Science at The Wilfred Owen is a practical subject, which is focussed on enquiry and problem solving. Through teaching science, we challenge children to ask and answer questions about the World around them and to consider the impact science has on every day lives. We will encourage discussion and debate about the moral and ethical implications of investigations and scientific discoveries; consideration of the impact on life and the planet and regard to science as a potential career. We will explore scientific developments and key scientists and the impact they have had on progress and development over time.
As a scientist, a child at The Wilfred Owen School will develop these essential characteristics:
- The ability to think independently and raise questions about working scientifically and the knowledge and skills that it brings.
- Confidence and competence in the full range of practical skills, taking the initiative in, for example, planning and carrying out scientific investigations.
- Excellent scientific knowledge and understanding which is demonstrated in written and verbal explanations, solving challenging problems and reporting scientific findings.
- High levels of originality, imagination or innovation in the application of skills.
- The ability to undertake practical work in a variety of contexts, including fieldwork.
- A passion for science and its application in past, present and future technologies.
At The Wilfred Owen School, our children are SCIENTISTS! Our intent is to give every child a broad and balanced Science curriculum which enables them to confidently explore and discover what is around them, so that they have a deeper understanding of the world we live in. We want our children to love science. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be astronauts, forensic scientists, toxicologists or microbiologists. We want our children to remember their science lessons in our school, to cherish these memories and embrace the scientific opportunities they are presented with! To achieve this, it involves exciting, practical hands on experiences that encourage curiosity and questioning. Our aim is that these stimulating and challenging experiences help every child secure and extend their scientific knowledge and vocabulary, as well as promoting a love and thirst for learning. At The Wilfred Owen School, we have a coherently planned and sequenced curriculum which has been carefully designed and developed with the need of every child at the centre of what we do. We want to equip our children with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the science National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
Science at The Wilfred Owen School
Science will be taught weekly and will, where possible link to the context of the theme being covered to develop understanding in real life contexts and application of science to develop enquiry skills.
Science will follow a cycle for each area of study. This will link to the work on metacognition, which is recognised through EEF research to have an impact on acquisition of knowledge and learning. Each block will be delivered through 3 enquiries or investigations. These will be based on a ‘Big Question’ and will focus on a specific type of enquiry, under the following headings,
- Comparative tests
- Controlling variables
- Identify & Classify
- Observation over time
- Pattern Seeking
The first, ‘I do’ investigation will be teacher modelled, so key concepts, skills and knowledge can be demonstrated. Teachers will model the planning, testing and write up stages, so children have a clear idea of how to plan an investigation. Each cycle will focus on a specific enquiry skill so that across the year, children will have been exposed to many different types of enquiry.
The second investigation will be based on ‘we do’ metacognition approach. The whole class will work together in planning an investigation. This will then be carried out by the children under supervision and control of the teacher. Misconceptions about scientific working and methods for recording can be addressed at this point.
Finally, children will work on the ‘You do’ investigation. They will independently plan, test and write up their investigation. This can be done as individuals, working as a group or working as a class. At this point the teacher will be assessing skills, knowledge and understanding and asking questions to further challenge and explain scientific processes. Children’s independent enquiries may be linked to a teacher led question or could be linked to a question or idea of a child. Questions and ideas about further investigations will often come up as children are discussing a topic or theme. Teachers will need to make note of these ideas so they can be revisited at the end of the cycle during the independent enquiry.
Through varying ability groupings, using Kagan strategies and the ‘I do, we do and you do’ cycle of investigations, children of all abilities and levels will be supported through investigations, practical work and producing written explanations, write ups and plans.
Each unit of work will be introduced with a pre-test. This will be a short, focussed test on the area of study, to inform teacher’s planning, to identify gaps in learning and discover misconceptions. At the end of each unit a post-test will be used to assess the learning throughout the block, measure progress and identify targets for children in subsequent units of work.
A tracking grid, linked to the milestones/ objectives for the term will be used to show whether a child is Working towards (WTS), Expected (EXS) or Greater Depth (GDS).
This assessment information can be tracked on Insight and will support staff in giving children an end of Key Stage level in Science.