Science & STEM
At Carville we aim to promote high achievement in science and the STEM subjects by providing pupils with
engaging tasks that challenge, stimulate and promote curiosity in the subject. A high-quality Science education
and enrichment opportunities will provide children with an understanding of the world around us. Science has
changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects
of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.
We deliver the statutory elements of the National Curriculum through the discrete teaching of science. In addition, we recognise the strengths of considering science as part of a wider approach to delivering a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) bespoke curriculum that allows links to be made across the curriculum and provides different and unique opportunities in an area of learning that will give experiences fostering a passion for STEM and improve future employability. This STEM approach can be seen through theme days/weeks, Carville University, after-school provision and curriculum visitor records and enriches our maths and science statutory curriculum.
Science provides the foundation for understanding the world around us. It can not only teach pupils about the world they live in, but also how to study it and make sense of various phenomena. As such, it is a fundamental aspect of all children’s learning.
Enquiry-based learning in science allows students to develop their conceptual understanding and application of scientific ideas. Through regular practical science lessons, all pupils at Carville Primary School are able to take an active part in their learning, explore the concepts being taught and develop independence.
At Carville, science is taught through a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) approach. This ensures that explicit links are made between each area of study so that children can appreciate how learning in one area supports the others. A STEM approach also allows us to ensure that the majority of scientific learning is achieved through practical, hands-on and investigative approaches, with an emphasis on discussion, communication and problem solving, using learning from across the curriculum to support children’s enquiry.
Through adherence to this policy, Carville Primary School will not only ensure statutory compliance with the national curriculum, but also that all pupils have a solid grounding in science and a positive attitude towards scientific knowledge, experimental processes and the nature and prevalence of the STEM subjects.
At Carville we aim to:
Develop pupils’ interest in, and enjoyment of, science. By building on children’s curiosity, the science curriculum will help to instil a positive attitude towards science in pupils.
Deliver all the requirements of the national curriculum in relation to science and covering major scientific concepts.
Ensure science lessons are purposeful, accurate and imaginative.
Develop pupils’ ability to pose questions, investigate these using correct techniques, accurately record their findings using appropriate scientific language and analyse their results.
Help pupils develop the skills of prediction, hypothesising, experimentation, investigation, observation, measurement, interpretation and communication.
Ensure pupils have sufficient scientific knowledge to understand both the uses and implications of science, today and in the future. This will also give pupils an appreciation of the changing nature of scientific knowledge.
Make pupils aware of and alert to links between science and other school subjects, as well as their lives more generally.
Understand how the STEM subjects link and support one another
Enjoy a range of activities taught through the STEM subjects and have the opportunity to work alongside scientists and engineers
The teaching of science encompasses many cross-curricular opportunities including:
Scientific ideas contribute significantly to the teaching of Literacy in our school by actively promoting the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. In order to develop scientific language and to present ideas and data within a lesson, pupils must engage with high-quality language and with varied vocabulary. Through the use of practical investigation we encourage children to read and interpret problems in order to identify the enquiry skills that are needed. Children have the opportunity to present their work on visualisers and are encouraged to speak about their investigation. This enables teachers to question and discuss in order to address any misconceptions.
Through our STEM approach, children are able to see explicit links between their mathematical skills and their scientific thinking. Children have opportunities to apply data handling and measuring skills when carrying out scientific investigations. Whole class discussion of data highlights the importance of clear recording of information. Children are also able to use a wide range of measuring devices in a real-life context. Children are required to read the scales on Newton meters, measuring cylinders, weighing scales and a variety of other instruments. STEM work allows pupils to see the importance of mathematics and science in real-life contexts.
Use of ICT
Children use and apply science in a variety of ways when investigating using ICT. Children have the opportunity to use computer programs to produce graphs and tables when explaining results. Visualisers in class allow pupils to show science work and their ideas to the class and give them an opportunity to discuss their work, developing their vocabulary and scientific language. The use of iPads in science to record investigations is important and allows pupils to document work in a digital way.
Outdoor Learning is an embedded part of our curriculum at Carville Primary School, and as such, children use the outdoor environment to investigate scientific knowledge and processes wherever appropriate. Such opportunities include:
Enquiry based learning using the school grounds
use of raised garden beds
residential visits (Kielder, High Borrans)
Curriculum Enrichment/ Partnerships
NUSTEM – Joe Shimwell, CPD opportunities
World of Work – STEM careers
Schools into work – STEM careers
Centre for Life – planetarium
Love Science – workshops
Dove Marina – touch tanks
Beamish – scientific projects
Richardson Dees Park – Zoe Fraser (Education Officer)
Rising Sun Country Park – Chris Tallak (Warden)
Every child at Carville Primary School has the opportunity to take part in Forest School sessions during the school year. As part of these sessions, children become familiar with life processes and living things, the effects of exercise on the body and the use of forces and levers.
The new curriculum (2014 onwards) outlines the criteria for teaching Science as the following (for full Programme of study information see Appendix 1):
Early Years Foundation Stage
The foundations for scientific enquiry are taught within the Early Learning Goals. Through science, pupils are supported to develop in the prime areas of communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development. The specific areas of shape, space and measures, the world and technology are also developed through the use of science.
Key Stage 1
The principal focus of science planning and teaching in Key Stage 1 is to enable pupils to experience and observe phenomena, looking more closely at the natural and humanly constructed world around them. They will be encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. They will be helped to develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of scientific enquiry to answer their own questions. They will begin to use simple scientific language to talk about what they have found out and communicate their ideas to a range of audiences in a variety of ways. Most of the learning about science will be done through the use of first-hand practical experiences, but there will also be some use of appropriate secondary sources, such as books, photographs and videos.
Key Stage 2
The principal focus of science planning and teaching in lower Key Stage 2 is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. They will do this through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments, and by beginning to develop their ideas about functions, relationships and interactions. They will ask their own questions about what they observe and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, including observing changes over time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative and fair tests and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They will draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language, first to talk about, and later to write about, what they have found out.
The principal focus of science planning and teaching in upper Key Stage 2 is to enable pupils to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. They will do this through exploring and talking about their ideas; asking their own questions about scientific phenomena; and analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically. At upper Key Stage 2, they should encounter more abstract ideas and begin to recognise how these ideas help them to understand and predict how the world operates. They will also begin to recognise that scientific ideas change and develop over time. They will select the most appropriate ways to answer science questions using different types of scientific enquiry, including observing changes over different periods of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out comparative and fair tests and finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information. Pupils will draw conclusions based on their data and observations, use evidence to justify their ideas, and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings.