Our approach to Science
At Wyndham Primary School, we believe that a high-quality Science education at Primary School level provides the foundations for understanding and exploring the world. At Wyndham pupils are encouraged to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity when undertaking scientific investigations. Children are taught to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. Our aim is to ensure that the children develop a sense of passion and commitment to science, showing strong application and enthusiasm to learn more through scientific endeavour.
At Wyndham one week per academic year is dedicated solely to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), during this week lessons are planned with a focus upon fun and hands-on activities. The children learn about STEM through fascinating, entertaining and engaging activities and events across the school. In addition visitors from STEM based roles are invited to come into school to work with the children and whole school trips are organised with a STEM focus to stimulate hands on learning in an engaging environment.
At Wyndham we also work hard to incorporate Science into all parts of school life throughout the academic year. Where possible, the school takes part in Science based projects such as the Primary Engineer programme, during which the children have the opportunity to work alongside an engineer to design their own invention. Girls in STEM is another project we take part in which focuses upon helping girls to explore the many careers available within STEM. Children in Years 5 and 6 also have the opportunity to attend Nissan engineering workshops.
Where possible visitors are invited to come into school to share their expertise with the children and staff alike and to provide additional science-based experiences that we would otherwise find it difficult to provide in a Primary School. Recently we have hosted visits from the Royal Science (which included a parent road show where we encouraged our parents to come into school and participate too) and workshops with Newcastle University out reach team. Similarly we also try to organise educational visits that support our Science curriculum, for example visiting exhibits in the Great North Museum, the Discovery Museum, Centre for Life and engaging in other workshops and activities. We also work alongside staff from Kenton School Science department to organise workshops both at Kenton School and at Wyndham for the children. In addition links are being developed to work alongside Science teachers at Kenton to provide CPD, share equipment and ease the transition from K1-KS2.
Early Years Foundation Stage
Within the Early Years Foundation Stage there are seven areas of learning where the theme of investigation and talking about what can be discovered run throughout, the children are encouraged to investigate what they have seen/discovered. Specifically pupils work through objectives within the ‘Understanding the world’ area of learning where they learn to explore and look after their environment. Through health and self-care the pupils also learn how to look after themselves, eat healthy and stay safe. Most of the science themes in the Foundation Stage are taught through a book for example learning about the lifecycle of a butterfly through the book ‘The very hungry caterpillar’.
Key Stage 1
In Key Stage 1 Science is taught once each week. Where possible meaningful links are made to the current class topic and cross-curricular links are made with other subjects. The children are encouraged to develop their own appreciation of scientific ideas by answering their own questions, observing changes over time, grouping and classifying things and carrying out simple tests. Children are encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. The children are encouraged to begin to use scientific language to talk about what they have found. Within key stage one learning about science is through the use of first-hand practical experiences supported by appropriate secondary sources
Key Stage 2
In Key Stage 2 Science is taught one lesson per week for a full afternoon allowing greater depth of learning and more time for scientific investigation. Where possible, cross-curricular links are made and also links are made to the classes’ current topic, where appropriate. The principal focus of Science teaching in Key Stage 2 is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them and to develop a deeper understanding of the scientific skills needed. Within Key Stage 2 children are encouraged to design their own investigations, they should ask their own questions about what they observe and then select the most appropriate ways to answer these questions. Children are also encouraged to use scientific vocabulary; firstly to discuss what they have discovered and then later to write about what they have found out.