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Maidenbower Infant School and Nursery

"What happens early, matters for a lifetime"

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Science

Intent

At Maidenbower Infant School and Nursery, we believe that “what happens early, matters for a lifetime”. With the world’s reliance on science and technology, it is more important than ever that children are taught an ambitious and engaging science curriculum from the very start of their learning journey. We believe that children are born mini scientists and they demonstrate a natural curiosity and inquisitiveness about the world around them. A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world. During science teaching, lessons and provision, we provide opportunities for children to:

  • Continue to develop awe and wonder about the world around them.
  • Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding.
  • Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science. 
  • Answer scientific questions about their world.
  • Make connections within their learning and understanding about science.
  • Be equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

 

We ensure that children develop enquiry skills through thinking scientifically. We provide opportunities within science lessons for:

At Maidenbower Infant School and Nursery, we recognise the importance of an ambitious and engaging curriculum which develops children’s scientific knowledge and skills. We have carefully sequenced science learning from Nursery to Year 2 to ensure that children can build on their prior knowledge. This will ensure that children know more and remember more over time. For example, in Reception, the children explore animals through observations, in year 1 the children learn to classify and compare animals and in year 2 the children learn about animal habitats, life cycles and food chains.

 

Implementation

Our bespoke knowledge and skill progression documents are guided by the statutory National Curriculum 2014; however, as a school we have adapted our science curriculum to make it bespoke for our children and the community in which they live in. Our science learning is linked to year group themed topic questions so that children can make meaningful links between their science learning and learning in other subjects.

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, science is taught through the area of learning ‘Understanding the World’. Children in Nursery and Reception learn and make sense about the world around them. They work with a range of practical resources both inside and outside of the classroom. Children begin to predict, wonder, show curiosity for how things work and show their understanding through speech and drawings. EYFS teachers teach the skills of working scientifically through the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning: ‘playing and exploring’, ‘active learning’ and ‘creating and thinking critically’. The poster below shows ways that children can demonstrate these enquiry skills throughout science provision and teaching opportunities.

In Key Stage 1, children begin to refine their scientific knowledge and science is taught weekly. Teachers build on children’s prior scientific knowledge and skills by re-capping previously taught topics and linking themes e.g. re-capping what the children learnt and remember about animals in Reception when they re-visit the topic again in Year 1. All children have the opportunity to problem solve and learn through real life opportunities. They are encouraged to ask their own questions and use their scientific skills to research and discover. Teachers plan practical and engaging lessons which are progressive and build on children’s knowledge and skills. Skills for working scientifically are embedded throughout science lessons and provision. These skills are demonstrated below.

Wherever possible, we incorporate outdoor learning into our science teaching e.g. studying mini-beasts and exploring plants within the school grounds. We are passionate about bringing children’s science learning to life with first-hand experiences through enrichment opportunities such as Science Week, animal handler visits, the Wonderdome Planetarium visit and Science after school clubs.

 

 

 

Impact

The successful science teaching and learning approach at Maidenbower Infant School and Nursery will result in an ambitious and engaging science education that provides all children with the foundations for understanding the world around them.

 

By the end of their learning journey at Maidenbower Infant School and Nursery, children will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a love of science and show further interest in this subject in future learning.
  • Retain knowledge about how science is important for our understanding about the world.
  • Be able to answer scientific questions and reflect on their knowledge.
  • Be able to articulate their scientific understanding and be able to reason and explain.
  • Work collaboratively with others to investigate and conduct science experiments.

 

Teachers use our school’s collection of formative assessment opportunities such as retrieval opportunities, quizzes, ‘brain dumps’, presenting their learning and ‘speak like an expert’ to assess children’s scientific understanding. The impact of science learning will be assessed through these informal teacher assessments, analysis of teachers’ knowledge of teaching science, through subject deep dives, observing science lessons and through pupil voice.

 

      

Below, you will find our science curriculum overview. This shares our vision for science at our school, what the children will learn about in science lessons, the end of year expectations for EYFS and Key Stage 1 and the enrichment opportunities that we provide in science. 

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