At Spring Meadow Infant and Nursery School, we believe that a high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. We aim to give all children a strong understanding of the world around them whilst acquiring knowledge and specific skills to help them to think scientifically, and to gain an understanding of scientific processes. They will find out about scientists and engineers and have an awareness of how they show resilience and think creatively to solve problems.
Pupils will follow a rich knowledge-based curriculum. They will be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. They will begin to see themselves as scientists and understand the uses and implications of science, today and in the future.
At Spring Meadow Infant and Nursery School, the science curriculum is progressive through EYFS and KS1 as well as being adapted to meet the needs of all learners. The learning environments reflect the key areas of focus by displaying key vocabulary alongside the resources needed to support interleaved learning such as plants and books. The use of effective questioning supports children to communicate their ideas and scientific enquiry so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions.
Throughout school, our pupils are exposed to, learn and develop their understanding of scientific vocabulary and concepts through clear and concise teaching and explanation. They have opportunities within other subjects such as maths, geography, PSHE, PE and DT to embed their scientific skills and knowledge of areas such as data handling, healthy lifestyles, uses of materials and seasons. Vocabulary is built on through each unit of work, and key concepts are regularly revisited. Each unit of work builds on their previous knowledge as well as practising previously learnt skills to answer a range of questions about the world around them.
Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) are taught specific scientific knowledge as well as developing their learning through play within the continuous provision provided both inside and out as well as in Forest School sessions. The knowledge organisers set out the key vocabulary and knowledge covered within each year group, which are used by teachers and shared with parents. For example, in the EYFS children learn that plants provide food and that they change as they grow. In Year One the children begin to learn about the different parts of plants and trees. In Year Two they learn about crops, seeds, bulbs and germination. In Year Two they will use their knowledge of investigations to plan and carry out a simple fair test. In KS 1 the science curriculum is delivered weekly, and teachers also use Forest School sessions to further develop and enhance the learning. This provides the children with opportunities to be creative, independent, and resilient learners.
The key knowledge, skills and language are revisited throughout children’s learning using mini plenaries, key assessment questioning and recaps to allow teachers to be responsive to the children’s learning. In Key Stage 1 at the end of a unit of work, our children’s accumulated scientific knowledge is assessed which may take the form of quizzes linked to the core knowledge in each area, a written task or scientific investigation. In the Early Years, the staff gather ongoing assessment information through ongoing observation and interactions in the provision and in adult lead science sessions. The science subject leader monitors the teaching and learning of science throughout the year through learning walks, outcome scrutinies and discussions with children from across the school to find out what they enjoy and know about science. This evaluation of the teaching and learning of science within the school informs them of the next steps to be taken in further raising standards in science.
Our children leave our school confident in their knowledge of many aspects of science along with having strong understanding of the world around them whilst acquiring knowledge and specific skills to help them to think scientifically, to gain an understanding of scientific processes. The knowledge, skills and language they have learnt will prepare them for the content of the Key Stage 2 science curriculum. We want our children to begin to see themselves as scientists and understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.