A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Our children are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.
Science stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about events and things in the world around them. It also satisfies this curiosity with knowledge. Because science links direct practical experience with ideas, it can engage learners at many levels. Scientific method is about developing and evaluating explanations through experimental evidence and modelling.
Teaching and learning in science reflects our belief that children have a natural sense of awe and wonder in the world around them. We aim to provide the children with a science knowledge base, and encourage them to ask questions, make predictions and then to test.
Our curriculum is designed to build on pupils’ [prior] knowledge of scientific products (substantive knowledge) and practices (disciplinary knowledge). Disciplinary knowledge consists of knowledge of concepts as well as procedures. As children develop disciplinary knowledge, they learn about the range of ways in which scientific knowledge is built, through the use of scientific enquiry. Our curriculum outlines how disciplinary knowledge builds over time so that children can learn about the similarities and differences between each science discipline. Disciplinary knowledge is taught and deepened through practical activities. Scientific processes are always taught with reference to substantive knowledge. Substantive knowledge is introduced in an order that enables pupils to build their knowledge of important concepts throughout their time at school and for children to see how that knowledge is connected. Disciplinary knowledge is taught in an order that takes into account its importance and the best contexts in which for it to be learnt. Once disciplinary knowledge is introduced, children then get an opportunity to use and develop this in a range of contexts.
Science is an exciting and relevant part of our creative curriculum which enables children to learn about, observe and explore the real world around them. The Science teaching in school actively encourages children to work both independently and with others in practical ways, developing secure subject knowledge, investigative skills and scientific vocabulary.
In addition to engaging and motivating scientific teaching, we arrange 'Science Weeks' (including visitors & workshops from people working within a science-based profession) and 'Mad Scientist' days to support the curriculum. Each year, our school is asked to participate in the Royal Society Science Book Prize judging too. Such events help to encourage our children to explore their natural curiosity, make discoveries, and solve real scientific questions.
The acquisition of science knowledge is distinguished between...
Substantive knowledge: involving knowledge of the products of science, such as concepts, laws, theories and models... referred to, in the national curriculum, as scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding. It is organised into the three subject disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
Disciplinary knowledge: referring to how scientific knowledge is generated and grows... this is specified in the ‘working scientifically’ sections of the national curriculum and includes knowing how to carry out practical procedures. It is through disciplinary knowledge that children gradually become more expert by thinking like a scientist. The National Curriculum for science details this through the Working Scientifically objectives.
There are four content areas through which pupils make progress when learning disciplinary knowledge:
1. Knowledge of methods that scientists use to answer questions;
2. Knowledge of apparatus and techniques, including measurement;
3. Knowledge of data analysis;
4. Knowledge of how science uses evidence to develop explanations.
Both substantive and disciplinary knowledge are underpinned by knowledge of procedures and concepts in school.
This ensures that pupils develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics and the understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through working scientifically. This ensures that they achieve/exceed the aims of the National Curriculum for Science – Key Stages 1 and 2 (DfE, 2013).
By the time they leave Claypole, children will: