Intent – Science at Hindhayes
Recent research used to inform practice: Bold Beginnings 2017 : Key findings in the most successful schools. Ofsted (2019), Narrowing the Vocabulary Gap – Alex Quiggley 2018, National Curriculum (2014)
Science is a core subject and therefore provision should be equally as strong and frequent as literacy and maths (Ofsted, 2019)
There is currently an attainment gap in science at every stage: it is apparent at the end of KS1 and gets wider through primary and secondary education with the gap growing particularly between the ages of 5-7. The strongest factor affecting pupils science learning is their literacy skills – particularly abilty to understand spoken vocabulary. There is strong evidence to suggest that the ability to reason scientifically – i.e. by having sound “working scientifically skills” – is a strong predictor of success in science. Pupils should therefore have ample opportunity to design and carry out their own experiments and investigations (EEF, 2019). The National curriculum states that “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.”
Developing skilled scientists at Hindhayes:
We aim to encourage independent thinking through our science teaching. We cover National Curriculum programmes of study and aim to broaden the outlook of children and make them more aware of the world in which they live and themselves in relation to it. We strive to develop their investigative skills and observational skills by enhancing their natural curiosity. Staff are always mindful of the children’s safety and ensure that the appropriate risk assessments are carried out. We also teach the children how to safeguard themselves in their science work. Our aim at Hindhayes is to ensure that children develop a love of science and embed the skills of ‘working scientifically’ to inspire a future generation of Scientists. At Hindhayes we foster a hands-on curiosity for exploration of the world around us. We aim for the children to develop their ideas and ways of working that will enable them to make sense of the world around them through practical investigations, forest school, exploring our locality, visits from outdoor agencies (e.g. Life Bus Education, Explorer Dome workshops) and by planning their own investigations and experiments. We encourage our learners to be inquisitive and excited about the world around us and to treat the living and non-living environment with respect, curiosity and sensitivity.
Developing Cultural Capital
Baseline information collected in the EYFS shows that many of the children have poor vocabulary skills and haven’t often been exposed to rich science learning environments. Our EYFS Play Worker is a qualified Forest School teacher and uses the outdoor learning environment to support children’s scientific language development, curiosity and early scientific enquiry. This includes the proposed ‘set up’ of a “nature area” which will encourage children to look out for changes in seasons, animals and plants common to our locality – the children also have access to a pond. Outside visitors are invited into the school to provide “wow moments” for our early years children – this has recently included a “Brilliant Bubbles Workshop” and a “Wild Science” animal workshop. Children have visited Secret World Rescue Centre to learn about different nocturnal animals and their habitats. All EYFS children have Forest School every other week with much of their “Understanding the World” knowledge coming from hands-on activities in our extensive school grounds.
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