At St Chrysostom’s we view science as a creative and interconnected subject which is essential for everyday life. Our approach centres on the belief that children learn better when their interests and fascinations are allowed to flourish and where they are encouraged to explore in a variety of ways, thus our Science curriculum fosters learning which is practical, enjoyable and rooted in real life contexts.
Throughout their learning journey at St Chrysostom’s, children build up a body of key scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding. Learning across both key stages provides opportunities for children to learn and respond scientifically in a variety of ways which follow children’s interests and needs:
- In key stage 1, the principal focus of Science teaching is using first-hand practical experiences to enable pupils to experience and observe phenomena. As a result, children are encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice and thus begin to use simple scientific language to talk about what they have found out and communicate their ideas to a in a variety of ways.
- In key stage 2, the principal focus of Science teaching is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions about what they observe and make decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them. They should draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out.
During Science lessons, teachers fully engage learners by first introducing the topic and encouraging children to generate their own questions related to the learning theme. Knowledge and understanding are then deepened, as children develop and practise new skills whilst working scientifically to explore, observe and manipulate the world around them. Children work cooperatively to solve real or imagined problems through learning and thus can begin to apply their skills and knowledge in real-life contexts. Pupils seek answers to questions through collecting, analysing and presenting data. Learners are encouraged to recognise rational explanations, enabling them to begin to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.
For pupils to achieve well in science, we believe that they must not only acquire the necessary knowledge but must also develop their investigative skills. As a result, lessons are planned to enable learners to discover the concepts revealed through observing scientific phenomena and conducting experimental investigations for themselves. Focusing on the key features of scientific enquiry in this way ensures that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer scientific questions. Furthermore, we set out to sustain pupils’ natural curiosity of Science through promoting thematic, cross-curricular learning whereby children develop their cognitive skills which can be applied to other curriculum areas and all aspects of life. Teaching Science in this way not only fosters enthusiasm for the subject but helps learners to fulfil their potential.