At Parkhead Community Primary School we want our pupils to develop an enthusiasm for and foster an enjoyment of science. Our pupils learn science through real-life, hand-on experiences that broaden and raise aspirations as well as support acquisition of new science knowledge and skills. We provide our pupils with experiences and opportunities they many not otherwise access, through practical enquiries, science visits, workshops, visitors and STEM weeks.
We offer a curriculum which is engaging and designed to deepen their understanding of an ever-changing world and the science within it. It also develops the key skills of curiosity, independence, confidence, resilience and adaptability that will help to prepare them for their future beyond school.
At Parkhead Primary we aim to:
- Develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas and skills required to understand the uses and implications of Science today and for the future and encourage them to relate these to their everyday life experiences.
- Develop an enthusiasm and enjoyment of scientific learning and discovery
- Develop the essential scientific enquiry skills to deepen their scientific knowledge
- Teach pupils different ways of thinking, how to find out things and use a range of methods to communicate their ideas effectively. We want to make our pupils confident learners who explore their ideas and thinking through science.
- Focus strongly on scientific vocabulary to allow them to understand and communicate using appropriate terminology.
Our science curriculum is based on the expectations of the national curriculum and is designed to ensure progress and matched to the needs and interests of our pupils. Each year group will have the opportunity to work scientifically and they have a specific programme of study which develops knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts by providing a progressive science curriculum which builds upon prior knowledge, skills and understanding previously taught. Working scientifically is embedded within the content of biology, physics and chemistry and focuses on the 5 enquiry types: observation over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing; and research using secondary sources.
We also aim to enable children to understand how significant scientific figures have helped us to shape the world around us.
At Parkhead Primary school, we believe that classroom talk and questioning is key to meaningful and effective learning within science. In order to support the needs of our pupils the curriculum has vocabulary and reading at its core. As children progress through school, children’s vocabulary is improved through consistent exposure to subject specific vocabulary, which is explicitly taught, displayed in classrooms and revisited. During all science lessons, children are encouraged to use the correct scientific vocabulary when explaining their scientific ideas, thinking and reasoning. Teacher’s questions are structured in ways that provoke thoughtful answers and explanations, allowing for effective, high-quality discussions to take place.
At Parkhead Primary School, we want children to experience hands-on experimentation and investigations wherever possible. This promotes a lot of group work and working collaboratively in science, linking to our ‘be co-operative’ learning power. We believe that writing down answers is not always the best way to record in science therefore we have a whole range of recording procedures to allow all children to demonstrate their scientific thoughts and understanding and to celebrate everyone’s learning.
Floorbooks are used throughout school to record and provide an insight into children's scientific enquiry skills and their conceptual understanding of science processes. We believe that the main benefit for both children and teachers is that, with less time given to writing up a science experiment following a format, there is more time available for developing and justifying ideas and scientific concepts.
Children’s thoughts on using floorbooks in science:
“I like using the floorbook in science because you get more time to carry out an experiment and you don’t need to write all the time.”
“I like the floorbook because you can learn from other people’s ideas and you can ask the teacher more questions.”
“I like having the floorbook because it makes science more exciting and we get to answer challenging questions and be scientists.”
Through our science lessons, children are introduced to and taught about a variety of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) based careers, which we believe will allow them to gain an understanding that their learning within science links to the world of work and will challenge any stereotypes in the classroom. We believe that teaching children about the different careers available will, over time, raise the children’s aspirations and they will begin to understand that science can open up many opportunities for them. Here at Parkhead Primary School, we strongly believe that positive and hands-on primary science experiences will encourage children to study different areas of science further at secondary school and possibly go on to follow it as a career. We want children to leave Parkhead Primary School as confident, young scientists ready to take on the world.
The impact of our aims and implementation of the aims will result in effective learning and progress for all children. Teachers will be able to discuss their teacher assessments based on what they see each day in class. The aim is for teachers to explain how they can be sure children have secured concepts of the curriculum appropriate for their year groups such as the children’s ability to retrieve key concepts taught and to make connections to previously taught concepts. Teachers should see incremental improvement of children’s understanding of concepts to be fairly sure children are learning and of the impact their teaching is having: in other words, children are becoming scientists.