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Maple Grove Primary School

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At Maple Grove Primary School, teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards in science. At Maple Grove we ensure the aims of the National Curriculum are taught, these are that all pupils:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
  • are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

What is taught?

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, our goal is to lay the groundwork for Science and provide children with authentic experiences. Science is included in the 'Understanding the World' section of the EYFS Curriculum. It is introduced indirectly through activities that encourage each child to explore, solve problems, observe, predict, think, make decisions and discuss the world around them. Children investigate creatures, people, plants and objects in their natural surroundings. They observe and manipulate objects and materials to identify differences and similarities. Children also learn to use their senses, feeling dough or listening to sounds in the environment.

Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following;

  • Science will be taught in planned over a two week blocks by the class teacher every half term around a key question. This is a strategy to enable the achievement of a greater depth of knowledge. Science unit plans
  • Existing knowledge is checked at the beginning of each topic via the vocabulary mind maps, recapped and built on over the unit. This ensures that teaching is informed by the children’s starting points.
  • Through our planning, we involve problem solving opportunities that allow children to apply their knowledge and find out answers for themselves. Children are encouraged to ask their own questions and be given opportunities to use their scientific skills and research to discover the answers. This curiosity is celebrated within the classroom. Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, often involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, and assess pupils regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning, so that all pupils keep up. Tasks are selected and designed to provide appropriate challenge to all learners, in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion.
  • We build upon the knowledge and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, they become more proficient in selecting, using scientific equipment, collating and interpreting results, they become increasingly confident in their growing ability to come to conclusions based on real evidence.
  • Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure that skills are systematically developed throughout the children’s school career and new vocabulary and challenging concepts are introduced through direct teaching. This is developed through the years, in-keeping with the topics.
  • Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding. Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning and workshops with experts.
  • Regular events, such as Science Week or STEM Week allow all pupils to come off-timetable, to provide broader provision and the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills. These events often involve families and the wider community.
  • At the end of each topic, key knowledge is reviewed by the children and rigorously checked by the teacher and consolidated as necessary.