Science at Hadrian!
"I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious" - Albert Einstein
Here at Hadrian we encourage children to explore their curiosities and theories relating to Science. We try to ensure that children are excited and intrigued by the topics, through varied and exciting activities and investigations. We strive to incorporate Science across the curriculum, linking themes from other topics or organised days, events and trips to the subject. Our curriculum aims to broaden the children's scientific view of, and respect for the world around them, whilst promoting a love for enquiry and a desire for exploring new things.
We are always eager to work with professionals within the STEM industries to promote a positive attitude towards the exciting and fascinating world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. With this in mind, we have developed links with Newcastle University, Harton Technology College, Life Centre, Beacon of Light, National Marine Aquiarium, RTC North, local police and fire services and Green Shift Educational Services to organise workshops, visitors, trips and events with the aim of inspiring young people and encouraging their curiosity about the world around them. It is important for the children to understand the various routes and diverse career opportunities within the STEM industries and for the children to see that scientists are not old men in white coats but young women, students and anyone with a curiosity about the natural world.
The principal focus of Science teaching in Early Years and Key Stage 1 is to enable pupils to experience and observe phenomena, looking more closely at the natural and humanly-constructed world around them. They should be encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. They should be helped to develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of scientific enquiry to answer their own questions, including observing changes over a period of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative tests, and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They should begin to use simple scientific language to talk about what they have found out and communicate their ideas to a range of audiences in a variety of ways. Most of the learning about science should be done through the use of first-hand practical experiences, but there should also be some use of appropriate secondary sources, such as books, photographs and videos. ‘Working scientifically’ should always be referenced and clearly related to the teaching of science content in the programme of study.
KEY STAGE 2 Lower Key Stage 2 – Years 3 & 4 The principal focus of Science teaching in lower Key Stage 2 is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. They should do this through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments, and by beginning to develop their ideas about functions, relationships and interactions. They should ask their own questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, including observing changes over time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative and fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They should draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out. ‘Working scientifically’ should always be referenced and clearly related to Science content in the programme of study. Pupils should read and spell scientific vocabulary correctly and with confidence, using their growing word reading and spelling knowledge.
Upper Key Stage 2 – Years 5 & 6 The principal focus of Science teaching in upper Key Stage 2 is to enable pupils to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. They should do this through exploring and talking about their ideas; asking their own questions about scientific phenomena; and analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically. At upper Key Stage 2, they should encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. They should also begin to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time. They should select the most appropriate ways to answer science questions using different types of scientific enquiry, including observing changes over different periods of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out comparative and fair tests and finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information. Pupils should draw conclusions based on their data and observations, use evidence to justify their ideas, and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings. ‘Working and thinking scientifically’ should always be referenced and clearly related to science content in the programme of study. Pupils should read, spell and pronounce scientific vocabulary correctly.
At Hadrian Primary School our main aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills, and understanding, as well as a sense of enjoyment in Science. Sometimes we do this through whole-class and small group teaching, while at other times we engage the children in an enquiry-based research activity. We encourage the children to ask, as well as answer, scientific questions. They have the opportunity to use a variety of data, such as statistics, graphs, pictures, and photographs. They use ICT in Science lessons where it enhances their learning. They take part in role-play and discussions and they present reports to the rest of the class. They engage in a wide variety of problem-solving activities. Wherever possible, we involve the pupils in practical activities as these increase enthusiasm and motivation and provide first-hand experience. Opportunities for developing the range of intelligences are presented to the children, and staff teach to visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning styles. Practical activities provide the children with a range of contexts allowing safe exploration of the world without the need to master facts and theories. By taking part in practical activities children with special educational needs are given the opportunity to develop fine motor skills and co-ordination. Knowledge and skills can be developed in small steps through practical work. Sequencing of written work becomes easier after practical experiences. We recognise that there are children of widely different abilities in all classes, so we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this in a variety of ways by:
*Setting common tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses.
*Setting tasks of increasing difficulty (not all children complete all tasks).
*Mixed groups and grouping children by ability in the room and setting different tasks to each ability group.
*Providing resources of different complexity depending on the ability of the child.
*Providing challenges designed to allow the children to reflect and think deeper about their learning.
Assessment and Impact
Teachers assess children’s work in Science by making informal judgements as they observe them during lessons. On completion of a piece of work, the teacher marks the work and comments as necessary. At the end of a unit, the teacher assesses the children against the objectives for that topic. At the end of the year, the teacher makes a summary judgement about the work of each pupil in relation to the skills they have developed in-line with the National Curriculum and these are reported to parents as part of the child’s annual school report. We use this as the basis for assessing the progress of the child and we pass this information on to the next teacher at the end of the year.
Individual teachers are responsible for the standard of children’s work and for the quality of their teaching in Science. Teachers and phase teams work collaboratively to support each other in the teaching of Science, understanding and applying current developments in the subject, and providing direction for the subject in the school. Team phases should evaluate the strengths and weaknesses in the subject and indicate areas for further improvement. The Science co-ordinator also completes regular work and planning scrutinies as well as lesson observations, pupil surveys and staff questionnaires.
Impact is measured not only by formal results and progress, but also by retention of knowledge and skills, the level of engagement and enjoyment, appropriate use of scientific vocabulary and children's confidence.
Please find below the topic grid that is used to inform planning for each year group. You will notice that some units are revisited in every year group, this is to deepen the children's knowledge and understanding of these key topics.
**These units will be used this academic year but may be amended and developed in consultation with industry experts throughout the coming months and will be slightly different next year. Exciting changes to come!
SUPER SCIENTIST CLUB!
Each year, we have our after school Science club led by real scientists! Each week follows a new focus and every one hour session includes several practical experiments and hands-on investigations. Children are welcome to keep all the fun creations they make in the sessions such as hover crafts and slime!
Exciting Science news!
We had a session booked with NMA (National Marine Aquarium) earlier in the year. NMA gave a whole school assembly titled ‘Our Blue Planet’ where STEM experts delivered the message of conservation and what we can do to help take care of our planet.
We were also lucky enough to have real Scientists in school to deliver exciting workshops to each year group. These sessions were designed in collaboration with the class teachers to link with their topics and have a hands on approach that engaged and inspired our children.