect and is developed through having conversations with adults and other children about the things they observe. Opportunities are planned for the children to develop their knowledge and make links between their experiences.
KS1 and KS2
The children follow the National Curriculum (2014) covering the areas listed below whilst also focusing on the five areas of working scientifically: pattern seeking, observing over time, Identifying and classifying, fair testing and research. Within each academic year, children will study a range of scientific topics.
In both Key Stage 1 (KS1) and Key Stage 2 (KS2), children are taught Science as a freestanding subject, covering a specific topic each term. Each Science topic is primarily based around one of the three core disciplines (Biology, Physics and Chemistry), with children touching on all three every year. The table below shows the Science topics that are currently delivered across KS1 and KS2.
Cross-Curricular links within Science
Each key question that the children investigate is carefully planned to include a range of cross curricular links with core subjects. Children are taught how their mathematical calculation and statistical skills can be used to read, analyse and draw conclusions from their results. There are also regular opportunities for children to improve their literacy skills through reading, writing and spelling key vocabulary.
There are also numerous links made with other foundation subjects that are embedded across each Science topic. For example in PE lessons there are opportunities for children to both learn about the importance of and emulate a healthy lifestyle.
As a school located in the outskirts of London we are lucky to have a range of science focused venues and opportunities for practical field work on our doorstep. We’re constantly looking for new and meaningful experiences that will enrich the scientific understanding and investigative skills of the children we teach. Previous trips have included London Zoo, The Science Museum, Marble Hill Park and Bocketts Farm and many more. These are regularly reported on in the Newsletter so do have a look and see what we’ve been getting up to.
Science at Home
Science is a subject that relates to our understanding of the processes of the world around us. As such, it is one of the most relevant subjects that children can engage with at home. At Orleans Primary we actively encourage children to continue their investigations at home, and even try some new ones. Below are some websites you might find useful to help your child learn Science at home
- Primary Science www.primaryscience.ie/activities_activity_movies.php
- The Artful Parent artfulparent.com/childrens-artful-science-experiments
- National Geographic Kids ngkids.co.uk/
- Science Activities and Experiments www.education.com/activity/kindergarten/science/
- The Science Museum www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/
How has Science changed?
As is the case with most subjects, the Science curriculum has undergone some significant changes in line with the adoption of the new National Curriculum in September 2014. The content covered in the new Science curriculum is broadly the same it has been but many topics will be taught at different times. The changes came into place for Years 1, 3, 4 and 5 from September 2014 and will take effect from September 2015 for Years 2 and 6. Some of the major changes are highlighted below:
- The Science curriculum will now include objectives covering; evolution and inheritance (Year 6), digestion, fossil formation (Year 4), gears, levers and pulleys, and the digestive system.
- The Year 6 ‘Micro-organisms’ topic will no longer form part of the curriculum.
- There is be a greater emphasis on classifying and identifying plants and animals, especially in Key Stage 1.
- The ‘Physical Processes’ strand of the Key Stage 1 curriculum will move to the beginning of Key Stage 2.