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Science lessons are important at Arno Vale because we learn how to explain what is going around us, predict what might happen and are curious to understand why.
At Arno Vale we provide high-quality science education which provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. We know that science has changed our lives and it is vital to the world’s future prosperity. All children are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, children are encouraged to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.
The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:
At Arno Vale, we follow the programmes of study for Science, which set out the statutory content to be taught in each year group.
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 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 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 draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language, first, to talk about and, later, to write about what they have found out.
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 scientifically’ is described separately at the beginning of the programme of study, but must always be taught through and clearly related to substantive science content in the programme of study.
The programmes of study for science are set out year-by-year for key stages 1 and 2. We are required to teach the relevant programme of study by the end of the key stage. The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress are always based on the security of pupils’ understanding of the concept. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly are challenged by deepening their knowledge through their written and oral explanations. Those who have misconceptions about earlier material are given opportunities to consolidate their understanding, including through additional recap and practice, before moving on. This is done via regular slots in the timetable for children to practice previously learned content during practice time.
When planning, teachers use a range of resources and documentation including ‘PLAN primary science’ documents and ‘Focussed assessments’.