The National Curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics although we do not use these subject names within our curriculum. Furthermore, children are expected to develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
At Yorkmead School, we are committed to the delivery of the National Curriculum for science so that our pupils are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
We aim to achieve this by providing the foundations for the children to begin to understand the Universe around them. At the core of our planning, is the development of scientific vocabulary and understanding that will enable children to articulate their scientific knowledge and accurately explain concepts. This is, of course, supplemented through practical science which follows the acquisition of knowledge such that children can use their knowledge to make informed predictions and articulate their reasoning.
Our children’s journey as scientists, begins in the Early Years Foundation Stage through the 'Understanding the World' strand of the Early Years statutory framework. Children are given opportunities to explore scientific concepts through structured play activities. In Key Stages One and Two, Science is taught weekly as a discrete subject. Teachers use the school’s medium-term plans, which have been planned incrementally to ensure children experience continuity and progression in concepts, knowledge and practical skills whilst also promoting remembering, to develop a sequence of lessons with working scientifically embedded within each unit of study.
A range of scientific enquiries are planned into the curriculum including: observation over time; noticing patterns; identifying, grouping and classifying whilst noticing similarities and differences; comparative and fair testing (from recognising a fair test in Key Stage One to designing their own by the end of Key Stage Two) and researching using secondary sources. Furthermore, in Years One to Five, the children complete a ‘We are Scientists’ unit of work at the end of the year, where they revisit and revise past learning through additional practical science activities.
Where appropriate, science is linked to other subjects, for example the concept of the water cycle is initially introduced in the Year Three ‘Rivers’ geography unit, and visits, trips and workshops help to enrich the children's scientific experiences.
Consequently, when children leave Yorkmead, they will understand the importance of science in our society and be excited and curious about the universe around them. By having a secure understanding of the key scientific concepts outlined in the National Curriculum, our pupils will be ready to continue to learn about science at secondary school, prepared to engage meaningfully in more sophisticated discussion of experimental design and ready to learn higher order subject content.
Mr S.Sutton (Science Subject Leader)