Subject: Science

Science stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. It also satisfies this curiosity with knowledge because science links direct practical experience with ideas. At The Rookeries, we aim to encourage the development of skills and attitudes that include co-operation, curiosity, perseverance, open-mindedness and a respect for evidence. We also encourage independence in thinking, responsibility and sensitivity to living and non-living environments, as well as a willingness to tolerate uncertainty.

The investigative nature of science allows children to formulate their own ideas, designing and carrying out experiments to test their predictions. By doing this, children learn to become accurate observers, acquiring information, seeking clarification and paying careful attention to detail. They are able to interpret data collected, distinguishing between relevant and non-relevant detail, in order to draw conclusions. It is our aim that, by nurturing these skills, children become independent thinkers, not passively accepting stated facts or knowledge, but thinking for themselves, questioning what is around them and seeing things from a deeper perspective.

At Key Stage 1, pupils observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and physical phenomena. They begin to work together to collect evidence to help them answer questions and to link this to simple scientific ideas.

They begin to evaluate evidence and consider whether tests or comparisons are fair. They use reference materials to find out more about scientific ideas. They share ideas and communicate them using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables, sometimes with the help of ICT.

At Key Stage 2, pupils learn about a wider range of living things, materials and physical phenomena. They make links between ideas and explain things using simple models and theories. They apply their knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas to familiar phenomena, everyday things and their personal health.

They think about the effects of scientific and technological developments on the environment and in other contexts. They carry out more systematic investigations, working on their own and with others. They use a range of reference sources in their work. They talk about their work and its significance, using a wide range of scientific language, conventional diagrams, charts, graphs and ICT to communicate their ideas.

All lessons have clear learning objectives and success criteria, which are shared and reviewed with the pupils effectively. We use a variety of strategies, including questioning, discussion and marking, to assess progress. The information is used to identify what is taught next.

Activities inspire the pupils to experiment and investigate the world around them, and to help them raise their own questions such as “Why…?”, “How…?” and “What happens if…?” Activities develop the skills of enquiry, observation, locating sources of information, selecting appropriate equipment and using it safely, measuring and checking results, making comparisons, and communicating results and findings.

Lessons make effective links with other curriculum areas and subjects, especially literacy, numeracy and ICT. Activities are challenging, motivating and extend pupils’ learning.

Pupils have frequent opportunities to develop and use and apply their skills. They take responsibility for planning investigative work, selecting relevant resources, making decisions about sources of information, carrying out activities safely and deciding on the best way of communicating their findings.