‘A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.’
National Curriculum Statutory Guidance for Science – Purpose of Study, 2014
In January 2023 we joined the CUSP schools partnership for Science and will be using their resources and progression. This approach has high ambition for the children as well as a focus on vocabulary.
“Science is magic that works” – Kurt Vonnegut
At St. Joseph’s, Science is a vehicle for giving meaning to the world: we welcome the seasons changing, that we can look at the stars and watch news about climate change and know that what we learn is directly related. Science is a chance to practise collaboration, to share ideas and test them. Most importantly, Science is a journey in which we can continue to build upon ideas that we know, finding ever-more exciting ideas to learn and explore.
As a staff, we carefully select learning opportunities from a range of big ideas ranging from how light travels, to the properties of materials; evolution to space exploration. We strive for children to have a sound knowledge of the theories taught through their primary school life, but then to apply their knowledge in order to question and build curiosity. We purposefully plan investigations that push children to think outside the box and question the big ideas that are taught. At St. Joseph’s, Science empowers a growth mindset where mistakes give us the opportunity to learn more.
We teach that science proves that we deserve to feel included in the world that God gave us, with links to climate change, links to humans and animals and what is needed to protect them and keep them healthy. Key figures from history such as Mae Jemison, Mary Anning and Woo Jang-Choon are taught about, showing the diverse cast of actors that have brought about the world that we live in today. Building from this, children have the opportunity to be science leaders and help to inspire each other with their ideas.
While Science is taught from the national curriculum, children are encouraged to ask their own questions to answer for each topic, giving personal value and purpose their studies. Big ideas are presented that are linked to current news, such as Cop26 or the epidemic, providing agency to take a place in their surrounding world.
We hope that children are able to find affirmation through their scientific skills – knowing that whatever questions they have of the world, they can use their investigative skills to find answer if they put their minds to it.