Tower Hill Primary School
Our Rationale for Teaching Science
Science is a body of knowledge built up through experimental testing of ideas. Science is also methodology, a practical way of finding reliable answers to questions we may ask about the world around us. Through the teaching of the specific disciplines biology, chemistry and physics we develop children’s ideas and ways of working that enable them to make sense of the world in which they live through explanation, prediction, investigation and analysis. We believe that a broad and balanced science education is the entitlement of all children, regardless of ethnic origin, gender, class, aptitude or disability.
Our aims in teaching science include the following:
- Preparing our children for life in an increasingly scientific and technological world.
- Fostering concern about, and active care for, our environment.
- Helping our children acquire a growing understanding of scientific ideas.
- Helping develop and extend our children’s scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding of their world.
- Encouraging the development of positive attitudes to science.
- Building on our children’s natural curiosity and developing a scientific approach to problems.
- Encouraging open-mindedness, self-assessment, perseverance and responsibility.
- Building our children’s self-confidence to enable them to work independently.
- Developing our children’s social skills to work cooperatively with others.
- Providing our children with an enjoyable experience of science so that they will develop a sense of excitement and a deep and lasting interest that may motivate them to study science further.
- Giving our children an understanding of scientific processes.
- Helping our children to acquire practical scientific skills.
- Developing the skills of investigation - including observing, measuring, predicting, hypothesising, experimenting, communicating, interpreting, explaining and evaluating.
- Developing the use of scientific language, recording and techniques.
- Developing the use of ICT in investigating and recording.
- Enabling our children to become effective communicators of scientific ideas, facts and data.
Our Teaching Aims
- Teaching science (National Curriculum) in ways that are imaginative, purposeful, well managed and enjoyable.
- Giving clear and accurate teacher explanations and offering skilful questioning.
- To make links between science and other subjects.
Science is a core subject in the National Curriculum which focuses on providing the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Our role is to teach scientific enquiry through the contexts of the three main content areas. Children in the Foundation Stage are taught the science elements of the Foundation Stage document through the Early-Learning Curriculum: Understanding the World.
How Science is Structured through Tower Hill School
Planning for science is a process in which all teachers are involved to ensure that the school gives full coverage of the National Curriculum. Science teaching in the school is about excellence and enjoyment. We adapt and extend the curriculum to match the unique circumstances of our school. We aim to ensure the planning is contextualized in order to make the learning real. Medium Term planning is based around a ‘big idea’. Lessons are then planned in the context of the terms theme where possible.
KSI and Foundation stage teachers should be teaching science for a minimum of one hour each week.
KSII teachers should be teaching science for a minimum of two hours per week.
Our Approach to Science
The essential elements describing how science is taught in our school are described below.
- We use ICT widely in science. Children are given the opportunity to practice science skills and enhance their presentation using carefully-chosen software.
- We use ICT for enquiry work, including digital cameras, video capture of images and activities, and data logging.
- We encourage children to ask and answer their own questions as far as practicable.
- We use cross-curricula links to science with, for example, design and technology units.
Equal opportunities in Science
Science is taught within the guidelines of the school’s equal-opportunities policy.
- We ensure that all our children have the opportunity to gain science knowledge and understanding regardless of gender, race, class, physical or intellectual ability.
- Our expectations do not limit pupil achievement and assessment does not involve cultural, social, linguistic or gender bias.
- We value science as a vehicle for the development of language skills, and we encourage our children to talk constructively about their science experiences.
- We recognise the particular importance of first-hand experience for motivating children with learning difficulties.
- We recognise that science may strongly engage our gifted and talented children, and we aim to challenge and extend them.
- We exploit science’s special contribution to children’s developing creativity; we develop this by asking and encouraging challenging questions and encouraging original thinking.
Assessment and Recording in Science
We use assessment to inform and develop our teaching.
- The ‘Understanding the World’ section of the EYFSP is used in YR to monitor and track the progress of children’s abilities.
- Topics commonly begin with an assessment of what children already know.
- We use assessment for learning techniques within lessons to move children’s thinking forward and to address misconceptions. Children are encouraged to ask questions and investigate their own thinking on an idea.
- We mark each piece of work positively, making it clear verbally, or on paper, where the work is good, and how it could be further improved.
- We have a tracking system to follow and accelerate children’s progress. The school science manager monitors progress through the school by sampling children’s work and analysing data on a half termly basis.
- Children who demonstrate high ability in science, are identified and supported.
- At the end of Year 2 science assessments are formally reported to the LA.
- All children take the National Assessments in science (the science ‘SATs’) in Year 6 and are given their results.
- Reports to parents are made verbally in the first two terms, and written once in the Summer term, describing each child’s attitude to science, his/her progress in scientific enquiry and understanding of the content of science.
Health and Safety in Science
The health and safety section of this policy should be read in accordance with the overall schools health and safety policy. The employer, ie, the governing body of Tower Hill Primary School has the ultimate responsibility to ensure the health and safety of employees and others at this school. The task of overseeing health and safety in this school has been delegated by the employer to the Headteacher. Within Science this task has been further delegated to the Science Manager.
It is the duty of all staff:
- to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and others who may be affected by their acts or omissions;
- to be familiar with this policy by periodic reference to it;
- to implement the provisions of this policy; and
- to cooperate with the employer and with other members of staff in promoting health and safety.
Advice on Health & Safety Matters in Science
- The local authority’s designated representative for giving advice on health & safety in teaching science in primary schools is:
Frank Fearn, HIAS General Inspector/Adviser for Science
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or:
Dave Whittle, HIAS General Inspector/Adviser for Science
- Tower Hill Primary School through HIAS has a subscription to CLEAPSS, Brunel University, Uxbridge UB8 3PH (Tel: 01895 251496; Fax: 01895 814372; E-mail: email@example.com; Web site: www.cleapss.org.uk) for the purpose of obtaining risk assessments and for general advice on health & safety matters in science.
- About 3 or 4 weeks after the start of each term the CLEAPSS Primary Science and Technology Newsletter is dispatched to schools by Hampshire County Council.
- It is the Science Managers responsibility to circulate a copy of the Newsletter amongst staff.
- Back copies are kept for reference in the Science Managers Folder and are also available on the members-only part of the CLEAPSS web site.
- At Tower Hill Primary School we adopt the advice given in “Safety in Science at Key Stages 1 and 2, December 2014, 3rd edition” published by Hampshire County Council. A copy of this document along with the Hazard cards is kept in the Science Managers Classroom. Another kept in the Staff Study which staff is aware of.
- When planning science activities staff take copies of the relevant hazard cards and attach to planning. The risks are assessed and recorded on science planning. All relevant steps are then taken within the lesson to minimise potential risks.
- It is the responsibility of the Science Manager to monitor health and safety in Science and to ensure all members of staff are following guidance provided.
- The Science Manager completes and returns the Annual Primary Science safety monitoring schedule to Hampshire County Council.
This science policy will be reviewed by the science curriculum leader and the senior management team. It is shared with all members of staff on an annual basis. Any new members of staff will be given a copy of this policy during the induction process.