Science Curriculum Information
At Aspull Our Lady’s we believe that a high quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. By giving children the skills of questioning and enquiry, we intend to develop our learners into scientific thinkers capable of recognising the interrelated nature of our environment. Appreciating the fundamental contribution science makes towards the world’s future prosperity, our curriculum aims to build up pupils’ key knowledge and skills whilst encouraging them to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. Ultimately, through high quality teaching, our school strives to develop children’s ideas and ways of working so that they can make sense of the world in which they live through investigation, as well as using and applying process skills. From EYFS to Year Six, Science at Our Lady’s aims to immerse children in learning by creating an environment which places questioning, exploration and investigation at the heart.
In order to provide children with the best scientific experiences, we implement a curriculum that allows for developmental progression of both knowledge and vocabulary as well as scientific skills and exploration. Whilst weekly, discrete lessons ensure that the school gives full coverage of, ‘The National Curriculum programmes of study for Science 2014’ and, ‘Understanding of the World’ in the Early Years Foundation Stage, extra-curricular experiences throughout the academic year aim to bring science to life!
During the Spring Term, children from across the school are given the opportunity to participate in a Mad Science club which runs after school for ten weeks and focuses on investigative aspects of the curriculum. As a way of kick starting these sessions, Mad Science delivers an annual, whole school assembly which certainly captivates our children, sparks their interest and promotes a sense of awe and wonder in the natural world.
Each year, British Science Week provides an amazing opportunity for the staff at Our Lady’s to fully immerse children in their learning by celebrating all things science, technology and engineering through a range of cross-curricular, off timetable activities. From making string phones, to creating skittle rainbows and exploring the effects of exercise on our body, our 2020 was an incredible experience for all.
Greater Manchester Engineering Challenge
As a way of promoting vital STEM subjects, the annual Greater Manchester Engineering Challenge provides an amazing opportunity for our children to experience engineering first hand. Through various research, design and create tasks, the challenge brings together primary and secondary school students and opens up STEM learning through inspirational people and activities. This year, our Year 5 children particularly enjoyed developing their own sustainable community and sharing their final design ideas at Whitworth Hall.
Throughout each academic year, our broad and balanced curriculum supports children in becoming increasingly independent scientific thinkers who are able to take risks, solve problems and work collaboratively to overcome challenges. The evidence of this is monitored through informal pupil assessment using activities such as concept cartoons and KWL grids, termly lesson observations and regular pupil voice exercises. These efforts in Science have also resulted in Our Lady’s being awarded a Primary Science Quality Mark.
What our children say
“During Science Week, we get to do experiments which last all day!”
“I like it when we explore our school grounds to look for mini-beasts and different plants.”
“When we have to work as a group during investigations, I learn how to share my ideas and listen to others”
“Watching eggs being attacked by different liquids in year 4 made me realise just how important it is to look after our teeth.”
SMSC in Science
Here at Aspull Our Lady’s RC Primary school we recognise the valuable and unique opportunity science provides to further our children’s SMSC development. In line with our school mission statement of “Learning and loving together; we grow with Jesus” and foundational core values, weekly, discrete science lessons aim to:
Use scientific evidence and investigations to support children’s spiritual understanding. This is achieved by exploring our relationship with the world, looking for meaning in natural and physical phenomena, and reflecting on our experiences so that they may inform our perspective on life. In doing so, we hope that all learners develop a sense of awe and wonder at the complexities and elegance of the natural world which will drive them onwards in their search for understanding.
Encourage children to consider the moral decisions which underpin many aspects of modern day Science. Whether it’s the ethics behind certain medical treatments or the environmental impact of industry, the use of scientific inventions needs to be based on evidence. Therefore, during classroom investigations, we encourage pupils to be both open minded to the views of others (generating a hypothesis) and critical of results (demanding evidence) so that knew knowledge can be used positively.
Recognise the inherently social nature of Science and provide various opportunities for children to work collaboratively, share ideas and take responsibility for their own and others’ learning. In lesson time, children are also encouraged to consider both the positive and negative impact scientific discoveries can have on society such as the development of single use plastic.
Appreciate how Science permeates modern day culture and recognise that scientific advancements occur all over the world, from people of all backgrounds and cultures. Through conducting research, we challenge beliefs that progress comes largely from the UK or America and celebrate developments that take place in many different cultures. In doing so, children some to understand how scientific discoveries have shaped the, beliefs, cultures and politics of the modern world.