Subject leader: Mrs Gibbins
At Northlands, we aim to inspire our pupils through science. We are keen to ensure that pupils gain the required scientific knowledge and we also feel that a hands-on experience is a great way to do this. We hope for our children to leave Northlands with a curiosity about the world and how it works as well as the beginnings of a scientific way of thinking. Finally, we seek to get pupils to see that science can become a career and to remove preconceptions about who can become a scientist and who cannot.
Science is delivered through a bespoke planning scheme which closely follows the national curriculum objectives. Pupils study a new topic each half term and begin by researching a significant scientist and then they follow a pattern of study which allows them to improve their understanding, knowledge and hands on experience in that specific area of science. Pupils complete fair tests in both key stages and learn to think scientifically. Teachers follow a carefully crafted planning sequence which allows for progression as well as building upon previous skills. We also look for links to English and Maths.
At Northlands, we are aware that no two lessons are ever the same, but in general we seek to ensure that our pedagogical approach to Science includes the same key factors. Teachers will display and revisit key vocabulary linked to the topic, so that children are able to recall and use language with growing accuracy. Within lesson series, teachers recognise that there is a distinction between substantive ‘subject knowledge’ and an understanding of the importance of the different types of enquiry skill. Practical scientific exploration, (where appropriate, making real world links) using different types of enquiry skill will lead to a deepening understanding of the scientific concepts being studied. Through their developing understanding of Science, children will build scientific curiosity, demonstrating a questioning approach, ultimately devising and planning their own lines of enquiry.
As can be seen from the images, we have a balance of scientific knowledge (see the image of the writing work on the human heart) and hands-on experience (see image of the pupils examining a real life lamb's heart). We also believe our children see science as a feasible career (something we really focussed on during our science day) and myths about who can and who cannot be a scientist were dispelled. The overwhelming majority of pupils make good or better progress.