Science is wondrous. It is life-changing and mindboggling. What would our lives be like without science?
Here, at Wheatley, we aim for all children to become scientists in their own right. This is why we value the teaching of science and are passionate about ensuring all children receive a well-rounded curriculum that inspires and excites whilst teaching children the skills to be a successful scientist both in the classroom and in their everyday lives.
There is no limit to the wonders of science; it is part of our everyday life and it something we can all be part of. Science continues to change our way of life in ways people many years ago could only have dreamed of. We aim for our children to realise this and take this wonder and excitement with them as they move further through their education. Before leaving our school, pupils will have a growing interest in the wonders of science as well as an appreciation of the importance of scientific developments in our modern day world.
To secure these outcomes, at Wheatley, our approach to science teaching and learning is underpinned by the following intent and principles:
Science is taught through a well-balanced curriculum using a range of teaching approaches including practical and written tasks, independent and group learning, internet and book research, and most importantly, memorable first hand experiences that are key to building the foundations of a child’s scientific understanding .
Teachers use a whole-school curriculum document to inform their planning each term, thus ensuring children are taught all units from the National Curriculum and are constantly building on previous knowledge and progressing at an appropriate level as they move through the year groups.
Thanks to the scientific enquiry progression document, we can ensure children are exposed to a range of activities that help to build skills of scientific enquiry during every year of primary education. Each term’s science unit is planned by teachers to include a selection of learning activities that aim to teach pupils facts as well as develop key scientific skills that can be applied to the wider science curriculum.
In order to be a successful scientist, children must develop awareness and understanding, appropriate to their age, of what makes up science. What is ‘Science’?
Generally, children relate science to explosions and potions, to bubbling volcanoes and smoking chemicals. In order for our children to become scientists, they need to understand the fundamental aspects of science, of scientific exploration, questioning, investigation and learning.
That is why, at Wheatley, we teach pupils the importance of asking questions. This underpins the basis of science because it is only through asking questions and giving ourselves time to stop, think and be curious, that scientists are inspired to explore and investigate answers. Children from all year groups are encouraged to formulate questions independently, in groups and as a class and to explore answers through scientific thinking and investigation. We don’t always come to the answer we originally thought, but that is the wonder of science!
This is an integral part of our science curriculum and is valued by all teachers at Wheatley. We understand the importance of children carrying out scientific enquiry in order to develop skills and extend scientific knowledge in their journey to becoming successful, curious scientists.
There are 5 main types of scientific enquiry, each of which is important in developing pupils’ scientific skills and fundamental understanding. It is these 5 main types of enquiry that underpin the entire scientific world. Without extensive observations, research, and testing, scientists would not be able to uncover the world’s secrets. It is through repeated experiments, effective data collection and informed evaluation and conclusions that scientists have been able to develop technology that changes our lives to this day.
Click on the links below for more information about each type of enquiry.
As part of the 5 types of enquiry, it is often relevant for the class to carry out practical tasks that involve some level of independence or exploration from the children.
First-hand experiences are crucial to developing a child’s scientific understanding and scientific skills. At Wheatley, pupils experience a range of first hand experiences as they go through EYFS, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Such experiences are adapted to accommodate different ages, ensuring that pupils develop independent skills and the ability to ask and explore questions appropriately.
See below for a selection of the first-hand learning opportunities experienced by the children across the school.
Growing plants and observing changes over time
Building toys out of appropriate materials
Building and observing their very own Bug Hotel
Becoming an electrician and wiring a plug
Creating a variety of homemade water cycles in class
Investigating water resistance by creating their shapes
Making parachutes to assess air resistance