In this section of the website, you will find information about our approach to teaching Science at Witton Gilbert Primary School.
At Witton Gilbert Primary School, we want every child to be happy and enthusiastic learners of Science. We aim to give all children a strong understanding of the world around them whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them to think scientifically, to gain an understanding of scientific processes and an understanding of the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
At Witton Gilbert we aim to promote a love of science and nurture and develop children as critical, creative and collaborative thinkers.
We aim to develop children as Scientists, planning for development of the following characteristics:
- The ability to think independently and raise questions about working scientifically and the knowledge and skills that it brings.
- Confidence and competence in the full range of practical skills, taking the initiative in, for example, planning and carrying out scientific investigations.
- Excellent scientific knowledge and understanding which is demonstrated in written and verbal explanations, solving challenging problems and reporting scientific findings.
- The ability to undertake practical work in a variety of contexts, including fieldwork.
- A passion for science and its application in past, present and future technologies.
|Intent Linked to our School Values
|Childhood and Play
|Through science, we want to provide first hand opportunities for children to explore and investigate their local area. At Witton Gilbert, we celebrate outdoor learning and have well-developed outdoor spaces where the children can play and learn.
|Respect for Ourselves and our Environment
|We want to encourage children to care for the local and wider areas in which they live. We allow children the opportunity to visit local nature spots in order to learn about their local environment. We encourage our pupils to develop an awareness of global issues which are affecting the planet.
|Equality and Diversity
|Our school is committed to ensuring that all children will have access to an exciting, appropriate and inspiring curriculum that will support their progress and achievement.
Children will consider the contribution of people from different backgrounds to science. This will be developed my studying key scientists and meeting scientist from our local area.
|Perseverance and Resilience
|Through investigation, children will learn that scientists must show perseverance and experience failure in order to succeed. The investigations carried out in school will support the children in developing their skills of resilience and adaptation. They will learn about trial and error and how progress is not always a linear process
|Collaboration and Cooperation
|Many scientific tasks and activities involve groups of children in collaboration. They must work together to take on specific roles and cooperation to reach agreed conclusions.
Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in science. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following:
Science is taught in planned units by the class teacher, following an agreed whole school plan. Skills are carefully and sequentially planned to enable the achievement of deeper knowledge by the end of each key stage. Depending on the topic, teachers may decide to teach weekly science lessons or block lessons over a few weeks. Through our planning, we involve problem solving opportunities that allow children to find out for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. This curiosity is celebrated within the classroom.
Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all children keep up.
Skills and Techniques
- Work scientifically
- Follow a scientific enquiry approach
- Observe patterns over time
- Collect and analyse data
- Apply mathematical skills when analysing data.
These skills and techniques are repeated throughout school so that the children can build upon and refine their skills in each area.
In the Early Years, children have daily access to an investigation station where they can explore a variety of materials and their properties, which promote scientific curiosity, awe and wonder. This is enhanced by outdoor learning where children can explore different areas.
Throughout KS1 and KS2 children have the opportunity to make links with other topics like using electricity within a design and technology project or extend their knowledge such as using their knowledge of rocks and soils when learning about mining. As much of the learning, where possible, is practical. In some studies, outdoor learning is a pathway to teach from; such as evolution and inheritance. We use our school grounds to teach some our studies.
We plan regular opportunities for children to participate in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Maths) days and invite local companies and teachers from surrounding secondary schools to come and teach lessons and inspire the children.
At Witton Gilbert Primary School, scientific enquiry skills are embedded in each topic the children study and these topics are revisited and developed throughout their time at school. From EYFS up to KS2, our pupils will build up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. Topics, such as Plants, are taught in Key Stage One and studied again in further detail throughout Key Stage Two. This model allows children to build upon their prior knowledge and increases their enthusiasm for the topics whilst embedding this procedural knowledge into the long-term memory.
All children are encouraged to develop and use a range of skills including observations, planning and investigations, as well as being encouraged to question the world around them and become independent learners in exploring possible answers for their scientific based questions. Specialist vocabulary for every topic is taught and built up, and effective questioning to communicate ideas is encouraged. Concepts taught should be reinforced by focusing on the key features of scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions.
Cultural Capital in Science
Cultural Capital is the accumulation of knowledge, behaviours, skills and experiences that gives us the confidence to be able to talk, communicate, progress and take a full part in our community and wider world. At Witton Gilbert Primary school, we promote equality through our commitment to developing cultural capital for all our children.
In Science, children will learn about areas of significant scientific interest, such as flora, forna, geology. In addition, they will learn about famous scientists such as Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Stephen Hawking and Charles Darwin.
During their time at Witton Gilbert Primary School, they will also experience
- Meeting and talking to a scientist
- Visits to Science Museums
- Workshops with scientists
- Science in the workplace, such as a visit to Nissan
- Have access to a wide range of scientific equipment, eg through visits to local secondary schools
Pupil voice shows:
- Enthusiasm and confidence in discussing their learning and experiences in Science.
- A clear understanding of the skills and knowledge relating to Science and needed to be a scientist.
- A progression of the vocabulary used to articulate their learning and experiences as a scientist.
Displays around school and books show:
- Pupils have a balance of planned learning experiences including practical evidence in photographs, written work in books and work on display.
- A varied and engaging curriculum, which develops a range of science skills.
- Clear progression of skills in line with those identified on the long term plans.
- That pupils, over time, develop a range of skills and knowledge across all parts of the science curriculum.
The curriculum leader:
- Leads annual events to allow the children at Witton Gilbert to meet scientists, specialist science teachers and to raise the profile of science across the school
- Collates a portfolio of evidence, which reflect children’s deepening knowledge and experiences in Science over time.
- Monitor standards of teaching, lessons and books.
- Provide CPD opportunities including mentoring and coaching
We expect that the majority of children will achieve at age related standards in science at the end of each year. We recognise that some children may not achieve this standard but we will expect that they have made good progress from their starting point. We also recognise that some other children will exceed age related standards and we will have deepened learning for these children.