Subject Leader Thomas Wingate
At Great Dunham, we aim to provide every child with a broad and balanced science curriculum, which enables all pupils to confidently explore and discover what is around them, so that they have a deeper understanding of the world we live in. With pupils learning the scientific and technology skills for jobs that do not exist (yet), we want our children to love science. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be astronauts, forensic scientists, conservationists or microbiologists. It is our intention that our science curriculum offers all children the opportunity to be exposed to the scientific concepts and be taught about how to work scientifically through practical, hands-on learning. We want children to take inspiration from famous scientists; such as, David Attenborough, Jane Goodall and Steven Hawkins. We want our children to remember their science lessons in our school and embrace the scientific opportunities they are presented with. To achieve this, our science lessons involve exciting, practical hands on experiences, with a strong focus on scientific vocabulary and encouraging curiosity and questioning. Our aim is that these experiences help every child secure and extend their scientific knowledge and vocabulary, ready for secondary school and beyond.
Due to the mixed age group classes, science at Great Dunham has Cycle 1 and Cycle 2 (Cycle 3 in R/1/2) in order to ensure all pupils leave their key stage with the skills and knowledge required for them to achieve in their new classes. Pupils are provided with opportunities to take part in hands on learning with the use of our school field and an outdoor learning expert, who build on the learning in class and puts it into a real life context. Children are provided with the knowledge to work scientifically and apply their knowledge to the scientific skills. Throughout the year, pupils will have opportunities to experience all five working scientifically skills: grouping and classifying, observations over time, secondary research, comparative testing and pattern seeking.
Grouping and classifying: this can be done through grouping animals and plants based on their features and/or different types of rocks. In KS2, pupils will create their own classification keys using the features of animals and plants. Pupils will participate in minibeast hunts and use keys to name the animals.
Observations over time: this takes place through hands on activities; such as, planting seeds, drawing shadows and observing the 4 seasons over the year.
Secondary research: this can be as simple as using texts and the internet to find out scientific information or using classification keys to identify the names of animals and plants.
Comparative testing: this is a huge area of science where pupils will learn about the importance of a fair test and how to conduct one. They will explore chemical reactions and answer their own questions through experimentation. They will evaluate their science experiments by discussing what they would do differently and what they could do next.
Pattern seeking: pupils can apply their mathematical skills to science through all of the skills, but particularly this one, pupils can look for patterns in the weather and the outcomes of comparative testing. Pattern seeking should be intertwined in learning across all working scientifically skills. Pupils will be provided with opportunities to discuss what they notice; as well as, what is the same and what is different.
Pupils will be taught knowledge and new vocabulary by recapping what they should already know and using what it is in their long term memory to build their knowledge of the topics.
When children leave Great Dunham, they will be experienced and capable scientists, who are well equipped for the next step in their education. They will be interested in science and able to discuss what they have learned, confidently and using scientific vocabulary correctly.
The impact of the Science curriculum will be assessed through: teacher assessments, pupil book looks, pupil voice, learning walks and staff feedback.