At Oasis Academy Putney we want to encourage our pupils to be curious about the world around them through the teaching of scientific enquiry. The pupils are inspired to investigate how and why we are here and are encouraged to ask questions about the world around them. They will look at how science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity; all pupils are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science.
We support our pupils in understanding how science can change people’s perceptions and how it can be used to influence the world and future generations. We want our pupils to understand how the world can help us expand our horizons and how science can help us test our limits and the limits of the world. Pupils begin to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena; to question the world around them and become independent learners in exploring possible answers for their scientific based questions.
Education Endowment Fund research indicates that the ability to reason scientifically – by testing hypotheses through well-controlled experiments – is a strong predictor of later success in the sciences and that this skill can be developed through experiences that allow pupils to design experiments that require them to control variables.
Key Stage 1 & 2
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;
- Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of Science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them;
- Be equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future.
- Develop the essential scientific enquiry skills to deepen their scientific knowledge.
- 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.
- Develop a respect for the materials and equipment they handle with regard to their own, and other children’s safety.
- Develop an enthusiasm and enjoyment of scientific learning and discovery
The National Curriculum will provide a structure and skill development for the science curriculum being taught throughout the school, which is now linked, where possible to the theme topics to provide a creative scheme of work, which reflects a balanced programme of study.
In Early Years, science is taught through the children learning about the world around them in their learning through play. Enhancements are provided to encourage curiosity. For example: egg hatching, butterflies and visiting farms.
Pupils have weekly lessons in Science throughout Key Stage 1 and 2, using Hamilton Trust and various other programmes of study and resources. Science will be taught in planned topic blocks by the class teacher. Through our planning, we involve opportunities that allow pupils to find things out for themselves. Pupils are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers.
Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. As the pupil’s knowledge and understanding increases, and they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.
Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding.
Teachers find opportunities to develop pupil’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning and workshops with experts. Scientific skills are embedded into lessons to ensure these skills are being developed and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching. This is developed through the years, in-keeping with the topics.
Additional opportunities are provided in science, such as whole school science days and educational visits linked to the science curriculum, such as visits to The National Science Museum and the Thames Barrier.
The science curriculum approach at Oasis Academy Putney results in a science education, that provides children with the foundations for understanding the world. Our engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first-hand experiences of the world around them. So much of science lends itself to outdoor learning and so we provide pupils with opportunities to experience this in our locality. Through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts, children have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity.
In Science driven topics, knowledge organisers are used to clarify and teach key knowledge for the unit. These include key language and meanings.
Oracy is one of our key curriculum drivers and we use dialogic talk techniques to discuss and debate scientific questions.
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.
At Oasis Academy Putney we use assessment to determine pupil’s understanding and inform teachers planning. Science skill progression documents support this. Science is monitored throughout all year groups using a variety of strategies such as subject leader learning walks, science book scrutinies and pupil interviews.