Science at Wheeler Primary School.
Science is all about grabbing the children’s interest and tapping into their natural curiosity. Without a doubt, many of the children will say that science lessons are their favourite part of the week.
Investigations are often instigated as a result of the children asking questions as they ‘play’. These naturally occurring questions from inquisitive minds can form the basis of class experiments.
Science is practical in nature and the children at Wheeler are exposed to a variety of scientific equipment. They use pipettes, flasks, funnels, p.h. paper, filter paper, crucibles and safety equipment such as goggles. The children experiment with torches, electrical circuits, magnets, devices to explore sound and a variety of other equipment.
Science is a co-operative activity. And so children will work in small groups to carry out experiments. The children might take on different roles each time they carry out an investigation.
The scientific process is taught. So children will make predictions, design experiments to test their predictions, record their results in a suitable format, analyse their results and come to conclusions about their initial question. The children will be taught to identify variables and to control variables in order to carry out ‘fair tests’.
Science provides opportunities to develop other areas of the curriculum. For example the obvious link is with maths. Reading scales, drawing line graphs of results, using and converting a variety of Units and finding averages are some of the ways in which science is linked with maths. Science also provides possibilities for extended writing – for example a biography of a famous scientist or an explanation of how the water cycle works. There are also links with the I.T. curriculum. Science is increasingly interdisciplinary and this is reflected in the way that science is planned for and taught at Wheeler Primary School.
As the children get older they become increasingly confident in using scientific vocabulary, scientific terms and language. Comparative language is important from an early age. Children will keep a glossary of scientific words and phrases in their science book.
As the children move up the school there is increasing levels of knowledge and understanding of subject content and scientific concepts.
There is a progression of scientific skills and processes taught in the school: For example in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 the children might identify, describe, observe, select, categorise, classify, sequence compare and contrast: For example in years 3 and 4 the children might reason, speculate, predict, summarise, explain and demonstrate their understanding –perhaps in the form of a presentation: For example in years 5 and 6 the children might reach informed conclusions, make reasoned judgements, justify, apply, evaluate, critique and hypothesise.
Assessment will be ongoing throughout the year.