- 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
- are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
Science is everywhere and here at Russell we aim for children to not only know what and why, but to also question their learning with a passion.
We want the children to work things out for themselves. This is achievable when the pupils find a confidence within themselves but also when they are given equipment and resources and allowed to investigate before being taught. In this way, children experience misconceptions and solve them for themselves.
We try and link their learning with real life and make links with science capital whenever we can. For example we have had a vet and a dentist making presentations to KS1 and engineers and IT technicians talking to KS2. Recently a biologist visited and spoke to every class in KS2 with a collection of items such as owl pellets, honeycomb and a skull – again, the children were not told, they had to work out for themselves and their enthusiasm was tangible. We even maintain links with Lockheed Martin, thus providing opportunities with the real world!
We aim to have good practical activities with wide ranging resources. This is especially true of our rocks and fossils, magnets, materials and human skeleton as well as a supply of torches, funnels, pipettes etc to aid investigations. Tactile resources are important but these can play a secondary role when compared to our local surroundings.
The science curriculum is enriched by varied school grounds, with outside seating areas as well as a school garden. A community garden in Ampthill town as well as 156 acres of ancient woodland within walking distance, provide a rich habitat for learning about plants and living things and their habitats and all years regularly visit these areas. Year 3 have even collected seed for the Millenium seed bank in Ampthill Park (the ancient woodland) which was followed by a letter of thanks from Kew Gardens.
We aim to have progression of knowledge in every year and use the environment and trips to support this. For instance plants, habitats, animals and the seasons are studied when Foundation visit the local community garden, year 1 visit a safari park, year 2 experience a local nature reserve and year 3 and 4 also combine their term’s theme with science and history when visiting Celtic Harmony and Wimpole Farm. The opportunities to link themed work with science are endless and include professionals from these establishments visiting the school. We enrich their time in our school with memorable experiences which are invaluable.
We want children to feel excited about their science learning in school. Outside of routine lessons this is achieved by holding regular breakfast mornings which sometimes are solely science based. Many teachers also choose to teach science activities when given a choice. One such occasion saw year 2 help Santa perfect the potion for naughty children! White vinegar worked better than dark vinegar with bicarbonate of soda and so the children started to think about liquids at home and their impact.
Teachers subject knowledge is re-enforced by curriculum maps which allow all staff to see objectives for each year as well as prior and future learning. We firmly believe that it is not just about listening in the classroom, it is about the what if approach we offer to really inspire our children and let them lead.