Intent statement: To equip children with scientific skills and knowledge which are progressive and which will empower them to develop a relentless curiosity for their world and all of its wonders. To help children to make sense of the significance of science to society and their own lives, highlighting the significant contribution which science has made to our past and will continue to make to our future.
Relevant to NHFS specifically:Science is a way for children (and grown ups!) to gain knowledge about how and why things happen the way they do by using, both our senses to observe the world and experiments to then investigate how it works. It is vital that, at New Hartley First School, we are able to raise awareness of STEM subjects and career options, inspiring the next generation into the world of STEM. This is of particular relevance to our locality, given the commitment to the generation of renewable energy in the region. Given the North East skills gap in STEM careers, it is vital that we are able to empower our children with the aspirations which will allow them to break gender and socio-economic stereotypes.
EYFS - What Science looks like in EY:
ELG: The Natural World
- Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants.
- Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.
- Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.
In the early years, pupils will be introduced to a wide range of vocabulary that they can use to describe and categorise the natural world.
Development Matters: Understanding the World
- Repeat actions that have an effect.
- Explore materials with different properties.
- Explore natural materials, indoors and outside.
- Explore and respond to different natural phenomena in their setting and on trips.
- Notice patterns and arrange things in pattern
What Science helps to develop in the wider curriculum and beyond:
Science allows children to develop humility for it is one of the only fields where we can become excited about being proven wrong! Science allows children a safe space to ‘wonder’ out loud; to pose questions about the world around them, developing a curiosity for the natural world. .In ‘doing science’, children learn the value of experimenting, giving it a go and acting from a place of ‘I wonder’, thereby, supporting the development of creative thinking.
Research has shown there to be a positive relationship between reading achievement and science achievement - development in one supports development in the other. Our Science suggested reading spine allows class teachers to link their chosen class readers with Science content. Reading well-written scientific texts helps pupils familiarise themselves with key vocabulary and conceptual relations between these words that form explanations.
Science provides opportunities for exploratory, explanatory and investigative talk and questioning, and for teaching fiction and non-fiction texts. Stories and poems can be used to provide a context for science work carried out by children. Stories and poems can also be the end product, written by the children to demonstrate their understanding of a topic.
‘Big’ mathematical ideas play an important role in the explanatory power of models in science.. For example, in order to understand why a small child might get cold more quickly than an adult and thus need more layers of clothing; why large sugar crystals dissolve more slowly than regular sugar; why penguins huddle together for warmth; or why elephants have such big ears, it is necessary to have an understanding of volume and surface area and how the proportions vary in different shapes. Science, therefore, is a vehicle for helping children to understand the value of mathematical skill in everyday life or contexts which they can relate to.
This involves knowledge of the products of science, such as concepts, laws and theories and models. Our progressive curriculum introduces this knowledge in an order that enables pupils to build their knowledge of scientific concepts, throughout their time at school.
This is how scientific knowledge is generated and how it grows. Our Scientific enquiry is at the core of our Science curriculum. At NHFS, the five areas of scientific enquiry which allow children to propose, carry out and evaluate practical procedures are:
Research using secondary sources
Comparative and fair testing
Observing over time
Identifying, classifying and grouping
Children begin forming their own ideas of their place in the world from as young as the age of 5. It is therefore vital that we are able to provide our young children with a range of successful role models, enabling them to broaden their aspirations, to ‘dream big!’. The subject of Science is an effective vehicle for allowing children to widen their understanding of their world, and their place in it.
Children deserve access to the knowledge of what is happening to the world all around them. Our children want to know what is happening, why we are talking about it and what they can do to help. As educators, we owe it to them to answer those questions and to prepare them for the future they face. By ensuring that our children acquire a secure substantive knowledge of Science, we are enabling them to act sustainably. Subsequently, developing children’s disciplinary knowledge allows them to work scientifically, therefore grasping the key issues around climate change and allowing them to begin to understand the consequences of human behaviour on our planet.
The promotion of STEM allows teachers to provide children with a broader range of successful role models than those they would usually encounter within their family/small village, particularly in career related learning. Science allows teachers to highlight the gender disparity within certain professions and enables children to challenge stereotypes, while gaining an understanding of the changing roles of men and women in the world of science/STEM (as of 2021, only 12.9% of the engineering workforce were women). Science allows children to celebrate the successes of a range of role models, regardless of the barriers they faced and allows children to feel the injustice of inequality (e.g. Gladys Knight and Watson and Crick in the discovery of DNA).