At St George’s CE Primary School we value the importance of Science as a core subject and the role it plays in developing a child’s knowledge and understanding of the world around them. We believe that Science stimulates a child’s curiosity and equips them with fundamental life skills such as problem solving, team- work, resilience and respect of the world around them whilst supporting our vision of ‘life in all its fullness’.
Our science curriculum is divided into substantive and disciplinary knowledge. Definitions of substantive and disciplinary knowledge are as follows.
- substantive knowledge (knowledge of the products of science, such as concepts, laws, theories and models) This is referred to as scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding in the national curriculum
- disciplinary knowledge (knowledge of how scientific knowledge is generated and grows): this is specified in the ‘working scientifically’ sections of the national curriculum and it includes knowing how to carry out practical procedures.
Disciplinary knowledge should not be taught as a stand- alone unit of work. It should be embedded within the substantive content of biology, chemistry and physics. Disciplinary thinking and carrying out practical investigations skillfully are dependent on pupils having learned a domain of knowledge, for example, children must be taught the knowledge of what a branching diagram is before trying to use or produce one themselves.
Our curriculum plan identifies big questions that cover six areas of enquiry: identifying and classifying, comparative tests, research, pattern seeking, observing over time and exploring how scientific ideas have changed over time. We aim to cover all areas of enquiry during a unit of work and use the big questions to stimulate our learning.
At St George’s CE Primary School, in conjunction with the aims of the National Curriculum, our Science teaching offers opportunities to:
- Stimulate children’s interest and enjoyment in Science and to build on their enthusiasm and natural sense of wonder about the world.
- To encourage and enable pupils to offer their own suggestions, and to be creative in their approach to Science.
- Be equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future.
- Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
- To develop pupils working scientifically skills to deepen their scientific knowledge.
- Enable children to develop their skills of co-operation through working with others.
- Use a range of methods to communicate their scientific information and present it in a systematic, scientific manner, including I.C.T., diagrams, graphs and charts.
- Help children to recognise and assess risks and hazards to themselves and to others when working with living things and materials and to take action to control them.
Year 4 STEM workshop
Science Week 2022
For science week we trialled guided enquiries from the Ogden Trust on based around the theme of climate change in years 1 - 6.
Reception did an enquiry to find out what happens to pinecones when it rains. They discovered an open pine cone closes shut when left in water for over 5 minutes. They tied the pine cones to the fence to measure if it rained overnight. In the morning, the pine cones were open so they decided that it was dry over night!
Year 1 measured the amount of rainfall in a week and the days of rain that we had over a week.
Year 2 measured the temperature each day and hours of sunlight over a week.
Years 3 and 4 had to lead an investigation to find out the answer to some scientific questions about climate change. They were asked ‘Which material reflects the most light?’ and ‘What other materials could we recycle to use as reflectors to grow plants?’
Years 5 and 6 were looking at how polytunnels help us to grow food. They led an enquiry to find out if the number of layers of plastic affect how much light can travel through it.
All children demonstrated their disciplinary knowledge by predicting, running fair tests, recording their results, evaluating and concluding and thinking of further questions they had as a result of the enquiry. We shared our findings in a whole school assembly.